- Comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health
- Family Planning
- Women, Girls, and HIV
- Maternal Health
- U.S. Foreign Policy & Funding
- Watch: Making U.S. Foreign Assistance Work for Women and Girls in Ethiopia
- Female Condoms and U.S. Foreign Policy
- Family Planning Policy Restrictions and HIV
- U.S. Global Health Initiative
- Global Gag Rule
- Helms Amendment
- Foreign Assistance Budget
- Foreign Assistance Reform
- Kemp-Kasten Amendment
- Abstinence & Fidelity
- Anti-Prostitution Pledge
- Advocacy and Foreign Assistance
- Why Women and Girls?
U.S. Foreign Policy & Funding
In 1994, the U.S. joined 178 other countries in signing the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action. This agreement marked an historic reframing of family planning, refocusing efforts away from population reduction and toward a focus on women’s health and human rights. Women’s groups also succeeded in gaining international recognition of the fundamental rights of reproductive self-determination and reproductive health care.
In 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton strongly reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the ICPD framework. However, the U.S. government has not yet translated the principles and priorities of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights into action through its international policies and foreign assistance.
For example, the U.S. response to global sexual and reproductive health issues is segregated. Instead of being addressed holistically, these issues are “siloed” by different offices, agencies, and funding mechanisms. They are governed by different policies and evaluated separately.
In practice, this means that global HIV programs have not typically supported family planning for HIV positive women who want to postpone or avoid childbearing. Women receiving U.S.-supported prenatal care may not receive counseling on effective family planning methods. U.S.-funded HIV testing centers are not required to integrate screening for gender-based violence.
Also, a comprehensive and collaborative approach to sexual and reproductive health has been further complicated by politically-motivated funding restrictions that run counter to the promotion of health and human rights.
How foreign assistance breaks down: The Foreign Assistance Dashboard provides a view of U.S. Government foreign assistance funds and enables users to examine, research, and track aid investments in a standard and easy-to-understand format. It was initiated by the Department of State and USAID under the policy guidance of the National Security Staff.
Women are now the majority of people living with HIV worldwide. The HIV pandemic has changed--our responses have to change with it, or we'll never create an AIDS-free generation.Take Action
Tell your Senators that you support full funding for international family planning and a permanent repeal of the Global Gag Rule.Take Action
Congress is now considering a bill (H.R. 2829) that would effectively end our relationship with the United Nations. Act now and tell your Representative to oppose this harmful piece of legislation.Take Action
Ask your Representative to co-sponsor the Global Sexual and Reproductive Health Act (H.R. 1319), newly introduced legislation that promotes a truly comprehensive and integrated approach to U.S. international reproductive health programs.Take Action
The House is currently debating a spending bill (H.R. 1) that, as it stands, would drastically decrease funding for international family planning and reproductive health, global HIV/AIDS, and maternal and child health programs and services. We need you to speak out for women's health and rights today!Take Action
Send a postcard to Ambassador Goosby, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, and urge him to make U.S. global AIDS programs and policies work harder and better for women and girls worldwide.Take Action
Source$15 billion - Launched in 2003 by President George W. Bush, PEPFAR pledged $15 billion over 5 years to combat global HIV/AIDS.
Source$48 billion - PEPFAR was reauthorized on July 30, 2008 and authorized $48 billion through fiscal year 2013.
Source0 - Emergency contraception (EC) is not distributed by USAID.
Source35 - In real terms, U.S. support for family planning is at the same level now as it was 35 years ago.
Today marks the seventh annual World Contraception Day — a campaign organized by a coalition of non-governmental, scientific, and medical organizations, which aims to raise awareness about the benefits of universal access to family planning tools. For the most part, Washington supports this cause: the United States has played a leading role in international family planning efforts for more than five decades and has provided roughly half of total donor funding for family planning in foreign countries.
Secretary of State John Kerry announced Monday the provision of $10 million in funding for a new U.S. initiative, Safe from the Start, to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies worldwide. Secretary Kerry emphasized that in the face of conflict and disaster, we should strive to protect women and girls from sexual assault and other violence.
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday announced a provision of $10 million to fund a new initiative to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies worldwide. While announcing the new initiative labeled 'Safe from the Start,' Secretary Kerry emphasized that all members of the international community must strive to protect women and girls from sexual assault and other violence in the face of conflict and disaster.
