When

She Decides...

The world is better, stronger, safer

 
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SHE DECIDES WHETHER, WHEN AND WITH WHOM...

TO HAVE SEX.

TO FALL IN LOVE.

TO HAVE CHILDREN.

SheDecides is a global movement to promote, provide, protect and enhance the fundamental rights of every girl and woman.

Every girl and every woman has the right to do what she chooses with her body; she has the right to health. And these rights affect her personal development, her participation in society, her livelihood and whether her family and community thrives.

SheDecides means that every girl and every woman can safely exercise her right to decide for herself what she does with her body, who she shares her body with and whether she wants to have children. She must have access to education and information about her body and her options, modern contraception and safe abortion.

To learn about how it all began, read the story.

We – and you and he and they – are coming together to say that she matters, and to speak out that she must decide freely and safely about what happens to her body.

This is a fundamental human right that must be upheld.

By signing the manifesto, you can join the thousands of people, companies, organisations and countries that know that the world can only be safer, better, stronger when SheDecides.

Friends stand up and speak out. Friends change the rules. Friends unlock the resources. Friends make it happen.

The Manifesto is our entry point to become a Friend of SheDecides. We must stand up and be counted - to show that people and organisations the world over think that she should decide. Read the manifesto here.

the right to decide

Friends say that yes, she decides

champions, standing up and leading the way

All over the world, people are standing up to say that, yes, SheDecides. Champions are individuals - some representing countries and organisations - who act alone and together to propel us toward a reality where every girl and every woman has power over her body. Without question.

Champions of the SheDecides movement support the manifesto that shows our values. They work tirelessly to make sure that laws and policies are changed for the better, resources are unlocked and harmful attitudes are put to an end. They educate, they advocate and they carve paths for others to join the movement. 

Below is our growing list of Champions, who are being bold in the push for real change. 

(Hover over image for bio)

 
Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Heath, Republic of South Africa Dr Motsoaledi served on the Limpopo Provincial Executive Committee of the ANC for 19 years before being elected to the ANC National Executive Committee where he serves today. His current positions include: Minister of Health; ANC Member of Parliament; Member of the ANC National Executive Committee. Dr Motsoaledi matriculated at Setotolwane High School and completed his pre-medicine course at the University of the North at Turfloop. He obtained his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB) from the University of Natal in 1983.

Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Heath, Republic of South Africa

Dr Motsoaledi served on the Limpopo Provincial Executive Committee of the ANC for 19 years before being elected to the ANC National Executive Committee where he serves today. His current positions include: Minister of Health; ANC Member of Parliament; Member of the ANC National Executive Committee.
Dr Motsoaledi matriculated at Setotolwane High School and completed his pre-medicine course at the University of the North at Turfloop. He obtained his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB) from the University of Natal in 1983.

Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister (Belgium) Alexander De Croo graduated in Business Engineering and completed an MBA at Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University, Chicago, IL). He was political leader of the Liberal Democrats in Flanders (Belgium). Currently, he is Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation, Digital Agenda and Telecom. Before, he worked as a strategy consultant at The Boston Consulting Group and founded his own company in the field ofintellectual property rights. Alexander De Croo is a staunch promotor of women’s rights and organised the first She Decides-conference in Brussels (March, 2017). He sits on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Europe and was selected Young Global Leader in 2015.

Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister (Belgium)

Alexander De Croo graduated in Business Engineering and completed an MBA at Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University, Chicago, IL). He was political leader of the Liberal Democrats in Flanders (Belgium). Currently, he is Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation, Digital Agenda and Telecom. Before, he worked as a strategy consultant at The Boston Consulting Group and founded his own company in the field ofintellectual property rights. Alexander De Croo is a staunch promotor of women’s rights and organised the first She Decides-conference in Brussels (March, 2017). He sits on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Europe and was selected Young Global Leader in 2015.

Aminatou Sar, PATH Senegal Country Representative Journalist by profession, Mrs. Aminatou Sar has worked many years in newspapers and Senegalese radio stations before joining the NGOs’ world. She worked 10 years at Plan International regional Office for West and central Africa child media programs coordinator promoting child rights through radio in 10 countries. She was also the head of the International Secretariat of Amnesty International in West Africa for 6 years at the same time as Director of the Africa Human Rights Education Programme covering 13 countries in West, Eastern, Central and southern Africa regions. In January 2016, she joined the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC) as senior regional advisor for the Forum for the Contraceptive Security in Francophone Africa (SECONAF) and is now serving as PATH Senegal Country Representative. She is Senegalese and French by nationality and is based in Dakar, Senegal.

