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Latest news from IPPF

Spotlight

A selection of news from across the Federation

Nepal humanitarian response earthquake
News item

IPPF Achieves Very High Performer Status in Global Health 50/50 Gender and Health Index 2024

IPPF is thrilled to announce that the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has been recognized as a Very High Performer in the 2024 Global Health 50/50 Gender and Health Index! This prestigious designation, coupled with our classification as a Consistently Strong Performer in trend performance, reflects IPPF's unwavering commitment to achieving gender equality. 

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Nepal humanitarian response earthquake
news item

| 10 July 2024

IPPF Achieves Very High Performer Status in Global Health 50/50 Gender and Health Index 2024

IPPF is thrilled to announce that the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has been recognized as a Very High Performer in the 2024 Global Health 50/50 Gender and Health Index! This prestigious designation, coupled with our classification as a Consistently Strong Performer in trend performance, reflects IPPF's unwavering commitment to achieving gender equality.  Transparency, strong governance with gender parity, and actively closing the gender pay gap are all cornerstones of our mission as a feminist organization. This recognition by Global Health 50/50 validates our ongoing efforts to create a truly equitable environment, both internally and within the global health landscape.  Professors Sarah Hawkes and Kent Buse, Co-CEOs of Global Health 50/50, acknowledged IPPF's leadership, stating, “Global Health 50/50 is pleased to recognise International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) as a Very High Performer in our 2024 Report, 'Gaining Ground?'. We hope that International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)'s efforts to advance equality and diversity inspires others. We look to them to continue to push this hard won progress forward for the people working in global health and around the world." We are inspired by their words and committed to furthering this progress for the benefit of our staff and the communities we serve worldwide.  Read the report here.

Nepal humanitarian response earthquake
news_item

| 10 July 2024

IPPF Achieves Very High Performer Status in Global Health 50/50 Gender and Health Index 2024

IPPF is thrilled to announce that the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has been recognized as a Very High Performer in the 2024 Global Health 50/50 Gender and Health Index! This prestigious designation, coupled with our classification as a Consistently Strong Performer in trend performance, reflects IPPF's unwavering commitment to achieving gender equality.  Transparency, strong governance with gender parity, and actively closing the gender pay gap are all cornerstones of our mission as a feminist organization. This recognition by Global Health 50/50 validates our ongoing efforts to create a truly equitable environment, both internally and within the global health landscape.  Professors Sarah Hawkes and Kent Buse, Co-CEOs of Global Health 50/50, acknowledged IPPF's leadership, stating, “Global Health 50/50 is pleased to recognise International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) as a Very High Performer in our 2024 Report, 'Gaining Ground?'. We hope that International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)'s efforts to advance equality and diversity inspires others. We look to them to continue to push this hard won progress forward for the people working in global health and around the world." We are inspired by their words and committed to furthering this progress for the benefit of our staff and the communities we serve worldwide.  Read the report here.

Sex Workers' rights
news item

| 26 June 2024

IPPF Statement Reacting to the SR VAWG's Report on Prostitution and Violence Against women and Girls

Stigmatising.  Ideologically driven.   Damaging.  These are just a few words that can describe this report.  The International Planned Parenthood Federation is a global feminist, sexual and reproductive health and rights organisation with decades of experience providing services to sex workers’ of all genders.  We denounce in the strongest terms the content of this report and the ideologically driven process that led to it.  The report ignores decades of international evidence and global recommendations by WHO, UNAIDS, Amnesty International - and more importantly sex workers themselves.   Sex workers' voices have deliberately been ignored in the drafting of this report, reproducing the patriarchal silencing and exclusion that sex workers face in their daily lives.  At times of increasing attacks on women’s and LGBTQI communities, this report is fuelling misconceptions and harmful stigmatisation. The report promotes policies consistently proven to violate sex workers’ human rights using human rights rhetoric and erase sex workers consent, agency and humanity  At a time when racialised and migrant communities are increasingly calling to end police brutality and impunity, this report only offers more criminalisation and policing - putting the lives of most marginalised sex workers at risk.  The International Planned Parenthood Federation support the full decriminalisation of sex work. and stands in full solidarity with sex workers, their organisations and their struggles for human rights.  There is no feminism without sex workers.  Sex work is work. 

