White Ribbon Alliance joins Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crisis

May 27, 2020 | Blog, News

White Ribbon Alliance’s commitment to protecting the health of women and girls in humanitarian settings has been essential to advocacy efforts since founding 20 years ago

Protecting the health of the most vulnerable women and girls, no matter where they live, has been the founding principle of White Ribbon Alliance’s work for more than 20 years, including most recently with the Safer Together campaign, launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is with great pride that we announce our new membership with the Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) on Reproductive Health in Crisis.

White Ribbon Alliance’s global network of reproductive and maternal health advocates have fought for quality and respectful reproductive and maternal healthcare since 1999, including in countries experiencing humanitarian emergencies, such as Yemen and Afghanistan, or are hosting large numbers of refugees or internally displaced people, including in Kenya, Uganda, Bangladesh, Tanzania, and Pakistan. In other countries, such as India, Bangladesh and Malawi, White Ribbon Alliance members advocate for quality healthcare for women amidst floods, fires and droughts, that cause lasting harm to the women, girls and communities experiencing these often-recurring disasters.

White Ribbon Alliance Global Secretariat’s collaboration with IAWG, an international coalition of organizations and individuals working collectively to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights in humanitarian settings, specifically the Maternal and Newborn Health sub-working group, has been ongoing for the past 3-4 years. We have worked together on incorporating the respectful maternity care framework within the IAWG Field Manual, as well as co-hosting a consultation on respectful maternity care in humanitarian settings.

As a new Associate Member of IAWG, White Ribbon Alliance will work to expand and strengthen access to quality sexual and reproductive health services for people affected by conflict and natural disaster by contributing directly to the Advocacy and Accountability, Maternal and Newborn Health, Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Voluntary Contraception working groups.

In a world where 35 million of the 134 million people in need of humanitarian assistance are women and girls of reproductive age, the work being done by White Ribbon Alliance and other member organizations of the Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crisis has never been more important.