She Decides: Belgium will invest an additional €43 million in women’s rights in the coming years

In the coming years, Belgium will invest an additional 43 million euros in the rights of girls and women around the world. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo announced this at the “Global Citizen Mandela 100” international charity concert in Johannesburg. Minister De Croo shared the stage with African heads of state and government, and music stars such as Chris Martin, Ed Sheeran, Usher, Pharrell Williams, Beyoncé and Jay-Z.

The international charity concert in Johannesburg commemorates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. In Madiba's footsteps, the concert wants to mobilize a generation of global citizens to eradicate extreme poverty. International music stars such as Chris Martin, Ed Sheeran, Usher, Pharrell Williams, Beyoncé and Jay-Z perform on stage while countries, companies and international NGOs make concrete donation pledges to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

 
"She Decides" goes further

Belgium has made a significant commitment to equality between women and men, the fifth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 5). Under the leadership of Minister De Croo, Belgium’s international development policy will particularly focus on strengthening women's rights, including their health and their sexual and reproductive rights.

This involvement is in line with "She Decides", the international campaign Minister De Croo co-launched last year after the US government decided to no longer provide financial support to organisations active in the field of family planning in developing countries.

 
Tackling child marriage and improving access to contraception

Belgium's commitment covers a total amount of €43 million, of which €12,4 million is allocated to the UN Population Fund, UNFPA and UNICEF for their fight against child marriage and their efforts to provide better access to contraception. In addition, Belgium will pay particular attention to sexual and reproductive rights and family planning in its bilateral cooperation programs over the next six years, mobilising an amount of €30.5 million.

For more information on Global Citizen Mandela 100, click here.