In Closed-Door UN Meetings, Trump Administration Officials Pushed Abstinence For International Women’s Health Programs
BuzzFeed News, April 17, 2018
Trump’s anti-abortion policies are “far more extreme” than those implemented under the Bush administration and pose a threat to women worldwide, says Shannon Kowalski, IWHC director of advocacy and policy.
Argentina Gets Closer to Expanded Abortion Rights
Open Democracy, April 3, 2018
As debate opens on a new decriminalization bill, IWHC program officer Shena Cavallo looks at how the tide is turning for abortion rights in Argentina, “The new bill is a victory for the women’s movement, but the momentum behind it is the result of many years of tireless work on the part of activists.”
Explainer: How We Arrived at the CSW Outcome Document
News Deeply, March 30, 2018
Shannon Kowalski credits the resounding success of this year’s UN Commission on the Status of Women to the increased role that civil society played during the negotiation process.
Bodies On the Line
The World Weekly, March 30, 2018
IWHC President Françoise Girard discusses the backlash against a new anti-abortion bill in Poland, and situates the protests within the context of the rise of women’s movements around the world.
US “Regressive” Stance at CSW Dominates UN’s Largest Meeting on Women
Devex, March 27, 2018
Shannon Kowalski, IWHC director of advocacy and policy, explains Trump administration tactics on display at the Commission on the Status of Women, “The US government has put ideologues in charge of negotiating on its behalf and are trying to eliminate references to sexual rights and reproductive health.”
The Commission on the Status of Women Has Concluded. What Was Accomplished?
UN Dispatch, March 25, 2018
IWHC program officer Rachel Jacobson discusses major victories for women’s groups at the 62nd UN Commission on the Status of Women.
US Congress Strikes Back at Trump’s Goals to Curtail Family Planning
PassBlue, March 25, 2018
The Trump administration’s plans to kill US funding for global reproductive health programs mirror its efforts to rollback women’s rights at the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
Trump Official Says US is “Pro-Life Country” at Closed-Door UN Meeting
The Independent, March 22, 2018
US positions on reproductive health and rights at the UN remain “out of touch with women and girls in the US and around the world,” says Shannon Kowalski.
Anti-Online Trafficking Bills Advance in Congress, Despite Opposition from Survivors Themselves
In Justice Today, March 14, 2018
is bill increases sex workers’ risk of violence, making it harder to identify and support survivors.” Nina Besser Doorley, IWHC senior program officer, comments on recent legislation passed by US Congress that undermines the human rights of sex workers.
How the Global Women’s Movement Shaped the UN International Development Agenda
Open Democracy, March 6, 2018
“Amid volatile geopolitics and narrowing space for civil society, feminist advocates will need to sustain the intersectional approach they took to influence the SDGs,” write IWHC’s Susan Wood and Michelle Truong.
Abortion Rights in Poland
The New York Times, January 25, 2018
“The Polish women’s rights movement, then and now, has been both a target of ultraconservatives and a vibrant counterforce.” In a letter to the editor, IWHC President Françoise Girard examines the battle for Western values in Poland, and points to the Catholic hierarchy’s efforts to restrict abortion rights as an early warning sign.
Trump-Pence Administration’s Neocolonial Assault on Reproductive Freedom Is Killing African Women and Girls
Rewire News, January 23, 2018
IWHC program officer Vanessa Rios cites findings from research conducted on the early impact of the Global Gag Rule, one year after the Trump Administration reinstated and expanded the policy to include all US global health aid.
Women’s Rights Activists Respond to Trump’s New HHS Division
New York Magazine, The Cut, January 20, 2018
Nina Besser Doorley, IWHC senior program officer for US foreign policy, explains how a new division within the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) supports medical providers who deny women and LGBT people critical health services under the guise of religious freedom.
US Pushes Caveats at UN On Condemning Violence Against Women, Children
Devex, November 21, 2017
IWHC responds to US attempts to limit the scope of UN resolutions on violence against women and children. “It is unconscionable. We would do everything to ensure the US was not able to take this forward — now, or in the future,” says Shannon Kowalski.
US Pushes Back Against UN Anti-Violence Resolutions
Foreign Policy, November 13, 2017
Shannon Kowalski, IWHC director of advocacy and policy, condemns US efforts to roll back UN resolutions that protect women and children from violence. “By taking such an extreme position, the US would turn into a leading voice for perpetuating abuse and denying justice to millions of women and girls in countries where some of the most common forms of violence are still legal.”
