In a bid to ensure its message reaches multitudes of people at once, the International Planned Parenthood Federation has launched a concept note titled, ‘I decide campaign’.
Outlined in the concept note is the premise that in the year 2000, the Millennium Development Goals committed every country around the world to take action to address reproductive health.
“The world agreed: we all want to live in a world without poverty, where people can achieve their potential, and where health and education are guaranteed. Sexual and reproductive health and rights are central to achieving the vision. Poor reproductive health and rights are the cause and consequence of poverty. When everyone has access to sexual and reproductive health and well-being, the right to bodily integrity, and control over all matters related to their sexuality, sustainable development and gender equality will be realised,” reads the concept note.
During the Annual General Assembly held at Maharaja last Friday, the IPPF President, Prof Naomi Seboni, urged the youth to use technology-especially social network to send out the concept as a way of reaching out to people. The concept reveals that global health funding for sexual and reproductive rights and health has declined significantly, and in every region of the world, a maturing HIV epidemic increasingly affects women and girls.
Rising conservative tides have threatened hard-won sexual and reproductive rights victories and compromised the safety and well-being of all, particularly of young women in poor communities. Despite increased political and media attention, among women of reproductive age in developing countries, 57 percent or 867 million are in need of contraception because they are sexually active but do not want a child in the next two years.
“Of these 867 million women, 645 million or 74 percent are using modern methods of contraception. The remaining 222 million or 25 percent are using no method or traditional methods. Meeting this unmet need for contraceptives for 222 million women will avert 54 million unintended pregnancies in developing countries, which in turn would avert 55 million unplanned births, 26 million abortions (of which 16 million are unsafe), 7 million miscarriages and 79,000 maternal deaths.”
It further states that millions of lives have been saved and changed through reproductive health services, particularly in high – and middle-income countries. In many regions of the world, laws and policies are now in place to protect reproductive rights and prevent discrimination against women and girls.
The write-up then sets out demands: “By 2015 we want a new international development framework that includes sexual and reproductive health and rights as essential priorities, calling specifically for: A stand-alone goal on gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment including universal access to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, elimination of violence against women and girls, and gender based violence, legal equality for women, and women’s equal participation in public life and decision making.
┬á2. Universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights as a target under a goal on health, supplemented by Sexual and Reproductive Health services explicitly included in the essential package of services under Universal Health Coverage.
3.┬á Gender equality and SRHR to be mainstreamed through all other goals, all other goals to have specific targets that support Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and gender equality.
4. All targets and indicators to be disaggregated by age, sex, educational background, economic quintile, geographic region, ethnic group and other relevant characteristics.”