EngenderHealth Joins Critical Conversations at the 2017 EuroNGOs Conference in Brussels

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Given the current threats to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), it is more critical than ever to analyze the forces at work and move to adopt bold strategies to secure the rights of girls and women worldwide. In this effort, civil society organizations remain a vital force to defend SRHR around the globe.

Acknowledging the demands of the current political climate, the 2017 EuroNGOs Conference, titled “Re:Frame. Promoting SRHR in a Time of Growing Populism,” was held September 27–28 in Brussels, Belgium. This two-day gathering challenged SRHR champions and thought leaders to discuss and debate the rise of populism and its impact on SRHR issues and to strategize about a cohesive response in this changing context.

Ulla E. Müller, EngenderHealth’s CEO and President, moderated the opening plenary session, which set the stage for conversations that followed. Panelists included:

  • Andrea Peto, Professor, Department of Gender Studies, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
  • Shirin Heidari, Director, Reproductive Health Matters, UK
  • Kwabena Osei-Danquah, Director, Division for Governance and Multilateral Affairs, UNFPA
  • Martijn Lampert, Research Director, Motivaction International, the Netherlands

The panelists unpacked the definition, causes, and consequences of rising right-wing populism, both globally and in Europe; analyzed its political implications, including recent elections in Europe; and assessed the effects that populism has had on SRHR.

During the course of the discussions, Müller called on partner organizations to risk speaking out against the current global political climate.  Read her reflections in a recently published Devex article, ‘Don’t let the US set the agenda’: Takeaways from EuroNGOs on reproductive rights.

Overall, the EuroNGOs conference offered a space for global voices to come together to forge a proactive, unifed way forward against political forces that would seek to undermine the work of the SRHR community.

Opening panel discussion moderated by Ulla E. Müller (left), EngenderHealth’s CEO and President, at the 2017 EuroNGOs conference in Brussels, Belgium

Global change-makers committed to making SRHR a reality for all, 2017 EuroNGOs, Brussels, Belgium