|IWHC Reinforces Commitment to Promoting Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health|
Statement from Board of Directors of the International Women’s Health Coalition
IWHC Reinforces Commitment to Promoting Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health for Women and Young People
Strategic Assessment Shows Need and Value of IWHC Approach; Board Announces Search for New President, Strengthening of Senior Staff, and Committee for the Future
The Board of Directors of the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) announced today that following a strategic assessment, the organization is reinforcing its commitment to vigorously pursuing policies and programs promoting sexual and reproductive health rights and services for women and young people, especially girls. After reviewing a set of insights, ideas, and challenges articulated by a recent assessment presented at an October 28 meeting, the Board of Directors unanimously endorsed plans for IWHC’s future. The Board announced the recruitment for a redefined position of IWHC President, a strengthening of the organization’s staff, and a renewed focus on urgent threats to the health and rights of women and young people.
The strategic assessment of IWHC’s mission and work, prepared for the Board by Françoise Girard, until recently the Director of the Public Health Program at the Open Society Foundations, captured insights and recommendations from 59 leaders in a range of relevant fields: human rights including women’s rights, reproductive health and family planning, HIV/AIDS, youth leadership, health policy, as well as philanthropy. Among the key findings and recommendations of the assessment were:
After the meeting, the chair of the IWHC Board Brian Brink noted, “We’ve just concluded an extremely energizing Board meeting. After reviewing a thorough assessment of the organization, the Board has set the course for the next phase of work for the International Women’s Health Coalition. Board members remain fully committed to the organization’s mission, and working toward a day when all women and young people enjoy full sexual and reproductive health rights and high-quality reproductive health services.“
The Board recognized that the need for concentrated attention on women’s reproductive health and rights remains urgent, and recommitted the organization to addressing these challenges through IWHC’s three lines of work:
The strategic assessment and Board member discussion stressed that the 20th anniversary of the International Conference for Population and Development (ICPD) in 2014 and the review of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015 present unique opportunities to highlight the progress made to advance women’s and young people’s health and rights, and the pressing work that remains. While there has been movement on several fronts, progress has not been universal and threats abound. Preparing for the seminal discussions in 2014 and 2015 will be a highlight of IWHC’s work over the next three-to-four years.
With a clear direction recommended by the strategic assessment and agreed to unanimously by the IWHC Board, a search committee was created to identify the organization’s next President with an intensive recruitment effort to begin immediately.* The Board hopes that a new President will join the organization at the beginning of 2012. Current management of the Coalition will continue as the responsibility of Interim Chief Executive Officer Susan Wood. IWHC’s former President Adrienne Germain formally concludes her service on staff at the end of 2011, but she will continue to hold the honorary title of President Emerita, in recognition of her extraordinary contribution to IWHC over more than 25 years.
IWHC’s Board voted to allocate a portion of its reserves to be used immediately on strengthening the organization and developing a visionary agenda for 2014 and 2015. The Board also created a new “Committee for the Future,” which is composed of ten board members and is expected to work with staff over the next three to six months to map out the future direction of the organization as it navigates through this important transformation phase.
*Those interested in being considered as candidates for the President should send a cover letter and resume as soon as possible to Kate Gellert at Windcrest Partners, 750 Third Avenue, Suite 3310, New York, NY 10017; firstname.lastname@example.org.