History & Mission

White Ribbon Alliance began in 1999 as an informal coalition of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and donors who wanted to work together and with their global partners toward the common goals of mobilizing grassroots efforts, generating worldwide attention, and making safe motherhood a priority for governments, donors and international organizations.

WRA Global serves as the central hub of the Global Alliance.

Our Work

As the central hub of the Global Alliance, we unite the Alliance’s to work and learn together to advance reproductive, maternal and newborn health and rights. Through active engagement with a wide range of partners, including corporations, media, professional bodies, UN agencies, NGOs and Parliamentarians, WRA Global positions WRA Alliances to raise the voices of citizens to global platforms, including at the World Health Assembly and United Nations General Assembly, which reinforce global efforts and bolster WRA Alliance campaigns.

Our Impact

For 20 years, White Ribbon Alliance has been a leader in advancing women’s health and rights. Our impact is the collective impact of the Alliances. Over the years, we’ve worked to ensure practices are more responsive to actual needs, increased focus on quality of care, and embedded respectful maternity care as a standard practice.

We’ve led citizen-led accountability efforts through supporting women and communities to know their rights and demand action. We’ve also supported policy makers to respond to those demands, resulting in increased health budgets that expand availability of emergency services for women and newborns.

Our most recent impacts include:

  • Our leadership around respectful maternity care influenced the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women to focus on violence against women during pregnancy and childbirth in her 2019 report, providing important legitimacy to the issue of obstetric violence.
  • In 2018, launched the global What Women Want campaign, which mobilized almost 1.2 million responses worldwide. Today, advocacy strategies are being developed based on women’s self-articulated needs, creating a truly responsive.
  • In 2017, together with Bayer, launched community implementation projects in Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Bolivia, helping to define and articulate maternal, newborn, child health self-care while strengthening global and national leadership and addressing individual knowledge gaps.
  • In 2016, together with World Health Organization and International Confederation of Midwives, launched the groundbreaking Midwives’ Voices, Midwives’ Realities, the largest global survey of midwifery personnel, detailing the barriers that midwives face in providing high-quality care to mothers and babies.

Contact Us

Betsy McCallon

CEO, White Ribbon Alliance