Aminatou Sar, PATH Senegal Country Representative

Journalist by profession, Mrs. Aminatou Sar has worked many years in newspapers and Senegalese radio stations before joining the NGOs’ world. She worked 10 years at Plan International regional Office for West and central Africa child media programs coordinator promoting child rights through radio in 10 countries. She was also the head of the International Secretariat of Amnesty International in West Africa for 6 years at the same time as Director of the Africa Human Rights Education Programme covering 13 countries in West, Eastern, Central and southern Africa regions. In January 2016, she joined the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC) as senior regional advisor for the Forum for the Contraceptive Security in Francophone Africa (SECONAF) and is now serving as PATH Senegal Country Representative. She is Senegalese and French by nationality and is based in Dakar, Senegal.

Dr. Anita Asiimwe, Former Minister of Public Health, Rwanda Dr. Asiimwe specializes in Public Health Strategies tackling the HIV/AIDS epidemic and other diseases’ conditions. A Medical Doctor by profession, she holds a Masters degree in Public Health. She has served in various health sector governance and management responsibilities for the government of Rwanda and has participated at regional and international levels too in health. Dr. Asiimwe served as the Minister of State in charge of Public Health and Primary Health Care for the Government of Rwanda. She also served as the Board member of the Global Fund representing the East and Southern Africa Constituency, and at the same time, served as the Vice chair of the Global Fund Board Strategy Investment and Impact Committee.

Dr. Anita Asiimwe, Former Minister of Public Health, Rwanda

Dr. Asiimwe specializes in Public Health Strategies tackling the HIV/AIDS epidemic and other diseases’ conditions. A Medical Doctor by profession, she holds a Masters degree in Public Health. She has served in various health sector governance and management responsibilities for the government of Rwanda and has participated at regional and international levels too in health. Dr. Asiimwe served as the Minister of State in charge of Public Health and Primary Health Care for the Government of Rwanda. She also served as the Board member of the Global Fund representing the East and Southern Africa Constituency, and at the same time, served as the Vice chair of the Global Fund Board Strategy Investment and Impact Committee.

Børge Brende, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway Børge Brende started his political career in 1985 as political adviser with the Young Conservatives. He has been Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party (1994–1998) and a member of the Storting (Norwegian parliament) for more than 10 years. From 2001 to 2004 he was Minister of the Environment. He was Minister of Trade and Industry from 2004 to 2005. In 2008, Mr Brende was appointed as Managing Director of the World Economic Forum in Geneva.  He was Secretary General of Red Cross Norway from 2009 to 2011, before returning to the World Economic Forum in 2011 as Managing Director. Mr Brende was Chair of the UN Commission of Sustainable Development in 2003–2004 and member of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (advisory body to the Chinese Government) from 2005 to 2013. He has also been Chair of the Board in Mesta, Norway’s largest onshore contracting group, and Member of the Board in Statoil. Mr Brende has a degree in economics, law and history from NTNU in Trondheim.

Børge Brende, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway
Børge Brende started his political career in 1985 as political adviser with the Young Conservatives. He has been Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party (1994–1998) and a member of the Storting (Norwegian parliament) for more than 10 years. From 2001 to 2004 he was Minister of the Environment. He was Minister of Trade and Industry from 2004 to 2005. In 2008, Mr Brende was appointed as Managing Director of the World Economic Forum in Geneva.  He was Secretary General of Red Cross Norway from 2009 to 2011, before returning to the World Economic Forum in 2011 as Managing Director. Mr Brende was Chair of the UN Commission of Sustainable Development in 2003–2004 and member of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (advisory body to the Chinese Government) from 2005 to 2013. He has also been Chair of the Board in Mesta, Norway’s largest onshore contracting group, and Member of the Board in Statoil. Mr Brende has a degree in economics, law and history from NTNU in Trondheim.

Christine Stegling, Executive Director of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance Christine Stegling is Executive Director of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, an alliance of 34 NGOs across 28 countries with their roots in the community response to HIV. A leading actor in the HIV response, Ms Stegling has worked for over 20 years in international development, human rights and HIV.  Prior to heading the Alliance she was the Executive Director of the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC). Christine lived in Botswana for 10 years, working initially for the Ministry of Health, then as a lecturer at the University of Botswana, and for eight years as the director of the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA).

Christine Stegling, Executive Director of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance

Christine Stegling is Executive Director of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, an alliance of 34 NGOs across 28 countries with their roots in the community response to HIV.

A leading actor in the HIV response, Ms Stegling has worked for over 20 years in international development, human rights and HIV.  Prior to heading the Alliance she was the Executive Director of the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC).

Christine lived in Botswana for 10 years, working initially for the Ministry of Health, then as a lecturer at the University of Botswana, and for eight years as the director of the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA).

Professor CN Purandare, President, FIGO Professor CN Purandare, at 65, is a dynamic leader who received training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in India and Ireland. A senior consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at three leading hospitals in Mumbai, he is also the honorary consultant for the Mumbai Police. Currently, he is the Dean of the Indian COllege of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Emeritus Editor for the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of India. He was installed as President of FIGO in October 2015, and in the immediate future he plans to focus on family planning, conception planning and reduction in maternal mortality.

