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Latest news from across the federation and our partners

Latest press releases

A selection of stories from across the Federation

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IPPF Embraces New Strategy as it Celebrates its 70th Birthday

IPPF, the world’s largest sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) organization, is celebrating its 70th birthday by embracing a new and bold global strategy.

For media enquiries

Telephone:

+44 (0)20 2323 2323

Email IPPF:

Email: [email protected]
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| 30 June 2022

IPPF's Anti-Racism Review and Programme of Action

Like much of the world, we were horrified by the murder of George Floyd in the US in May 2020. Following the global conversation on race and racism, our staff felt strongly that our own focus on equality, empowerment, ending discrimination, and poverty-eradication must extend to the workplace. This is why in 2020, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) proactively started a process of examining and addressing issues of racism and colonial legacies within IPPF.  We commissioned our Anti-Racism Review to hold IPPF accountable. The Review was not confined to just our London office; it was a full and independent interrogation of the Secretariat as we felt strongly that no one should be excluded from a conversation as critical as this. The Review's findings were shared with all IPPF secretariat staff on 26 July 2021. We included a response from management, the Anti Racism Working Group and the Board of Trustees Statement on Anti-Racism. The report was a turning point for IPPF, and as much as it was difficult to read, we hope people felt safe sharing their experiences with us. IPPF anticipated that the report would uncover some hard truths on people's experience of racism within the workplace, and we have acknowledged and are humbled by the contributions from staff. We know talking about lived experiences of racism and discrimination takes an emotional and mental toll, and we are deeply sorry to our colleagues who have experienced racism and discrimination in the workplace. IPPF remains truly grateful for their contribution, which has led to practical insights and recommendations that the management team has taken forward, with oversight from our governance.   IPPF has a duty to do better, and we are committed long-term to the principles of affirmative action and, through them, the Anti-Racism Programme of Action.  In line with some of the recommendations, we have continued to engage as a management team, with a staff working group representing all regions, and a Board of Trustees Sub Committee, thereby creating complete oversight of the implementation of the recommendations. The Anti Racism Sub Committee is led by Bience Gawanas, who has global expertise in the area and was one of the Under-Secretary Generals who supported the internal efforts to combat racism within the UN.  Currently, we feel that our management team and our governance reflect the diversity and experience necessary to decolonise the way we work. Our current Board of Trustees, formed in 2020, is made up of 15 people (including 20% young people under the age of 25) from 11 different geographies, including West Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, the Caribbean, Latin-America, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North America, Oceania and South Asia. Our Global Leadership Team comprises of ten people from nine different countries, with each of our Regional Directors, who all identify as women,  representing the diversity of the regions they lead. We were also a very high performer in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 Report and have rated a consistently high performer since 2020, achieving gender parity in our governing body and senior management in the range of 56-100% of women represented.   Our Leadership is committed to creating an organisation that has no discrimination in how it operates and the services it offers. In trying to address some of the the report's recommendations, IPPF has:  Begun a series of discussions, webinars and training to address some of the interpersonal and institutional racism that exists in the organisation. This has included training on aspects of microaggressions, unconscious bias and other pathways of racism that exist. We have interrogated our framing of issues within a more public domain through asset framing training with an anti-racism lens.   Contracted a team of anti-racism trainers to conduct training across the Secretariat for the next six months to more deeply interrogate some key issues emanating from the report.   For the last ten months, we have been working on a series of consultations focusing on our next five-year strategy, which has explicitly embedded anti-racism as central to our strategic direction.   Critically we are working on our public statement of action for Anti-Racism – co-created with Member Associations through our training to be delivered at the IPPF General Assembly in November 2022. We felt strongly that it was too easy to focus on public sentiments and that we wanted to walk the talk as an organization before this, which is why the sequencing of the Anti-Racism Program of Action is as it is. You will see that evidenced in the management response.    As part of our actions to ensure equity across the Secretariat, over the past 18 months, we have conducted a comprehensive pay and benefits review and bought a consistent approach to job evaluation, grading and pay scales at all levels and for all geographies across the Secretariat.   We share these points not to underestimate some of the report's findings but to demonstrate that we take seriously the actioning of this work.   We thank all staff who participated in the review and know that this was not easy. Still, we are grateful to have the recommendations and are committed to ensuring that we address these as holistically as possible. We look to the future with hope and commitment so that all our colleagues feel safe and valued while working for IPPF.   Sincerely, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director-General  

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| 08 February 2023

IPPF's Anti-Racism Review and Programme of Action

Like much of the world, we were horrified by the murder of George Floyd in the US in May 2020. Following the global conversation on race and racism, our staff felt strongly that our own focus on equality, empowerment, ending discrimination, and poverty-eradication must extend to the workplace. This is why in 2020, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) proactively started a process of examining and addressing issues of racism and colonial legacies within IPPF.  We commissioned our Anti-Racism Review to hold IPPF accountable. The Review was not confined to just our London office; it was a full and independent interrogation of the Secretariat as we felt strongly that no one should be excluded from a conversation as critical as this. The Review's findings were shared with all IPPF secretariat staff on 26 July 2021. We included a response from management, the Anti Racism Working Group and the Board of Trustees Statement on Anti-Racism. The report was a turning point for IPPF, and as much as it was difficult to read, we hope people felt safe sharing their experiences with us. IPPF anticipated that the report would uncover some hard truths on people's experience of racism within the workplace, and we have acknowledged and are humbled by the contributions from staff. We know talking about lived experiences of racism and discrimination takes an emotional and mental toll, and we are deeply sorry to our colleagues who have experienced racism and discrimination in the workplace. IPPF remains truly grateful for their contribution, which has led to practical insights and recommendations that the management team has taken forward, with oversight from our governance.   IPPF has a duty to do better, and we are committed long-term to the principles of affirmative action and, through them, the Anti-Racism Programme of Action.  In line with some of the recommendations, we have continued to engage as a management team, with a staff working group representing all regions, and a Board of Trustees Sub Committee, thereby creating complete oversight of the implementation of the recommendations. The Anti Racism Sub Committee is led by Bience Gawanas, who has global expertise in the area and was one of the Under-Secretary Generals who supported the internal efforts to combat racism within the UN.  Currently, we feel that our management team and our governance reflect the diversity and experience necessary to decolonise the way we work. Our current Board of Trustees, formed in 2020, is made up of 15 people (including 20% young people under the age of 25) from 11 different geographies, including West Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, the Caribbean, Latin-America, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North America, Oceania and South Asia. Our Global Leadership Team comprises of ten people from nine different countries, with each of our Regional Directors, who all identify as women,  representing the diversity of the regions they lead. We were also a very high performer in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 Report and have rated a consistently high performer since 2020, achieving gender parity in our governing body and senior management in the range of 56-100% of women represented.   Our Leadership is committed to creating an organisation that has no discrimination in how it operates and the services it offers. In trying to address some of the the report's recommendations, IPPF has:  Begun a series of discussions, webinars and training to address some of the interpersonal and institutional racism that exists in the organisation. This has included training on aspects of microaggressions, unconscious bias and other pathways of racism that exist. We have interrogated our framing of issues within a more public domain through asset framing training with an anti-racism lens.   Contracted a team of anti-racism trainers to conduct training across the Secretariat for the next six months to more deeply interrogate some key issues emanating from the report.   For the last ten months, we have been working on a series of consultations focusing on our next five-year strategy, which has explicitly embedded anti-racism as central to our strategic direction.   Critically we are working on our public statement of action for Anti-Racism – co-created with Member Associations through our training to be delivered at the IPPF General Assembly in November 2022. We felt strongly that it was too easy to focus on public sentiments and that we wanted to walk the talk as an organization before this, which is why the sequencing of the Anti-Racism Program of Action is as it is. You will see that evidenced in the management response.    As part of our actions to ensure equity across the Secretariat, over the past 18 months, we have conducted a comprehensive pay and benefits review and bought a consistent approach to job evaluation, grading and pay scales at all levels and for all geographies across the Secretariat.   We share these points not to underestimate some of the report's findings but to demonstrate that we take seriously the actioning of this work.   We thank all staff who participated in the review and know that this was not easy. Still, we are grateful to have the recommendations and are committed to ensuring that we address these as holistically as possible. We look to the future with hope and commitment so that all our colleagues feel safe and valued while working for IPPF.   Sincerely, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director-General  

Women holding sign saying bans off our bodies
media center

| 24 June 2022

US Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade in devastating blow to women's health and rights

