Samantha Law

Samantha Law - 2019 Nominee
Position: Gender lead/HRH2030 Program
Organization: Chemonics
Current Location: United States, North America
B.A. from University of Virginia
75 Public Votes Reached!
Samantha has advanced the quality and skills of FP providers to improve reproductive health and gender equality through developing a gender competency framework to empower FP providers to use gender transformative approaches within family planning. – Rachel Deussom, Technical Director at Chemonics
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I have always worked at the intersection of gender and health, from establishing girls clubs to launching cervical cancer awareness campaigns to creating the first definition of gender competency for family planning providers. Most recently, I developed a gender competency framework (“Defining and Advancing Gender-Competent Family Planning Services Providers: A Competency Framework and Technical Brief”) to define knowledge, skills and attitudes to improve reproductive health and gender equality. Recognized by the FP2020, UNFPA, and the WHO’s Gender Hub. The gender competency framework enables providers to appropriately incorporate gender equitable approaches and therefore provide more effective family planning services for women, girls, men, boys, and couples.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

Before I had passion for family planning, I had passion for equity. I see family planning as a tool to increase reproductive empowerment and equity for people across the world. Use of family planning touches on multiple layers of power dynamics which constrain full, free, and informed choice for women, girls, men, and boys around the world. I am passionate about breaking down the gender barriers to promote voluntary and informed family planning decision-making.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

Working at a global level, co-creation and adaptive learning are central to my leadership in family planning. I continuously build in mechanism for dynamic feedback, recognizing I will not have the answer or best solution alone, but I can facilitate best practices. For example, for the gender competency framework, I held in-person expert consultations on the draft, online feedback forums, and now I am validating the framework with providers in two countries to make sure the content is relevant.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

I would continue to advance gender competency in family planning services by making these concepts more understood and available. I would do this in two key ways: first, developing engaging materials to explain gender competency in action through examples, and second developing a training on gender competency for faculty at health training institutions so the next generation of family planning providers are gender competent.

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