July 13, 2015—July 11 marked the third anniversary of the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning and the creation of Family Planning 2020 (FP2020). To commemorate this milestone, FP2020 is pleased to launch a special blog series celebrating the longstanding dedication of our global partners in upholding principles of rights and empowerment in family planning.
This 10-day series, penned by a variety of FP2020 commitment-makers and global partners, will highlight each of our 10 FP2020 Rights and Empowerment Principles for Family Planning. It brings to life how our partners have successfully implemented these principles, and what rights-based approaches look like in practice.
We hope these stories inspire a global conversation on the importance of rights and empowerment in driving family planning progress. Because progress IS rights – the two are inextricable. It is not just about whether we reach our shared goals – it’s about how we reach them. Progress means raising our collective voices to ensure that the health, rights and dignity of women and girls—including the ability to decide if and when to start a family—are central to the conversation.
July 13: At Three-year Anniversary of FP2020, Celebrating Examples of Rights-based Family Planning in the Field
By: Family Planning 2020
Today, three years after the London Summit on Family Planning, the global partnership is making great progress. FP2020 isn’t just about reaching 120 million women and girls; it’s about how we reach them. Read more.
July 14: Agency and Autonomy
Reaching Quake Survivors in Nepal with Lifesaving Reproductive Care
By: IPPF, UNFPA
On April 25, 2015, Nepal was struck by its worst earthquake in nearly a century. Measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, the quake destroyed nearly 600,000 and damaged almost 300,000 homes, and displaced some 2.8 million people. More than 8,800 people were killed; tens of thousands were injured. Powerful aftershocks have compounded the devastation. Read more.
July 15: Availability
Keeping Contraceptives on the Shelves in Senegal
By: Ministry of Health and Social Action, Senegal
A 2011 public health survey in Senegal revealed a startling discrepancy: 43 percent of married Senegalese women told researchers that they wanted to avoid or postpone pregnancy. Yet only 12 percent of women were actually using contraception. Why the gap? Read more.
July 16: Accessibility
Breaking Down the Barriers between Women and Family Planning
By: WHO and CARE USA
What keeps women from accessing family planning services? In Pakistan, as in many low-income countries, one of the obstacles is cost. Pakistan’s state-run health program is intended to ensure that everyone has access to free or low-cost healthcare, including family planning. But the system is overburdened. Read more.
July 17: Acceptability
Listening to What Women Want
By: Population Council
Providing a range of safe and effective contraceptive methods that enable women to plan their families promotes gender equality and female empowerment. But if manufacturers and designers don’t take women’s preferences and life contexts into account, a new product could fail to meet their needs and end up as a waste of the considerable resources required for product development and regulatory approval. Putting client acceptability at the center of product development isn’t just good business practice; it also reinforces the client’s rights as the principal agent in decision making.Read more.
July 18: Quality
A Patient’s Right and a Sound Business Practice in Tanzania
By: Population Services International/Tanzania
When Dr. Joseph Mambo was a young physician in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, tragedy was a daily occurrence. Infant mortality was so high that that he would sometimes certify five or more child deaths in one day. Read more.
July 19: Empowerment
Women in Ghana Take Charge of their Reproductive Lives
By: Marie Stopes International and USAID
Rahinatu is 18 years old and works in one of Accra’s busiest markets. She has travelled down to Accra from Northern Ghana to work as a kayayei (market porter), hoping to save enough money to buy the household goods and utensils she’ll need before she can get married. She has worked in the markets for six months, but life as a kayayei is desperately hard. Women and girls like Rahinatu sleep rough in market stall doorways or in abandoned boxes, and are highly vulnerable to sexual harassment and rape. Read more.
July 20: Equity and Non-discrimination
Confronting Bias in Uganda
By James Kityo, International HIV/AIDS Alliance
Jennet was 18 years old and living with HIV when she discovered that she was four months pregnant. Her local health clinic in Kampala, Uganda, started her on antiretroviral therapy right away to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, but the drugs caused a skin rash that became severely infected. Jennet’s family kicked her out of the house, afraid that she would spread the infection to her siblings. Read more.
July 21: Informed Choice
One Text Message at a Time
By Callie Simon, Pathfinder International, and Sandra Jordan, USAID
Today, more Mozambicans are using mobile phones than ever before. What if we could use these phones to share accurate, clear information about sexual health contraceptives with youth? Could we deliver this information in a creative way that fosters reflection and dialogue, ensuring young people have full and informed choice? Yes. Here’s proof. Read more.
July 22: Transparency and Accountability
Taking the Measure of Family Planning Programs
By Zipporah Sakhasia, Resident Enumerator for Nairobi County, PMA2020 Kenya
Two years ago I never would have imagined that one day I would be going door to door in my neighborhood, asking women if they used contraception. But in my job with Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020), that’s exactly what I do. Read more.
July 23: Voice and Participation
Campaigning for the Female Condom
By Tyler Crone, Co-Founder and Coordinating Director, the ATHENA Network
Nadia Ndayikeza, 29, is a woman on a mission. It started when she saw a man in the marketplace in Burundi wearing a female condom as a bracelet. He doesn't even know what it is, she thought to herself. That thought was immediately followed by another: Why? Why don't people know about female condoms? Read more.
In an effort to promote dialogue, knowledge sharing and emergent thinking, we’re pooling the expertise of our Working Group and Secretariat members to begin discussions around questions you’ve asked through Global Stakeholder meetings, the Focal Point Workshop, other events and online across the last year.
Your questions cover a range of topics—from rights to progress on commitments—that are fundamental to advancing our movement. We hope the responses are the beginning of an important and evolving global conversation. Now join in!
How can strategies specifically address the family planning needs of young women living with HIV Check out the response from Jacqui Stevenson of the ATHENA Network and weigh in.
How do we strengthen youth participation in family planning advocacy and programs? Check out Rights and Empowerment Working Group Member Rodio Diallo's response and weigh in.
How do women obtain or maintain control over family planning decisions when they are operating within relationships—at the household and community level—which afford them less power? Check out Rights and Empowerment Working Group Member Ravi Verma's response and weigh in.
How is FP2020 making sure that rights and quality are upheld in this initiative? Check out FP2020 Executive Director Beth Schlachter's response and weigh in.
How is family planning education being integrated with other reproductive health efforts, including HIV prevention and maternal health efforts? Check out Rights and Empowerment Working Group Member Rodio Diallo's response and weigh in.
How do we empower young men as family planning champions? Check out Rights and Empowerment Working Group Member Bridget Anyafulu's answer and weigh in.
Does the Rights and Empowerment Working Group use the framework developed by EngenderHealth in its program? Check out Rights and Empowerment Working Group Member John Townsend's answer and weigh in.
FP2020 Rights and Empowerment Principles for Family Planning outlines the common understanding of rights principles related to family planning that FP2020 believes must be respected, protected and fulfilled in order to reach and sustain goals for meeting contraceptive needs.
These rights principles are informed by and build upon existing human rights principles that seek to integrate rights-based approaches into family planning programming. For each principle, this document provides a definition which is grounded in existing human rights agreements and frameworks.
Ensuring that human rights principles are at the center of family planning policies, programs, measurement and contraceptive markets represents some of our most challenging work. However, FP2020 recognizes that investing in human rights is critical to growing sustainable, equitable and effective programs with lasting impact.