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Policy and advocacy

We create real change by transforming the environments in which we work.

Every day, in every country where we work, we see our services restricted by unnecessary regulation and over-medicalisation.

This prevents women and girls from seeking and receiving the care and services they so desperately want.

In response we are playing an ever more active role in helping to remove these restrictions and to ensure that the progressive policies that do exist are understood and implemented.

Advocacy - and the unique way it’s done at Marie Stopes International - has never been more important to our mission. Our 2020 strategy, Scaling-Up Excellence, recognises that providing services alone will not secure universal access to contraception or safe abortion, and that to catalyse real change we need to transform the environments in which we operate.

Providing services alone will not secure universal access to contraception or safe abortion - to catalyse real change we need to transform the environments in which we operate.

Our approach to advocacy

Our advocacy work is based on both the needs of our clients and the innovations we’ve shown can work.

Our voice is critical in ensuring that policies support access to contraception and safe abortion, and are fit for purpose - informed by the latest medical guidance.

We focus on the issues that affect the frontline of service delivery so that advocacy directly translates into increased access to services on the ground. Recent successes to which we contributed include:

  • Securing a new tasksharing policy in Nigeria which extends the right for Community Health Extension Workers to deliver a broad range of family planning services (including implants and IUDs).

  • New national post-abortion care guidelines in Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar.

  • Registration of life-saving reproductive health commodities in Sierra Leone, Uganda and Madagascar.

  • Developing a new national policy on sexual and reproductive health and rights for young people in Kenya.

  • Progress made to expand the number of indications for safe abortion in Sierra Leone, Malawi and Bolivia


Advocacy by doing

Our advocacy goes beyond influencing alone.

Through pioneering practices, informed by WHO global guidance, we strengthen health systems and support governments to roll out, scale up and implement policies thereby increasing sustainable access to services. 

We have always pioneered an ‘advocacy by doing’ approach. We do this in our own unique way - showing what works, pushing for change and ensuring reforms are then implemented – using our expertise so that women and girls are no longer denied the services they have a right to. 

For further information about our advocacy work please contact Sarah Shaw, Interim Head of Advocacy.

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The Global Gag Rule means millions in the developing world could lose access to contraception

We will not turn our back on those who need us most.

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