A Call to Action

Women and newborns are dying in unacceptable numbers around the world, the vast majority from preventable causes.

This travesty keeps individuals, families, communities and countries from reaching their full potential. Girls and women are not able to make decisions about their own healthcare and often lack access to quality respectful and dignified care throughout their lifetimes. Barriers to quality care are deeply engrained across societies.

Barriers to Quality Care

Policies & Practices

Policies and practices do not reflect women’s and girls’ self-articulated needs and fail to uphold their rights.

Health Systems

Health systems are unequipped to handle basic needs, quality is inconsistent, and accountability for women’s demands is lacking.


Resources are not prioritized where they are most needed and can have the biggest impact.

Gender Inequality

Girls and women are undervalued. Their health and lives are not prioritized and there are too few women in leadership positions.


All of these issues are worse for Indigenous peoples, people of color, those with disabilities and who identify as LGBTQ+.

Change is Happening

WWW Survey in Nigeria

Through our robust network of members and partners, White Ribbon Alliance employs a set of strategic approaches to uphold human rights and address systemic barriers to quality reproductive and maternal healthcare. We connect women, their voices and lived experiences, with those in power, ensuring that solutions to reproductive and maternal health challenges are based on actual needs. Nothing demonstrates this better than our most recent global campaign What Women Want which heard from more than one million women about their needs for quality healthcare. Their responses are now our advocacy agenda.

This work is neither easy nor quick. But it is sustainable.

Women and girls will no longer live by someone else’s rules. They are rewriting the status quo, on their own terms. But they cannot do it alone. Join us, and together, we can ensure that all women and girls have the opportunity to organize, lead and change social norms so that they realize their right to quality health and well-being.

Further Reading

The following resources go further into the issues, illuminating the complexities of quality reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and rights and identifying solutions.