Respectful Maternity Care
History & Mission
Founded in 2006, White Ribbon Alliance Pakistan (WRA Pakistan) unites public health experts, safe motherhood activists, researchers and media representatives that are committed to safe motherhood in Pakistan. WRA Pakistan’s vision is a Pakistan where all women and girls realize their right to quality health and well-being. Our mission is to activate a people led movement for reproductive, maternal and newborn health and rights. Complementing advocacy with accountability, bringing community voices together and moving toward multi-sectoral approaches have been some recent transformations at WRA Pakistan.
In Pakistan, an estimated 3.8 million unintended pregnancies take place each year. An unmet need for contraception has led to an exceptionally high population growth rate that is expected to double over the next 30 years.
Country-wide, a roadmap must be developed to ensure all women who want it, have access to modern, effective contraceptives and family planning information.
WRA Pakistan strives to mobilize citizens to advocate for improved reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health outcomes while demanding accountability for commitments made by decision-makers. Our 2019 – 2022 Strategic Plan consolidates our learning, brings in new approaches and refreshes our vision to address the changing realities of girls and women in Pakistan.
WRA Pakistan will support and accelerate the implementation of the Federal Government of Pakistan’s new family planning initiative by ensuring that citizen engagement—especially that of women and adolescent girls as the primary users of family planning—is central to its roll out. In this project, WRA Pakistan will engage national and provincial level stakeholders and leverage the momentum behind the new initiative to effect change in Sindh Province, where WRA Pakistan has already generated evidence from women through the What Women Want: Demands for Quality Reproductive and Maternal Healthcare from Women and Girls campaign.
WRA Pakistan also works to highlight the issue of Respectful Maternity Care (RMC) by educating citizens, relevant policy makers and decision makers about its importance and seeking commitments to include RMC in policies. We are engaging media for wider awareness and understanding of the issue and leveraging the country’s high mobile phone penetration to send messages to across rural and urban areas.
WRA Pakistan has been a leader in advancing reproductive, maternal and newborn health and rights in Pakistan for more than 10 years. In that time, we’ve grown by mobilizing citizens to advocate for improved reproductive, maternal, newborn and adolescent health outcomes while demanding accountability for commitments made by decision-makers.
Key achievements of WRA Pakistan include:
- 2019: Organized a multi-stakeholder National Dialogue on Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality (EPMM) and Improving Maternal Health Measurement (IMHM) and use in Pakistan in collaboration with National Institute of Population Studies (NIPS), World Health Organization (WHO) Pakistan and the Women & Health Initiative of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health (W&HI).
- 2018-2019: In 2018 WRA Pakistan, stepped towards a brave initiative to ask women of their health concerns under the What Women Want campaign, engaging and collecting 244,752 surveys from girls and women across Pakistan. Asking women their top priorities for quality reproductive and maternal healthcare services was just the first step. Now, we are taking charge to bring their needs to those in power to drive deliberate change through developing an advocacy agenda. Click here to see the top 10 results of the campaign in Pakistan. Globally, the top demand by women and girls was for respectful and dignified care – an area WRA Pakistan leads on nationally.
- 2015-2018: Through the Maternal Anaemia Signified in Sindh (MASS) campaign, WRA Pakistan mobilized 100,000 petitions that were presented to Sindh Province’s Minister of Health. The key success of the campaign was achieved through convening district level citizen hearings, round table discussions with parliamentarians, journalist sensitization workshops, partnerships with academia and non-conventional partners such as the Girl Guides Association of Pakistan. The campaign resulted in the inclusion of counselling skills on anaemia in curricula for healthcare providers; nutrition messages included in high school education curricula in Sindh; and educational materials by the Planning and Development Department which catalysed funds for the Government of Sindh’s Accelerated Action Program that focused on nutrition.
