COVID has changed life as we know it. One thing, however, has remained constant: women and girls’ health priorities do not pause for a pandemic. 

Responding to their needs, their way is as urgent as ever.

Amidst COVID-19, the barriers between women and girls and their ability to make their own health decisions have only increased. 

It doesn’t have to be this way.

When we tap into solutions like self-care practices, we can shift the power of choice in the palm of women and girls’ hands – enabling them to control their health choices and define their lives.

This International Women’s Day, our partners weighed in on the different ways self-care, when accessible and affordable, can bridge the gaps between women and girls and the health systems they rely on. We asked them:

  • If self-care is fully utilized in achieving Universal Health Coverage, what would the future look like for women and girls around the world?
  • How can self-care support health systems to reach and serve traditionally marginalized communities of women and girls?
  • And what’s the intersection between self-care, UHC and gender equity?

Our partners offered a glimpse into what the future could look like for women and girls around the world if they are able to fully utilize self-care and take the power of their health in their hands. 

Listen in:


Dorothy Amuron, Program Manager for CEHURD, shares her hope that if self-care is fully utilized to achieve UHC, women and girls would take charge of their bodies and accomplish their dreams. 

Christy Asala, Senior Program Manager, for WRA Nigeria shares how self-care offers options and access to women and girls, enabling them to make their own decisions around their healthcare. 

Ralitza Dekova, Program Manager for PSI Eswatini’s Project STAR, shares how self-care practices, like HIV-self-testing, can shift the paradigm for women and girls, everywhere.

David Imbago, Chair of the PMNCH Adolescents and Youth Constituency shares his hope for a better future — a world where women and girls can be leaders in their health and in their lives, a better world. 

Akanksha Malhautra, Global Director of Programs at Girl Effect shares how self-care means the ability to mainstream their access to sexual and reproductive health.

Shanzeh Mahmood of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation shares why self-care means opportunity for all women and girls.

Patience Tembo, Senior Coach, Grassroot Soccer in Zimbabwe explores how self-care can challenge traditional gender roles and dynamics. 

Dr. Mariam Luyiga, DISC Senior SRH Technical Advisor, discusses how the use of self-care for contraception reduces the workload of already burdened health facilities and brings SRH closer to women and girls everywhere.

Tariah Adams, Senior Communications Officer for WRA Nigeria shares how self-care offers women and girls the opportunity to engage in their own sexual and reproductive health in a safe and comfortable way.

Lentswe Ntshegang, Program Coordinator, Grassroot Soccer, discusses self-care can enable women and girls to be the best version of themselves and allows them an opportunity to do anything they set their minds to. 

And Ida Ndione, Senior Project Manager for PATH Senegal shares why self-care means autonomy and freedom for women and girls.

Want to join the conversation? 

Send us your video exploring what a future could look like for women and girls, with self-care shifting the power of health choices into the palm of their hands. We will be highlighting new partners this entire month, so don’t miss out!

And don’t forget to check out our IWD Twitter campaign, using the hashtag #IWD2021 and #GenerationEquality to follow along!

Want more?

If you are under 30, join us for an interactive youth forum to demystify self-care and explore how health systems can better support youth in accessing health services.  Add your voice — your needs, your concerns, and your priorities — to the conversation to help meet the health care needs of young people, everywhere.

And don’t miss out on our other forums, coming soon!