Women and girls have a fundamental right to decide freely and for themselves whether, when and how many children they have. She Decides is a new global initiative on sexual health and family planning, that aims to support this fundamental right. It is a response to the U.S. President’s reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy, banning financial support to foreign organisations that provide access to safe abortion or information about abortion, even if they do so with other than U.S. funding. She Decides is seeking financial and political support to ensure full access to sexual health and family planning worldwide.
She Decides wants women and girls all over the world to be able to exercise the right to decide if they want to have children, when they want to have them and with whom. She Decides aims to increase financial as well as political support for sexual health and family planning worldwide and mitigate the impact of decreased U.S. funding for family planning.
She Decides was started on the 24th of January 2017 by the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen. She Decides will not set up a new organisational structure. Contributions and support will be channelled through existing mechanisms. Financial contributions raised will be made available to affected organisations working on sexual and reproductive health initiatives in developing countries.
She Decides will include contributions by governments, private sector, non-governmental organisations and citizens to ongoing initiatives that improve access to lifesaving contraceptives, family planning, sexuality education and/or safe abortion.
She Decides is a strong statement in support of women’s human rights. Especially their sexual and reproductive health and rights. These are human rights with very important implications for every woman’s and girl’s own health, socio-economic situation and personal development.
Especially for girls it is important that – before starting a family – they have the chance to go to school. Girls want to finish their education and acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to stand up for themselves, take care of themselves and fully participate in society.
Women who have the opportunity to decide for themselves will have healthier and better educated children. In the end everyone benefits if women can make their own choices. This is clearly recognized in the Agenda 2030: SDG3 (Sustainable Development Goal 3) ensures healthy lives and promotes well-being for all at all ages. SDG5 aims to achieve gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls.