Women Deliver 2016 brings solutions for preventing unsafe abortion

Over 150 people gathered at Women Deliver 2016 to hear an expert panel share their practical experiences and solutions from their work tackling unsafe abortion.

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The event was co-hosted by MSI, Ipas and the Governments of Denmark and the U.K. The panel included:

  • Gladys Gbappy-Brima, Member of Parliament for Sierra Leone;
  • Paramount Chief Kyungu of Malawi;
  • Syeda Zahida Naveed, Additional Director (technical), Policy and Strategic Planning Unit, Government of Punjab, Pakistan;
  • Yirgu Gebrehiwot, President of the African Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Member of the Executive Board of FIGO;
  • Martin Bille Hermann, Danish State Secretary for Development Co-operation, Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  • Will Niblett, Head of the SRHR Team at the UK’s Department for International Development.

The panel and participants shared how they have been able to advocate for policy change and implement these changes in their different contexts.

For example, Chief Kyungu shared how he had been able to convince other chiefs to support a new abortion law in Malawi by explaining the huge contribution of unsafe abortion to maternal mortality in rural areas.

The speakers highlighted the crucial role of coordination and partnership among religious leaders, parliamentarians, health professionals and citizens. Policy change is an important foundation for implementation, but the panel also reinforced how much can be achieved - even in highly restrictive environments - by normalizing access and properly putting into operation existing policies.

Vinoj Manning, Executive Director at Ipas Development Foundation and panel moderator, said:

"We have started the journey and it must be completed. We need discipline of execution and coordinated, integrated efforts at global and national level to ensure that women receive lifesaving services, and empower individuals and communities to ensure regional and national commitments are upheld."

MSI also showcased a photo exhibition, Universal Access, one woman at a time, and a collection of short narrative films, In their own words, at Women Deliver's Arts and Cinema Corner and at the MSI display stand. These films feature stories of our clients and staff members: garment factory workers, indigenous women, pharmacists, nurses in remote public health facilities, young people, outreach workers, and women working hard to build a better life for their children in Cambodia and Tanzania. 

You can read more about the stories of young people, rural women, service providers and garment factory workers in Cambodia; read more about the stories of young people, rural women and service providers in Tanzania; or you can watch the entire film collection here.

Check out MSI's recently published 2015 Global Impact Report microsite.

Our Global Impact Last Year


women using a MSI
method of contraception


unintended pregnancies


unsafe abortions prevented


pregnancy-related deaths prevented