With more than 30 years of experience advocating for the health and rights of women and young people, the International Women’s Health Coalition recognizes the unique challenges faced by girls around the world. We know that sending girls to school or providing sanitary pads—while absolutely vital to improving their lives—will not alone address the challenges girls face in achieving equality and realizing their human rights. For things to fundamentally change, girls themselves must be empowered.
This is why we provide grants and technical support to community-led programs that provide comprehensive sexuality education and improve reproductive health services, enabling girls to know their rights, access care, and develop essential life-skills and strong self-esteem. These programs have the added benefit of supporting sustainable change—from encouraging parents to end early and forced marriage in Cameroon to combating violence and stigma faced by girls in Pakistan. We support frank conversations to tackle the harmful gender norms and practices that hold girls back.
The 2016 Annual Report reviews IWHC’s work towards these aims over the 2016 fiscal year.