The US Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade in the biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent US history, removing 50 years of constitutional protection for abortion across America, meaning individual states will now decide the legality of abortion within their jurisdiction. Twenty-six states, including Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas and Georgia, are now poised to enact "trigger laws" that will severely limit or ban abortion, putting approximately 40 million women and girls of reproductive age at risk of losing abortion access, with lower-income people and people of color most severely affected.  The patchwork of state abortion bans means those without funds to travel for safe and legal abortion services or access medical abortion pills will be forced underground to unsafe and unregulated methods, with no guarantee of quality of care or aftercare if things go wrong. The devastating rollback of reproductive rights resulted from the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization case, a 2018 ruling that banned abortion in Mississippi after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Of the nine federal Supreme Court Justices, six voted to uphold the Mississippi law, effectively overturning Roe v. Wade, and three dissented. Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: "The Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is the biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent US history and an outrageous and devastating conclusion to what was already an unconstitutional removal of life-saving healthcare. "By continuing its unbridled attack on women's bodies and forcing them to carry pregnancies to term, the highest court in the land has reached its lowest point, robbing millions of their liberty, bodily autonomy and freedom – the very values the United States prides itself on. "We know for a fact that banning abortion does not mean fewer abortions and that when abortion bans are enacted, women and pregnant people die, as we have seen across the globe, most recently in Poland. We also know that those who cannot access safe abortion care legally, including medical abortion pills, will be forced into unregulated and unsafe methods, potentially resulting in serious harm or even death and costing lives for decades to come. "The fallout from this calculated decision will also reverberate worldwide, emboldening other anti-abortion, anti-woman and anti-gender movements and impacting other reproductive freedoms. The justices who put their personal beliefs ahead of American will, precedent, and law will soon have blood on their hands, and we are devastated for the millions of people who will suffer from this cruel judgment." The overturning of Roe v. Wade also flies in the face of democracy and against the values of those the Supreme Court is meant to represent and protect, with the majority (60%) of Americans supporting Roe v. Wade and 70% believing the decision to end a pregnancy is between a woman or pregnant person and their doctor. Elizabeth Schlachter, Director of Advocacy and US representative for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: "The Supreme Court's perilous ruling is not just regressive but also wildly out of step with most Americans, who we know support access to abortion care. It is also at odds with much of the world, where access to abortion is expanding to reach all who need this vital health service. "By overriding the constitutional right to abortion across the US and handing the decision to each state, many parts of the US will now join El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Poland with some of the most restrictive, extremist, and life-threatening bans on abortion care in the world. "But this is not just about the anti-abortion movement in the US; this is concerted and calculated global effort by anti-women, anti-gender, anti-LGBTQI+ conservative and religious, white supremacist extremists, who are using dark money and undemocratic means to deny people their human right to healthcare, equality, bodily autonomy and ultimately, freedom. "With long-held rights under sustained attack, the International Planned Parenthood Federation is imploring governments across the globe to do more to protect democracy and peoples' freedoms from the interference and influence of these extremist groups." The International Planned Parenthood Federation's (IPPF) Member Association, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), continues to provide services to all who need them where legally possible, including via telemedicine for medical abortion pills. IPPF and PPFA will also continue to work around the clock to protect the rights of all people both in the US and globally, fighting extremism at its core and ensuring that women and pregnant people will not be forced to carry a pregnancy or give birth against their will. To help keep abortion legal, safe, and accessible, you can donate to the International Planned Parenthood Federation or Planned Parenthood Federation of America. For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]   About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF, through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.

Women holding sign saying bans off our bodies
media_center

| 08 February 2023

US Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade in devastating blow to women's health and rights

The US Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade in the biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent US history, removing 50 years of constitutional protection for abortion across America, meaning individual states will now decide the legality of abortion within their jurisdiction. Twenty-six states, including Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas and Georgia, are now poised to enact "trigger laws" that will severely limit or ban abortion, putting approximately 40 million women and girls of reproductive age at risk of losing abortion access, with lower-income people and people of color most severely affected.  The patchwork of state abortion bans means those without funds to travel for safe and legal abortion services or access medical abortion pills will be forced underground to unsafe and unregulated methods, with no guarantee of quality of care or aftercare if things go wrong. The devastating rollback of reproductive rights resulted from the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization case, a 2018 ruling that banned abortion in Mississippi after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Of the nine federal Supreme Court Justices, six voted to uphold the Mississippi law, effectively overturning Roe v. Wade, and three dissented. Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: "The Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is the biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent US history and an outrageous and devastating conclusion to what was already an unconstitutional removal of life-saving healthcare. "By continuing its unbridled attack on women's bodies and forcing them to carry pregnancies to term, the highest court in the land has reached its lowest point, robbing millions of their liberty, bodily autonomy and freedom – the very values the United States prides itself on. "We know for a fact that banning abortion does not mean fewer abortions and that when abortion bans are enacted, women and pregnant people die, as we have seen across the globe, most recently in Poland. We also know that those who cannot access safe abortion care legally, including medical abortion pills, will be forced into unregulated and unsafe methods, potentially resulting in serious harm or even death and costing lives for decades to come. "The fallout from this calculated decision will also reverberate worldwide, emboldening other anti-abortion, anti-woman and anti-gender movements and impacting other reproductive freedoms. The justices who put their personal beliefs ahead of American will, precedent, and law will soon have blood on their hands, and we are devastated for the millions of people who will suffer from this cruel judgment." The overturning of Roe v. Wade also flies in the face of democracy and against the values of those the Supreme Court is meant to represent and protect, with the majority (60%) of Americans supporting Roe v. Wade and 70% believing the decision to end a pregnancy is between a woman or pregnant person and their doctor. Elizabeth Schlachter, Director of Advocacy and US representative for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: "The Supreme Court's perilous ruling is not just regressive but also wildly out of step with most Americans, who we know support access to abortion care. It is also at odds with much of the world, where access to abortion is expanding to reach all who need this vital health service. "By overriding the constitutional right to abortion across the US and handing the decision to each state, many parts of the US will now join El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Poland with some of the most restrictive, extremist, and life-threatening bans on abortion care in the world. "But this is not just about the anti-abortion movement in the US; this is concerted and calculated global effort by anti-women, anti-gender, anti-LGBTQI+ conservative and religious, white supremacist extremists, who are using dark money and undemocratic means to deny people their human right to healthcare, equality, bodily autonomy and ultimately, freedom. "With long-held rights under sustained attack, the International Planned Parenthood Federation is imploring governments across the globe to do more to protect democracy and peoples' freedoms from the interference and influence of these extremist groups." The International Planned Parenthood Federation's (IPPF) Member Association, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), continues to provide services to all who need them where legally possible, including via telemedicine for medical abortion pills. IPPF and PPFA will also continue to work around the clock to protect the rights of all people both in the US and globally, fighting extremism at its core and ensuring that women and pregnant people will not be forced to carry a pregnancy or give birth against their will. To help keep abortion legal, safe, and accessible, you can donate to the International Planned Parenthood Federation or Planned Parenthood Federation of America. For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]   About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF, through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.

U.K flag on a pole
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| 18 May 2022

UK government publishes new international development strategy

The UK government has released its long-awaited International Development Strategy (IDS) which details the UK’s approach to international development moving forward. The strategy sets out the FCDO's priorities as: Deliver honest and reliable investment, building on the UK’s financial expertise and the strengths of the City of London, and delivering the Prime Minister’s vision for the Clean Green Initiative, supporting partner countries to grow their economies sustainably. Provide women and girls with the freedom they need to succeed, unlocking their future potential, educating girls, supporting their empowerment and protecting them against violence. Provide life-saving humanitarian assistance and work to prevent the worst forms of human suffering, prioritising our funding and being a global leader in driving a more effective international response to humanitarian crises. Take forward our work on climate change, nature and global health. We are putting the commitments of our Presidency of G7 and COP26, our global leadership in science and technology, and our COVID-19 response, at the core of our international development offer. Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: "While, in theory, the UK’s new international development strategy prioritizes women and girls, it is unclear how the government will provide ‘the freedom they need to succeed’ while simultaneously cutting billions from the very things that help achieve this, including unhindered access to life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare which helps keep girls in school, protects them from a lifetime of poverty and helps prevents untimely maternal deaths. "It is also unclear how the UK will prevent the worst forms of human suffering in humanitarian contexts when the 2021 aid cuts left millions of women across Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Sudan and Syria and Yemen with no control over their bodies, their futures, or their lives. And more so, while this government chooses to distribute the dedicated aid budget to fund other government departments rather than increasing overall budgets. "Until this government returns to the 0.7% target, this strategy will be little more than lip service from a government that knowingly robbed women and girls of their freedom and futures during the upheaval of a global pandemic when continued solidarity, support and humanitarian assistance from the wealthiest nations was most needed." For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]   About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.    

U.K flag on a pole
media_center

| 16 May 2022

UK government publishes new international development strategy

The UK government has released its long-awaited International Development Strategy (IDS) which details the UK’s approach to international development moving forward. The strategy sets out the FCDO's priorities as: Deliver honest and reliable investment, building on the UK’s financial expertise and the strengths of the City of London, and delivering the Prime Minister’s vision for the Clean Green Initiative, supporting partner countries to grow their economies sustainably. Provide women and girls with the freedom they need to succeed, unlocking their future potential, educating girls, supporting their empowerment and protecting them against violence. Provide life-saving humanitarian assistance and work to prevent the worst forms of human suffering, prioritising our funding and being a global leader in driving a more effective international response to humanitarian crises. Take forward our work on climate change, nature and global health. We are putting the commitments of our Presidency of G7 and COP26, our global leadership in science and technology, and our COVID-19 response, at the core of our international development offer. Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: "While, in theory, the UK’s new international development strategy prioritizes women and girls, it is unclear how the government will provide ‘the freedom they need to succeed’ while simultaneously cutting billions from the very things that help achieve this, including unhindered access to life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare which helps keep girls in school, protects them from a lifetime of poverty and helps prevents untimely maternal deaths. "It is also unclear how the UK will prevent the worst forms of human suffering in humanitarian contexts when the 2021 aid cuts left millions of women across Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Sudan and Syria and Yemen with no control over their bodies, their futures, or their lives. And more so, while this government chooses to distribute the dedicated aid budget to fund other government departments rather than increasing overall budgets. "Until this government returns to the 0.7% target, this strategy will be little more than lip service from a government that knowingly robbed women and girls of their freedom and futures during the upheaval of a global pandemic when continued solidarity, support and humanitarian assistance from the wealthiest nations was most needed." For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]   About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.    

Protest sign reads "keep abortion legal"
media center

| 03 May 2022

Statement on the US Supreme Court's draft opinion on Roe v Wade

On the US Supreme Court's draft opinion on Roe v Wade, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General for IPPF, said: "If the reports are true, then the highest court in the land has reached its lowest point. If they continue down the road of overturning Roe v Wade, they will rob millions of people of their liberty, bodily autonomy, and their freedom – the very values the United States prides itself on. "This decision will also embolden other Conservative extremist movements around the world, looking to deny women their reproductive freedom. Make no mistake, this ruling will cost millions of lives for years to come. "The Supreme Court still has time to do the right thing and uphold Roe v Wade. IPPF will do all it can to ensure people can safely end their pregnancy."  For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity – no matter what. Main image: Abortion rights protest in Washington DC, US – photo by Gayatri Malhotra, Unsplash

Protest sign reads "keep abortion legal"
media_center

| 08 February 2023

Statement on the US Supreme Court's draft opinion on Roe v Wade

On the US Supreme Court's draft opinion on Roe v Wade, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General for IPPF, said: "If the reports are true, then the highest court in the land has reached its lowest point. If they continue down the road of overturning Roe v Wade, they will rob millions of people of their liberty, bodily autonomy, and their freedom – the very values the United States prides itself on. "This decision will also embolden other Conservative extremist movements around the world, looking to deny women their reproductive freedom. Make no mistake, this ruling will cost millions of lives for years to come. "The Supreme Court still has time to do the right thing and uphold Roe v Wade. IPPF will do all it can to ensure people can safely end their pregnancy."  For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity – no matter what. Main image: Abortion rights protest in Washington DC, US – photo by Gayatri Malhotra, Unsplash

uk flag
media center

| 12 April 2022

FCDO provisional 2021 UK aid spending shows grim reality of aid cuts

Today, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) published its provisional statistics report on UK aid spending for 2021.  The total overall aid spend was £11.5 billion, down from £14.5 billion in 2020 following the UK government's reduction to overseas development aid (ODA) from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent of gross national income (GNI), citing the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  ODA improves the lives of people around the world, helping them access the healthcare they deserve, including lifesaving sexual and reproductive healthcare. It also helps tackle global disease, eliminate poverty, provide humanitarian assistance during conflict and reduce the impact of climate change.  Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General for IPPF, said: “While not surprising, the provisional UK aid spend for 2021 shows the grim reality of making such severe cuts during the tremendous global upheaval of a pandemic, when continued solidarity, support and humanitarian assistance from the wealthiest nations is most needed. “The government already knew from the equalities impact assessment that these cuts to promised funds would be devastating for women, girls and diverse groups, who disproportionally experience the effects of poverty, disease and climate change while also bearing the burden of violence, especially in conflict. “Not only that, but the government also chose to distribute the dedicated aid budget to other government departments. This includes a staggering £915 million to the Home Office and counting so-called ‘donations’ of excess COVID vaccines to other countries, which could have been given to those in need instead. The aid cuts left millions of women in Ukraine with no control over their bodies, their futures, or their lives, just as it did in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Sudan and Syria. Today, the role of the UK in building a better, safer world is more critical than ever if there is any hope of reversing the impacts of the cuts and the government must return to the 0.7% as soon as possible – the lives and futures of people depend on it”. Key statistics include: The provisional ODA:GNI ratio for 2021 was 0.5 per cent, or £11.5 billion. In 2021, UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) was £11,496 million, a decrease of £2,982 million (20.6 per cent decrease) on 2020. In 2021, UK bilateral ODA was £7,086 million (a decrease of 25.7 per cent) while U.K. multilateral ODA was £4,411 million (a decrease of 10.8 per cent). The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) spent £8,308 million in 2021, compared with £10,664 million in 2020 (a decrease of £2,356 million).  Non-FCDO5 spend on ODA in 2021 was £3,189 million, compared with £3,815 million in 2020 (a decrease of £626 m). The non-FCDO share was 27.7 per cent, up from 26.3 per cent in 2020. In 2021, £550 million of UK ODA was spent on activities to address the COVID19 pandemic². The Home Office spent £915 million of ODA in 2021 (an increase of 53.3 per cent). This was mostly due to increased accommodation costs for asylum seekers to ensure the measures set out in law were adhered to in limiting the spread of COVID-19. For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity – no matter what.  

uk flag
media_center

| 12 April 2022

FCDO provisional 2021 UK aid spending shows grim reality of aid cuts

Today, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) published its provisional statistics report on UK aid spending for 2021.  The total overall aid spend was £11.5 billion, down from £14.5 billion in 2020 following the UK government's reduction to overseas development aid (ODA) from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent of gross national income (GNI), citing the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  ODA improves the lives of people around the world, helping them access the healthcare they deserve, including lifesaving sexual and reproductive healthcare. It also helps tackle global disease, eliminate poverty, provide humanitarian assistance during conflict and reduce the impact of climate change.  Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General for IPPF, said: “While not surprising, the provisional UK aid spend for 2021 shows the grim reality of making such severe cuts during the tremendous global upheaval of a pandemic, when continued solidarity, support and humanitarian assistance from the wealthiest nations is most needed. “The government already knew from the equalities impact assessment that these cuts to promised funds would be devastating for women, girls and diverse groups, who disproportionally experience the effects of poverty, disease and climate change while also bearing the burden of violence, especially in conflict. “Not only that, but the government also chose to distribute the dedicated aid budget to other government departments. This includes a staggering £915 million to the Home Office and counting so-called ‘donations’ of excess COVID vaccines to other countries, which could have been given to those in need instead. The aid cuts left millions of women in Ukraine with no control over their bodies, their futures, or their lives, just as it did in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Sudan and Syria. Today, the role of the UK in building a better, safer world is more critical than ever if there is any hope of reversing the impacts of the cuts and the government must return to the 0.7% as soon as possible – the lives and futures of people depend on it”. Key statistics include: The provisional ODA:GNI ratio for 2021 was 0.5 per cent, or £11.5 billion. In 2021, UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) was £11,496 million, a decrease of £2,982 million (20.6 per cent decrease) on 2020. In 2021, UK bilateral ODA was £7,086 million (a decrease of 25.7 per cent) while U.K. multilateral ODA was £4,411 million (a decrease of 10.8 per cent). The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) spent £8,308 million in 2021, compared with £10,664 million in 2020 (a decrease of £2,356 million).  Non-FCDO5 spend on ODA in 2021 was £3,189 million, compared with £3,815 million in 2020 (a decrease of £626 m). The non-FCDO share was 27.7 per cent, up from 26.3 per cent in 2020. In 2021, £550 million of UK ODA was spent on activities to address the COVID19 pandemic². The Home Office spent £915 million of ODA in 2021 (an increase of 53.3 per cent). This was mostly due to increased accommodation costs for asylum seekers to ensure the measures set out in law were adhered to in limiting the spread of COVID-19. For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity – no matter what.  

two women raising their fists in the air
media center

| 05 April 2022

Leading SRHR organizations issue a call to action to step up protection for frontline workers

Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), IPAS Partners for Reproductive Justice (IPAS), and MSI Reproductive Choices (MSI) launched “Defend the Frontline Defenders of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” - a joint initiative to strengthen protection of frontline sexual and reproductive health workers and advocates.  The five global organizations called on the wider health sector and authorities around the world to step up efforts  to ensure that all health workers and advocates are able to go about their daily work without stigma, fear, threat or intimidation.a joint initiative to strengthen protection of frontline sexual and reproductive health workers and advocates.  The five global organizations called on the wider health sector and authorities around the world to step up efforts  to ensure that all health workers and advocates are able to go about their daily work without stigma, fear, threat or intimidation. Hostility directed against frontline healthcare workers and advocates reportedly occurs most often at the hands of patients and their families and visitors.  Notably however, those working in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) often face hostility also from their colleagues, institutions, local communities and public figures too.   The five organizations, global leaders in the field of SRHR, highlighted that in their experience, wherever stigma is associated with provision of, or advocacy for, services and information about, for example, safe abortion, contraception, HIV/AIDs, or LGBTQI+ persons, that stigma also attaches to the professionals concerned. The organizations stressed that, around the world, health workers and advocates face greater discrimination, harassment and, at times, even physical attack, in settings and contexts where laws, public policies, government leaders and other public authorities are hostile to sexual and reproductive health and rights.   Dr. Alvaro Bermejo, Director General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “IPPF sexual and reproductive health service providers around the world are regularly subjected to threats and abuse as they tirelessly work to deliver life-saving services. This is an unacceptable situation that must stop. Anti-rights and anti-gender perpetrators should not prevent people from accessing essential care or from making decisions about their sexuality and reproduction. All human beings should enjoy bodily autonomy to the full. As a major service provider and leading advocate of SRHR with members in over 120 countries, IPPF joins this call to action and urges Governments to ensure the safety of all health care providers and advocates as human rights defenders, without harassment, discrimination and abuse” Public debates about SRHR and associated health services are among the most ideologically charged. Narratives opposed to SRHR from political and community leaders, alongside regressive policies and laws, mean greater hostility directed against those who provide, protect and promote SRHR for us all.  Facing discrimination, belittlement, harassment and even violence not only against themselves, but their places of work, and even their families, frontline SRHR workers and advocates, across the globe, must draw on their own reserves of courage, commitment and resilience just to continue their daily work. Dr. Jeanne Conry, President of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, explained: “It is unacceptable that those on the frontline providing essential sexual and reproductive health care are on the receiving end of discrimination and violence for simply doing their jobs. We all know colleagues who have battled with stigma, career blocking, physical attack and other forms of harassment, forfeiting their mental and physical health and wellbeing in the process. This cannot go on. Alongside our partners, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) is determined to raise awareness of this issue, and commits to effecting change for our colleagues providing sexual and reproductive health services around the world.”    Designed to help strengthen support and protection for the human rights of those on the frontlines, providing and advocating for sexual and reproductive health services and the needed policy and legal reforms, this new joint initiative aims to: Establish better standards for workplace response to hostility against workers and advocates in recognition of their human rights to work without stigma, discrimination, threat, attack etc.;  Initiate closer global monitoring of the incidence and prevalence of such threats and attacks; and,  Raise public awareness of the consequences of unchecked public hostility against SRHR for frontline workers and advocates Dr. Franka Cadée, President of the International Confederation of Midwives, said: “ICM is in regular communication with many of its more than 140 midwives' associations located in over 120 countries. We know that every day, midwives suffer from gender-based abuse and harassment on the job and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this type of discriminatory treatment in new ways. When midwives’ rights are abused or taken advantage of, women and girls everywhere suffer. Robust investments are needed in policies, pay and protections that allow midwives to perform their full scope of practice.” This new joint initiative - “Defend the Frontline Defenders of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” will also undertake ground-breaking research to establish better understanding of what public hostility to SRHR means for those on the frontlines.  While there is anecdotal evidence across the sector, to date little data has been gathered on the extent of the hostility faced, and none on its direct causes and consequences.  Nor has there been benchmarking against which to assess global trends over time.  Dr. Anu Kumar, Ipas President and CEO, said: "Around the world, abortion providers and advocates bring dedication, compassion and courage to their work--often in the face of harassment, stigma, and even violence. Just as sexual and reproductive health and rights are essential, the people who care for us are essential. Frontline SRHR defenders are our partners for reproductive justice, and at Ipas we are committed to ensuring their human rights are respected and protected." Frontline workers provide services essential for us all, explained the five organizations, recalling how vital health workers were shown to be throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.  Ensuring SRHR workers and advocates are safe, treated with respect, and are able to go about their work with dignity, means respecting their fundamental human rights, including their labour rights and their rights to redress when attacked.  It also means challenging the impunity more often enjoyed by those who incite such attacks.  The five organizations issued a Call To Action, published by BMJ Global Health, urging the wider health sector to join them in stepping up attention and focus on the dignity of their staff, particularly in circumstances and contexts of hostility to SRHR.  It is past time for our sector to also tackle directly the impunity enjoyed by those who, through speech and action, fester hostility to SRHR and thus to frontline workers, the organizations said. Kate Austen, MSI Reproductive Choices’ Institutional Resilience Lead, said: “At MSI, we are committed to expanding access to reproductive choice because we believe in every woman’s right to make choices about her body and her life. This work is only possible because of the courage of our frontline healthcare workers who work tirelessly to protect sexual and reproductive rights despite facing daily harassment, stigma and abuse.  It’s time to say enough is enough. Alongside our partners, we pledge to do everything we can to step up, respect and protect the rights of our colleagues to work and advocate free from fear, threat, and intimidation.” For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.

two women raising their fists in the air
media_center

| 05 April 2022

Leading SRHR organizations issue a call to action to step up protection for frontline workers

Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), IPAS Partners for Reproductive Justice (IPAS), and MSI Reproductive Choices (MSI) launched “Defend the Frontline Defenders of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” - a joint initiative to strengthen protection of frontline sexual and reproductive health workers and advocates.  The five global organizations called on the wider health sector and authorities around the world to step up efforts  to ensure that all health workers and advocates are able to go about their daily work without stigma, fear, threat or intimidation.a joint initiative to strengthen protection of frontline sexual and reproductive health workers and advocates.  The five global organizations called on the wider health sector and authorities around the world to step up efforts  to ensure that all health workers and advocates are able to go about their daily work without stigma, fear, threat or intimidation. Hostility directed against frontline healthcare workers and advocates reportedly occurs most often at the hands of patients and their families and visitors.  Notably however, those working in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) often face hostility also from their colleagues, institutions, local communities and public figures too.   The five organizations, global leaders in the field of SRHR, highlighted that in their experience, wherever stigma is associated with provision of, or advocacy for, services and information about, for example, safe abortion, contraception, HIV/AIDs, or LGBTQI+ persons, that stigma also attaches to the professionals concerned. The organizations stressed that, around the world, health workers and advocates face greater discrimination, harassment and, at times, even physical attack, in settings and contexts where laws, public policies, government leaders and other public authorities are hostile to sexual and reproductive health and rights.   Dr. Alvaro Bermejo, Director General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “IPPF sexual and reproductive health service providers around the world are regularly subjected to threats and abuse as they tirelessly work to deliver life-saving services. This is an unacceptable situation that must stop. Anti-rights and anti-gender perpetrators should not prevent people from accessing essential care or from making decisions about their sexuality and reproduction. All human beings should enjoy bodily autonomy to the full. As a major service provider and leading advocate of SRHR with members in over 120 countries, IPPF joins this call to action and urges Governments to ensure the safety of all health care providers and advocates as human rights defenders, without harassment, discrimination and abuse” Public debates about SRHR and associated health services are among the most ideologically charged. Narratives opposed to SRHR from political and community leaders, alongside regressive policies and laws, mean greater hostility directed against those who provide, protect and promote SRHR for us all.  Facing discrimination, belittlement, harassment and even violence not only against themselves, but their places of work, and even their families, frontline SRHR workers and advocates, across the globe, must draw on their own reserves of courage, commitment and resilience just to continue their daily work. Dr. Jeanne Conry, President of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, explained: “It is unacceptable that those on the frontline providing essential sexual and reproductive health care are on the receiving end of discrimination and violence for simply doing their jobs. We all know colleagues who have battled with stigma, career blocking, physical attack and other forms of harassment, forfeiting their mental and physical health and wellbeing in the process. This cannot go on. Alongside our partners, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) is determined to raise awareness of this issue, and commits to effecting change for our colleagues providing sexual and reproductive health services around the world.”    Designed to help strengthen support and protection for the human rights of those on the frontlines, providing and advocating for sexual and reproductive health services and the needed policy and legal reforms, this new joint initiative aims to: Establish better standards for workplace response to hostility against workers and advocates in recognition of their human rights to work without stigma, discrimination, threat, attack etc.;  Initiate closer global monitoring of the incidence and prevalence of such threats and attacks; and,  Raise public awareness of the consequences of unchecked public hostility against SRHR for frontline workers and advocates Dr. Franka Cadée, President of the International Confederation of Midwives, said: “ICM is in regular communication with many of its more than 140 midwives' associations located in over 120 countries. We know that every day, midwives suffer from gender-based abuse and harassment on the job and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this type of discriminatory treatment in new ways. When midwives’ rights are abused or taken advantage of, women and girls everywhere suffer. Robust investments are needed in policies, pay and protections that allow midwives to perform their full scope of practice.” This new joint initiative - “Defend the Frontline Defenders of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” will also undertake ground-breaking research to establish better understanding of what public hostility to SRHR means for those on the frontlines.  While there is anecdotal evidence across the sector, to date little data has been gathered on the extent of the hostility faced, and none on its direct causes and consequences.  Nor has there been benchmarking against which to assess global trends over time.  Dr. Anu Kumar, Ipas President and CEO, said: "Around the world, abortion providers and advocates bring dedication, compassion and courage to their work--often in the face of harassment, stigma, and even violence. Just as sexual and reproductive health and rights are essential, the people who care for us are essential. Frontline SRHR defenders are our partners for reproductive justice, and at Ipas we are committed to ensuring their human rights are respected and protected." Frontline workers provide services essential for us all, explained the five organizations, recalling how vital health workers were shown to be throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.  Ensuring SRHR workers and advocates are safe, treated with respect, and are able to go about their work with dignity, means respecting their fundamental human rights, including their labour rights and their rights to redress when attacked.  It also means challenging the impunity more often enjoyed by those who incite such attacks.  The five organizations issued a Call To Action, published by BMJ Global Health, urging the wider health sector to join them in stepping up attention and focus on the dignity of their staff, particularly in circumstances and contexts of hostility to SRHR.  It is past time for our sector to also tackle directly the impunity enjoyed by those who, through speech and action, fester hostility to SRHR and thus to frontline workers, the organizations said. Kate Austen, MSI Reproductive Choices’ Institutional Resilience Lead, said: “At MSI, we are committed to expanding access to reproductive choice because we believe in every woman’s right to make choices about her body and her life. This work is only possible because of the courage of our frontline healthcare workers who work tirelessly to protect sexual and reproductive rights despite facing daily harassment, stigma and abuse.  It’s time to say enough is enough. Alongside our partners, we pledge to do everything we can to step up, respect and protect the rights of our colleagues to work and advocate free from fear, threat, and intimidation.” For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.

