Today, Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell has been named as one of the top 100 people fighting to improve girls’ and women’s lives worldwide. Women Deliver, a global advocacy organisation calling for improved health for girls and women, announced “Women Deliver 100,” the list of the hundred most inspiring people who have delivered results for girls and women to mark the 100th International Women’s Day next week.
Women Deliver defines Andrew Mitchell as an architect and guardian of “Europe’s progressive, woman-centered aid policy”, having ensured that “women in the developing world are at the center of European foreign assistance agendas”.
The Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell said:
“I am flattered to be included in the Women Deliver list which recognises people working hard to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people in the world.
“Girls and women are at the forefront of the UK Government’s work to tackle poverty in the world’s poorest countries”.
“It is indefensible in the 21st century that for so many women, pregnancy and childbirth should represent a death sentence or at least, a morbid lottery. Each year, more than one third of a million women and girls die in pregnancy or childbirth and some 50 million give birth without skilled care”
“Our plans will save the lives of at least 50,000 women during pregnancy and childbirth and 250,000 newborn babies by 2015”
Women hold the key to development. The UK is re-orientating its aid programme to put women at the heart of its development efforts, empowering women to make choices for their own and their families’ health and lives, including deciding for themselves whether, when and how many children to have.
Globally, 215 million women who want to delay or avoid a pregnancy have no access to an effective method of family planning. Over the next four years UK aid will help at least ten million more of these women get access to modern methods of family planning and prevent more than five million unintended pregnancies. We will support at least two million women to deliver their babies safely with skilled midwives, nurses and doctors. The reproductive and maternal health services that girls and women need are often too expensive or too far away for them to access. We will work hard to break down these barriers and will ensure that vital interventions and healthcare are available to the women and girls who need them most.