In 2010, the United Nations Secretary-General launched a Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health (2010-2015) as a framework for aligned and evidence-based efforts to accelerate progress in areas of health development that were lagging behind. Its widespread adoption by multiple actors contributed to progress worldwide, with improved health outcomes for women and children in low-income settings.
The Every Woman Every Child movement was launched at the same time as a platform for committed actors to interact and be accountable to each other for their contributions to the implementation of the Global Strategy. The movement was designed to bring together difference groups of actors, including national and local governments, parliamentarians, civil society organizations, front-line health workers, businesses, scientists, financiers, humanitarians and multilateral organizations.
Since its inception, the Every Woman Every Child platform encompasses a constellation of linked initiatives that has brought actors together and encouraged their alignment behind the Global Strategy – prioritizing high-impact interventions to improve women’s and children’s health and encouraging their scaling-up everywhere. It has played a significant role as aggregator and amplifier. Significant reduction in maternal mortality and child mortality demonstrated that well-aligned, evidence-based and focused programmes can achieve extraordinary results.
When world leaders agreed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development they sought the worldwide pursuit of an interconnected series of 17 goals through integrated partnerships that leave no-one behind. It was a shift from highly focused interventions to holistic responses to the totality of people’s experiences: an approach that requires development actors (including governments) to think, act, organize, report and communicate differently.
Building on progress achieved through the Every Woman Every Child movement, the UN Secretary-General launched in September 2015 an updated Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030) to help further the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Global Strategy is a bold new roadmap for ending all preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths, including stillbirths, by 2030, and improving their overall health and wellbeing. It aims to keep women, children and adolescents at the heart of the sustainable development agenda, unlocking their vast potential for transformative change. The networks that are part of the Every Woman Every Child movement play a critical role in achieving this vision.