A New Agenda for Girls’ and Women’s Health and Rights

This post is part of our online salon: A New Agenda for Girls' and Women's Health and Rights, co-hosted with UN Dispatch.

Saturday, March 8th was International Women's Day – a day celebrated every year that focuses on the unique issues affecting women and girls globally and emboldening ourselves to act on these challenges. In honor of International Women's Day and in order to foster a lively discussion and debate on what the best way to address these global issues may be, RH Reality Check is thrilled to introduce our first co-produced and co-hosted online salon with our partner, UN Dispatch.

Our participants (from around the world) include:

Adrienne Germain, President of the International Women's Health Coalition, will kick off our online salon. In a report commissioned by the Better World Campaign, Germain addresses what an agenda for addressing the global health of women and girls must look like and the opportunities the next President of the U.S. has to create an agenda that includes these crucial issues. The report is also summarized in this video:

Over the next 10 days, our panel of women and one man will discuss Adrienne's ideas, as well as their own. These experts in women's health and rights from around the world will engage in an online conversation bringing to the salon their own areas of expertise, passion about these issues and unique ideas on how we can save the health and lives of women and girls around the world. We hope you will join this discussion too!

And when you're done reading head over to OnDayOne.org and submit your own ideas on what reproductive and sexual health issues our next President must address!

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

For more information or to schedule an interview with contact press@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • http://www.jillstanek.com invalid-0

    Scott, thanks for the quick response. I do think, “We enjoy the support of the UN Foundation” is a tad shady, since it appears UNF is your sole funder? But maybe I’m being too picky.

    I was just shocked is all. I found out when researching Turner’s “cannibalism” quote. I don’t know how I viewed RH Reality Check, but it wasn’t as part of the funded-by- liberal-billionaires-Moveon.org-crowd. I guess I thought you all did this out of the collective liberal goodness of your heart. Naive, that’s me.

    Ah, well, carry on.

  • invalid-0

    mean we don’t “do this out of the collective liberal goodness” of our hearts? We all come from advocacy and direct service backgrounds having spent most of our professional lives in service to these and related issues. I worked for a women’s health center that provided abortions for seven years prior to this and for the Northwest Women’s Law Center before that (when I was pregnant with my first child).

    We are devoted to improving the health and lives of women, men, girls and boys around the world in various capacities. That’s why we do this.

    You can fabricate ideas as to why we do this – in fact, generally, you need to do that (the lucrative abortion business is my favorite lie) in order to validate your deceptive proclamations.

    But please don’t pretend you know why we devote our lives to what we do. I would not presume to make that assumption about you and your work. As much as I disagree with your position on this issue, I respect your commitment and devotion to your value system. Don’t devalue ours.

  • http://www.jillstanek.com invalid-0


    On its just released annual report, PP admitted an 11% profit, while big oil just garnered a congressional inquisition for a 9% profit. PP committed almost 300k abortions from July 06 to June 07. It is the US’s largest abortion provider.

    To get its “abortions are less than 10% of all we do” figure, PP adds together every service on every girl/woman. So one woman may get a pregnancy test, std test, std treatment, new pack of bc pills, a back-up morning-after pill, and an abortion and in PP’s stats that counts for 6 services. But what is the ratio of actual PP patients:abortion? PP doesn’t say. Ask PP and get back to me.

    And you’re going to complain about the amount of government $ your side gets for comprehensive sex ed vs. the amount given for abstinence ed? Even Guttmacher admits comprehensive sex ed accounts for 75% of all sex ed (http://tinyurl.com/2jh9qm). Your side has run the sex ed show for 40 years and what exactly do you have to show for it? Lowered anything? Didn’t I just read 1 in 4 girls is now stuck with an STD?

    • scott-swenson


      Big oil? Really? If you insist. I think I see the common thread, but I'm not sure. Here goes. You blogged on your site about Ted Turner talking about climate change on Charlie Rose, taking his comments and his own hyperbole about the future of the planet and spun it into him being "pro-cannibal." Now you are defending big oil profits ($123 billion for three companies, nearly half of which they used to buy back stock, so they won't have to share future profits with as many people). So you compare them to Planned Parenthood, providing health care services in under served communities to people who need them. Most people are upset with gas prices, concerned about climate change, are worried about making ends meet and can understand the threat of being without health care. People without health care for themselves worry about providing for their children, so they use contraception (which despite the fact you never acknowledge my point that you oppose contraception, is still true). For those who can't afford health care, but need PAP smears, breast exams and birth control, you would rather shut down Planned Parenthood even though they prevent more abortions than they perform, and the number they perform is not anywhere close to all the services they provide. And your argument for all of this rests on some nit you have with accounting in their annual report. Jill, church going Americans, very faithful people support contraception, use contraception, and believe (rightly) that contraception is the best way to reduce abortions. While you continue to spin out your "stats" people are still struggling to pay for gas, and some cannot afford or do not have health care. They remain concerned about the planet the children that are already here and those to come will inherit, and you seem to be aligning yourself as being willing to ignore climate change, support big oil, and because you don't support contraception, shut down PPFA based on your spin of their tabulation of services. Whew! It's tough to keep up with you Jill!

