Family Planning Empowers Women

March 27, 2024

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Source:pro mujer / FP2030 Latin America and Caribbean Hub


Adolescents & Youth

Originally published on promujer.org

“I was 13 years old when I became a mother for the first time. We lived in the rural area of my country and my mother worked tirelessly. No one explained to me what contraceptive methods were available to me and that’s why I got pregnant by my boyfriend. My dad told me that I had let him down and now I had to go to work to support the other mouth to feed. I had to stop studying and contribute. I distanced myself from my friends and many turned their backs on me. I felt hopeless and didn’t know what to do. I wouldn’t want my sisters to go through the same thing.” Colombia, November 2024.

The testimony of this young woman puts a face to the statistics of teenage pregnancy, sexual violence, gender-based violence, menstrual poverty, poor sexual and reproductive health, maternal and infant mortality, among other figures that we read in reports, notes and articles, such as this one, that are published exponentially as March 8, International Women’s Day, approaches.

Listening to these voices’ matters, and matters a lot, because in effect, they are not just indicators. They portray a reality in which girls, adolescents, young and adult women, are unaware of and do not fully enjoy their human rights.

As a girl, adolescent and woman, learning about my rights, knowing that I have the right to live a full, healthy, and violence-free sexuality, gives me the tools and the voice to recognize and seek support when this right is being violated. Knowing about my body, how it works, how it changes, and how I should and can take care of it, gives me power and autonomy over it. Knowing that I have at my disposal methods that allow me to choose how and when (if I ever desire) to become a mother gives me control over my future. I have the ability to plan in terms of education, career development, and income generation.

This is what family planning is all about.  The aim is to ensure that all people have the possibility of exercising full autonomy

regarding the family they conceive (if they want to have children, and if so, how, and when to do so), and how they understand their life project. It is about providing tools to all people to decide how to live their sexuality. All of this regardless of gender, race, religion, age, geographic location, educational level, socioeconomic level, and nationality.

Therefore, making progress on family planning issues translates into ensuring that we have education and knowledge about contraceptive methods (both short and long term), access to these methods is assured, that is, we are not leaving anyone behind, it is fully recognized that sexual and reproductive health care is necessary and everyone can access them. These are precisely the standards that we embrace in Family Planning 2030 (FP2030).

FP2030 is a global partnership to empower adult, young, and adolescent women by mobilizing policies, investments and actions in family planning based on the full exercise of sexual and reproductive rights. It is a dynamic collaboration that brings together several partners to support the subscription of commitments by the States of Latin America and the Caribbean, in relation to family planning, health, sexual and reproductive rights, and contribute to their implementation, generating sustainable results in favor of the agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

Contributing to the FP2030 agenda means investing in the development of Latin American countries. Revising laws and increasing budgets to achieve full autonomy in decision-making on family planning, contraception, and the realization of sexual and reproductive rights, is the best gift to the women in the region during the International Women’s Day month of celebration, as well as the positive affirmation that TOGETHER, TOGETHER and TOGETHER WE CAN DO MORE”.

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