Sex Workers' rights
news_item

| 26 June 2024

IPPF Statement Reacting to the SR VAWG's Report on Prostitution and Violence Against women and Girls

Stigmatising.  Ideologically driven.   Damaging.  These are just a few words that can describe this report.  The International Planned Parenthood Federation is a global feminist, sexual and reproductive health and rights organisation with decades of experience providing services to sex workers’ of all genders.  We denounce in the strongest terms the content of this report and the ideologically driven process that led to it.  The report ignores decades of international evidence and global recommendations by WHO, UNAIDS, Amnesty International - and more importantly sex workers themselves.   Sex workers' voices have deliberately been ignored in the drafting of this report, reproducing the patriarchal silencing and exclusion that sex workers face in their daily lives.  At times of increasing attacks on women’s and LGBTQI communities, this report is fuelling misconceptions and harmful stigmatisation. The report promotes policies consistently proven to violate sex workers’ human rights using human rights rhetoric and erase sex workers consent, agency and humanity  At a time when racialised and migrant communities are increasingly calling to end police brutality and impunity, this report only offers more criminalisation and policing - putting the lives of most marginalised sex workers at risk.  The International Planned Parenthood Federation support the full decriminalisation of sex work. and stands in full solidarity with sex workers, their organisations and their struggles for human rights.  There is no feminism without sex workers.  Sex work is work. 

United Nations
news item

| 20 June 2024

Sex workers and feminist allies welcome UN human rights experts’ support for the full decriminalization of sex work

Major progress has been made in the debate on sex workers’ rights through a recent paper, “Eliminating discrimination against sex workers and securing their human rights,” published by the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Discrimination Against Women and Girls. In advocating for the full decriminalization of sex work based on international standards for strengthening women’s bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health, this guidance document is an important step toward a human rights-based approach to sex work for all UN bodies to follow. Unlike the sensationalist and reductive claims made by many anti-rights groups, the Working Group’s paper is grounded in evidence-based research and informed by consultations conducted with diverse sex workers across geographical regions, including those living with HIV and those who have experienced violence, exploitation, and abuse first-hand under restrictive policy models. “The position paper is not denying the injustices that occur in sex work, but merely highlighting the criminalisation of any aspect of sex work, and other punitive laws, policies and practices, that actually create these environments of violence, risk and abuse of sex workers,” as remarked by Jules Kim, Global Coordinator of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) during the launch of the position paper. Furthermore, the paper draws attention to recommendations by international bodies, including several UN Special Procedure mandate holders and UN agencies, calling for the removal of punitive provisions on sex work. Given the large body of evidence and the growing consensus among international human rights bodies regarding the situation of sex workers, the Working Group concludes that there is sufficient proof of the harms of any forms of criminalisation of sex work and calls for the full decriminalization of sex work as the most conducive model to ensure the human rights of sex workers. Under decriminalization, all forms of sex work-specific criminal and licensing laws intended to sanction sex workers, clients and people who operate with sex workers are removed. The Working Group found that “in jurisdictions which criminalize sex workers, violations of their rights are numerous.” This finding is supported by international best practice guidelines and a substantial body of evidence. Decriminalization is the legal framework favoured by most sex worker-led organisations worldwide, as well as leading authorities in health and human rights. In New Zealand, following the decriminalization of sex work in 2003, sex workers have reported improved working conditions, negotiation power, and increased confidence in asserting their legal and employment rights. Sex workers in New Zealand also report improved relationships with law enforcement and an increased likelihood of reporting incidents of violence to the police. In Australia, the New South Wales (NSW) Ministry of Health has found that the reforms that decriminalized adult sex work “improved human rights; removed police corruption; netted savings for the criminal justice system; and enhanced the surveillance, health promotion, and safety of the NSW sex industry.” Contrary to early concerns, the NSW sex industry has not increased in size or visibility. Most important, the Working Group emphasises that decriminalization does not impede states’ efforts to mitigate human trafficking, citing the 2020 report of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons. If anything, decriminalization assists efforts to combat trafficking and exploitation in the sex work sector. The UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery has recently called for the full decriminalization of sex work to prevent further human rights violations against sex workers. As the Working Group’s position paper was being drafted, NGO members of the Sex Workers Inclusive Feminist Alliance (see membership list below) and sex workers from the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) were respondents to the consultations. Sex workers from such organizations as the Kenya Sex Workers Alliance, the European Sex Workers’ Rights Alliance, Plataforma Latinoamérica de Personas que Ejercen el Trabajo Sexual, the Guyana Vulnerable Populations Alliance and the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers each briefed the working group on the challenges facing their constituents. Each one briefed the Working Group on the most pressing challenges facing sex workers in their regions, including the conflation of sex work and trafficking, an increasingly strong and coordinated anti-rights and anti-gender movement and rising calls for criminalization. These calls pose a serious threat to sex workers’ rights and fly in the face of the abundant evidence of increased discrimination and isolation of sex workers in countries where sex work is criminalized. The guidance paper exemplifies meaningful inclusion of sex workers’ voices in the drafting of policy recommendations. This inclusion will lead to changes that improve the conditions of people who do sex work, particularly those most at risk of violence, poverty and poor health. The working group joins several UN agencies that have long called for the decriminalization of sex work, including the UN Population Fund, the World Health Organization, the UN Development Program and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).   Originally published in PassBlue on May 31, 2024. SWIFA was formed as part of a long-term strategy of building alliances across the sex workers’ and feminist movements to advance the acceptance of sex workers’ rights within the women’s movement. Organisations in the alliance include: Amnesty International, CREA, FEMNET, Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW), Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP), International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW Asia Pacific), Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

