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Global Commitments, Local Actions: Reflections on ICFP

30th November 2018

This past month the government of Rwanda successfully hosted the 5th International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP), with many SheDecides Champions and local movements playing central roles in the vibrant programme.
Since 2009, ICFP has been an important global gathering for the “family planning” community to unite with political leaders, activists, scientists, young people, and many others to share best practices, celebrate successes, and chart a course forward to increase access to voluntary, quality contraception. The conference presented a powerful opportunity for many Champions - IPPF DG Alvaro Bermejo, Jona Turalde from the Philippines, Julia Bunting from the Population Council, Women Deliver’sKatja Iversen, Canadian Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, Patrick Mwesigye from Uganda, MSI’s Simon Cooke, Siva Thanenthiran from ARROW, Tamara Kreinin from the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, Rutgers CEOTon Coenen, as well as our Chair Tikhala Itaye - to advance the energy of the movement and build the vision deeper into the goals of the family planning sector. The Champions were vibrant speakers at the SheDecides Open House, which also featured brilliant interventions from former Rwandan Health Minister Hon Dr Anita Asiimwe, who spoke about the bold steps that the country has taken to change unjust rules. And they were joined by movers and shakers from SheDecides Southern Africa’s campaigning activists who had played a central role in pushing for the progressive new Strategy and Scorecard agreed at the Southern African Development Community’s Health Ministers’ Summit held in Windhoek, Namibia the week before. Those working on local movements also shared their early experiences and found new opportunities to work with other movements and campaigners.
Among exciting announcements at ICFP were SheDecides Champion and Canadian Minister of International Development, Marie-Claude Bibeau, announcing over $100m of funds for SheDecides IPPF, MSI, UNFPA, IPAS and several other great partners and the UK unveiling the dynamic £200m WISH programme designed to increase availability of contraceptives in 27 countries across Africa & Asia, which will be implemented by SheDecides Champions MSI and IPPF!