blue box
media center

| 30 June 2022

IPPF's Anti-Racism Review and Programme of Action

Like much of the world, we were horrified by the murder of George Floyd in the US in May 2020. Following the global conversation on race and racism, our staff felt strongly that our own focus on equality, empowerment, ending discrimination, and poverty-eradication must extend to the workplace. This is why in 2020, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) proactively started a process of examining and addressing issues of racism and colonial legacies within IPPF.  We commissioned our Anti-Racism Review to hold IPPF accountable. The Review was not confined to just our London office; it was a full and independent interrogation of the Secretariat as we felt strongly that no one should be excluded from a conversation as critical as this. The Review's findings were shared with all IPPF secretariat staff on 26 July 2021. We included a response from management, the Anti Racism Working Group and the Board of Trustees Statement on Anti-Racism. The report was a turning point for IPPF, and as much as it was difficult to read, we hope people felt safe sharing their experiences with us. IPPF anticipated that the report would uncover some hard truths on people's experience of racism within the workplace, and we have acknowledged and are humbled by the contributions from staff. We know talking about lived experiences of racism and discrimination takes an emotional and mental toll, and we are deeply sorry to our colleagues who have experienced racism and discrimination in the workplace. IPPF remains truly grateful for their contribution, which has led to practical insights and recommendations that the management team has taken forward, with oversight from our governance.   IPPF has a duty to do better, and we are committed long-term to the principles of affirmative action and, through them, the Anti-Racism Programme of Action.  In line with some of the recommendations, we have continued to engage as a management team, with a staff working group representing all regions, and a Board of Trustees Sub Committee, thereby creating complete oversight of the implementation of the recommendations. The Anti Racism Sub Committee is led by Bience Gawanas, who has global expertise in the area and was one of the Under-Secretary Generals who supported the internal efforts to combat racism within the UN.  Currently, we feel that our management team and our governance reflect the diversity and experience necessary to decolonise the way we work. Our current Board of Trustees, formed in 2020, is made up of 15 people (including 20% young people under the age of 25) from 11 different geographies, including West Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, the Caribbean, Latin-America, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North America, Oceania and South Asia. Our Global Leadership Team comprises of ten people from nine different countries, with each of our Regional Directors, who all identify as women,  representing the diversity of the regions they lead. We were also a very high performer in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 Report and have rated a consistently high performer since 2020, achieving gender parity in our governing body and senior management in the range of 56-100% of women represented.   Our Leadership is committed to creating an organisation that has no discrimination in how it operates and the services it offers. In trying to address some of the the report's recommendations, IPPF has:  Begun a series of discussions, webinars and training to address some of the interpersonal and institutional racism that exists in the organisation. This has included training on aspects of microaggressions, unconscious bias and other pathways of racism that exist. We have interrogated our framing of issues within a more public domain through asset framing training with an anti-racism lens.   Contracted a team of anti-racism trainers to conduct training across the Secretariat for the next six months to more deeply interrogate some key issues emanating from the report.   For the last ten months, we have been working on a series of consultations focusing on our next five-year strategy, which has explicitly embedded anti-racism as central to our strategic direction.   Critically we are working on our public statement of action for Anti-Racism – co-created with Member Associations through our training to be delivered at the IPPF General Assembly in November 2022. We felt strongly that it was too easy to focus on public sentiments and that we wanted to walk the talk as an organization before this, which is why the sequencing of the Anti-Racism Program of Action is as it is. You will see that evidenced in the management response.    As part of our actions to ensure equity across the Secretariat, over the past 18 months, we have conducted a comprehensive pay and benefits review and bought a consistent approach to job evaluation, grading and pay scales at all levels and for all geographies across the Secretariat.   We share these points not to underestimate some of the report's findings but to demonstrate that we take seriously the actioning of this work.   We thank all staff who participated in the review and know that this was not easy. Still, we are grateful to have the recommendations and are committed to ensuring that we address these as holistically as possible. We look to the future with hope and commitment so that all our colleagues feel safe and valued while working for IPPF.   Sincerely, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director-General  

blue box
media_center

| 08 February 2023

IPPF's Anti-Racism Review and Programme of Action

Like much of the world, we were horrified by the murder of George Floyd in the US in May 2020. Following the global conversation on race and racism, our staff felt strongly that our own focus on equality, empowerment, ending discrimination, and poverty-eradication must extend to the workplace. This is why in 2020, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) proactively started a process of examining and addressing issues of racism and colonial legacies within IPPF.  We commissioned our Anti-Racism Review to hold IPPF accountable. The Review was not confined to just our London office; it was a full and independent interrogation of the Secretariat as we felt strongly that no one should be excluded from a conversation as critical as this. The Review's findings were shared with all IPPF secretariat staff on 26 July 2021. We included a response from management, the Anti Racism Working Group and the Board of Trustees Statement on Anti-Racism. The report was a turning point for IPPF, and as much as it was difficult to read, we hope people felt safe sharing their experiences with us. IPPF anticipated that the report would uncover some hard truths on people's experience of racism within the workplace, and we have acknowledged and are humbled by the contributions from staff. We know talking about lived experiences of racism and discrimination takes an emotional and mental toll, and we are deeply sorry to our colleagues who have experienced racism and discrimination in the workplace. IPPF remains truly grateful for their contribution, which has led to practical insights and recommendations that the management team has taken forward, with oversight from our governance.   IPPF has a duty to do better, and we are committed long-term to the principles of affirmative action and, through them, the Anti-Racism Programme of Action.  In line with some of the recommendations, we have continued to engage as a management team, with a staff working group representing all regions, and a Board of Trustees Sub Committee, thereby creating complete oversight of the implementation of the recommendations. The Anti Racism Sub Committee is led by Bience Gawanas, who has global expertise in the area and was one of the Under-Secretary Generals who supported the internal efforts to combat racism within the UN.  Currently, we feel that our management team and our governance reflect the diversity and experience necessary to decolonise the way we work. Our current Board of Trustees, formed in 2020, is made up of 15 people (including 20% young people under the age of 25) from 11 different geographies, including West Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, the Caribbean, Latin-America, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North America, Oceania and South Asia. Our Global Leadership Team comprises of ten people from nine different countries, with each of our Regional Directors, who all identify as women,  representing the diversity of the regions they lead. We were also a very high performer in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 Report and have rated a consistently high performer since 2020, achieving gender parity in our governing body and senior management in the range of 56-100% of women represented.   Our Leadership is committed to creating an organisation that has no discrimination in how it operates and the services it offers. In trying to address some of the the report's recommendations, IPPF has:  Begun a series of discussions, webinars and training to address some of the interpersonal and institutional racism that exists in the organisation. This has included training on aspects of microaggressions, unconscious bias and other pathways of racism that exist. We have interrogated our framing of issues within a more public domain through asset framing training with an anti-racism lens.   Contracted a team of anti-racism trainers to conduct training across the Secretariat for the next six months to more deeply interrogate some key issues emanating from the report.   For the last ten months, we have been working on a series of consultations focusing on our next five-year strategy, which has explicitly embedded anti-racism as central to our strategic direction.   Critically we are working on our public statement of action for Anti-Racism – co-created with Member Associations through our training to be delivered at the IPPF General Assembly in November 2022. We felt strongly that it was too easy to focus on public sentiments and that we wanted to walk the talk as an organization before this, which is why the sequencing of the Anti-Racism Program of Action is as it is. You will see that evidenced in the management response.    As part of our actions to ensure equity across the Secretariat, over the past 18 months, we have conducted a comprehensive pay and benefits review and bought a consistent approach to job evaluation, grading and pay scales at all levels and for all geographies across the Secretariat.   We share these points not to underestimate some of the report's findings but to demonstrate that we take seriously the actioning of this work.   We thank all staff who participated in the review and know that this was not easy. Still, we are grateful to have the recommendations and are committed to ensuring that we address these as holistically as possible. We look to the future with hope and commitment so that all our colleagues feel safe and valued while working for IPPF.   Sincerely, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director-General  

Women holding sign saying bans off our bodies
media center

| 24 June 2022

US Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade in devastating blow to women's health and rights

