She decides - Norwegian statement

Barne- og likestillingsminister Solveig Hornes innlegg under konferansen She decides i Brussel 2. mars.

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Dear Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen.

The right of women to have control over and make decisions about their own sexuality and body is crucial. It is crucial for women’s health. It is crucial for gender equality. And it is crucial for fighting poverty and ensuring sustainable development.

Norway has for a long time played a leading role in the work to promote global health and education – focusing on young girls.
Norway is one of the largest donors to gender equality and women's health efforts. We will continue to be a driving force for women's health internationally.

At a time when this agenda has come under pressure, joint efforts are of paramount importance. This is why Norway fully supports and join the She Decides initiative.  I am pleased to announce that we will increase our contribution to sexual and reproductive health and safe abortions by roughly 10 million euros.

This additional contribution comes on top of already substantial Norwegian investments in girls’ and women’s health, education and rights. This way, we will help to ensure that organisations working to promote safe abortions and reproductive health can continue this important work internationally.

The additional funds will partly be used to increase support to the UNFPA and their work with reproductive health issues for women living in poverty, crisis and conflict. Also selected NGOs will be invited to apply for funding.

 

Each year almost 50 000 women die as a result of unsafe abortions. This tragic reality shows that we still must overcome the social stigma related to sexual and reproductive health and abortion which is prevalent in many societies.

We know this is closely related to discrimination.

We know this is closely related to poverty.

We must work to ensure that all women and girls are treated as equal to men and boys, that they have access to sexual and reproductive health services.

To make sure nobody is left behind, we must all step up our support.

Thank you.