Japanese Parliamentary Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Toshiko Abe met with International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Director - General Mr Tewodros Melesse on Friday 8 March to discuss how women's health and girls' education can improve economic growth and contribute to sustainable development.
IPPF has a longstanding partnership with the Japanese Government over many years through bilateral and multilateral cooperation including through a core grant and the IPPF Japan Trust Fund.
Mr. Tewodros Melesse, Director General of IPPF discussed with Dr. Toshiko Abe, the upcoming Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) preparation meeting in Addis Ababa 16-17 March. They also talked about the importance of reproductive health and how it is linked to wider issues like poverty eradication and human security.
Mr. Melesse requested Ms. Toshiko to help the Government of Japan take leadership and ensure that women's health and family planning are top priorities for the TICADV discussions. He also requested the Government of Japan to attend the Family Planning meeting to be held in Addis Ababa in November.
Dr Toshiko Abe and Mr Melesse discussed the importance of parliamentarians as advocates and how they could work together to keep reproductive health as the key global development issue and mainstream it in international dialogues.
IPPF Director General, Tewodros Melesse said:
"Family planning is not only a health matter but also the matter of women's empowerment, both fundamental to development and human security. Every woman should have the right and access to the services to enable her to choose whether, when and how often to have her children.
"Developing countries can learn a lot from Japan, as it has developed as a peaceful, productive and egalitarian society with active private sector's engagement in its development process. We are keen to work strategically with Japan to make real lasting change for women around the world. "
Parliamentary Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Toshiko Abe said:
“The Government of Japan wants to work closely together with governments, international organizations and civil society to improve maternal and child health at TICADV. One possible collaboration area is assisting African countries to enhance legal systems to protect and enhance women's health.”