A new 10-point plan to put Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) - including access to family planning and women’s empowerment - at the heart of the international development agenda has been unveiled at the United Nations by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).
Vision 2020 demands governments act to meet 10 goals including reducing maternal mortality due to unsafe abortion by 75%, making comprehensive sexuality education available to all and recognizing sexual rights as human rights.
“As the world works towards a new framework for development which will succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) it is time to put SRHR at the very heart of what governments and the international community want to achieve,” said IPPF Director General Tewodros Melesse.
“Many sexual and reproductive health and rights were either missed out of the MDGs completely or added at a late stage and it doesn’t take very much reflection to realise what a mistake that was.
“Girls from poor households are three times more likely to give birth during adolescence than those from wealthier backgrounds – the knock on effects across access to education and employment are well documented.
“Not including SRHR in the MDGs was a bit like launching a flagship when you know it is holed beneath the waterline.”
As a result, Millennium Development Goals relating to reproductive health – including access to contraceptives and adolescent fertility rates – made the least progress and that has caused a great human toll.
“Today we have an unparalleled opportunity to secure a world of justice, choice and well-being for all,” added Melesse.
“At IPPF we fully intend to play our part. We’ve pledged to triple our services and save 54,000 lives by 2020.”
Despite the statistics, international support for family planning continues to wane. Between 1995 and 2007, financial investment in family planning programmes fell by 65% – from $980m to $340m.
By 2020, if an additional 120 million women and couples are given access to desired contraception options, 200,000 fewer women and girls will die in pregnancy and childbirth and 50 million abortions will be prevented.
“Reaching this goal depends on all of us working together to make Vision 2020 a reality.”