People

Serra Sippel

Serra Sippel is the president of the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) and leads the organization’s advocacy efforts to advance gender equality by promoting the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls globally. Serra is highly regarded for her leadership in policy advocacy in the U.S. and around the world. A respected thought leader in global health and reproductive rights communities, Serra is often sought out for her expertise on HIV prevention for women and girls; U.S. support for abortion access for women raped in conflict; access to family planning; and the role that successful policy advocacy plays in holding the U.S. government accountable to its commitments to gender equality and human rights. She has contributed to peer-reviewed journals including Global Public Health and has been quoted in media outlets including The New York TimesWashington Post, and The Guardian. A widely-recognized advocate of women’s rights in the U.S. and globally, Serra has spoken at international conferences and is the author of numerous articles on gender equality, women’s health and human rights, policy advocacy, and women’s leadership.

Serra is a member of the International Steering Committee for the Universal Access to Female Condoms Joint Programme, a member of the National Domestic Violence and HIV/AIDS Advisory Committee, and served as a member of the official U.S. Delegation to the High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS. Prior to joining CHANGE, she was the international program director at Catholics for Choice, advancing the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls around the world and at the United Nations during the 5-, 10- and 15-year reviews of the International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo 1994) and Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing 1995). Serra holds a master’s degree in religion from the Earlham School of Religion, with an emphasis on peace and justice. She received her undergraduate degree from the College of Wooster in Ohio.


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An Overdue Conversation: Meeting the Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Orphans, Vulnerable Children and Youth

An Overdue Conversation: Meeting the Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Orphans, Vulnerable Children and Youth

Serra Sippel

Serra Sippel is the Deputy Director at the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE).

Attention to the lives of orphans and vulnerable children has increased with celebrity adoptions of African children by Madonna and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and the opening of an elite school for girls in South Africa by Oprah Whinfrey. For decades children (defined as children under the age of 18) have been targets for acts of charity by celebrities, focusing on their special needs: food, education, vaccinations, and health care. But rarely addressed, if at all, are the very real sexual and reproductive health needs of orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs).

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