2023: A Year Working Together to Advance Gender Equality through SRHR

As we bid farewell to 2023, we are reflecting on the past year by revisiting select blog posts written throughout this year. The themes reflected in these posts have been the driving force of our endeavors this year and will continue to guide us as we move forward into a new year. 

Working to Reach Everyone with SRHR

EngenderHealth is committed to equality, justice, and leaving no one behind. Everyone deserves to choose their reproductive futures, and this includes young people and those living rurally worldwide.

In April, EngenderHealth President and CEO Traci L. Baird, Director of AYRSHR Ana Aguilera, and Associate Project Director Meskerem Setegne wrote a call for increased attention to and resourcing of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE).  In November, we partnered with  Metrics for Management (M4M) on a blog post about provider bias as a barrier to young people’s sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs. We highlighted the importance of talking to and listening to young people, the benefits of measuring youth SRH, the reasons behind provider bias, and how EngenderHealth addresses them through many of our programs. In March, we wrote a two-part series sharing our experiences addressing the needs of pastoralists in Ethiopia. In part one, we looked at infrastructure challenges and how we manage them through partnerships to meet clients where they are. Part two examined the importance of supporting long-term, community-led efforts to build resilience and readiness in crises.

Continuing to Use Our Words to Foster Change 

At EngenderHealth, we seek new ideas and opportunities to innovate for progress. One of the ways we do that is through our many technical publications and by challenging the way we use language to effect the changes we wish to see in the world.

In August, we compiled a complete list of our technical publications and resources from our Fiscal Year 2023. Through these publications, our incredible staff and partners have carried out in-depth research, reviewed and analyzed data, and developed a variety of publications to share our learnings, expertise, and experience with others. In November, Principal Writer, Editor, and Designer Amy Agarwal wrote about addressing inequities in philanthropy by improving our approach to language and communication. She wrote about our responsibility as individuals and an organization to use nonjudgmental and destigmatizing language that amplifies the agency of our diverse impact populations and provides accurate information to help our supporters learn about our work. 

Building Equitable Partnerships

One of EngenderHealth’s guiding values is respect. We value the wisdom and agency of our collaborators and appreciate our differences. This helps guide our approach to equitable partnerships. 

Transforming INGO Models for Equity for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (TIME for SRHR) is a collaboration-based initiative exploring how international SRHR NGOs can and should rethink how they operate to contribute to equitable development. In November, TIME for SRHR launched a collection of learning resources to showcase and share the work that has gone into and resulted from TIME for SRHR. As part of the resources, Traci L. Baird, President and CEO of EngenderHealth, co-wrote a post with Jeffrey Jordan, President and CEO of PRB, about redefining the roles of SRHR-focused INGOs. EngenderHealth Chief of Staff Robyn Sneeringer co-wrote a blog with Pape Gaye, Founder President at Baobab Institute for Health and Development, and Kim Kucinskas, Director of Organizational Transformation at Humentum, sharing four lessons from the first year of TIME for SRHR. She also co-wrote a blog with Anna Lynam, Senior Program Director for Asia and Nigeria at IPAS, Catherine Packer, Technical Advisor, RMNCH Communications and Knowledge Management at fhi360, and Rayana Rassool, Anti Racism Advisor at IPPF, sharing the journey to designing a change roadmap that can help organizations work to shift power. 

The complete TIME for SRHR Working Out Loud Learning Collection is here.

Expanding Access to Safe Abortion 

At EngenderHealth, we are devoted to reflection. We perpetually question, challenge, learn, and adapt to best meet the moment.

The last couple of years have pushed us to do just that when it comes to expanding access to safe abortion. In June, we reflected on a year living with the US Supreme Court decision to deny a person’s constitutional right to access safe and legal abortion. In July, we recommitted to expanding safe abortion globally and shared our updated strategy for expanding abortion rights, equity, and access for a gender-equal world. In September, we hosted a blog conversation on youth, abortions, and intersectionality that built on the Recentering the Margins session from the Women Deliver conference. Panelists and moderators were invited to share their insights and experiences working to create an inclusive, intersectional global abortion movement.

Telling Stories that Matter

It is important that we walk our talk, and one of the best ways of showcasing that work is by sharing the stories of the people we work with. 

In October, we shared Muskan’s story. She is an 18-year-old from India who began working as a peer educator with our TARUNYA program. Read her story to see the incredible changes she experienced through her work. We also shared a series of stories called “Helping our Heroes” that highlight the challenges local leaders and healthcare providers face in improving SRHR in Ethiopia and how they overcome those challenges. We shared the story of Hibo, who is helping mothers and children in her community; Hamid, who is working to improve his hospital’s infrastructure in the face of conflict; Sheik Hussein, who is working with men in his community to end child marriage; and Fatuma, who fought against gender inequality in the workplace through leadership training.

Going Forward: Onward and Upward!

It has been a year of learning, hard work, and growth at EngenderHealth! Of course, these posts are only a slice of our work over the past year, and you can read more on our blog. We look forward to sharing more with you as we enter the new year.