In recent years attacks on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) – such as the Global Gag Rule and Poland’s abortion ban – have been growing on both sides of the Atlantic with the number of actors fighting to undo the international achievements for women’s and sexual minority rights gaining further ground. Around the globe, states and NGOs are working to undermine the international women’s rights agenda. They lobby to alter the language in UN resolutions, advance alternative understanding of international treaties, delegitimize feminists and their work by advocating cultural realism and ‘traditional values’, and pull financial resources from education and health services that account for reproductive rights.
How can existing national and international human rights legislation be protected? How can the strengthening of transatlantic relations and collaborations between Europe and the US support SRHR on both sides of the Atlantic? How can a Feminist Foreign Policy contribute to the protection and expansion of SRHR?
Join 1014 and the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy for a discussion supported by the American Council on Germany which will address these questions. The event will feature Heather Boonstra, Vice President of Public Policy at the Guttmacher Institute, and Katrine Thomasen, Senior Legal Advisor for Europe at The Center for Reproductive Rights. It will be moderated by Nina Bernarding, Executive Director of the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy.
Heather Boonstra is Vice President for Public Policy at the Guttmacher Institute. She serves on the Institute’s Executive Leadership Team, where she plays a key role in developing Institute-wide strategic and programmatic priorities. For five years, she held the position of Director of Public Policy, where she oversaw the Institute’s advocacy efforts, equipping advocates, opinion leaders, and decision-makers with timely evidence and incisive policy analysis. Ms. Boonstra joined the Institute in 1999 as a Senior Public Policy Associate. She has authored numerous policy analyses on issues such as insurance coverage for abortion under Medicaid, the sexual health needs of adolescents in low- and middle-income countries, and the harms of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Oregon and holds an MA in religion from Yale University, where she studied social and medical ethics and movement building.
Katrine Thomasen is the Senior Legal Adviser for Europe at the Center for Reproductive Rights. She joined the Center in 2013 and will be working on litigation to promote respect for reproductive rights in Europe. Prior to joining the Center, she worked with the Open Society Justice Initiative advocating with various UN human rights bodies in Geneva, she also worked with Human Rights Watch as an advocate at the UN. She has also worked at the International Service for Human Rights, an international human rights organization that provides training and strategic advice to human rights defenders on the UN human rights system and engages in advocacy to strengthen this system and respect for the rights of human rights defenders.
Ms. Thomasen holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in law from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She speaks Danish and French.
Nina Bernarding (moderator) is the Executive Director of the Berlin-based Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy. She is an expert on peace mediation and natural resource governance. Previously, she worked with UN DPKO, GIZ Ethiopia, the UNDP Sudan, Conciliation Resources, and the Berghof Foundation. Ms. Bernarding studied political science and conflict studies in Heidelberg, London, and Santiago de Chile.