More than 45 government representatives of all continents and 400 parliamentarians and civil society participants gathered in Brussels on 2 March to express their support for women’s rights. They raised in total 181 million euros for the Global Fundraising Initiative "She Decides." The Brussels International Conference was co-organised by two Liberal Ministers of Development Cooperation, Alexander de Croo (Belgium) and Ulla Tørnæs (Denmark), together with their counterparts in the Netherlands and Sweden.
The Brussels’ conference focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights, and in particular family planning, as the foundation for gender equality, women’s empowerment and economic development for both men and women, wherever and whoever they are.
Women from Pakistan, Colombia and Mali explained what it means not to have access to reproductive health care. The Ministers for Health of Chad and Ethiopia talked about the challenges in their countries. UN organizations, NGOs and research institutes set out how their work impacts women’s lives and how it contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals which the world has agreed on for 2030.
“The Brussels International Conference is a promising start for the global movement in favor of women’s rights that She Decides aims to be,” said Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation of Belgium. “When I launched the idea of gathering in Brussels four weeks ago, I never had hoped so many would come to voice their support. The broad backing of She Decides will uplift millions of girls and women fighting their rights around the world. And this is only the beginning.”
Fighting for women's rights is not only right. Its rational. Sustaniable development requires equality and female participation #shedecides— Ulla Tørnæs (@Ulla_Tornaes) March 2, 2017
#shedecides raises 181 million Euro. What a great day for sustaniable development in the world Thank you— Ulla Tørnæs (@Ulla_Tornaes) March 2, 2017