White Ribbon Alliance


We Commit to Help End Maternal and Newborn Deaths by 2030

September 26, 2015
NEW YORK CITY (WRA) - Today, White Ribbon Alliance doubles down on its commitment to the Every Woman Every Child movement and pledges to create an open and active feedback loop between citizens and their government in order to save the lives of mothers and newborns, and to ensure all women, children, and adolescents have the right to quality reproductive, maternal, and newborn health services.

For the last five years, White Ribbon Alliance has advocated for government commitments towards bettering maternal and newborn health to be made and upheld, and we have seen remarkable improvements during this time. However, over 289,000 women and 3 million newborn babies still die each year as a result of pregnancy and childbirth and most of these deaths are avoidable. We’ve seen the progress that can be made by strengthening accountability at all levels.

Today, a wide range of national, regional and global stakeholders, under the umbrella of the Every Woman Every Child movement, launched the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health. The document is a roadmap for ending by 2030 all preventable deaths of women, children, and adolescents and ensuring opportunities to thrive and transform societies. To date, the Global Strategy has attracted hundreds of partners. Governments, civil society, the private sector, philanthropy, and international organizations have all committed to making a difference in the lives of women and children. WRA believes true progress demands partnership, and thus, the Alliance is making four distinct commitments on shaping the future for healthy women and newborns:

White Ribbon Alliance commits to conduct political advocacy and support social accountability to ensure that governments act to improve the provision of national reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) services. Specifically, White Ribbon Alliance commits to work nationally and sub-nationally to convene, mobilize and support citizens and partners in civil society in at least eight countries to hold their governments accountable for commitments to RMNCAH through 2018. WRA will also work in at least 10 countries to increase citizen participation in the planning and delivery of RMNCAH services, including participating in national accountability processes and contributing to the global unified accountability mechanism of the Global Strategy.

White Ribbon Alliance believes self-care benefits individuals, governments and society. The wider adoption of responsible self-care can improve individual health, increase quality of life and productivity, and reduce the burden on healthcare systems. In partnership and with a grant valued at over USD$1.5 million in financial and in-kind support from Bayer, White Ribbon Alliance commits to work on three community-based self-care intervention programs focused on improving maternal and newborn health. These are: nutrition, prevention and minor treatments, and hygiene; self-care policy advancement and advocacy; and will contribute to best practice learning and expanded partnership in self-care. 

The Respectful Maternity Care Global Council, which is a multisectoral umbrella group of over 200 members led by White Ribbon Alliance, believes that during the course of maternity care women should not experience abuse at the hands of healthcare providers, which would be a violation of their rights. Over next five years, the Global Council commits to advocate with UN Agencies, regional bodies, and country governments to build policy support, investment, and implementation of participatory accountability mechanisms to uphold women’s rights to respectful maternity care. The Global Council also commits to contribute to a robust body of evidence around best and scalable practices that effectively improve respectful maternity care.

In partnership with the International Confederation of Midwives, United Nations Foundation, Save the Children, World YWCA and World Vision, White Ribbon Alliance commits to mobilize and support civil society to respond to the challenges set out in the Global Strategy. The movement will build on the work of the Citizens' Hearings by tracking commitments, ensuring civil society and citizen participation in national and global accountability mechanisms, and advocating for equitable health outcomes for women and children.