Some 400 participants from over 50 nations gathered at the ‘She Decides’ conference for women’s rights held in Brussels yesterday, which was co-hosted by Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Established in response to the aid vacuum left by the ‘Global Gag Rule’ in the wake of the new US government’s anti-abortion rhetoric, the conference generated pledges of 1.3 billion kroner.
“This is massive support for the fight for women’s health and rights. Millions of women across the world risk losing access to contraception, sexual education and family planning,” said Ulla Tørnæs, the minister for development co-operation.
“But the support today shows that many countries are ready to help. When we invest in women, everyone wins. We can’t reach UN’s Global Goals without the active participation of women, so investing in women’s rights is not only the right thing to do, but it’s a necessity.”
The conference aimed to attract broad political and financial support for women’s rights in the wake of the hundreds of millions of kroner that the US has decided to withdraw thanks to its new policy shift.
There are an estimated 225 million women across the world who don’t have access to contraception, and over 800 women die every day in connection with pregnancy or birth. Every year about 22 million unsafe abortions take place globally.