She Matters – Empowering women and girls to lead self-determined, healthy and productive lives

An International G7/20 Parliamentarians’ Conference on 16/17 April in Berlin

Discussants at the Meeting

Parliamentarians from 50 countries send an appeal to G7 summit

On 16th and 17th April, an international parliamentarian conference entitled “She matters – Empowering women and girls to lead self-determined, healthy and productive lives” took place in Berlin on the occasion of the German G7 Presidency. The conference was jointly hosted by the Parlamentarischer Beirat für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung (The All-Party Parliamentarian’s Group on Population and Development), Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) and the European Forum on Population and Development (EPF). The meeting brought together 90 parliamentarians from 50 countries all over the world at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). At the end of the conference, the parliamentarians adopted an appeal that was handed over to the German G7 Sherpa Prof. Dr. Lars-Hendrik Röller.

BMZ emphasizes that sexual and reproductive health and rights remain a priority

During the two-day meeting the parliamentarians discussed such contentious issues as women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), economic empowerment of women, access to modern, voluntary contraception, maternal health, as well as violence against women and girls.

In his opening speech, Dr. Peter Failer, Director General of International Development Policy at BMZ, underlined that the promotion of SRHR is a focus of German development cooperation in the area of health. Dr. Failer also stressed that health plays a central role in Germany’s development cooperation. “Since 2011, the German commitment to health and especially to maternal and child health has increased,” Failer said. “An example of Germany's commitment to health is the Gavi alliance: Germany quadrupled its contribution to 600 Mio € until 2020.” Gavi is one of the most effective investments to improve child health in the poorest countries of the world – having already vaccinated more than 440 million children.

Health system strengthening will be on the agenda at the G7 summit in June

BMZ also took part in various sessions and panel discussions to emphasize the importance of health system strengthening, one of the key areas of the G7 summit in Bavaria in the beginning of June. Functioning health systems are crucial to realize women’s and girls’ SRHR, especially in developing countries. To support this, Germany has increased its bilateral cooperation in health in Sub-Saharan Africa by 205 Mio € in the years 2015 and 2016, to strengthen health systems, including maternal and child health .Moreover, Germany will extend its successful initiative on rights based family planning and maternal health until 2019. Investments in health, especially the sexual and reproductive health of young people, will have a positive impact on gender equality, economic empowerment and employment of women and girls.

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