In response to the deepening Zika crisis, CHANGE partnered with Promundo-US, International Planned Parenthood Federation-Western Hemisphere Region, and the Embassy of Sweden to convene a panel discussion in Washington, D.C. to address the need for a woman-centered approach to the global response to the Zika outbreak.
On September 29, 2016, health policy experts, along with CHANGE, gathered at the Embassy of Sweden in D.C. for “A Rights-Based Approach to Zika: Putting Women and Girls at the Center of the Global Response.”
Keynote speaker, Debora Diniz, Founder of Brazil-based Anis–Instituto de Bioética, spoke of her experiences working with women impacted by Zika in Brazil and the deep socioeconomic disparities, gender inequalities, and fragile welfare state exposed by the growing Zika crisis.
The event then turned to a lively panel discussion and audience Q&A session moderated by CHANGE President Serra Sippel. The panel focused on the need for a human rights-based, woman-centered approach to responding to Zika — before, during, and after pregnancy.
Meeting with Policymakers
The following day, Debora Diniz and CHANGE Director of Public Policy Beirne Roose-Snyder met with policymakers from the White House and Congress to make a case for government support and funding of Zika prevention that includes:
Access to information
Increased mix of methods for contraception in government clinics to include male and female condoms, injectables, and other forms of contraception
Access to abortion for women suffering with mental health
Transportation to early intervention appointments for families with babies with Congenital Zika Syndrome
Guaranteed lifetime disability supplement of $200 for babies with Congenital Zika Syndrome
Timed with the September 2016 Zika event, CHANGE spearheaded a public statement calling on governments and donors to prioritize a human rights-based approach to the Zika crisis.
On the morning of the event CHANGE, along with its partners, co-hosted a successful trilingual Twitter chat in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. The chat focused on why women and girls must be central to the global Zika response.