How family planning can make demography and women’s empowerment meet

Young girls and women’s access to family planning products and services is a fundamental human right and a major driver of change for development. That’s the message Equilibres & Populations, Countdown 2015 Europe partner organization in France, carried during an advocacy week, by raising the voice of Southern actors from the field.

The Ouagadougou Partnership launched its second phase in December, after four years of existence and some very encouraging results. Its main goal is to reach at least 2.2 million new users of family planning methods in nine West African countries by 2020. As Fatimata Sy, executive director of the Ouagadougou Partnership, said, “The Partnership is neither a project nor a program, it is a movement”, and the initiative held in Paris was intended to make sure that this movement is able to make its way.

Between June 6th and June 10th, Equilibres & Populations coordinated an advocacy week for family planning with a 10-people West African delegation in Paris (Ouagadougou Partnership, WAHO, Niger representative, CSOs). A conference was held, and several high-level meetings with French decision makers took place. Thanks to this initiative, the momentum for family planning in the development policy is maintained. The delegation discussed the access to family planning for women and girls in West Africa, showing how family planning can help address the question of women’s rights in this part of the world. The speakers recommended the French stakeholders to include family planning in their actions and to keep on financing reproductive health and family planning oriented projects to support the progress that were made in this field during the Muskoka initiative, that ended in 2015.

For several years, France has conducted a strong diplomacy in favour of women’s rights that highlights the needs for reproductive health and family planning. French policymakers, such as Corinne Brunon-Meunier, who invited everyone to include family planning in their strategy to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, have reiterated this position.

The success of this initiative is a good sign and encourages us to work harder in favour of family planning.

For more information, please read this article on Equilibres & Populations website.

This is event is a part of Countdown 2015 Europe partner initiatives  “Advance Human Rights, Invest in Family Planning”.

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