This International Women’s Day you can help women receive their top requests for quality reproductive and maternal healthcare services
By Stephanie Bowen, Director, Strategic Communication, White Ribbon Alliance
With the findings of the global What Women Want campaign soon to be released, we look to India for inspiration about how women’s voices are already being heard – and acted upon.
After years of countrywide efforts to make sure women were delivered in facilities with trained providers with disappointing results, WRA India’s groundbreaking campaign, Hamara Swasthya, Hamari Awaz (What Women Want) took to clinics, communities and everywhere in between to find out what women want when it comes to maternal health care. The results were clear: women want to be treated with dignity and respect. WRA India went straight to the government who listened and more. Working with WRA India, the government is integrating respectful maternity care into all facilities with the goal of improving quality of care in labor rooms and maternity centers in all government-run medical college hospitals, district hospitals, sub-district hospitals and other high case-load health facilities.
They’ve now come full circle with a powerful social media campaign featuring celebrities and other champions to help educate women and girls about their rights – and create an even stronger demand for respectful care.
This is just one example of how listening to women and then acting on their requests has the potential to transform health services and systems. High-level findings of the global What Women Want campaign will be released in June at the Women Deliver conference in Toronto, followed by in-country consultations where women’s responses will be analyzed, and advocacy agendas created.
This International Women’s Day, support these and other efforts to amplify women’s voices and deliver on women’s and girls’ healthcare needs as they define them. Together, we can realize a world where all women and girls realize their right to quality reproductive and maternal health and well-being.