Family Planning Summit, 11 July 2012
More than 200 million women and girls in developing countries who do not want to get pregnant lack access to contraceptives, information, and services – which, for many, will cost them their lives.
Family planning saves lives, improves health, strengthens communities, and stimulates economic growth.
The London Summit on Family Planning supported the rights of an additional 120 million women and girls in the world's poorest countries to use contraceptive information, services and supplies, without coercion or discrimination, by 2020.
On 11 July 2012, the UK Government (through DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with the United Nations Population Fund and other partners hosted this groundbreaking event, mobilising global policy, financing, commodity, and service delivery commitments.
Summit outcomes and reactions
DFID: "The London Summit on Family Planning has delivered a historic global breakthrough giving access to family planning for 120 million women." Read more about the outcomes and announcements.
ActionAid: “Today’s Summit has taken a great leap towards helping millions of women and girls in the world’s poorest countries enjoy the basic rights that we in the UK take for granted – the right to decide whether and when to have children. As well as the impressive financial commitments from governments and donors to increase contraceptive supplies and services, it’s been exciting to hear new commitments to ensure that women can access and use them. We particularly welcome pledges from the Prime Minister to scale up work on women’s rights in every country in which the UK works and to put women’s empowerment at the heart of the process for renewing the Millennium Development Goals."
Zohra Moosa, Women's Rights Advisor at ActionAid UK, shares her views on the The F-Word.
In her blog, Maeve Shearlaw at White Ribbon Alliance remarks on the "historic commitments to family planning made in London. But what really counts is what happens next."
CARE International: “We were delighted to see this overwhelming global commitment to ensure women’s empowerment and reproductive rights are at the centre of development. Yet, with the increasing level of conflict and climate related disasters in many parts of the world in which unmet need is greatest (for example, the Sahel), we can’t forget ensuring access to FP services in emergencies and refugee settings where UNFPA estimates 25-50% of maternal deaths are due to complications of unsafe abortion."
Save the Children: "The Family Planning Summit delivered real progress on giving girls and women everywhere the power to choose when and whether to have babies." More details are on their website.
Marie Stopes has a round up of articles and comments.
Barbara Frost, Chief Executive at WaterAid, in the Huffington Post.
Briefings and reports
On 9 July, the Financial Times published a special report on sexual and reproductive health. It includes a civil society declaration to the London Summit in Family Planning, signed by 1292 organisations including Bond.
International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) have some useful resources and details of how they are supporting the summit.
Save the Children's report Every Woman's Right, details how as well as being a fundamental right, family planning is also vital to improving children's chances of survival.
Global Impact Report by Marie Stopes highlights the impact of family planning in the developing world analysing health, social, and economic impact in the context of the last 60 years.
Sex, choice and control, from ActionAid, presents the stories of four women from across sub-Saharan Africa who have struggled to get access to the contraception that they want and need. Their stories illustrate the importance of taking a holistic approach and ensuring women are empowered to make choices and act on them. They are supporting the Family Planning Summit and encouring others to do the same.
WaterAid's perspective is that in order to deliver results on family planning and reproductive health outcomes, it is crucial to identify the most neglected and off-track areas of development and act on those that have a bearing on reproductive health.
International HIV/Aids Alliance in collaboration with the UK Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Network and the UK Consortium on AIDS and International Development has developed joint policy messages.
The Gender and Development Network briefing makes some suggestions as to how women's rights should be further embedded in the plans for the Family Planning Summit and beyond.
In an article on the RH Reality Check website, Amnesty International say that in linking "the dearth of contraceptives and health services to poverty" the vision of the summit is incomplete and question whether it will address the issues adequately.
Human Rights Watch have published a joint letter with Amnesty International, the Center for Reproductive Rights and over 300 signatories saying that sexual and reproductive health and rights should be at the centre of all efforts to meet reproductive health needs, including family planning.
Melinda Gates video
Save the Children video
Impatient Optimists video
Share your story or pledge your support at www.no-controversy.com
You can also get involved by sharing the important messages of this summit.
- London summit on Family Planning: What? Why? Objectives
- Impatient Optimists: No Controversy: Family Planning Saves Lives
- Save the Children: Family Planning: Girl Power Saves Lives
- Marie Stopes' London Summit news
- Articles from International HIV/Aids Alliance
- Duncan Green's From Poverty to Power blog
- The F-Word blog Sex, Choice and Control by Zohra Moosa
- The Guardian: Latest on family planning
- Huffington Post: Great Sexpectations?
- Countdown 2015 Europe: London Summit Calls, Brussels Responds