- 2014-2015: Thanks to focused efforts by WRA Pakistan, the Health Care Commission of Government of Sindh and of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa adopted Respectful Maternity Care in 2015 and included it into their Patients’ Rights Charters and services delivery standards. National formative research was conducted and disseminated through a national round table that laid the foundation for advocacy.
WRA Pakistan News
PLEDGING TO END PREVENTABLE MATERNAL MORTALITY: Ms. Kanwal Shauzab, Parliamentary Secretary Planning, Development and Reform signs a pledge wall, at a one-day national dialogue one-day National Dialogue on Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality through Improving Maternal Health Measurement Capacity held in Islamabad, October 2019.
ENDING PREVENTABLE MATERNAL MORTALITY: A one-day dialogue held in Islamabad, October 2019. Attended by the Ministry of Health, policy makers, parliamentarian health committee representatives, civil society representatives and local development partners.
DEMANDING DIGNITY: In the 2018 What Women Want campaign, WRA Pakistan reached 244,752 women across the country to ask "What is your one wish for reproductive and maternal healthcare?" Pakistani women overwhelmingly demanded for respectful and dignified care.
RECOGNIZING VOLUNTEERS: Following the 2018 What Women Want campaign, an award ceremony was held to acknowledge the hard work of the volunteers who helped to survey 244,752 women across the country. Thanks to these volunteers, policy and decision makers will hear many Pakistani women's voices from across the country.
SAY NO TO ANEMIA: White Ribbon Alliance Pakistan’s Dr. Asma Badar and members of the Pakistan Girl Guides Association "saying no to anemia" during a youth awareness session on maternal nutrition and health in Thatta Sindh.
WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP: Members of the Scaling Up Nutrition: Civil Society Alliance after a capacity building workshop about Advocacy and BCC Campaigning at Karachi, Sindh in August 2016.
Maternal Anemia Signified in Sindh: Campaign Inception workshop in Karachi, May 2016. Attended by the Director General of Health for Sindh Province, Representatives of the Lady Health Workers Program in Sindh, the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Program in Sindh and other development partners.
ADOLESCENT NUTRITION – A two day training of Girl Guides – similar to Girl Scouts in the U.S. – and Master Guiders on maternal anemia held at Sindh Guide House in Karachi, May 2017.
Thank you to our partners
All Sindh Private Schools Association
Civil Society Alliance Pakistan (SUNCSA, Pak)
Dow University of Health Sciences
Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK)
Government of Sindh
Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health
Health Care Commission Sindh
Human Development Foundation
Insan Dost Social Organization (IDSO)
John Snow Inc. (JSI)
Lady Health Worker Program
Liaqat University of Medical & health Sciences Jamshoro, Sindh
Maternal Newborn, Child Health Program
Media Houses (Outreach Communication)
Ministry of Health, Pakistan
National Institute of Population Studies (NIPS)
Nutrition Support Program Sindh
Pakistan Girl Guides Association
Pakistan Institute for Mothers and Newborns (PAIMAN)
Provincial Department of Health (DoH)
Provincial Education Departments
Research and Advocacy Fund (RAF)
Rural Support Program Network (RSPN)
Society of Gynecologist and Obstetrician (SOGP) Pakistan
SUN Academia and Research Alliance
World Health Organization (WHO) Pakistan
National Coordinator, Forum for Safe Motherhood Pakistan
Rafia Rauf is working at White Ribbon Alliance Pakistan Chapter as Project Director from December, 2019. In this capacity she not only oversees the implementation of various projects undertaken by the organization, but also leads the team at the National Secretariat.
Rafia is a development professional with 16 years of experience in Grants Management, Project Management & Budgeting, Organizational Evaluation, Donor Regulations and Compliance, Operations Management, Contract/Award Management, Communication & Outreach, Change Management and Event Management. During her career she has held senior managerial positions and has experience of working with international donor organizations, Government of Pakistan and the corporate sector. She holds a degree of M.Phil in Psychology from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad
National Coordinator, Pakistan