Professor CN Purandare, President, FIGO
Professor CN Purandare, at 65, is a dynamic leader who received training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in India and Ireland. A senior consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at three leading hospitals in Mumbai, he is also the honorary consultant for the Mumbai Police. Currently, he is the Dean of the Indian COllege of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Emeritus Editor for the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of India. He was installed as President of FIGO in October 2015, and in the immediate future he plans to focus on family planning, conception planning and reduction in maternal mortality.

Mrs. Delbar Nazari, Minister of Women’s Affairs (Afghanistan) H.E. Delbar Nazari, was born in 1956 in in Samangan, a northern province of Afghanistan. Currently she works as the minister of women’s affairs, representing and advocating for about 15 million Afghan women and girls’ right at national and international levels like CSW61. Having extensive of professional gender experience at managerial and expert level with a public administration and international institutions like Oxfam, German Agro Action, UNICEF and General Directorate of Electronic ID Cards paved the ways towards women empowerment in Afghanistan. She also was selected as the Parliament Member by Samangan citizens to serve the country, especially women, from 2005 until 2010.

Mrs. Delbar Nazari, Minister of Women’s Affairs (Afghanistan)

H.E. Delbar Nazari, was born in 1956 in in Samangan, a northern province of Afghanistan. Currently she works as the minister of women’s affairs, representing and advocating for about 15 million Afghan women and girls’ right at national and international levels like CSW61. Having extensive of professional gender experience at managerial and expert level with a public administration and international institutions like Oxfam, German Agro Action, UNICEF and General Directorate of Electronic ID Cards paved the ways towards women empowerment in Afghanistan. She also was selected as the Parliament Member by Samangan citizens to serve the country, especially women, from 2005 until 2010.

Georgia Arnold, Executive Director, MTV Staying Alive Foundation Georgia Arnold is Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility at Viacom International Media Networks and is responsible for developing social initiatives for the company’s portfolio of over two hundred TV channels and websites. Ms. Arnold is also Executive Director of The Staying Alive Foundation. MTV Staying Alive is forged upon partnerships including; UNAIDS, UNICEF, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, PEPFAR and Kaiser Family Foundation. The campaign has delivered award-winning HIV and AIDS awareness programming, concerts, events and public service messages involving high profile individuals such as Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé and Mary J Blige.

Georgia Arnold, Executive Director, MTV Staying Alive Foundation

Georgia Arnold is Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility at Viacom International Media Networks and is responsible for developing social initiatives for the company’s portfolio of over two hundred TV channels and websites. Ms. Arnold is also Executive Director of The Staying Alive Foundation. MTV Staying Alive is forged upon partnerships including; UNAIDS, UNICEF, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, PEPFAR and Kaiser Family Foundation. The campaign has delivered award-winning HIV and AIDS awareness programming, concerts, events and public service messages involving high profile individuals such as Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé and Mary J Blige.

Isabella Lövin, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lövin represents the first feminist government in the world, serving as Sweden’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate. She was proud to co-organize the first She-Decides conference in Brussels in March 2017. She is also the spokesperson for the Swedish Green Party. Prior to that, she was Member of the European Parliament. She has also been working as a journalist and is an award winning author.

Isabella Lövin, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister

Isabella Lövin represents the first feminist government in the world, serving as Sweden’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate. She was proud to co-organize the first She-Decides conference in Brussels in March 2017. She is also the spokesperson for the Swedish Green Party. Prior to that, she was Member of the European Parliament. She has also been working as a journalist and is an award winning author.

Jona Claire S. Turalde Jona Claire Turalde is an incoming junior student under the BA Anthropology program of University of the Philippines Diliman. Fresh from high school then, she started to become a Global Goals campaigner during her involvement with the International Youth Council Pilipinas, a youth civil society organization for civic engagement and a member of ACT! 2030 Philippine Alliance. Currently, she’s an advocate for the rights and welfare of indigenous peoples of the Philippines. Also she’s pursuing advocacy initiatives for young people’s rights and development, especially on the issues of SRHR. She was a volunteer of the UNFPA Philippines during the World Population Day celebration in 2016, and she is one of the proponents to create a UN Youth Advisory Board, a space for young peoples’ voice and representation in the UN Philippines.

Jona Claire S. Turalde

Jona Claire Turalde is an incoming junior student under the BA Anthropology program of University of the Philippines Diliman. Fresh from high school then, she started to become a Global Goals campaigner during her involvement with the International Youth Council Pilipinas, a youth civil society organization for civic engagement and a member of ACT! 2030 Philippine Alliance.

Currently, she’s an advocate for the rights and welfare of indigenous peoples of the Philippines. Also she’s pursuing advocacy initiatives for young people’s rights and development, especially on the issues of SRHR. She was a volunteer of the UNFPA Philippines during the World Population Day celebration in 2016, and she is one of the proponents to create a UN Youth Advisory Board, a space for young peoples’ voice and representation in the UN Philippines.

