November 9, 2016

We at the International Women’s Health Coalition are deeply concerned that the policies proposed by US President-elect Trump and the Republican Party will result in serious setbacks for women and girls worldwide. As an independent, feminist advocacy organization, we stand ready to oppose any effort to roll back progress for women and girls.

President-elect Trump has displayed a fundamental disrespect both for women and for women’s human rights. He has repeatedly dismissed women’s rights to autonomy and to control their bodies and sexualities. He has shown a shocking contempt for racial justice, equality, and religious tolerance. He has made statements that encourage discrimination, violence, and sexual assault against women. His own track record of behavior, which came to light during his campaign, is cause for deep worry.

On sexual and reproductive rights, President-elect Trump has said that he will appoint judges who oppose women’s right to a safe abortion. This pledge, combined with the Republican Party positions on abortion, contraception, and sexuality education, endangers women’s and girls’ human rights, and poses serious threats to their health globally. Black women, Latina women, transgender women and men, lesbian women, women with disabilities, and others who experience discrimination and inequality are likely to feel the harshest effects of these positions.

The International Women’s Health Coalition has a history of reaching across party lines to build bipartisan consensus on issues that are critical for women and girls, such as opposing child marriage, and HIV prevention and treatment. Our organization has spearheaded substantial progress under both Republican and Democratic leadership. In the coming weeks, we will reach out to the incoming administration to find areas where progress on women’s and girls’ health and human rights is possible.

But as we have done for over three decades, the International Women’s Health Coalition will vehemently oppose any effort by the US president and US Congress to deny women’s and girls’ human rights, and undermine their sexual and reproductive rights. We will oppose any effort to degrade, stigmatize, or marginalize individuals on the basis of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other status. We will be a constant voice urging President Trump to protect the human rights of all people and to ensure that all women and girls can live their lives free of discrimination and violence. And we will continue to fight to make sure that all women and girls, everywhere, have access to the information, resources, and services they need to enhance and protect their health, and achieve their full potential.

Read IWHC’s open letter to President-elect Trump and his transition team regarding their request for information about gender equality programs at the State Department and USAID >>