We Delivered Your Signatures

(L-R) Miriam Freudenberg of WAVE, Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and Elizabeth Schaffer, CFO of Global Fund for Women.

(L-R) Miriam Freudenberg of WAVE, Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and Elizabeth Schaffer, CFO of Global Fund for Women.

We are very excited to share that Global Fund for Women, in partnership with Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE), delivered your signatures to Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

Your signatures made it all the way to Strasbourg, as parliamentarians from 47 member states met for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. There, the Secretary General heard your call to member states to sign and ratify the Istanbul Convention that provides a groundbreaking framework to prevent, stop, and sanction the crime of violence against women.

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“Thank you for showing your support! Keep calling on decision-makers to take action until the Istanbul Convention is fully implemented in Europe and beyond,” wrote Johanna Nelles, Programme Advisor for the Istanbul Convention.

As resource mobilizers for women's rights at the local, national, and international levels, Global Fund for Women and women’s funds in Europe are uniquely positioned to advocate for governments' firm commitment to allocating budgets and implementing the Convention.

"The Global Fund is a partner who is just as dedicated to ending violence against women as we at WAVE are," wrote Miriam Freudenberg of WAVE. "It is great to have such a strong and dedicated partner to work side by side with."

Because of your signature, we are much closer to a just, equitable world in which women and girls have voice, choice, and the resources to realize their full potential.

"Knowing we have the support of so many people around the world is as important to those women working on policies and promoting women’s rights every day, as it is to those whose lives will be directly affected by it," wrote Miriam.

 

The President of the United States Will Decide Women's Choice Globally

By Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO

During the first presidential debate, neither President Obama nor Governor Romney addressed the issue that affects half the world's population: women's reproductive rights. As the two square off on foreign policy, women's reproductive rights must be addressed because whomever becomes president will not only determine U.S. women's personal, economic and educational choices, but also those of women worldwide.

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Her WILD Adventure

by Michele Kumi Baer

“What do you think about women with disabilities?” asked Sarah, a Nigerian woman living with a visual disability.

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Disability rights activist, Julien from Zambia, and Global Fund's Michele Kumi Baer at MIUSA 2012.

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Welcome Jane Sloane

The Global Fund for Women is pleased to announce the appointment of Jane Sloane as the new Vice President of Programs. Jane will start later this summer.

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Global Fund for Women President and CEO, Musimbi Kanyoro says, “Jane’s global experience in organizational management, strategic partnerships, policy and program design will accelerate our work as true catalysts of change. Jane embraces the future of where we are going. We will be speaking more boldly about our collective impact; taking into account the experience of 25 years and $100 million in grantmaking to women-led organizations.”

Jane currently serves as Vice President of Development with Women’s World Banking (WWB) in New York City – an organization that, through its 39 network partners, provides microfinance and to 26 million people, 80% of whom are women. Jane said her WWB experience revealed the importance of integrating financial literacy and access to savings with education and health programs and that autonomy begins with economic autonomy.

“We need a new economic model with gender equality at the center. We need to value - and measure - care giving and make this visible. We need to create supply and demand for labor and we need a model of growth with employment. We need to give women the economic autonomy to escape from domestic violence. We need to make better use of women’s education and we need to advocate for greater flexibility of male and female roles in order to best support women across the globe to thrive rather than just survive.”

“We need a new economic model with gender equality at the center.”

Prior to WWB, Jane was Executive Director of the International Women’s Development Agency. One of her major achievements was leading an Asia Pacific Breakthrough initiative with the Women, Faith and Development Alliance that attracted almost $1.2 billion in funding commitments to benefit women and girls in the Asia Pacific region.

In addition to her to her professional qualifications, Jane brings visibility to the Pacific and the small island states, many of which have been long-time grantees of the Global Fund for Women.

“As an Australian, I’ve spent a lot of time with Aboriginal women and I’ve learnt a great deal about their Dreaming stories,” says Jane, “This includes ‘Seven Sisters Dreaming’ a myth about a group of stars visible in the night sky and also known in Aboriginal culture as feisty, fun and fabulous females for whom the sky was not the limit. The Global Fund has the ability to bring together so many geographically and culturally diverse organizations, and to galvanize the efforts of these organizations so they can have far greater impact collectively than they would individually.”

Jane was also the founding CEO of the Social Entrepreneurs Network and has held executive positions for several social sector organizations including World Vision and Marie Stopes International.

Jane holds a Masters degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Sydney and a BA (Hons History) from the University of Adelaide. She serves on the Board of the International Women’s Funding Network and is a Patron of Marie Stopes International.

Click here for Jane's complete bio »
 

Contraception Revisited, Again?

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By Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO

Family planning is about women choosing if and when to have children. It’s about women having safe pregnancies and being supported in their choices. Preventing and ending the transfer of HIV/AIDS from mother to child is about women having access to the power of information about their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

When we talk about family planning and creating an AIDs-free world, the key actors should be women. The key factors should be women’s rights and women’s choice.

At the London Summit on Family Planning, I am hopeful that we can indeed change the world.

The Summit will only succeed if we remember that family planning saves lives. We live in a time when women’s reproductive rights are contested. The “language of rights” was edited out of the outcomes of Rio+20, and in the U.S., the “war on women” means contraception is increasingly under attack. How did we get to this point? Or as Melinda Gates asked in her recent article: “where’s the controversy in saving lives?”

The UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and UN Population Fund (UNFPA), along with those in attendance, have the power to shift the earth on its axis and put women, their rights and choices, front and center. Women are critical in reducing poverty, boosting economic growth and agricultural productivity, promoting children’s development, and realizing sustainable development.

To ensure that the investment spearheaded by the Gates Foundation and DFID enhances governments’ commitments to meet family planning and HIV/AIDS obligations, a rights based approach must be used. This includes the right to protection from violence and harm; the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress; right to education and information, food, shelter, jobs, and self-determination. A human rights approach includes all women and all rights, without exception.

The health of women is an important marker for the health, security, and well being of a nation. Advancing the health of women cannot be achieved without increasing access to quality family planning, and protecting women from all forms of gender based violence, including that which women face in health care settings. When women have access to family planning information, programs, and supplies in a safe and secure environment, and with respect and dignity, they are able to plan and space their births as they and their families determine. Quality family planning is also associated with significant decrease in maternal newborn and child death, and abortion related morbidity and mortality. Every child needs and deserves a living, happy, healthy, and safe mother.

 
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