Women’s Rights and the SDGs
Champions for Social Good Podcast, October 23, 2017
“We’re not going to address poverty, hunger, ill health, lack of education, if we don’t address the rights of women and girls,” says Françoise Girard on the role of gender equality in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Empower Girls, Change the World
The Hill, October 11, 2017
IWHC program officer Helena Minchew and the co-chairs of Girls Not Brides call on the US government to continue its support for global strategies to empower adolescent girls, “Congress showing support is critical to ensuring that girls are not forgotten in US foreign assistance.”
Pro-Life? Trump Administration is Endangering Women’s Lives
Newsweek, July 25, 2017
Nina Besser Doorley, IWHC senior program officer for US foreign policy, condemns the foreign assistance bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee, “Under this administration, the U.S. will prioritize so-called “pro-life” politics and ideologies over women’s health.”
Her Future Depends On Our Actions Today
Thomson Reuters Foundation, July 11, 2017
“Investing in smart and comprehensive family planning and reproductive health programs has never been more important,” writes IWHC President Françoise Girard.
4 Priorities on Women’s Health for New WHO Chief Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus
Devex, May 23, 2017
Shannon Kowalski, IWHC director of advocacy and policy, comments on the selection of the World Health Organization’s new leader, “We call on the new director-general to step up to the challenge and put women and girls at the center of the WHO’s agenda.”
Your Call: How Trump’s Global Gag Rule Will Affect Women Worldwide
KALW, May 22, 2017
“It’s catastrophic, all around, for health systems in those countries….it’s trying to shape the entire global health field to stigmatize abortion,” says Françoise Girard on the impact of Trump’s Global Gag Rule.
‘Women and Children Will Die’ Because of Donald Trump’s Global Gag Rule, Charities Claim
The Independent, May 16, 2017
Shannon Kowalski describes the impact of Trump’s Global Gag Rule, “Instead of protecting life, it will increase maternal deaths by putting essential sexual and reproductive health care out of reach for far too many women.”
Seven Gender Experts Explain How to Make Progress for Women and Girls
News Deeply, May 16, 2017
“The very idea that women have the right to control their bodies, sexuality and reproduction remains contested in many countries,” comments Françoise Girard.
From Baltimore to Bangladesh, Let’s End Child Marriage
Thomson Reuters Foundation, May 10, 2017
“Each girl’s story is unique, but regardless of geography and circumstance, the root cause of child marriage is a thread that weaves through all of these lives: gender inequality,” writes IWHC’s Helena Minchew.
Trump Administration Hits Women’s Health Fund
NBC News, April 4, 2017
“Foreign policy should be rooted in evidence and results, not ideology and the politics of punishment,” said IWHC’s Shannon Kowalski.
Trump Cuts Off Funding for UN Agency That Supports Contraception
The New York Times, April 3, 2017
The Trump Administration’s decision to defund the United Nations Population Fund is “a major blow to the world’s most important agency for reproductive health,” commented IWHC.
US May Go Cheek By Jowl with Women’s Rights Abusers at UN Gender Talks
The Guardian, March 13, 2017
“It’s very likely we will see the US standing shoulder to shoulder with Russia, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Sudan, the very countries it has named in its latest ban,” said Shannon Kowalski.
South African Women’s Group Drops Out of Global UN Meeting to Protest New US Travel Ban
New China, March 11, 2017
“IWHC believes that the Trump Administration’s executive orders display a fundamental disrespect for women, racial justice, equality, religious tolerance, and human rights.”
South African Women’s Group, Citing Trump Policies, Cancels NYC Plans
VOA News, March 10, 2017
IWHC comments on how Trump’s travel restrictions are affecting advocates seeking to attend the 61st Commission on the Status of Women: “A number of advocates hoping to participate in this year’s meetings have been denied visas, including women from Ghana, Cameroon, Nepal and Bangladesh.”
Donald Trump’s Little Women
Project Syndicate, March 8, 2017
“With the reinstatement of the global gag rule, hard-won progress in women’s health could be stunted, or even reversed, all while violating women’s legal and human rights,” writes IWHC President Françoise Girard.
Your Call: How Trump’s Global Gag Rule Will Affect Women Worldwide
KALW, March 8, 2017
Françoise Girard comments on the impact of the Global Gag Rule on clinics in developing countries, “The US is a very significant donor in global health, so they’re really scrambling.”