The US Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade in the biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent US history, removing 50 years of constitutional protection for abortion across America, meaning individual states will now decide the legality of abortion within their jurisdiction. Twenty-six states, including Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas and Georgia, are now poised to enact "trigger laws" that will severely limit or ban abortion, putting approximately 40 million women and girls of reproductive age at risk of losing abortion access, with lower-income people and people of color most severely affected.  The patchwork of state abortion bans means those without funds to travel for safe and legal abortion services or access medical abortion pills will be forced underground to unsafe and unregulated methods, with no guarantee of quality of care or aftercare if things go wrong. The devastating rollback of reproductive rights resulted from the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization case, a 2018 ruling that banned abortion in Mississippi after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Of the nine federal Supreme Court Justices, six voted to uphold the Mississippi law, effectively overturning Roe v. Wade, and three dissented. Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: "The Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is the biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent US history and an outrageous and devastating conclusion to what was already an unconstitutional removal of life-saving healthcare. "By continuing its unbridled attack on women's bodies and forcing them to carry pregnancies to term, the highest court in the land has reached its lowest point, robbing millions of their liberty, bodily autonomy and freedom – the very values the United States prides itself on. "We know for a fact that banning abortion does not mean fewer abortions and that when abortion bans are enacted, women and pregnant people die, as we have seen across the globe, most recently in Poland. We also know that those who cannot access safe abortion care legally, including medical abortion pills, will be forced into unregulated and unsafe methods, potentially resulting in serious harm or even death and costing lives for decades to come. "The fallout from this calculated decision will also reverberate worldwide, emboldening other anti-abortion, anti-woman and anti-gender movements and impacting other reproductive freedoms. The justices who put their personal beliefs ahead of American will, precedent, and law will soon have blood on their hands, and we are devastated for the millions of people who will suffer from this cruel judgment." The overturning of Roe v. Wade also flies in the face of democracy and against the values of those the Supreme Court is meant to represent and protect, with the majority (60%) of Americans supporting Roe v. Wade and 70% believing the decision to end a pregnancy is between a woman or pregnant person and their doctor. Elizabeth Schlachter, Director of Advocacy and US representative for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: "The Supreme Court's perilous ruling is not just regressive but also wildly out of step with most Americans, who we know support access to abortion care. It is also at odds with much of the world, where access to abortion is expanding to reach all who need this vital health service. "By overriding the constitutional right to abortion across the US and handing the decision to each state, many parts of the US will now join El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Poland with some of the most restrictive, extremist, and life-threatening bans on abortion care in the world. "But this is not just about the anti-abortion movement in the US; this is concerted and calculated global effort by anti-women, anti-gender, anti-LGBTQI+ conservative and religious, white supremacist extremists, who are using dark money and undemocratic means to deny people their human right to healthcare, equality, bodily autonomy and ultimately, freedom. "With long-held rights under sustained attack, the International Planned Parenthood Federation is imploring governments across the globe to do more to protect democracy and peoples' freedoms from the interference and influence of these extremist groups." The International Planned Parenthood Federation's (IPPF) Member Association, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), continues to provide services to all who need them where legally possible, including via telemedicine for medical abortion pills. IPPF and PPFA will also continue to work around the clock to protect the rights of all people both in the US and globally, fighting extremism at its core and ensuring that women and pregnant people will not be forced to carry a pregnancy or give birth against their will. To help keep abortion legal, safe, and accessible, you can donate to the International Planned Parenthood Federation or Planned Parenthood Federation of America. For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]   About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF, through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.

Women holding sign saying bans off our bodies
media_center

| 08 February 2023

US Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade in devastating blow to women's health and rights

The US Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade in the biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent US history, removing 50 years of constitutional protection for abortion across America, meaning individual states will now decide the legality of abortion within their jurisdiction. Twenty-six states, including Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas and Georgia, are now poised to enact "trigger laws" that will severely limit or ban abortion, putting approximately 40 million women and girls of reproductive age at risk of losing abortion access, with lower-income people and people of color most severely affected.  The patchwork of state abortion bans means those without funds to travel for safe and legal abortion services or access medical abortion pills will be forced underground to unsafe and unregulated methods, with no guarantee of quality of care or aftercare if things go wrong. The devastating rollback of reproductive rights resulted from the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization case, a 2018 ruling that banned abortion in Mississippi after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Of the nine federal Supreme Court Justices, six voted to uphold the Mississippi law, effectively overturning Roe v. Wade, and three dissented. Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: "The Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is the biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent US history and an outrageous and devastating conclusion to what was already an unconstitutional removal of life-saving healthcare. "By continuing its unbridled attack on women's bodies and forcing them to carry pregnancies to term, the highest court in the land has reached its lowest point, robbing millions of their liberty, bodily autonomy and freedom – the very values the United States prides itself on. "We know for a fact that banning abortion does not mean fewer abortions and that when abortion bans are enacted, women and pregnant people die, as we have seen across the globe, most recently in Poland. We also know that those who cannot access safe abortion care legally, including medical abortion pills, will be forced into unregulated and unsafe methods, potentially resulting in serious harm or even death and costing lives for decades to come. "The fallout from this calculated decision will also reverberate worldwide, emboldening other anti-abortion, anti-woman and anti-gender movements and impacting other reproductive freedoms. The justices who put their personal beliefs ahead of American will, precedent, and law will soon have blood on their hands, and we are devastated for the millions of people who will suffer from this cruel judgment." The overturning of Roe v. Wade also flies in the face of democracy and against the values of those the Supreme Court is meant to represent and protect, with the majority (60%) of Americans supporting Roe v. Wade and 70% believing the decision to end a pregnancy is between a woman or pregnant person and their doctor. Elizabeth Schlachter, Director of Advocacy and US representative for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: "The Supreme Court's perilous ruling is not just regressive but also wildly out of step with most Americans, who we know support access to abortion care. It is also at odds with much of the world, where access to abortion is expanding to reach all who need this vital health service. "By overriding the constitutional right to abortion across the US and handing the decision to each state, many parts of the US will now join El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Poland with some of the most restrictive, extremist, and life-threatening bans on abortion care in the world. "But this is not just about the anti-abortion movement in the US; this is concerted and calculated global effort by anti-women, anti-gender, anti-LGBTQI+ conservative and religious, white supremacist extremists, who are using dark money and undemocratic means to deny people their human right to healthcare, equality, bodily autonomy and ultimately, freedom. "With long-held rights under sustained attack, the International Planned Parenthood Federation is imploring governments across the globe to do more to protect democracy and peoples' freedoms from the interference and influence of these extremist groups." The International Planned Parenthood Federation's (IPPF) Member Association, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), continues to provide services to all who need them where legally possible, including via telemedicine for medical abortion pills. IPPF and PPFA will also continue to work around the clock to protect the rights of all people both in the US and globally, fighting extremism at its core and ensuring that women and pregnant people will not be forced to carry a pregnancy or give birth against their will. To help keep abortion legal, safe, and accessible, you can donate to the International Planned Parenthood Federation or Planned Parenthood Federation of America. For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]   About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF, through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.

U.K flag on a pole
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| 18 May 2022

UK government publishes new international development strategy

The UK government has released its long-awaited International Development Strategy (IDS) which details the UK’s approach to international development moving forward. The strategy sets out the FCDO's priorities as: Deliver honest and reliable investment, building on the UK’s financial expertise and the strengths of the City of London, and delivering the Prime Minister’s vision for the Clean Green Initiative, supporting partner countries to grow their economies sustainably. Provide women and girls with the freedom they need to succeed, unlocking their future potential, educating girls, supporting their empowerment and protecting them against violence. Provide life-saving humanitarian assistance and work to prevent the worst forms of human suffering, prioritising our funding and being a global leader in driving a more effective international response to humanitarian crises. Take forward our work on climate change, nature and global health. We are putting the commitments of our Presidency of G7 and COP26, our global leadership in science and technology, and our COVID-19 response, at the core of our international development offer. Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: "While, in theory, the UK’s new international development strategy prioritizes women and girls, it is unclear how the government will provide ‘the freedom they need to succeed’ while simultaneously cutting billions from the very things that help achieve this, including unhindered access to life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare which helps keep girls in school, protects them from a lifetime of poverty and helps prevents untimely maternal deaths. "It is also unclear how the UK will prevent the worst forms of human suffering in humanitarian contexts when the 2021 aid cuts left millions of women across Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Sudan and Syria and Yemen with no control over their bodies, their futures, or their lives. And more so, while this government chooses to distribute the dedicated aid budget to fund other government departments rather than increasing overall budgets. "Until this government returns to the 0.7% target, this strategy will be little more than lip service from a government that knowingly robbed women and girls of their freedom and futures during the upheaval of a global pandemic when continued solidarity, support and humanitarian assistance from the wealthiest nations was most needed." For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]   About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.    

U.K flag on a pole
media_center

| 16 May 2022

UK government publishes new international development strategy

The UK government has released its long-awaited International Development Strategy (IDS) which details the UK’s approach to international development moving forward. The strategy sets out the FCDO's priorities as: Deliver honest and reliable investment, building on the UK’s financial expertise and the strengths of the City of London, and delivering the Prime Minister’s vision for the Clean Green Initiative, supporting partner countries to grow their economies sustainably. Provide women and girls with the freedom they need to succeed, unlocking their future potential, educating girls, supporting their empowerment and protecting them against violence. Provide life-saving humanitarian assistance and work to prevent the worst forms of human suffering, prioritising our funding and being a global leader in driving a more effective international response to humanitarian crises. Take forward our work on climate change, nature and global health. We are putting the commitments of our Presidency of G7 and COP26, our global leadership in science and technology, and our COVID-19 response, at the core of our international development offer. Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: "While, in theory, the UK’s new international development strategy prioritizes women and girls, it is unclear how the government will provide ‘the freedom they need to succeed’ while simultaneously cutting billions from the very things that help achieve this, including unhindered access to life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare which helps keep girls in school, protects them from a lifetime of poverty and helps prevents untimely maternal deaths. "It is also unclear how the UK will prevent the worst forms of human suffering in humanitarian contexts when the 2021 aid cuts left millions of women across Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Sudan and Syria and Yemen with no control over their bodies, their futures, or their lives. And more so, while this government chooses to distribute the dedicated aid budget to fund other government departments rather than increasing overall budgets. "Until this government returns to the 0.7% target, this strategy will be little more than lip service from a government that knowingly robbed women and girls of their freedom and futures during the upheaval of a global pandemic when continued solidarity, support and humanitarian assistance from the wealthiest nations was most needed." For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]   About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.    