Mr. Kai Mykkänen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development (Finland) Kai Mykkänen was appointed Finland's Minister for Foreign Trade and Development in June 2016. He is a Member of Parliament since 2015. Minister Mykkänen is known for his expertise on energy, Russia and the economics. Prior to his political career, Mr. Mykkänen worked as Director for Russian Affairs at the Confederation of Finnish Industries, as investment banker in St. Petersburg, and as political advisor to the Minister for Economic Affairs and Employment. Minister Mykkänen holds a Master's Degree in Economics from the University of Helsinki.

Mr. Kai Mykkänen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development (Finland)

Kai Mykkänen was appointed Finland's Minister for Foreign Trade and Development in June 2016. He is a Member of Parliament since 2015. Minister Mykkänen is known for his expertise on energy, Russia and the economics. Prior to his political career, Mr. Mykkänen worked as Director for Russian Affairs at the Confederation of Finnish Industries, as investment banker in St. Petersburg, and as political advisor to the Minister for Economic Affairs and Employment. Minister Mykkänen holds a Master's Degree in Economics from the University of Helsinki.

Kate Hampton, CEO of the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) Kate’s career spans roles in government, finance, consulting, a think tank and NGO’s. Before joining CIFF she was Head of Policy at Climate Change Capital. She has also advised policy makers in a number of roles, as well as being Head of the Climate Change Campaign for Friends of the Earth International. At Green Alliance, she managed the Green Globe Network. Earlier in her career, she worked at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington D.C. and Environmental Resources Management. In 2008, Kate was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She holds a BSc. from the London School of Economics and a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where she was a Fulbright Scholar. Kate is a member of the FP2020 Reference Group.

Kate Hampton, CEO of the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)

Kate’s career spans roles in government, finance, consulting, a think tank and NGO’s. Before joining CIFF she was Head of Policy at Climate Change Capital. She has also advised policy makers in a number of roles, as well as being Head of the Climate Change Campaign for Friends of the Earth International. At Green Alliance, she managed the Green Globe Network. Earlier in her career, she worked at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington D.C. and Environmental Resources Management.

In 2008, Kate was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She holds a BSc. from the London School of Economics and a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where she was a Fulbright Scholar.

Kate is a member of the FP2020 Reference Group.

Katja Iversen, President/CEO, Women Deliver Katja Iversen is the President/CEO of Women Deliver – a leading global advocate for investment in the health, rights and wellbeing of girls and women, with a specific focus on gender equality and maternal, sexual and reproductive health and rights. Iversen, an internationally recognized expert on development, advocacy and communications, has more than 20 years of experience working in NGOs, corporates and United Nation agencies, including with UNFPA and as Chief of Strategic Communication and Public Advocacy with UNICEF. She has counseled and trained multiple Fortune 500 executives on cross cultural management and communication. She is on MIT’s Women & Technology Leadership Group, a health adviser to the Clinton Global Initiative and council chair of Equal Measures 2030.

Katja Iversen, President/CEO, Women Deliver

Katja Iversen is the President/CEO of Women Deliver – a leading global advocate for investment in the health, rights and wellbeing of girls and women, with a specific focus on gender equality and maternal, sexual and reproductive health and rights. Iversen, an internationally recognized expert on development, advocacy and communications, has more than 20 years of experience working in NGOs, corporates and United Nation agencies, including with UNFPA and as Chief of Strategic Communication and Public Advocacy with UNICEF. She has counseled and trained multiple Fortune 500 executives on cross cultural management and communication. She is on MIT’s Women & Technology Leadership Group, a health adviser to the Clinton Global Initiative and council chair of Equal Measures 2030.

Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands In 1995 Lilianne founded Ploumen Projecten, an organisation specialising in market research and innovation for commercial and non-profit clients. In the same year she also began working as a fundraising coordinator for Mama Cash, an international fund supporting women’s initiatives, going on to become director of the organisation from 1996 to 2001. From 2001 to 2007 Ms Ploumen worked for the development organisation Cordaid and was Chair of the Labour Party (PvdA) from October 2007 to January 2012. She has also been a board member of feminist organisation Opzij and Women Inc. and member of the Stop Aids Now! supervisory board. On 5 November 2012 Lilianne Ploumen was appointed Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in the Rutte-Asscher government.

Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

In 1995 Lilianne founded Ploumen Projecten, an organisation specialising in market research and innovation for commercial and non-profit clients. In the same year she also began working as a fundraising coordinator for Mama Cash, an international fund supporting women’s initiatives, going on to become director of the organisation from 1996 to 2001. From 2001 to 2007 Ms Ploumen worked for the development organisation Cordaid and was Chair of the Labour Party (PvdA) from October 2007 to January 2012. She has also been a board member of feminist organisation Opzij and Women Inc. and member of the Stop Aids Now! supervisory board. On 5 November 2012 Lilianne Ploumen was appointed Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in the Rutte-Asscher government.

