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Why We Care

Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health

Why We Care

Why We Care: Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health, an unprecedented collection of personal stories, was unveiled July 11, 2012 at the London Summit on Family Planning.  It highlights a prestigious group of global leaders who share their intense support for reproductive health – an issue that transcends geography and generations. Aspen Global Health and Development and the UN Foundation announced the publication of the book, which was presented as a gift to all Summit attendees.

The trailblazing book is part of the global dialogue taking place around the London Summit on Family Planning. This gathering, led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, together with UNFPA and other partners, brought together more than 200 high-level representatives of governments, multilateral agencies and foundations from around the world for an unprecedented meeting to tackle the pressing, unmet need for family planning.

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Why We Care provides a platform through which Global Leaders on Reproductive Health will focus international attention on the world’s hardest to reach women, who want access to voluntary contraception to build on the momentum set by the London Summit’s goals and commitments.

With a Foreword by Musimbi Kanyoro and Afterword by Peggy Clark, Why We Care includes personal essays by Joyce Banda, Regina Benjamin, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Helen Clark, Jan Eliasson, Tarja Halonen, Annie Lennox, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Maria Otero, Joy Phumaphi, Mary Robinson, Fred Sai, Jenny Shipley, Ted Turner and Vaira Vike-Freiberga.

Accompanying photographs of these global leaders by Dominic Chavez capture the passion of these men and women in a unique collection of portraits.

“This collection of personal essays vividly depicts the intense connection and passion each has for this cause,” said Peggy Clark, Executive Director of Aspen Global Health and Development. “Far from a dry collection of facts and figures, Why We Care brings the issue of reproductive health – central to so many other development issues – to an intimate, ‘storytelling’ level,” Clark added. “These leaders share why they are personally interested in this issue. What moment in time or event lit the spark of change in them, when did they ‘wake up’ to the importance of this issue?”

“Nothing is more personal than the decisions about a person’s body, a person’s health, or the shape and size of a family,” said Kathy Calvin, UN Foundation CEO. “Reproductive health is at the center of these decisions, but for millions of women it is still something that is out of reach. Global leaders understand this connection, and their personal stories are proof that this is an issue that matters to them at a deep, personal level. While they work to put reproductive health on the global agenda as policymakers, this book proves why it matters to them as mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, sisters and brothers,” Calvin added.

Support for the Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health is provided by the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

To learn more about the Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health, visit:: and