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International Women's Day


Celebrating passion and commitment this International Women’s Day

IWD (8 March 2019) is a time to celebrate the achievements of fearless women globally. We’re honored to highlight the passion and commitment of doctors, nurses, peer educators, activists and volunteer...

International Women's Day (8 March) is a time to celebrate the incredible achievements of fearless women around the world. Today (and every day) we’re honored to highlight the passion and continued commitment of doctors, nurses, peer educators, activists and volunteers who dedicate their efforts to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights globally. These are just a few of them: 

Chathurika Jayalath, youth volunteer, Sri Lanka

Chathurika Jayalath, Sri Lanka

In May 2017, flash flooding in Sri Lanka triggered landslides resulting in many people losing their homes and forcing them to seek emergency shelter. 24-year-old student Chathurika, a youth volunteer for IPPF’s Member Association the Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka (FPASL), took part in the response. She helped in organizing the health camps, and she even runs a youth club at her university to inform her peers about sexual health. Find out more about Chathurika inspiring community contributions  

Emma Watson, actor & activist, UK

Emma Watson, UK

For almost as long as she’s been in the spotlight, actor Emma Watson has been well known for her feminist activism. Over the years she has lent her support to many vital issues including ending child marriage, violence against women and female genital mutilation, as well as fighting for abortion care and LGBTQI rights. She’s also a partner to IPPF! Keep up with Emma’s important work by following her on Twitter now

Vicky Acora, volunteer, Uganda 

Vicky Acora, Uganda

Vicky is a married mother-of-two. She faces all the usual challenges that women face when it comes to getting sexual and reproductive health services - but Vicky’s life is complicated further because she is deaf. In the past, she would have trouble communicating with health staff who did not understand her needs, but since seeking services at Reproductive Health Uganda’s clinic in Gulu (a Member Association of IPPF), she has been able to get the healthcare she needs. She has since then even been advising other deaf people to seek services with the clinic. Read more about Vicky’s experience  

Dr Leana Wen, president of PPFA, USA

Dr. Leana Wen, USA

IPPF was thrilled when Dr Leana Wen was appointed as President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America last year. She is a dynamic public health leader, a practising physician and not least, a formidable woman. Since she started her demanding role, she has helped Planned Parenthood continue to provide high-quality care to the people who need it across the United States, and she is a powerful voice in our fight to ensure that women have the ability to make their own healthcare decisions. We look forward to seeing what she will achieve next. If you do too, then follow Dr Wen on Twitter

Abla Abassa, health worker, Togo

Abla Abassa, Togo

Abla is a community health worker. She spends her days cycling around her home village’s dusty streets in rural Togo visiting households who have signed up to an innovative programme that provides contraception in hard-to-reach places. She might visit as many as five households in one day, where she’ll discuss and provide family options including the Pill, condoms and injection, with people who might otherwise not know what their choices are. Find out more about what her vital job entails



Sri Lanka, United States, Togo, Uganda, United Kingdom


Gender equality