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Who We Are

Women and Children First’s Vision is an equitable world where all women, children and adolescents have good health.

We are a UK based international development agency set up in 2001 to address the unacceptably high levels of maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity in poor communities in the developing world.

Since then we have established country programmes in partnership with local and national agencies and governments in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Malawi, Nepal and Uganda, and provided Technical Assistance in Burma, Guatemala, Honduras, Malawi, Nicaragua and El Salvador.

We work to develop and share best healthcare practices to improve maternal and newborn health in poor communities. Our particular focus is on pregnancy and the first 28 days of life.


Women and Children First’s Mission is to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health where inequalities exist.

Our contribution to sustainable development is achieved by empowering women and their wider communities and building the capacities of health care workers and decision-makers, to address the determinants of reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health.


Women and Children First values:

  • Collaboration - We respect and value each other, thrive on our diversity, and work to empower partners and communities to make a difference in the lives of women, children and adolescents.
  • Rights - We understand that health for women, children and adolescents is an issue of social justice. We believe all women and girls have the right to make their own decisions and control their own lives and those of their children.
  • Excellence - We are demanding of ourselves and our colleagues, use evidence to inform our work, set high goals and are committed to improving the quality of everything we do for women, children and adolescents.
  • Accountability - We take personal responsibility for using our resources efficiently, achieving measurable results, and being accountable to supporters, partners and, most of all women, children and adolescents.
  • Integrity - We aspire to live the highest standards of personal honesty and behaviour; we never compromise our reputation and always act in the best interests of women, children and adolescents.

Our activities

Women and Children First works in partnership with NGOs, governments and academic institutions to promote innovative, low cost solutions designed to reduce maternal and newborn mortality and increase wellbeing for girls and women (10-49 years of age) - particularly those who are pregnant or new mothers - newborns and children under five years of age. We develop and share best practice through extensive monitoring and evaluation of our work and disseminating lessons learned to health officials, policymakers, parliamentarians, other practitioners and advocates to ensure research findings are applied to policy and practice.

In partnership, we improve the health of mothers and their newborns by:

We build the capacity of communities and health care workers to impove maternal and newborn health.

To read a summary of what we achieved in our first ten years, please download 10 Years of Putting Women and Children First

Our affiliations and memberships

Women and Children First is an independent organisation with no religious, political or governmental affiliations. We are members of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, the UK Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and the White Ribbon Alliance.