Françoise Girard is President of the International Women's Health Coalition (IWHC) and a leading expert on women’s health, human rights, sexuality, and HIV and AIDS.

She is regularly consulted by governments and UN agencies and has played a key advocacy role during international negotiations, including most recently on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (Sustainable Development Goals). She collaborates closely with women’s groups in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to advance national policies on issues such as preventing child, early, and forced marriage, promoting comprehensive sexuality education, and ensuring access to safe and legal abortion.

From 2006 to 2011, Girard served as Director of the Public Health Program at the Open Society Foundations, where she was also Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and Haiti in the 1990s. From 1999 to 2003, she was Senior Program Officer for International Policy at IWHC, and thereafter a consultant for IWHC, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and DAWN, a network of women’s rights activists from the global South.

Girard has contributed many articles to peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Adolescent Health, Global Public Health, Science, Health and Human Rights, Global Health Policy, International Family Planning Perspectives, and Reproductive Health Matters. Her other publications include “Negotiating Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights at the UN: A Long and Winding Road” in The Remaking of Social Contracts: Feminists in a Fierce New World (2014); Global Implications of U.S. Domestic and International Policies on Sexuality (2004); “Negotiating Sexual Rights and Sexual Orientation at the United Nations” in SexPolitics: Reports from the Front Lines (2007); and “Advocacy for Sexuality and Women’s Rights: Continuities, Discontinuities and Strategies since ICPD” in Reproductive Health and Human Rights: The Way Forward (2009).

She has been quoted by or published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian, Boston Globe, Reuters, Associated Press, BBC Radio, NPR, and CBC/Radio-Canada.

Girard holds an M.A. in Political Science from McGill University and an LL.B. from the Université de Montréal. She was a law clerk to Justice Charles Gonthier of the Supreme Court of Canada. She speaks French, Spanish, and Russian.

Françoise tweets from @FrancoiseGirard 

Articles, Publications, Appearances