Protest sign reads "keep abortion legal"
media center

| 03 May 2022

Statement on the US Supreme Court's draft opinion on Roe v Wade

On the US Supreme Court's draft opinion on Roe v Wade, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General for IPPF, said: "If the reports are true, then the highest court in the land has reached its lowest point. If they continue down the road of overturning Roe v Wade, they will rob millions of people of their liberty, bodily autonomy, and their freedom – the very values the United States prides itself on. "This decision will also embolden other Conservative extremist movements around the world, looking to deny women their reproductive freedom. Make no mistake, this ruling will cost millions of lives for years to come. "The Supreme Court still has time to do the right thing and uphold Roe v Wade. IPPF will do all it can to ensure people can safely end their pregnancy."  For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity – no matter what. Main image: Abortion rights protest in Washington DC, US – photo by Gayatri Malhotra, Unsplash

Protest sign reads "keep abortion legal"
media_center

| 08 February 2023

Statement on the US Supreme Court's draft opinion on Roe v Wade

On the US Supreme Court's draft opinion on Roe v Wade, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General for IPPF, said: "If the reports are true, then the highest court in the land has reached its lowest point. If they continue down the road of overturning Roe v Wade, they will rob millions of people of their liberty, bodily autonomy, and their freedom – the very values the United States prides itself on. "This decision will also embolden other Conservative extremist movements around the world, looking to deny women their reproductive freedom. Make no mistake, this ruling will cost millions of lives for years to come. "The Supreme Court still has time to do the right thing and uphold Roe v Wade. IPPF will do all it can to ensure people can safely end their pregnancy."  For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity – no matter what. Main image: Abortion rights protest in Washington DC, US – photo by Gayatri Malhotra, Unsplash

uk flag
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| 12 April 2022

FCDO provisional 2021 UK aid spending shows grim reality of aid cuts

Today, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) published its provisional statistics report on UK aid spending for 2021.  The total overall aid spend was £11.5 billion, down from £14.5 billion in 2020 following the UK government's reduction to overseas development aid (ODA) from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent of gross national income (GNI), citing the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  ODA improves the lives of people around the world, helping them access the healthcare they deserve, including lifesaving sexual and reproductive healthcare. It also helps tackle global disease, eliminate poverty, provide humanitarian assistance during conflict and reduce the impact of climate change.  Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General for IPPF, said: “While not surprising, the provisional UK aid spend for 2021 shows the grim reality of making such severe cuts during the tremendous global upheaval of a pandemic, when continued solidarity, support and humanitarian assistance from the wealthiest nations is most needed. “The government already knew from the equalities impact assessment that these cuts to promised funds would be devastating for women, girls and diverse groups, who disproportionally experience the effects of poverty, disease and climate change while also bearing the burden of violence, especially in conflict. “Not only that, but the government also chose to distribute the dedicated aid budget to other government departments. This includes a staggering £915 million to the Home Office and counting so-called ‘donations’ of excess COVID vaccines to other countries, which could have been given to those in need instead. The aid cuts left millions of women in Ukraine with no control over their bodies, their futures, or their lives, just as it did in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Sudan and Syria. Today, the role of the UK in building a better, safer world is more critical than ever if there is any hope of reversing the impacts of the cuts and the government must return to the 0.7% as soon as possible – the lives and futures of people depend on it”. Key statistics include: The provisional ODA:GNI ratio for 2021 was 0.5 per cent, or £11.5 billion. In 2021, UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) was £11,496 million, a decrease of £2,982 million (20.6 per cent decrease) on 2020. In 2021, UK bilateral ODA was £7,086 million (a decrease of 25.7 per cent) while U.K. multilateral ODA was £4,411 million (a decrease of 10.8 per cent). The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) spent £8,308 million in 2021, compared with £10,664 million in 2020 (a decrease of £2,356 million).  Non-FCDO5 spend on ODA in 2021 was £3,189 million, compared with £3,815 million in 2020 (a decrease of £626 m). The non-FCDO share was 27.7 per cent, up from 26.3 per cent in 2020. In 2021, £550 million of UK ODA was spent on activities to address the COVID19 pandemic². The Home Office spent £915 million of ODA in 2021 (an increase of 53.3 per cent). This was mostly due to increased accommodation costs for asylum seekers to ensure the measures set out in law were adhered to in limiting the spread of COVID-19. For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity – no matter what.  

uk flag
media_center

| 12 April 2022

FCDO provisional 2021 UK aid spending shows grim reality of aid cuts

Today, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) published its provisional statistics report on UK aid spending for 2021.  The total overall aid spend was £11.5 billion, down from £14.5 billion in 2020 following the UK government's reduction to overseas development aid (ODA) from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent of gross national income (GNI), citing the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  ODA improves the lives of people around the world, helping them access the healthcare they deserve, including lifesaving sexual and reproductive healthcare. It also helps tackle global disease, eliminate poverty, provide humanitarian assistance during conflict and reduce the impact of climate change.  Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General for IPPF, said: “While not surprising, the provisional UK aid spend for 2021 shows the grim reality of making such severe cuts during the tremendous global upheaval of a pandemic, when continued solidarity, support and humanitarian assistance from the wealthiest nations is most needed. “The government already knew from the equalities impact assessment that these cuts to promised funds would be devastating for women, girls and diverse groups, who disproportionally experience the effects of poverty, disease and climate change while also bearing the burden of violence, especially in conflict. “Not only that, but the government also chose to distribute the dedicated aid budget to other government departments. This includes a staggering £915 million to the Home Office and counting so-called ‘donations’ of excess COVID vaccines to other countries, which could have been given to those in need instead. The aid cuts left millions of women in Ukraine with no control over their bodies, their futures, or their lives, just as it did in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Sudan and Syria. Today, the role of the UK in building a better, safer world is more critical than ever if there is any hope of reversing the impacts of the cuts and the government must return to the 0.7% as soon as possible – the lives and futures of people depend on it”. Key statistics include: The provisional ODA:GNI ratio for 2021 was 0.5 per cent, or £11.5 billion. In 2021, UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) was £11,496 million, a decrease of £2,982 million (20.6 per cent decrease) on 2020. In 2021, UK bilateral ODA was £7,086 million (a decrease of 25.7 per cent) while U.K. multilateral ODA was £4,411 million (a decrease of 10.8 per cent). The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) spent £8,308 million in 2021, compared with £10,664 million in 2020 (a decrease of £2,356 million).  Non-FCDO5 spend on ODA in 2021 was £3,189 million, compared with £3,815 million in 2020 (a decrease of £626 m). The non-FCDO share was 27.7 per cent, up from 26.3 per cent in 2020. In 2021, £550 million of UK ODA was spent on activities to address the COVID19 pandemic². The Home Office spent £915 million of ODA in 2021 (an increase of 53.3 per cent). This was mostly due to increased accommodation costs for asylum seekers to ensure the measures set out in law were adhered to in limiting the spread of COVID-19. For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity – no matter what.  

two women raising their fists in the air
media center

| 05 April 2022

Leading SRHR organizations issue a call to action to step up protection for frontline workers

Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), IPAS Partners for Reproductive Justice (IPAS), and MSI Reproductive Choices (MSI) launched “Defend the Frontline Defenders of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” - a joint initiative to strengthen protection of frontline sexual and reproductive health workers and advocates.  The five global organizations called on the wider health sector and authorities around the world to step up efforts  to ensure that all health workers and advocates are able to go about their daily work without stigma, fear, threat or intimidation.a joint initiative to strengthen protection of frontline sexual and reproductive health workers and advocates.  The five global organizations called on the wider health sector and authorities around the world to step up efforts  to ensure that all health workers and advocates are able to go about their daily work without stigma, fear, threat or intimidation. Hostility directed against frontline healthcare workers and advocates reportedly occurs most often at the hands of patients and their families and visitors.  Notably however, those working in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) often face hostility also from their colleagues, institutions, local communities and public figures too.   The five organizations, global leaders in the field of SRHR, highlighted that in their experience, wherever stigma is associated with provision of, or advocacy for, services and information about, for example, safe abortion, contraception, HIV/AIDs, or LGBTQI+ persons, that stigma also attaches to the professionals concerned. The organizations stressed that, around the world, health workers and advocates face greater discrimination, harassment and, at times, even physical attack, in settings and contexts where laws, public policies, government leaders and other public authorities are hostile to sexual and reproductive health and rights.   Dr. Alvaro Bermejo, Director General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “IPPF sexual and reproductive health service providers around the world are regularly subjected to threats and abuse as they tirelessly work to deliver life-saving services. This is an unacceptable situation that must stop. Anti-rights and anti-gender perpetrators should not prevent people from accessing essential care or from making decisions about their sexuality and reproduction. All human beings should enjoy bodily autonomy to the full. As a major service provider and leading advocate of SRHR with members in over 120 countries, IPPF joins this call to action and urges Governments to ensure the safety of all health care providers and advocates as human rights defenders, without harassment, discrimination and abuse” Public debates about SRHR and associated health services are among the most ideologically charged. Narratives opposed to SRHR from political and community leaders, alongside regressive policies and laws, mean greater hostility directed against those who provide, protect and promote SRHR for us all.  Facing discrimination, belittlement, harassment and even violence not only against themselves, but their places of work, and even their families, frontline SRHR workers and advocates, across the globe, must draw on their own reserves of courage, commitment and resilience just to continue their daily work. Dr. Jeanne Conry, President of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, explained: “It is unacceptable that those on the frontline providing essential sexual and reproductive health care are on the receiving end of discrimination and violence for simply doing their jobs. We all know colleagues who have battled with stigma, career blocking, physical attack and other forms of harassment, forfeiting their mental and physical health and wellbeing in the process. This cannot go on. Alongside our partners, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) is determined to raise awareness of this issue, and commits to effecting change for our colleagues providing sexual and reproductive health services around the world.”    Designed to help strengthen support and protection for the human rights of those on the frontlines, providing and advocating for sexual and reproductive health services and the needed policy and legal reforms, this new joint initiative aims to: Establish better standards for workplace response to hostility against workers and advocates in recognition of their human rights to work without stigma, discrimination, threat, attack etc.;  Initiate closer global monitoring of the incidence and prevalence of such threats and attacks; and,  Raise public awareness of the consequences of unchecked public hostility against SRHR for frontline workers and advocates Dr. Franka Cadée, President of the International Confederation of Midwives, said: “ICM is in regular communication with many of its more than 140 midwives' associations located in over 120 countries. We know that every day, midwives suffer from gender-based abuse and harassment on the job and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this type of discriminatory treatment in new ways. When midwives’ rights are abused or taken advantage of, women and girls everywhere suffer. Robust investments are needed in policies, pay and protections that allow midwives to perform their full scope of practice.” This new joint initiative - “Defend the Frontline Defenders of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” will also undertake ground-breaking research to establish better understanding of what public hostility to SRHR means for those on the frontlines.  While there is anecdotal evidence across the sector, to date little data has been gathered on the extent of the hostility faced, and none on its direct causes and consequences.  Nor has there been benchmarking against which to assess global trends over time.  Dr. Anu Kumar, Ipas President and CEO, said: "Around the world, abortion providers and advocates bring dedication, compassion and courage to their work--often in the face of harassment, stigma, and even violence. Just as sexual and reproductive health and rights are essential, the people who care for us are essential. Frontline SRHR defenders are our partners for reproductive justice, and at Ipas we are committed to ensuring their human rights are respected and protected." Frontline workers provide services essential for us all, explained the five organizations, recalling how vital health workers were shown to be throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.  Ensuring SRHR workers and advocates are safe, treated with respect, and are able to go about their work with dignity, means respecting their fundamental human rights, including their labour rights and their rights to redress when attacked.  It also means challenging the impunity more often enjoyed by those who incite such attacks.  The five organizations issued a Call To Action, published by BMJ Global Health, urging the wider health sector to join them in stepping up attention and focus on the dignity of their staff, particularly in circumstances and contexts of hostility to SRHR.  It is past time for our sector to also tackle directly the impunity enjoyed by those who, through speech and action, fester hostility to SRHR and thus to frontline workers, the organizations said. Kate Austen, MSI Reproductive Choices’ Institutional Resilience Lead, said: “At MSI, we are committed to expanding access to reproductive choice because we believe in every woman’s right to make choices about her body and her life. This work is only possible because of the courage of our frontline healthcare workers who work tirelessly to protect sexual and reproductive rights despite facing daily harassment, stigma and abuse.  It’s time to say enough is enough. Alongside our partners, we pledge to do everything we can to step up, respect and protect the rights of our colleagues to work and advocate free from fear, threat, and intimidation.” For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.

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| 05 April 2022

Leading SRHR organizations issue a call to action to step up protection for frontline workers

Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), IPAS Partners for Reproductive Justice (IPAS), and MSI Reproductive Choices (MSI) launched “Defend the Frontline Defenders of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” - a joint initiative to strengthen protection of frontline sexual and reproductive health workers and advocates.  The five global organizations called on the wider health sector and authorities around the world to step up efforts  to ensure that all health workers and advocates are able to go about their daily work without stigma, fear, threat or intimidation.a joint initiative to strengthen protection of frontline sexual and reproductive health workers and advocates.  The five global organizations called on the wider health sector and authorities around the world to step up efforts  to ensure that all health workers and advocates are able to go about their daily work without stigma, fear, threat or intimidation. Hostility directed against frontline healthcare workers and advocates reportedly occurs most often at the hands of patients and their families and visitors.  Notably however, those working in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) often face hostility also from their colleagues, institutions, local communities and public figures too.   The five organizations, global leaders in the field of SRHR, highlighted that in their experience, wherever stigma is associated with provision of, or advocacy for, services and information about, for example, safe abortion, contraception, HIV/AIDs, or LGBTQI+ persons, that stigma also attaches to the professionals concerned. The organizations stressed that, around the world, health workers and advocates face greater discrimination, harassment and, at times, even physical attack, in settings and contexts where laws, public policies, government leaders and other public authorities are hostile to sexual and reproductive health and rights.   Dr. Alvaro Bermejo, Director General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “IPPF sexual and reproductive health service providers around the world are regularly subjected to threats and abuse as they tirelessly work to deliver life-saving services. This is an unacceptable situation that must stop. Anti-rights and anti-gender perpetrators should not prevent people from accessing essential care or from making decisions about their sexuality and reproduction. All human beings should enjoy bodily autonomy to the full. As a major service provider and leading advocate of SRHR with members in over 120 countries, IPPF joins this call to action and urges Governments to ensure the safety of all health care providers and advocates as human rights defenders, without harassment, discrimination and abuse” Public debates about SRHR and associated health services are among the most ideologically charged. Narratives opposed to SRHR from political and community leaders, alongside regressive policies and laws, mean greater hostility directed against those who provide, protect and promote SRHR for us all.  Facing discrimination, belittlement, harassment and even violence not only against themselves, but their places of work, and even their families, frontline SRHR workers and advocates, across the globe, must draw on their own reserves of courage, commitment and resilience just to continue their daily work. Dr. Jeanne Conry, President of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, explained: “It is unacceptable that those on the frontline providing essential sexual and reproductive health care are on the receiving end of discrimination and violence for simply doing their jobs. We all know colleagues who have battled with stigma, career blocking, physical attack and other forms of harassment, forfeiting their mental and physical health and wellbeing in the process. This cannot go on. Alongside our partners, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) is determined to raise awareness of this issue, and commits to effecting change for our colleagues providing sexual and reproductive health services around the world.”    Designed to help strengthen support and protection for the human rights of those on the frontlines, providing and advocating for sexual and reproductive health services and the needed policy and legal reforms, this new joint initiative aims to: Establish better standards for workplace response to hostility against workers and advocates in recognition of their human rights to work without stigma, discrimination, threat, attack etc.;  Initiate closer global monitoring of the incidence and prevalence of such threats and attacks; and,  Raise public awareness of the consequences of unchecked public hostility against SRHR for frontline workers and advocates Dr. Franka Cadée, President of the International Confederation of Midwives, said: “ICM is in regular communication with many of its more than 140 midwives' associations located in over 120 countries. We know that every day, midwives suffer from gender-based abuse and harassment on the job and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this type of discriminatory treatment in new ways. When midwives’ rights are abused or taken advantage of, women and girls everywhere suffer. Robust investments are needed in policies, pay and protections that allow midwives to perform their full scope of practice.” This new joint initiative - “Defend the Frontline Defenders of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” will also undertake ground-breaking research to establish better understanding of what public hostility to SRHR means for those on the frontlines.  While there is anecdotal evidence across the sector, to date little data has been gathered on the extent of the hostility faced, and none on its direct causes and consequences.  Nor has there been benchmarking against which to assess global trends over time.  Dr. Anu Kumar, Ipas President and CEO, said: "Around the world, abortion providers and advocates bring dedication, compassion and courage to their work--often in the face of harassment, stigma, and even violence. Just as sexual and reproductive health and rights are essential, the people who care for us are essential. Frontline SRHR defenders are our partners for reproductive justice, and at Ipas we are committed to ensuring their human rights are respected and protected." Frontline workers provide services essential for us all, explained the five organizations, recalling how vital health workers were shown to be throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.  Ensuring SRHR workers and advocates are safe, treated with respect, and are able to go about their work with dignity, means respecting their fundamental human rights, including their labour rights and their rights to redress when attacked.  It also means challenging the impunity more often enjoyed by those who incite such attacks.  The five organizations issued a Call To Action, published by BMJ Global Health, urging the wider health sector to join them in stepping up attention and focus on the dignity of their staff, particularly in circumstances and contexts of hostility to SRHR.  It is past time for our sector to also tackle directly the impunity enjoyed by those who, through speech and action, fester hostility to SRHR and thus to frontline workers, the organizations said. Kate Austen, MSI Reproductive Choices’ Institutional Resilience Lead, said: “At MSI, we are committed to expanding access to reproductive choice because we believe in every woman’s right to make choices about her body and her life. This work is only possible because of the courage of our frontline healthcare workers who work tirelessly to protect sexual and reproductive rights despite facing daily harassment, stigma and abuse.  It’s time to say enough is enough. Alongside our partners, we pledge to do everything we can to step up, respect and protect the rights of our colleagues to work and advocate free from fear, threat, and intimidation.” For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.