Françoise Girard fait des miracles pour les femmes de la planète à la tête de l’International Women’s Health Coalition
Mitsou, March 8, 2017 (French)
Françoise Girard is interviewed by the Montreal-based Mitsou Gélinas.
Women’s Rights Activists: “Nevertheless, We Persist”
Inter Press Service, March 2, 2017
“You need to look at issues of education, issues of mobility, issues of violence in the workplace, issues of sexual and reproductive rights of women…as a precursor to employment,” said Françoise Girard, calling on the 61st Commission on the Status of Women to consider the intersectional ways women are marginalized.
Gynopedia Is About to Become the World’s Go-To Source for Women’s Health Info
Broadly, February 22, 2017
“These are really regressive times….There’s an intent to control women’s sexuality and bring us back to the 1950s, when we didn’t have much control over our fertility or our bodies,” says Shannon Kowalski, IWHC director of advocacy and policy.
What Happens if US Signs Order to Cut Funding to UN?
Channel NewsAsia, February 10, 2017
“If you defund the United Nations and you defund agencies, they won’t be there when you need them,” comments Françoise Girard.
The Global Gag Rule
The New York Times, February 6, 2017
IWHC President Emerita Adrienne Germain comments on the order by President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines to provide free contraception in contrast to President Trump’s reinstatement and expansion of the Global Gag Rule, “The facts are incontrovertible: Such bans, globally and in the United States before Roe v. Wade, increase abortions and kill women.”
POTUS 2017: Where’s The Carnage? + Abortion Under Siege
CUNYTV, February 2, 2017
Françoise Girard discusses President Trump’s Global Gag Rule and the how controlling one’s own fertility and body are fundamental to democracy: “It affects the practice of medicine and also democratic debate in the country.”
Trump’s Expanded Mexico City Policy Could Affect Fight Against Zika, HIV/AIDS
NBC4, January 27, 2017
“We’re exporting our abortion madness to these countries with the intent of stifling democratic speech,” commented Françoise Girard.
Mexico City Policy Explained
Brian Lehrer Show, January 25, 2017
Françoise Girard spoke about the far-reaching impact of President Trump’s Global Gag Rule: “When you work with women on the ground like IWHC does, you realize you can’t separate one aspect of women’s lives from the other.”
Reproductive Rights: The Canary In The Coal Mine
Huffington Post, January 23, 2017
“Women’s rights—and in particular reproductive rights—often act like a ‘canary in the coal mine’ of human rights. When the overall danger to human rights is not clear to most observers, feminist activists see the first signs of what is to come,” writes Françoise Girard.
Women’s Rights Face a Daunting New Year Worldwide, Campaigners Warn
Reuters, December 30, 2016
Françoise Girard speaks about how things are likely to change at the United Nations in 2017, “We fear a rollback on international agreements on women’s rights and a rollback of commitments by governments on women’s rights.”
How a Trump Presidency Could Harm Women’s Health Worldwide
Devex, November 23, 2016
“It is probably an advantage to have been through it with the [President George W.] Bush administration. We think it will be worse this time,” commented Françoise Girard on what a Trump presidency holds for women around the world.
What Trump’s Presidency Could Mean for Refugees, Foreign Aid and Women’s Rights Abroad
Los Angeles Times, November 22, 2016
“The United States is of course a very important and influential country in global diplomacy. It has also historically set the pace on women’s rights. What we’re afraid of [is] a regression on women’s sexual, reproductive and health rights,” said Françoise Girard.
It’s Not Just About a Mosquito: Changing the Conversation on Zika
News Deeply, October 27, 2016
Shena Cavallo, IWHC program officer, reflects on a recent trip to northeast Brazil, “If women had more information on sexual and reproductive health and better access to these same health services, they could protect themselves and lessen the impact of Zika.”
Child Marriage in Niger
Voice of America’s Africa 54, October 18, 2016
“It’s a complicated issue…and we need complicated solutions, which are comprehensive in nature and tackle the root cause of gender inequality,” comments IWHC’s Helena Minchew on child marriage and what governments should do.
We Need a Feminist Secretary-General at the United Nations
Ms. Magazine blog, October 13, 2016
“We need a Secretary-General that will hold countries accountable to their commitments on all aspects of women’s rights—someone who will champion women’s sexual and reproductive health,” writes Françoise Girard.