United Nations
news_item

| 20 June 2024

Sex workers and feminist allies welcome UN human rights experts’ support for the full decriminalization of sex work

Major progress has been made in the debate on sex workers’ rights through a recent paper, “Eliminating discrimination against sex workers and securing their human rights,” published by the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Discrimination Against Women and Girls. In advocating for the full decriminalization of sex work based on international standards for strengthening women’s bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health, this guidance document is an important step toward a human rights-based approach to sex work for all UN bodies to follow. Unlike the sensationalist and reductive claims made by many anti-rights groups, the Working Group’s paper is grounded in evidence-based research and informed by consultations conducted with diverse sex workers across geographical regions, including those living with HIV and those who have experienced violence, exploitation, and abuse first-hand under restrictive policy models. “The position paper is not denying the injustices that occur in sex work, but merely highlighting the criminalisation of any aspect of sex work, and other punitive laws, policies and practices, that actually create these environments of violence, risk and abuse of sex workers,” as remarked by Jules Kim, Global Coordinator of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) during the launch of the position paper. Furthermore, the paper draws attention to recommendations by international bodies, including several UN Special Procedure mandate holders and UN agencies, calling for the removal of punitive provisions on sex work. Given the large body of evidence and the growing consensus among international human rights bodies regarding the situation of sex workers, the Working Group concludes that there is sufficient proof of the harms of any forms of criminalisation of sex work and calls for the full decriminalization of sex work as the most conducive model to ensure the human rights of sex workers. Under decriminalization, all forms of sex work-specific criminal and licensing laws intended to sanction sex workers, clients and people who operate with sex workers are removed. The Working Group found that “in jurisdictions which criminalize sex workers, violations of their rights are numerous.” This finding is supported by international best practice guidelines and a substantial body of evidence. Decriminalization is the legal framework favoured by most sex worker-led organisations worldwide, as well as leading authorities in health and human rights. In New Zealand, following the decriminalization of sex work in 2003, sex workers have reported improved working conditions, negotiation power, and increased confidence in asserting their legal and employment rights. Sex workers in New Zealand also report improved relationships with law enforcement and an increased likelihood of reporting incidents of violence to the police. In Australia, the New South Wales (NSW) Ministry of Health has found that the reforms that decriminalized adult sex work “improved human rights; removed police corruption; netted savings for the criminal justice system; and enhanced the surveillance, health promotion, and safety of the NSW sex industry.” Contrary to early concerns, the NSW sex industry has not increased in size or visibility. Most important, the Working Group emphasises that decriminalization does not impede states’ efforts to mitigate human trafficking, citing the 2020 report of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons. If anything, decriminalization assists efforts to combat trafficking and exploitation in the sex work sector. The UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery has recently called for the full decriminalization of sex work to prevent further human rights violations against sex workers. As the Working Group’s position paper was being drafted, NGO members of the Sex Workers Inclusive Feminist Alliance (see membership list below) and sex workers from the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) were respondents to the consultations. Sex workers from such organizations as the Kenya Sex Workers Alliance, the European Sex Workers’ Rights Alliance, Plataforma Latinoamérica de Personas que Ejercen el Trabajo Sexual, the Guyana Vulnerable Populations Alliance and the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers each briefed the working group on the challenges facing their constituents. Each one briefed the Working Group on the most pressing challenges facing sex workers in their regions, including the conflation of sex work and trafficking, an increasingly strong and coordinated anti-rights and anti-gender movement and rising calls for criminalization. These calls pose a serious threat to sex workers’ rights and fly in the face of the abundant evidence of increased discrimination and isolation of sex workers in countries where sex work is criminalized. The guidance paper exemplifies meaningful inclusion of sex workers’ voices in the drafting of policy recommendations. This inclusion will lead to changes that improve the conditions of people who do sex work, particularly those most at risk of violence, poverty and poor health. The working group joins several UN agencies that have long called for the decriminalization of sex work, including the UN Population Fund, the World Health Organization, the UN Development Program and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).   Originally published in PassBlue on May 31, 2024. SWIFA was formed as part of a long-term strategy of building alliances across the sex workers’ and feminist movements to advance the acceptance of sex workers’ rights within the women’s movement. Organisations in the alliance include: Amnesty International, CREA, FEMNET, Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW), Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP), International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW Asia Pacific), Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

