Simavi’s mission is A Healthy Life for All.
Good health goes hand in hand with personal, social and economic empowerment. It enables people to take control over their lives and pursue their rights. Health is a broad concept, so to be clear about the type of change that Simavi wants to make in people’s lives, it is important to define precisely what we mean by health. As Simavi contributes to more than physical health, we subscribe to the WHO definition: ‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’ To be able to measure our contribution to the health of the people we work for, we have defined six dimensions of health and wellbeing. Each of our programmes contributes to one or more of these dimensions:
- Experiencing physical and mental health
- Feeling confident and capable: feeling self-confident enough to have capacity for autonomous action, bottom-up advocacy
- Being self-aware and self-accepting: understanding your body, not being affected by community stigma
- Having control over one’s life and environment: decision-making in the family and on household expenditure, having access to services, not experiencing violence
- Having opportunities: success as education and economic empowerment, not being limited by child marriage or unwanted and early pregnancy
- Having the capacity for positive relationships with others – on a one-to-one, small group, family, community or societal level: having an inclusive social network and participating in community decision-making
Simavi strives for a world in which all women and girls are socially and economically empowered and able to pursue their rights to a healthy life, free from discrimination, coercion and violence.
In general, women and girls face greater challenges in achieving a healthy life than men and boys. That is why Simavi decided to invest primarily in improving the health of women and girls. In the communities we work in, women’s chances of living a healthy life are often limited by social and cultural norms, discrimination, coercion and violence. Empowering women, both socially and economically, improves their ability to pursue their rights to a healthy life. Conversely, good health enables women to become more socially and economically empowered. We believe that empowering women to pursue their rights to a healthy life will also improve the health of their families – including men and boys, and by extension their communities as a whole – enabling a healthy life for all.