With 2018 coming to a close and a new year almost upon us, this seems a good time to reflect on the events of the year. And what a year it has been for RHM!
RHM celebrated its 25th anniversary earlier this month in London, joined by supporters and friends, old and new. The panel discussion and reception at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine were well received and attended by a crowd of cheerful, interested people, all eager to learn more about RHM and contribute to efforts to improve sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all. A recording of the panel discussion and our video commemorating a quarter of a century’s work can be seen on the RHM website’s 25th anniversary page. We thank all those who attended and extend our appreciation to the many well-wishers who were unable to be at the celebrations in person.
The year saw several changes at RHM. While editorial and administrative continuity and support were provided by Sarah Pugh, Pathika Martin and Lance Stewart, there were new appointments to the communications team of Jessica MacKinnon and Alexane Bremshey, after we said a fond farewell to Maria Halkias. 2018 also marked our own appointments as chief executive (Eszter Kismödi) and editor-in-chief (Julia Hussein), reflecting RHM’s strategic directions of being ‘more than a journal’, publishing peer reviewed scientific knowledge and rights-based analyses, as well as serving as a platform for advancing SRHR globally. The delineation of the chief executive and editor posts with distinct but linked roles holds testimony to the hard work and commitment of preceding directors/editors-in-chief and underscores RHM’s ambitious aspirations to meet future challenges and surpass its previous successes. All of us at RHM would like to acknowledge the contributions of the RHM Trustees, the Editorial Advisory Board and our Associate Editors, who have soldiered on with various RHM activities during this year of change. Jane Cottingham, the Chair of the Trustees, has been a pillar of strength throughout for RHM.
Key highlights of the year include expansion of our open issue, which received a record number of submissions bringing attention to diverse, politically relevant and emerging topics, including menstrual hygiene, abortion, sexuality and LGBT rights. The open issue also contained articles marking key events during the year, not least the release of the Lancet-Guttmacher Commission on SRHR, and the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We hope our readers enjoy the open issue’s new flagship cover design of contemporary art. Our themed and special issues this year, on disrespect and abuse in childbirth, and on inequities in the provision and recognition of sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights, epitomise current areas of concern in SRHR.
Being ‘more than a journal’ means that RHM creates and participates in spaces which motivate improvements in research, policy and practice, building capacity and inspiring new thinking and action. This year, in collaboration with Yale University, we brought together individuals active in the discourse on gestational surrogacy, with the aim of consolidating rights-based knowledge on the topic and identifying actions and ways forward that acknowledge gestational surrogacy from a strong SRHR point of view.
We are sure followers of RHM have also noted the work of our communications team, with a refreshed website, production of videos, visibility at international conferences, regular blogs and newsletters and a social media presence.
The tireless efforts of our partners across the globe have meant that translation and dissemination of RHM articles into Arabic, Chinese, French, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish have continued unabated.
None of the achievements above would have been possible without the continued support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises and the Open Society Foundation.
The interest in RHM and contributions of authors, peer-reviewers and readers over the year is highly valued. We thank all our supporters and contributors for a successful year and hope you will join RHM in realising its goals for the year to come.
The team at RHM send their best wishes around the globe for peace, happiness and the realisation of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.
Julia Hussein, Editor-in Chief and Eszter Kismödi, Chief Executive