Marvelous news! Today was announced that former Dutch minister of development, Lilianne Ploumen, is awarded the Machiavelli prize for SheDecides, a by her initiated movement. A well-deserved winner, we agee. SheDecides initiative helps women in developing countries who cannot provide in their need of birth control. The sudden stop on financing organisations that provide them with anticonception, access to safe abortions or sexual education was caused by reinstating the Global Gag Rule under president Trump. This US decision, would contribute to the big increase in unwanted and unsafe pregnancies and maternal mortality in the coming three years.
Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December every year. At Simavi, we are dedicated to achieving our vision – a healthy life for all. Therefore, we would like to share five aspects of human rights that we actively work to protect through our programmes.
At Simavi, taking responsibility for demonstrating the impact of our work has always been one of the main drivers to achieve our goal: a healthy life for all. In the past few years, we have developed a comprehensive theory of change as the ultimate principle to ensure that we empower behavioural change widely and effectively. But in practice, how do we measure the effectiveness of our work? This is where evidence informed programming comes in.
From October 16-20, the 2017 Water and Health Conference takes place at Chapel Hill in the United States. The conference, organised by The Water Institute at UNC, considers drinking water supply, sanitation, hygiene and water resources in both the developing and developed worlds with a strong public health emphasis. Simavi is present to share our expertise and experience.
Journalist Paula Kragten is founder of and driving force behind Period, the online magazine about the menstrual cycle. She is author of the book ‘Beautiful red is not ugly’ and co-host of the Bloody Sunday Afternoon on October 8, as part of the Sustainable Week Utrecht. Simavi asked her three questions. Bottom line: why is menstrual awareness important in the Netherlands?
As the Trump administration continues to impose drastic cuts in funding for reproductive health programmes and family planning, the support for populist movements continues to grow around the world. This political shift is particularly worrying for the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) community as populism prioritises national self-interest over international cooperation and development aid. Simavi believes this will undermine the achievements (and attainment) of the Sustainable Development Goals, influence decisions taken at UN level and impact future funding.
Sanne Thijssen is the Sexual and Reproductive and Health Rights (SRHR) Youth ambassador of the Netherlands. Since September 2016, she is raising the voice of youth, to ensure better access to SRHR information and services. We talked to Sanne about her work and views.
We are delighted to announce that Simavi has been granted Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The ECOSOC grants special consultative status to CSOs like Simavi whose programmes are of direct relevance to the aims and purpose of the United Nations. Our new status grants us access to UN bodies and will allow us to engage decision-makers at the highest global level.
Seema Gupta works at Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI), a local partner of Simavi. As part of the More Than Brides Alliance, Simavi works together with VHAI to reduce child marriage and its adverse effects on young women and girls in India. Seema is the programme director of this programme, called Marriage: No Child’s Play programme. We spoke to her in the lights of the UN follow-up and review of the Sustainable Development Goals.