White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood
|Leadership||Theresa Shaver, Founder and President
Betsy McCallon, Executive Director
|Governance||Arzu Rana Deuba, White Ribbon Alliance Board Chair|
The White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) is a nonpartisan, non-profit and non-governmental membership organization that aims to decrease maternal and newborn death globally.
Over a decade ago, White Ribbon Alliance formed because the voices of women at risk of dying in childbirth were not being heard. The Alliance rapidly grew, as thousands of people and groups joined the network, speaking as one voice, identifying problems in their own communities and finding specific solutions at a national level across Africa and Asia. 
The mission of the White Ribbon Alliance is to inspire and convene advocates who campaign to uphold the right of all women to be safe and healthy before, during and after childbirth.
The White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) is an international coalition of individuals and organizations formed to promote increased public awareness of the need to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for all women and newborns in developing, as well as, developed countries. Membership is free, and anyone can join by registering through the WRA website. The WRA began in 1999 through the efforts of a group of individuals and organizations committed to raising awareness of the over 500,000 needless deaths each year due to pregnancy and childbirth complications. The WRA’s advocacy efforts grew from 1999 to 2009 into a global movement with thousands of individual and organization members in over 100 countries.
Initiatives of the Global Secretariat
Mothers Day Every Day: The Campaign for Healthy Moms and Newborns: A US-based campaign launched February 27, 2009 and sponsored by The White Ribbon Alliance and CARE calling for greater U.S. leadership to accelerate progress toward safe and healthy pregnancy and childbirth globally. Many influential leaders are members of the Mothers Day Every Day Advisory Committee such as co-chair Donna Shalala, president of the University of Miami and former Secretary of U.S. Health and Human Services; co-chair Ann M. Veneman, Executive Director of UNICEF; Maria Cino, former Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation; and Mark R. Dybul, co-director and distinguished scholar at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and former United States Global AIDS Coordinator.
Million Mums: This campaign launched on March 22, 2009, Mother’s Day in the UK, to raise awareness about maternal death globally. The campaign has two simple aims: To sign up a million people and raise a million pounds to prevent women from dying in pregnancy and childbirth. The campaign has high profile support from Sarah Brown and from a host of celebrities including Davina McCall, Sarah, Duchess of York, Claudia Winkleman, Eve Pollard, Kirsty Young, Helena Christensen, Lauren Laverne, Mariella Frostrup, Meera Syal, Myleene Klass, Naomi Campbell, and Bill Nighy. The Duchess also designed a special pin for the campaign available to the first 25,000 people that donate.
Global Maternal Mortality Campaign: Stemming from the progress and commitments of 2008, the 2009 Global Maternal Mortality Campaign is maintaining momentum and maximizing delivery on the promises made towards safe motherhood on a global, national and community level. This campaign’s objectives are:
- • Establish a major new innovative financing mechanism to fund health systems.
- • 20 countries to have financed health plans in place by 2010, to meet the WHO recommended levels of 2.3 workers per 1,000 people by 2015.
- • Appointment by the UN Secretary General of someone on Maternal Mortality.
- • Appoint national champions to mobilize action at a national level.
- • Agree on, and develop delivery plans for, a small number of high impact interventions (via the ongoing meetings amongst various groups and with regular circulated materials to all campaigning partners).
- • Ensure maternal mortality is recognized as a key indicator of a functioning health system.
The tragedy of maternal death has attracted the attention of numerous prominent individuals around the world who have committed to speaking out for this cause. The WRA is supported by First Ladies, celebrities, and other influential individuals around the world including the WRA's Global Patron Sarah Brown, wife of UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Other WRA champions include Queen Rania of Jordan; Bill Nighy; Christy Turlington Burns; Tammy Haddad; Sarah, Duchess of York; Wendi Murdoch; Star Thomas; Djata Ilebou; Emma Freud; Diana Quick; Anna Chancellor; the Sugababes; Maya Masai; Takuma Sato; and many more ambassadors worldwide.