Bringing Girls into the Data Revolution
Devex, October 11, 2016
“The data revolution must go beyond just counting girls. It must go further than the often-cited need for sex-disaggregated data,” comments program officer Helena Minchew.
One Year After Landmark UN Agreement, Are We on the Path to Gender Equality?
Huffington Post, September 29, 2016
“While there is a lot of action on monitoring and closing gender data gaps, we have not seen a commensurate rise in funding to support the groups that would actually do this work,” writes Françoise Girard.
Forging a New Way Forward at the First-Ever Black Feminisms Forum
Feministing, September 2016
“We all live in compound and multifaceted realities, making our relationship to feminism, women’s rights, and gender justice varied and complex,” write IWHC’s Erin Williams and Somer Nowak.
To End HIV Epidemic in Teenage Girls, Cycle Needs to be Disrupted
Daily Maverick, July 14, 2016
“The Ministry of Education should be urgently providing comprehensive sexuality education to all young people,” writes IWHC President Françoise Girard in an op-ed on how to stop the spread of HIV among South Africa’s girls and young women.
Campaigners on a Mission to Ensure ‘Sexist Data’ Reflects Women’s Realities
The New York Times (Reuters), May 18, 2016
IWHC is mentioned as a partner in a new initiative to measure progress in achieving gender equality as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. “Leaders of organizations working to improve the lives of women and girls said a lack of information about key issues was a major hurdle toward getting better services and investment.”
Should Prostitution Be a Crime?
The New York Times Magazine, May 5, 2016
Françoise Girard comments on a meeting she had with representatives of the International Justice Mission to discuss their raids of brothels in Asia, “I said, ‘What happens to the girls?’ And they couldn’t answer.”
Emily Rice, Françoise Girard, Jennifer Scanlon
Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan, March 25, 2016
Françoise Girard speaks about the Coalition’s work and the funding crisis in the women’s movement: “Women are always asked to perform miracles on a shoestring—and that’s just wrong.”
World Leaders Accused of Backtracking on Gender Equality Commitments
The Guardian, March 24, 2016
Shannon Kowalski, IWHC director of advocacy and policy, commented on discussions around sexual and reproductive health at the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women: “We are extremely disappointed. Countries coming to these negotiations are not even willing to negotiate.”
Love, Divorce, and Trump
Breaking Through with Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner (iTunes podcast), March 21, 2016
“It’s a really exciting time to be working with and for adolescent girls,” said IWHC’s Helena Minchew on the new US global strategy to empower girls.
Activists Call on World Leaders to Make Gender Equality Pledge a Reality
The Guardian, March 14, 2016
“We won’t see many improvements in the lives of women and girls unless countries make good on their promises and put concrete measures in place,” said Shannon Kowalski about the gender equality goal agreed to last year as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Zika Fears Increase Demand for Abortions in Countries Where It’s Illegal to Have One
Los Angeles Times, March 9, 2016
“There is an incredible amount of anxiety, fear and stress among women that are pregnant,” commented Françoise Girard about the Zika crisis in Latin America and the need for reproductive health services.
Where’s the Money? Women’s Groups Face Dwindling Support
Huffington Post, March 8, 2016
Françoise Girard writes about the state of the global women’s movement: “Many feminist organizations fighting for our rights and providing essential services are struggling to stay afloat.”
These Amazing Groups Are Erasing The Global Stigma Of Menstruation
SELF Magazine blog, March 8, 2016
“The main messages girls are hearing in many parts of the world is that it is not okay to be a girl, it is not okay to be a woman,” said Katherine Austin-Evelyn, IWHC program officer, about taboos around menstruation.
Justice Ginsburg on How She Thinks Roe v. Wade Should Have Been Decided Differently
Washington Post, March 2, 2016 (video)
“I think if the court had gone step by step, as we did in the gender equality cases, the court and the public would have reacted in a more positive way than it did,” said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in an interview with IWHC President Françoise Girard.
“Talking About Periods” Survey From Clue & The IWHC Shows That Menstruation Is Still Taboo — But Here’s Why It Shouldn’t Be
Bustle, March 1, 2016
“Many women and girls in developing countries face a host of challenges when it comes to their period,” said Françoise Girard. “From not being able to access hygiene products to being forced to miss school because of a lack of toilets.”