Lina Abirafeh, Director of the Institute for Women's Studies in the Arab World at Lebanese American University Lina Abirafeh works to advance women's empowerment and gender equality through education, research, development programs, and outreach in the Arab region. Lina worked for 20 years promoting gender equality and addressing gender-based violence in development and humanitarian contexts worldwide with various UN agencies. Her 2015 TEDx talk elaborates on her experience. Lina obtained her PhD from the London School of Economics and published her research in “Gender and International Aid in Afghanistan: The Politics and Effects of Intervention”.  

Lina Abirafeh, Director of the Institute for Women's Studies in the Arab World at Lebanese American University
Lina Abirafeh works to advance women's empowerment and gender equality through education, research, development programs, and outreach in the Arab region.

Lina worked for 20 years promoting gender equality and addressing gender-based violence in development and humanitarian contexts worldwide with various UN agencies. Her 2015 TEDx talk elaborates on her experience. Lina obtained her PhD from the London School of Economics and published her research in “Gender and International Aid in Afghanistan: The Politics and Effects of Intervention”.

 

María Consuelo Mejía Piñeros, MA, Executive Director of Catholics for the Right to Decide, Mexico A Colombian/Mexican anthropologist with a Masters’ degree and doctoral studies in Latin American Studies from UNAM Mexico. She has longstanding experience in advocacy for the defense of women´s human rights, especially sexual and reproductive rights, from a feminist Catholic perspective.  As political activist, she works nationally and internationally to counteract the negative influence of Catholic fundamentalisms on women´s rights. In 2010, she received the Award from the Mexico City Human Rights Commission and in 2011 was nominated by Women Deliver as one of the 100 most inspiring and committed women of the world. Since 1995, she is the Director of Catholics for the Right to Decide, a progressive faith based organization.

María Consuelo Mejía Piñeros, MA, Executive Director of Catholics for the Right to Decide, Mexico

A Colombian/Mexican anthropologist with a Masters’ degree and doctoral studies in Latin American Studies from UNAM Mexico. She has longstanding experience in advocacy for the defense of women´s human rights, especially sexual and reproductive rights, from a feminist Catholic perspective.  As political activist, she works nationally and internationally to counteract the negative influence of Catholic fundamentalisms on women´s rights. In 2010, she received the Award from the Mexico City Human Rights Commission and in 2011 was nominated by Women Deliver as one of the 100 most inspiring and committed women of the world. Since 1995, she is the Director of Catholics for the Right to Decide, a progressive faith based organization.

Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister for International Development and La Francophonie (Canada) H.E. Ms. Marie-Claude Bibeau is a Canadian politician and was sworn in as Minister of International Development and La Francophonie in November 2015. In her capacity as Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Minister Bibeau has a mandate to focus Canada’s international assistance to help the poorest and most vulnerable people, and support fragile states. Following an International Assistance Review, Minister Bibeau announced Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy in June 2017, which places gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at the heart of international assistance efforts, including the advancement of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister for International Development and La Francophonie (Canada)

H.E. Ms. Marie-Claude Bibeau is a Canadian politician and was sworn in as Minister of International Development and La Francophonie in November 2015. In her capacity as Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Minister Bibeau has a mandate to focus Canada’s international assistance to help the poorest and most vulnerable people, and support fragile states. Following an International Assistance Review, Minister Bibeau announced Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy in June 2017, which places gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at the heart of international assistance efforts, including the advancement of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Malayah Harper, General Secretary World YWCA Malayah Harper is the General Secretary of the World YWCA, a global movement working for the empowerment, leadership and rights of women, young women and girls in 100 countries and 20,000 communities. She has significant representational and diplomatic experience – a history in social movement building and a track record for establishing innovative partnerships. She has a deep commitment to ensure that no woman or girl is left behind as we make progress on gender equality and the empowerment of women. 

Malayah Harper, General Secretary World YWCA
Malayah Harper is the General Secretary of the World YWCA, a global movement working for the empowerment, leadership and rights of women, young women and girls in 100 countries and 20,000 communities.

She has significant representational and diplomatic experience – a history in social movement building and a track record for establishing innovative partnerships. She has a deep commitment to ensure that no woman or girl is left behind as we make progress on gender equality and the empowerment of women. 

Tewodros Melesse, International Planned Parenthood Federation Director-General Tewodros Melesse took up the post of IPPF Director-General in September 2011. An economist who studied at the Catholic University in Louvain, Belgium, he has over 25 years’ experience in family planning and sexual and reproductive health rights, starting in 1984 as a programme officer with FPIA. He subsequently joined IPPF Africa Region and gained extensive experience planning, developing, monitoring, and managing large-scale development and reproductive health programmes in Africa. He assumed the directorship of the Africa Regional Office in 2002, and vigorously refocused and restructured the operation. Tewodros brings to the role a profound belief in leadership founded on transparency and vision.

