Reproductive Freedom for the World’s Poorest Women

At the heart of maternal health and child survival is a healthy woman. Protecting every woman’s right to access family planning and reproductive-health services is critical to ensuring a sustainable future. As world leaders gear up to adopt a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at “Transforming Our World,” they will chart the course for change over the next 15 years by outlining objectives and targets aimed at reducing poverty and preventing inequity. In order to achieve the sustainable health breakthroughs outlined in these goals, we must start delivering on our reproductive health commitments — and that begins with identifying tangible ways to achieve much-needed progress for women and girls everywhere.

There is truth to the observation that a whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. This insight lies at the core of the successful implementation of the SDGs, in particular Goal 16, which prioritizes the promotion of just, peaceful and inclusive societies. At the cornerstone of every just, peaceful and inclusive society are equitable health outcomes that can only be achieved by working across sectoral divides. Under the right conditions, we believe that bringing together a broad, diverse group can yield results far greater than the participants would achieve on their own. Our collective success on this front relies on strong multi-stakeholder partnerships that include civil society, the private sector, and local and national governing bodies.

We can expect that some of the most exciting progress over the next few years will come from innovative partnerships that align resources, talents and agendas to solve formerly intractable problems. Millions of women and girls in the world’s poorest countries will be — and should be — able to exercise their reproductive freedom as a result of the shared vision and dedication of colleagues representing governments, —> Read More