Many Women Still Can’t Talk Openly about Their Periods — This App is Trying to Change That
Washington Post, February 29, 2016
Françoise Girard spoke about the shame women and girls feel about menstruation, especially in developing countries. “You internalize the shame, it suggests something is wrong and something you should be ashamed of. Society is suggesting this is something (women) should keep hidden.”
Zika and Reproductive Rights
Project Syndicate, February 16, 2015
Françoise Girard published a commentary on the Zika virus and its ramifications on women’s health and rights. “The Zika crisis has highlighted an obvious reality: Not providing women with reproductive health information and services places their lives – and those of their children – at grave risk.”
A Global Clash on Abortion
The New York Times, January 28, 2016
“More than 60 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where abortion is allowed either without restriction or in a wide range of circumstances. Yet women are routinely denied these services by gynecologists,” writes Susan Wood, IWHC director of program learning, monitoring, and evaluation.
Why the Next UN Secretary-General Must Be a Woman and a Feminist
Ms. Magazine Blog, January 26, 2016
“The next secretary-general must be an unequivocal champion for women’s human rights, including their sexual and reproductive rights. She must work to address inequality in all its forms,” writes Françoise Girard.
2016 Potential Landmark Year for Women Leaders in US and UN
Inter Press Service, January 12, 2016
Shannon Kowalski, IWHC director of advocacy and policy, is quoted about the commitments made in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and in the Beijing Platform for Action—the agreement forged two decades ago to fulfill women’s rights: “We still have a long way to go.”
The Disturbing Ways Women’s Reproductive & Sexual Rights Are Jeopardized During Crises
Bustle, December 3, 2015
Françoise Girard talked about the risks women and girls face in crisis settings, “In an emergency situation, functioning health systems collapse or are severely compromised. Skilled health personnel are killed or flee. Clinics have no antibiotics. Roads to a clinic are not safe.”
Six Girl Heroes Ending Child Marriage in Africa
The Girl Effect, November 26, 2015
“Our interventions in communities work because first, we work with traditional leaders,” explains Danedjo Hadidja of the Cameroonian organization APAD in an interview with Françoise Girard.
Girl Summit 2015: Vers l’Eradication du Mariage des Enfants en une Génération
Voice of America, November 25, 2015
Françoise Girard was interviewed for a Voice of America piece (in French) on child marriage, featuring activists from IWHC partner organizations in Cameroon. “We must move from rhetoric to action,” said Ms. Girard on the movement to end the practice.
Taking the Fight against Child Marriage to the Next Level
Council on Foreign Relations, Women Around the World blog, November 23, 2015
“Child marriage is rooted in the fact that girls are not valued as much as boys. The solution to this scourge lies not only in keeping girls in schools, but also in investing in their sexual and reproductive health, building their economic and life skills, providing them with mentorship, and working with men, boys, and traditional and religious leaders,” writes Françoise Girard.
The New York Times, November 6, 2015
IWHC President Françoise Girard, Board Chair Marlene Hess, and Vice Chair Marnie Pillsbury are pictured with Sike Bille and Aissa Doumara of Cameroon at the organization’s 2015 Annual Dinner.
Women’s Health Coalition Awards Turkish Activist
Hurriyet Daily News (Turkey), November 6, 2015
“This award is very special to me, at a time when many of the reforms we’ve won for women’s human rights have come under attack. It is a reminder that, despite our current challenges in Turkey, women’s rights have advanced very far in the past 20 years,” said Pinar İlkkaracan of selection as the 2015 recipient of IWHC’s Joan B. Dunlop Award.
Former Youth Brides Speak Out to End Child Marriage
Al Jazeera America, November 5, 2015
Aissa Doumara of the Association to Combat Violence Against Women in Northern Cameroon described her own experience at age 16, “My father agreed to give me up for marriage. Despite my cries and my pleas, nothing could be done. I got married.” Aissa is joined by another child marriage survivor, Mairamou, and IWHC President Françoise Girard in this news story.
Delivering Real Choices
The New York Times, November 2, 2015
“Decades of experience with contraceptive services demonstrates that three key aspects of high-quality delivery of LARCs, which should always be addressed, commonly are not,” comments Adrienne Germain, President Emerita of the International Women’s Health Coalition, about long-acting reversible contraceptive methods.
Child Marriage in the US
The New York Times, October 22, 2015
Françoise Girard writes about the powerful social norms that drive child marriage globally, “Power passes from the father to the husband; girls and young women have little say or command over their bodies.”