Tewodros Melesse, International Planned Parenthood Federation Director-General

Tewodros Melesse took up the post of IPPF Director-General in September 2011. An economist who studied at the Catholic University in Louvain, Belgium, he has over 25 years’ experience in family planning and sexual and reproductive health rights, starting in 1984 as a programme officer with FPIA.
He subsequently joined IPPF Africa Region and gained extensive experience planning, developing, monitoring, and managing large-scale development and reproductive health programmes in Africa. He assumed the directorship of the Africa Regional Office in 2002, and vigorously refocused and restructured the operation. Tewodros brings to the role a profound belief in leadership founded on transparency and vision.

Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro is the President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, a grant making Foundation and a global advocate for women’s human rights. During her tenure, the Fund has surpassed $140 million in grantmaking to women led organizations in Latin America & the Caribbean, East & Central Europe, Middle East& North Africa, Asia & the Pacific and Sub Saharan Africa.Prior to this, Musimbi was Director for Population and Reproductive Health at David and Lucile Packard Foundation, managing the $30 million grantmaking portfolio. Musimbi made history as the first non-white CEO of the World YWCA after150 years. Musimbi is well travelled has lived extensively in Africa, Europe and USA.

Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women

Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro is the President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, a grant making Foundation and a global advocate for women’s human rights. During her tenure, the Fund has surpassed $140 million in grantmaking to women led organizations in Latin America & the Caribbean, East & Central Europe, Middle East& North Africa, Asia & the Pacific and Sub Saharan Africa.Prior to this, Musimbi was Director for Population and Reproductive Health at David and Lucile Packard Foundation, managing the $30 million grantmaking portfolio. Musimbi made history as the first non-white CEO of the World YWCA after150 years. Musimbi is well travelled has lived extensively in Africa, Europe and USA.

Patrick Mwesigye, Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum Patrick is the founder and team leader at the Uganda youth and Adolescents Health Forum a grassroots youth led and youth serving organizations that works towards empowering marginalized and vulnerable adolescent girls and young women to live quality lives with equity and dignity and support them with opportunities to realize their full potential through addressing their health, gender equality and livelihood needs. Patrick is a very passionate and dynamic young man from Uganda who has championed gender equality reproductive rights for girls and has strongly worked with both local communities in Uganda and the Uganda government to advocate for prioritise these rights.

Patrick Mwesigye, Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum

Patrick is the founder and team leader at the Uganda youth and Adolescents Health Forum a grassroots youth led and youth serving organizations that works towards empowering marginalized and vulnerable adolescent girls and young women to live quality lives with equity and dignity and support them with opportunities to realize their full potential through addressing their health, gender equality and livelihood needs. Patrick is a very passionate and dynamic young man from Uganda who has championed gender equality reproductive rights for girls and has strongly worked with both local communities in Uganda and the Uganda government to advocate for prioritise these rights.

Mr Simon Cooke, CEO Marie Stopes International Simon Cooke joined MSI in 2013 with more than 20 years of international general management, marketing and sales experience in a range of developed and developing regions including Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Nordics, and the Middle East. He held senior leadership positions in the ‘blue chip’ marketing organisations Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser and was CEO of a Dubai-based private equity-backed company prior to moving sectors. MSI is a leading global provider of safe abortion and contraception services to some of the world’s poorest communities across 37 countries. In 2016, 25 million women worldwide were using a method of contraception supplied by MSI.

Mr Simon Cooke, CEO Marie Stopes International

Simon Cooke joined MSI in 2013 with more than 20 years of international general management, marketing and sales experience in a range of developed and developing regions including Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Nordics, and the Middle East. He held senior leadership positions in the ‘blue chip’ marketing organisations Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser and was CEO of a Dubai-based private equity-backed company prior to moving sectors. MSI is a leading global provider of safe abortion and contraception services to some of the world’s poorest communities across 37 countries. In 2016, 25 million women worldwide were using a method of contraception supplied by MSI.

Tikhala Itaye, President of the African Youth and Adolescent Network (AfriYAN) Tikhala is a lawyer by profession, a global youth health advocate who is passionate about social justice and development. She is a co-founder of a youth led organisation called Her Liberty. She is President of the African Youth and Adolescent Network (AfriYAN) that co-ordinates youth-led networks and organisations in East and Southern Africa. She is also a board member for the Global Partnership on Maternal, Newborn and Child health, a TV Presenter in Malawi, hosting her own Youth TV Talk show called the 21st Generation and has produced a TV Drama series on HIV and GBV targeting young people.

Tikhala Itaye, President of the African Youth and Adolescent Network (AfriYAN)
Tikhala is a lawyer by profession, a global youth health advocate who is passionate about social justice and development. She is a co-founder of a youth led organisation called Her Liberty. She is President of the African Youth and Adolescent Network (AfriYAN) that co-ordinates youth-led networks and organisations in East and Southern Africa. She is also a board member for the Global Partnership on Maternal, Newborn and Child health, a TV Presenter in Malawi, hosting her own Youth TV Talk show called the 21st Generation and has produced a TV Drama series on HIV and GBV targeting young people.

