Lilianne Ploumen at the Global Citizen Festival: support She Decides!
At the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, headlined by some of the leading names in pop music, foreign trade and development minister Liliane Ploumen has called for worldwide support for She Decides. ‘In many countries, women have no say over their own bodies. But every woman has the right to decide for herself. That is what She Decides is about,’ said Ploumen on the eve of the G20 in Hamburg, where world leaders will meet this weekend to discuss major global issues.
Ms Ploumen launched the She Decides initiative in January in response to a decision by the US government to stop family planning programmes for women in developing countries. The decision will lead to a loss of USD 600 million in funds. The She Decides conference in Brussels in March – attended by more than 50 countries and numerous organisations – and follow-up actions have generated around €182 million in funds to date. ‘A really good result,’ said Ploumen. ‘But we’ve still got a long way to go if we want to help all those women who will soon have no access to contraceptives, sex education, safe abortions or maternity care.’
Before Ms Ploumen’s short speech, Ellie Goulding performed several songs. Pharrell Williams was among the stars to appear later in the evening. The minister was joined on stage by Eva Ribbink and by the Kenyan activist Brenda Mbaja Lubang'a, who talked about a friend who died as a result of an unsafe abortion. Ms Ploumen announced that the government was releasing another €15 million for She Decides. Eva Ribbink followed suit by announcing that the philanthropic organisations Ribbink Van den Hoek Family Foundation and the Brook Foundation planned to donate a total of €75,000. ‘A wonderful gesture,’ said Ms Ploumen. ’This shows that She Decides is not only an initiative for politicians, but has a much wider support base.’
The Hamburg festival was organised by Global Citizen, a worldwide youth organisation with many millions of followers, mainly in the US and Canada. This was the first event to be held in Europe. The festivals always centre on global issues. This time, gender equality and health were on the agenda. She Decides dovetails seamlessly with these themes. ‘It’s fantastic that Global Citizen embraced the She Decides initiative right from the start, and that we could deliver the message here on this stage,’ said Ms Ploumen. The festival was attended by 12,000 young people, and was streamed on YouTube and broadcast live on the German TV channel ARD, reaching an audience of millions. The line-up also included Shakira and Coldplay.