      Be the change you seek,

      Scott Swenson, Editor

  • http://www.jillstanek.com invalid-0


    I am hoping since you’re the RH Reality Check editor, you intentionally missed my point on big abortion profits.

    BTW, Ted Turner being “pro-life on cannibalism” as I stated on my blog, means he is anti-cannibalism.

    RH Reality Check needs to ask Ted for additional funding to work on new talking points. Yours are so old and worn. I’d also ask for more vacation time. Your attempt to use big oil and global warming to defend Planned Parenthood was a tad wild-eyed.

  • http://www.jillstanek.com invalid-0

    Just confirming.

    UNF links to you as one of its “programs.”


    You’re funded by Ted Turner?

  • scott-swenson

    Hey Jill,

    It isn't exactly news, or a matter of difficult research, that we are a project of the UN Foundation Women and Population Program. In our "About Us" section we clearly state,

    We enjoy the support of the UN Foundation and the editorial independence entrusted to us. RH Reality Check provides a forum for ideas and opinions. The opinions expressed on the site are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of RH Reality Check or its funders.

    The range of issues we discuss on the web site, from women's rights to HIV/AIDS, from comprehensive sexuality education to reproductive health are all at the core of the work done by the Women and Population program of UNF. The RH Reality Check mission is to encourage progressive ideas on sexual and reproductive health and counter the misinformation that comes from ideologues who prefer to ignore evidence-based arguments and impose their one size fits all solutions on a complex world. The pretty blue globe icons on our site indicate pieces from our "Global Perspectives" writers around the world, because we want people to understand how these fundamental issues of humanity are understood in different parts of the world, and how US policy affects those issues at home and abroad. We have been given the editorial freedom to explore a range of ideas and often find ourselves not just countering misinformation from you and your colleagues, but also from people on "our side" of issues that get caught up in political games instead of pursuing principled policy.

    We're not hiding anything Jill. If only you could say the same about how the anti-contraception, anti-woman agenda hides behind the distorted mask of abortion politics. Or, as our feature series this week entitled Don't Be Fooled points out, crisis pregnancy centers pretend to be something they are not.

    The UNF Board and finances are also easily researched, but I've provided the links just in case.

    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • http://www.jillstanek.com invalid-0

    Amie, as the Bible says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” so I’m not faulting you for earning a living while doing what you love. How great is that?

    No, this is just another example of the unlevel playing field. Your side is funded via Soros, Buffett, Gates, Turner, and the multi-million dollar abortion industry.

    Whoops, make that the multi-BILLION dollar abortion industry, since we just learned Planned Parenthood made $1.017 billion by its newly released annual report.

    Our side has no sugar daddies or big abortion cartels funding our ideology.

    Interesting thing is, though, we’re still winning.

  • scott-swenson

    Jill, it strikes me that the Catholic Conference of Bishops represents the biggest funder, or to use your unfortunate phrase, "sugar daddy" of them all. With lobbyists in every nook and cranny, and usually outspending the opposition on ballot initiatives, not to mention the numerous front groups it funds, it is hard to imagine a bigger pot of money. The irony of course is that money comes from tithes from people who largely don't support the politics it is used to promote, but that's a different story. Then of course there are the Scaiffe's, the Melon's, the Koch's, and all the other funders of all things far-right wing. Add to that Bush's use of tax payer dollars to make certain teens don't have facts by throwing money at ab-only programs, and other politically motivated ideological causes, and now the scales are pretty well tilted against progressive ideas.

    As to your comment about "cartels" it is in fact why we exist, to counter your misinformation. While you continue to parrot, without research, misinformation from the right-wing echo chamber, we'll educate readers with the facts. It's our job.

    I assume you were referring to Planned Parenthood, a common target for hyperbole from you. PPFA provides a wide range of services from PAP smears, STI detection and treatment, HIV screening, and contraception (I know you don't like that either, but the vast majority of Americans disagree with you) and a wide range of other women's health services. They also provide services for men. They generate revenue from their services, are themselves a non-profit organization, and on the subject of abortion, provide less than ten percent, and spend far more of their time on prevention and education. More importantly, many of the services they provide, like birth control, are deeply discounted based on one's ability to pay.

    I suggest you read the perspective at Over My Med Body in which a future doctor who had bought into the spin you and others put out there, discusses just how wrong that spin really is, and the conclusion, that there would be far more abortions if it weren't for the work Planned Parenthood does. So how about it Jill, admit it, your side's opposition to contraception is really what the fight is all about.

    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor