Why They Care: Reproductive Health Champions Spotlight Personal Connections to Development, Environment, More

May 2, 2014 • Family Planning, Reproductive Health, Daily Email Recap

Why They Care: Reproductive Health Champions Spotlight Personal Connections to Development, Environment, More

“Saving the planet depends on women achieving full human rights, and that begins with reproductive rights,” writes the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Frances Beinecke in a new set of essays on reproductive health published by the United Nations Foundation and the Aspen Institute.

Two years ago, the Aspen Institute collected stories from 15 global leaders – policymakers, heads of state, and advocates – about why reproductive health matters to them. The “Why We Care” series featured contributions from Ted Turner, Mary Robinson, Annie Lennox, and Fred Sai. This week, the series continues with 21 new voices, including the Wilson Center’s own Jane Harman and Roger-Mark De Souza, as well as a launch event Tuesday on Capitol Hill with Harman and fellow contributor Vanessa Kerry.

Stories of Empowerment and Agency

An emphasis on reproductive heath’s importance for women and girls’ empowerment and agency runs throughout the new essays, but each champion has different reasons for their support, drawn from personal stories that touch on sustaining the environment, overcoming inequality, and providing humanitarian relief, to name a few.
In his essay, Nigerian-born physician and UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin writes, “I have made it my mission to help create a world where no girl or woman is ever subjected to violence, where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.”

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