Gender equality and reproductive health are indispensable to sustainable development, and must be a key part of the post-2015 development agenda, participants said at a United Nations-organized regional conference in Thailand. After days of intense discussions, nearly 500 delegates, including ministers and senior officials from 47 countries, adopted a comprehensive Asian and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development.
Women and girls are disproportionately harmed in armed conflict. They are targets of sexual violence and face greater work burdens after losing their partners to war. And yet they are more likely to be sidelined from peace-building and conflict resolution efforts. So how is the U.S. Agency for International Development dealing with this problem?
International health programs have greatly reduced death and sickness worldwide over the past two decades but there is still a long way to go. The United Nations General Assembly will meet later this month to assess progress — impressive in some areas, halting in others — toward achieving the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, which were adopted in 2000 and are supposed to be reached by the end of 2015.
While it seems Americans will have to wait until next week to hear word about the fate of gay marriage rights, there was still a very important human rights decision handed down today: The Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government cannot require HIV outreach organizations to sign an anti-prostitution pledge in order to get government funding.
People have always bought and sold sex, sometimes risking shame or punishment. But these days, simply helping a sex worker can have costly legal and financial consequences.Under the U.S.’s flagship international aid program on HIV and AIDS, an organization that gives out free condoms at a brothel, for example, might be deemed in violation of the program’s anti-prostitution policy, and, as a result, risk losing public funding.
The Legal Landscape for Abortion Provision In U.S. Foreign Assistance
This brief is a comprehensive analysis of three distinct but overlapping legal systems that inform prohibition or provision of funding for abortion services through United States foreign assistance programs.Download this PDF
File Under: Policy Briefs
US Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally: What Does it Mean for SRH?
The 2012 United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally is the country’s first comprehensive, multi-sector approach to gender-based violence. What does it mean for sexual and reproductive health?Download thisPDF
File Under: Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet: U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security
The United States National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security (NAP) was issued by executive order by President Barack Obama in 2011. What does it say about sexual and reproductive health and rights?Download this PDF
File Under: Fact Sheets
U.S. Global HIV Policy: Combination Prevention
This paper outlines why the U.S. must support a true combination prevention strategy, one that scales up proven biomedical tools, integrates sexual and reproductive health services into HIV prevention, and addresses social barriers to HIV prevention.Download this PDF
File Under: Policy Briefs
Infographic: AIDS-free Generation? Not Without Women
We can't create an AIDS-free generation without women: Visualize the numbers.View the Infographic
File Under: Fact Sheets
GHI Implementation and Sexual and Reproductive Health in Ethiopia: A Progress Report
A preliminary analysis of the implementation of the U.S. Global Health Initiative in Ethiopia finds that a focus on women and girls is already making a difference.Download this PDF
File Under: Research Documents
U.S. Foreign Policy & Funding Topics
This video documents CHANGE's 2010 study tour to Ethiopia and makes policy recommendations for improving the effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance to advance the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls in Ethiopia.
The female condom is currently the only available dual protection tool that prevents both HIV/STIs and unintended pregnancy.
Attacks on international family planning funding and policy hinder the progress of U.S. efforts to provide effective HIV prevention, care, and treatment.
The GHI, introduced in 2009, is the first U.S. international development effort that promotes a woman-centered approach to integrated health services.
Documentation and analysis of the Global Gag Rule shows that the policy restricts a basic right to speech and the right to make informed health decisions.
The Helms amendment prohibits U.S. funds from being used to provide abortion services or information.
Foreign assistance accounts for about one percent of the total U.S. budget.
To increase the effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance spending, policy makers are currently working to reorganize foreign assistance and bring greater coherence to the country's aid structure.
The Kemp-Kasten Amendment prohibits foreign aid to any organization that the administration determines is involved in coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.
When Congress reauthorized the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in 2008, it loosened, yet maintained, a funding preference for programs that focus on abstinence and faithfulness to the exclusion of condom education.
The anti-prostitution pledge requires organizations receiving U.S. funds to explicitly oppose prostitution, which compromises health services for sex workers--one of the groups at highest risk for HIV infection.
Listen to CHANGE President Serra Sippel discuss why advocacy is critical to developing effective U.S. global health policy (podcasts)