Ton Coenen, Executive Director of Rutgers Ton Coenen is the Executive Director of Rutgers, working on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the Netherlands, globally and in 18 countries specifically. He is chair of EuroNGOs, the European network of NGOs working on SRHR. Ton holds Master degrees in Public Health and Public Management. Before Rutgers he was the executive director of Aids Fonds for 17 years. He has been involved in strengthening civil society in many ways –as the co-chair to the EU civil society Forum on HIV/AIDS, as co-chair to HIV in Europe, Board member to Icaso, Board member to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He is a Board Member of the Dutch Council of Refugees.

Ton Coenen, Executive Director of Rutgers

Ton Coenen is the Executive Director of Rutgers, working on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the Netherlands, globally and in 18 countries specifically. He is chair of EuroNGOs, the European network of NGOs working on SRHR. Ton holds Master degrees in Public Health and Public Management. Before Rutgers he was the executive director of Aids Fonds for 17 years. He has been involved in strengthening civil society in many ways –as the co-chair to the EU civil society Forum on HIV/AIDS, as co-chair to HIV in Europe, Board member to Icaso, Board member to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He is a Board Member of the Dutch Council of Refugees.

Ulla Tørnæs, Minister for Development Cooperation, Denmark Ulla has worked as the Minister for Development Cooperation since November, 2016. Before that, she held ministerial positions in areas of education, science, development among others. On her role as a Torchbearer, she will continue to promote women’s and girls' right to decide over their own body and own sexuality since these are fundamental human rights. She will work for combating early and forced marriage and the practice of female genital mutilation. She will work for dissemination of information about women’s and girl’s sexual and reproductive rights, access to contraception, legal and safe abortion and other relevant services – including in humanitarian settings. Plus she will work for economic and political empowerment of women and allocate additional funds for SRHR.

Ulla Tørnæs, Minister for Development Cooperation, Denmark

Ulla has worked as the Minister for Development Cooperation since November, 2016. Before that, she held ministerial positions in areas of education, science, development among others. On her role as a Torchbearer, she will continue to promote women’s and girls' right to decide over their own body and own sexuality since these are fundamental human rights. She will work for combating early and forced marriage and the practice of female genital mutilation. She will work for dissemination of information about women’s and girl’s sexual and reproductive rights, access to contraception, legal and safe abortion and other relevant services – including in humanitarian settings. Plus she will work for economic and political empowerment of women and allocate additional funds for SRHR.

Victoria Fuentes, MEXFAM Executive Director Victoria is a Mexican/American citizen with a BA in International Relations (Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal) and a post-graduate degree in Strategic Studies. Her work experience includes: the National Autonomous University of Mexico; IPPF's Resident Coordinator in Mexico; the Senior Programme Officer for UNFPA and is currently the Executive Director of MEXFAM. 

Victoria Fuentes, MEXFAM Executive Director

Victoria is a Mexican/American citizen with a BA in International Relations (Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal) and a post-graduate degree in Strategic Studies. Her work experience includes: the National Autonomous University of Mexico; IPPF's Resident Coordinator in Mexico; the Senior Programme Officer for UNFPA and is currently the Executive Director of MEXFAM. 


If you would like to be a Champion for SheDecides - please get in touch.

the support unit

 

SheDecides is supported by a small support unit. This team is hosted by the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) in London. You are very welcome to get in touch with us at any time, but before you do, please check our FAQs.

(Hover over image for bio)

 
Heather comes to the SheDecides team from IPPF, where she led IPPF’s engagement with the UN system in New York and Geneva, advocating for change in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights. Heather previously worked as the Head of Human Rights for the Equality and Human Rights Commission and has undertaken a fellowship at the Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. She has worked as a consultant researcher for Maplecroft and at the British Institute for Human Rights, where she trained public sector employees on how to apply the Human Rights Act.  Heather holds a BA in Political Science from Carleton University and a BA in Jurisprudence from the University of Oxford. Heather has an “underdog complex”, but thinks this has given her the passion and strength to fight for human rights, the desire to tackle injustice and the optimism to believe that a world where we are all free and equal is possible.

Heather comes to the SheDecides team from IPPF, where she led IPPF’s engagement with the UN system in New York and Geneva, advocating for change in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights. Heather previously worked as the Head of Human Rights for the Equality and Human Rights Commission and has undertaken a fellowship at the Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. She has worked as a consultant researcher for Maplecroft and at the British Institute for Human Rights, where she trained public sector employees on how to apply the Human Rights Act.  Heather holds a BA in Political Science from Carleton University and a BA in Jurisprudence from the University of Oxford. Heather has an “underdog complex”, but thinks this has given her the passion and strength to fight for human rights, the desire to tackle injustice and the optimism to believe that a world where we are all free and equal is possible.

