(Washington, D.C.) – Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Coordination Lilianne Ploumen will focus attention on Women’s empowerment, sexual health and her global initiative She Decides in a speech at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Her speech is followed by a conversation with students and other attendees.

She Decides

Minister Ploumen has always been a staunch supporter of women’s empowerment and women’s rights, including sexual and reproductive health and rights. In January, she called for a global initiative (“She Decides”) in support of women deciding freely whether they would want children, when and how many. The initiative has been launched after President Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, banning financial support to foreign organizations that provide access to safe abortion or information about abortion. Belgium, Denmark and Sweden promptly joined the effort and co-hosted an international conference in Brussels (Belgium) in February. Talks are under way with a number of countries, NGOs and private institutions on how to follow up on the successful conference, that sparked donations of almost $200 million. Women’s rights are a key component of the Netherlands Foreign Policy. “She Decides” is not a new institutional mechanism but a way to rally financial support for sexual and reproductive health, with the ambition to mitigate the possible impact of decreased US funding for family planning.


Ploumen is looking forward to the event at George Washington University: “Besides talking to representatives of countries and organizations, it is also very important to engage in dialogue with young people,” said the Minister. “They represent the future and often have inspiring ideas about how it should be shaped. So, I am particularly looking forward to this part of my trip, and to my discussions with them.”

RSVP required via the event form. Media requests for Minister Ploumen should be directed to Jacquelien Nienhuis, Royal Netherlands Embassy, 202-262- 0995, Jacquelien.Nienhuis@MinBuZa.nl.