After one year, the worldwide campaign “She Decides” in favor of girls’ and women’s sexual and reproductive rights and health displays a 450 million euros increase of its means, Federal Minister for Cooperation, Alexander De Croo, was happy to announce Sunday, while warning that “the battle is not over.” “Too many girls and women still do not have the liberty to decide for themselves with whom, when and how many children they wish to have,” Mr. De Croo stressed regarding the Netherlands initiative.
The operation was launched a year ago in response to US President Donald Trump’s decision to suspend all financial support to foreign organizations which advocate safe abortion, contraception and planned parenthood in the South.
Early in March 2017, Belgium organized in Brussels an international conference at which more than 50 countries and organizations expressed their support and promised additional funding of 181 million euros. After almost one year, the meter shows a more than double that amount, according to a Foreign Affairs communiqué.
“’She Decides’ has unblocked many things. Most of the negative impact of the US decision is absorbed, but the battle is far from being over; we must continue to ensure that girls and women can make, on their own, choices that are important for their health and their future,” Minister De Croo commented.
Next March 2, a year to the day after the Brussels international conference, She Decides ambassadors will again be mobilized. Belgium will do it in Senegal, a partner country of the Belgian Cooperation for Development.
“Maternal and child mortality in Senegal has gone down in these last years, but it remains high due to unsafe abortions and complications in childbirth. It is also necessary to intensify the battle against feminine genital mutilations, and gender-related violence », underlines Alexander De Croo.