 

Heather Barclay

Policy Specialist / heather@shedecides.com 

Josie comes to the SheDecides team from Melbourne, Australia, with a background in grassroots advocacy, community media, music and the arts. She has worked extensively in the community broadcasting sector in Australia, including at 3RRR, SYN and PBS. She has produced podcasts focused on broad-ranging human rights issues such as the experience of asylum seekers, LGBTQI rights and women’s safety, and has been a tutor at RMIT University, presented at the Emerging Writers’ Festival and National Young Writers Festival, and run workshops in remote Aboriginal Australian communities. She has a BA in Professional Communication from RMIT University and MA (Global Media Communication) with a focus on representation and advocacy at the University of Melbourne. Josie thinks that storytelling is an essential ingredient in the recipe for long term social change, and is focused on amplifying the voices and stories that, for far too long, have been oppressed and excluded from the mainstream narrative. She is all about that real talk.

Josie comes to the SheDecides team from Melbourne, Australia, with a background in grassroots advocacy, community media, music and the arts. She has worked extensively in the community broadcasting sector in Australia, including at 3RRR, SYN and PBS. She has produced podcasts focused on broad-ranging human rights issues such as the experience of asylum seekers, LGBTQI rights and women’s safety, and has been a tutor at RMIT University, presented at the Emerging Writers’ Festival and National Young Writers Festival, and run workshops in remote Aboriginal Australian communities. She has a BA in Professional Communication from RMIT University and MA (Global Media Communication) with a focus on representation and advocacy at the University of Melbourne. Josie thinks that storytelling is an essential ingredient in the recipe for long term social change, and is focused on amplifying the voices and stories that, for far too long, have been oppressed and excluded from the mainstream narrative. She is all about that real talk.

Josephine Smart

Communications Specialist/ josephine@shedecides.com

Lina is the one of the Support Unit who makes things happen and keeps everyone on track. Between managing all of the logistics and practicalities of making big, bold, political and societal change happen at SheDecides, she is one of a team of administrative pros who lives at CIFF and also supports the rest of the Survive and Thrive team who do incredible work on adolescent sexual health, early childhood development, deworming, education and more.

Lina is the one of the Support Unit who makes things happen and keeps everyone on track. Between managing all of the logistics and practicalities of making big, bold, political and societal change happen at SheDecides, she is one of a team of administrative pros who lives at CIFF and also supports the rest of the Survive and Thrive team who do incredible work on adolescent sexual health, early childhood development, deworming, education and more.

Lina Estlind

Executive Assistant / lina@shedecides.com

Rebekka comes to the Support Unit from The Hague as one of the original members of the SheDecides Task Force in the Netherlands. She has worked on gender equality, education and sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa, the Middle East and The Netherlands. She headed the health and AIDS team at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and worked as a consultant for various NGOs. Most recently, she worked on the Dutch SheDecides task force. Rebekka works because she wants every girl and every woman to fulfil her potential. She says that now is the time for the silent majority to stand up and be counted.

Rebekka comes to the Support Unit from The Hague as one of the original members of the SheDecides Task Force in the Netherlands. She has worked on gender equality, education and sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa, the Middle East and The Netherlands. She headed the health and AIDS team at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and worked as a consultant for various NGOs. Most recently, she worked on the Dutch SheDecides task force. Rebekka works because she wants every girl and every woman to fulfil her potential. She says that now is the time for the silent majority to stand up and be counted.

Rebekka van Roemburg

Co-lead SheDecides support unitrebekka@shedecides.com 

Robin’s work started with grassroots organising 30 years ago in the early days of the UK’s Terrence Higgins Trust. She went on to write one of the first books on Women and AIDS and her work then took her to Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa. She set up DFID’s first HIV team, and then oversaw their health and AIDS programmes in Southern Africa. She has also worked in private sector and international organisations, most recently heading up the PMNCH Secretariat, based at WHO. Robin recalls that over 30 years ago talking HIV meant talking sex, and women and sex was either a hot topic or ignored. Much has changed since then, but not enough for women, and some things have gone backward. That’s why SheDecides matters so much.

Robin’s work started with grassroots organising 30 years ago in the early days of the UK’s Terrence Higgins Trust. She went on to write one of the first books on Women and AIDS and her work then took her to Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa. She set up DFID’s first HIV team, and then oversaw their health and AIDS programmes in Southern Africa. She has also worked in private sector and international organisations, most recently heading up the PMNCH Secretariat, based at WHO. Robin recalls that over 30 years ago talking HIV meant talking sex, and women and sex was either a hot topic or ignored. Much has changed since then, but not enough for women, and some things have gone backward. That’s why SheDecides matters so much.

Robin Gorna

Co-lead SheDecides support unit / robin@shedecides.com