New commitments galvanized in support of Every Woman Every Child to help advance the UHC agenda
24 September 2019 | New York
In the margins of the 74th United Nations General Assembly, Every Woman Every Child hosted a high-level event and reception - Delivering Together for the Health and Well-being of Women, Children and Adolescents to Advance Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in partnership with the Government of Norway, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) and EWEC-LAC. The reception featured welcome remarks from Ms. Amina J Mohammed, the UN Deputy Secretary General, a keynote address by H.E. Ms. Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia and Co-Chair of the EWEC High Level Steering Group, and remarks by Mr. Aksel Jakobsen, State Secretary of International Development of Norway. The reception aimed to galvanize political commitments for the comprehensive UHC agenda and brought together political leaders and EWEC partners in two fireside chat discussions around access to primary health care (PHC) including strengthening health systems that provide comprehensive services for women, children and adolescents, in addition to highlighting the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships for UHC.
Notably during the reception, new and significant commitments made within the last year (September 2018 - September 2019) to women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health and wellbeing in support of Every Woman Every Child were announced, which in turn will help advance the PHC and UHC agenda more broadly. Grounded in human rights, the Every Woman Every Child movement is a mutually agreed partnership that commits diverse actors, development partners and governments to work together to realize commitments made and to hold one another accountable for results.
According to PMNCH’s latest analysis, since 2010, EWEC partners have mobilized 724 commitments worth USD 88 billion by governments and multi-stakeholders cumulatively. More specifically, since the launch of the Updated Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030) in September 2015, EWEC has galvanized over 314 commitments worth USD 43 billion. Financial commitments increased from USD 35 billion in 2017 to almost USD 43 billion in 2018, largely driven by substantial commitments made by World Vision International and Plan International.
Many of these monumental commitments were mobilized by key EWEC partners including FP2020, the United Nations Foundation (UNF), and PMNCH during the 2018 PMNCH Partners’ Forum in New Delhi, India.
Commitments helping ensure that women, children and adolescents survive, thrive and transform their communities will be integral to the progress and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). New commitments were announced by the Government of The Gambia, the Spouses of the CARICOM Leaders Action Network (SCLAN), World Vision International, Unilever, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), and Plan International among others. Many of the commitments made culminate in the provision of access to quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services including for family planning.
New Commitments include the following:
The Government of The Gambia commits to advancing the FP2020 goals, in support of Every Woman Every Child by increasing access to family planning (FP) and other sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services to all Gambians who need it, including adolescents and youth by 2020. The Government of The Gambia pledges to (1) attain uninterrupted supply of contraceptives at all levels of care delivery by reducing the proportion of facilities having no FP commodity stock out from 17% to 10% by 2020, (2) increase contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) from 9% in 2017 to 13% by the end of 2020 and (3) reduce the unmet need for modern FP from 25% in 2017 to 21% by the end of 2020. It further commits to providing incremental annual funding from USD 150,252 in 2019 to USD 215,000 by 2020, for Family Planning commodities and services including training of service providers, equipment and consumables, and monitoring and evaluation.
Spouses of the CARICOM Leaders Action Network (SCLAN) chaired by the First Lady of Belize, Mrs Kim Simplis Barrow, is committed to working with First Ladies across the globe, civil society, UN agencies and the private sector on improving the status of adolescents, children and women. More specifically, SCLAN commits to promote advocacy for policy, civil society support and strategic partnerships to empower women and girls to know their value and ability to reach their full potential as well as to reduce gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, cervical cancer, and adolescent pregnancy across the Caribbean region. The First Ladies and Spouses of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) launched SCLAN to tackle issues related to the health and well -being of women, adolescents and children in the Caribbean. SCLAN is the advocacy and action platform to advance “Every Caribbean Women Every Caribbean Child initiative (CariWaC)”.
World Vision International will invest $7 billion USD between 2019 and 2030 in support of Every Woman Every Child. In the short term and building on past investments, World Vision International expects to leverage Community Health Workers (CHWs) in innovative ways to help achieve UHC through enhancing nutrition, prevention of interpersonal violence in children and mental health. World Vision is fully committed to leading into the nexus of public health and faith, and in particular to address social norms affecting sexual and reproductive health, and women’s and girls’ empowerment.
Unilever will build on its prior success and invest 2 million Euros to roll out and implement the ‘Global Safety Framework for Women in Rural Spaces’ in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda aiming to have a positive impact on the lives of 70,000 people on and around our tea estates with a holistic programme on the prevention and response to sexual harassment. Alongside this initiative, Unilever will guarantee access to basic health care services, based on a needs assessment of women workers including topics such as maternal health, family planning, mental health and other essential women’s health services, reaching 70,000 people by 2022.
"As the largest tea company in the world, we are working hard to ensure all our workers, particularly women, are safe, healthy, and respected. I have seen firsthand the positive impact we can have on the lives of the women who work on our tea estates, and I am delighted that this extension of our safety work will help even more women.”
- Mick van Ettinger, Executive Vice-President Tea, Unilever
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) commits to support 500 health facilities in Africa to reach at least 500,000 people with family planning methods by the end of 2023. Commitment is worth about USD 11 Million for the next four years.
“Family planning and HIV are inextricably linked, and it is essential that we improve the integration of HIV and family planning and tailor those integrated services for the populations that need them most. In addressing the sexual and reproductive needs of youth across sub-Saharan Africa, we are laying the foundation for the first AIDS-free generation.”
- Charles Lyons, EGPAF CEO.
Columbia Sportswear Company is committed to worker wellbeing and empowerment in their global supply chain. They have been partnering with Business for Social Responsibility’s (BSR) HERproject, a multifaceted program that strives to empower women working in global supply chains by delivering training on health, financial inclusion, and gender equality. Since they began these programs in 2008, they have impacted the lives of almost 40,000 female workers. Working with both their finished goods and material suppliers, Columbia plans to scale their program to reach 150,000 workers by 2025.
“Columbia Sportswear Company is making this commitment to women’s health and empowerment because it is the right thing to do. Workers are a critical part of our supply chain and it is important for us to contribute to their health and well-being on and off the factory floor. This benefits not only the workers, but their families and their communities.”
- Tim Boyle, President and CEO of Columbia Sportswear Company.