UN
news item

| 29 April 2024

Civil Society Welcomes CPD Political Declaration

The International Sexual and Reproductive Rights Coalition (ISRRC) celebrates the 30th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD PoA) and the outcomes of its reviews and its transformative impact on the lives of women, adolescents, girls, and structurally excluded groups across all regions. The ISRRC members have, for the last thirty years, been implementing the PoA, directly impacting gender equality, human rights, and the sexual and reproductive lives of women, adolescents, and girls in all their diversity around the world. We celebrate the contributions and role of civil society, feminist and women’s movements and youth-led organizations in advancing the ICPD agenda. Our efforts have led to significant reductions in maternal mortality rates, increased access to reproductive health services, and improved gender equality in many communities.  Three decades ago, world leaders made a groundbreaking declaration, recognizing sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as human rights. The ICPD PoA has not only transformed lives but remains a pertinent solution to today's complex problems. The world has evolved since 1994, presenting unprecedented uncertainties and multiple crises. In this context, the ICPD PoA is not just a historical document but a living agenda that demands immediate action and continuous advancement to address the intricacies of today's global challenges.   The Political Declaration adopted at the 57th session of the Commission on Population and Development is a step towards ensuring accelerated action on the ICPD PoA, including its unfinished business. By reaffirming their commitment to the full implementation of the PoA and the follow-up to international and regional commitments, Member States are recommitting themselves to fulfilling sexual and reproductive rights for all and ensuring access to SRH services for young persons and adolescents, among other relevant issues. The inclusion of 'human rights for all', 'gender equality', and 'the empowerment of all women and girls' in the Political Declaration serves as a poignant reminder of the areas that demand immediate attention. The Political Declaration urges further action to scale up financing for sustainable development and references the right to development. The Political Declaration, just adopted by the CPD, stresses the interlinkages of the ICPD with 'relevant multilateral processes.' We call on Member States to bring the ICPD's goals and objectives to relevant multilateral platforms, in particular, the Summit of the Future and its outcomes. We welcome the contributions of additional ICPD+30 fora, including the Cotonou Global Youth Dialogue Call to Action and the Oslo Statement of Commitment from the 8th Inter Parliamentary Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD. We urge Member States to act now, emphasizing accountability for the ICPD agenda and its impact on the lives of women, adolescents, and girls in all their diversity.   About ISRRC IPPF co-convenes the ISRRC, a cross-regional coalition of more than 100 civil society organizations from around the world, along with Countdown 2030 Europe, Red por la Salud de las Mujeres, Ipas, FEMNET, and ARROW.  

UN
news_item

| 29 April 2024

Civil Society Welcomes CPD Political Declaration

The International Sexual and Reproductive Rights Coalition (ISRRC) celebrates the 30th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD PoA) and the outcomes of its reviews and its transformative impact on the lives of women, adolescents, girls, and structurally excluded groups across all regions. The ISRRC members have, for the last thirty years, been implementing the PoA, directly impacting gender equality, human rights, and the sexual and reproductive lives of women, adolescents, and girls in all their diversity around the world. We celebrate the contributions and role of civil society, feminist and women’s movements and youth-led organizations in advancing the ICPD agenda. Our efforts have led to significant reductions in maternal mortality rates, increased access to reproductive health services, and improved gender equality in many communities.  Three decades ago, world leaders made a groundbreaking declaration, recognizing sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as human rights. The ICPD PoA has not only transformed lives but remains a pertinent solution to today's complex problems. The world has evolved since 1994, presenting unprecedented uncertainties and multiple crises. In this context, the ICPD PoA is not just a historical document but a living agenda that demands immediate action and continuous advancement to address the intricacies of today's global challenges.   The Political Declaration adopted at the 57th session of the Commission on Population and Development is a step towards ensuring accelerated action on the ICPD PoA, including its unfinished business. By reaffirming their commitment to the full implementation of the PoA and the follow-up to international and regional commitments, Member States are recommitting themselves to fulfilling sexual and reproductive rights for all and ensuring access to SRH services for young persons and adolescents, among other relevant issues. The inclusion of 'human rights for all', 'gender equality', and 'the empowerment of all women and girls' in the Political Declaration serves as a poignant reminder of the areas that demand immediate attention. The Political Declaration urges further action to scale up financing for sustainable development and references the right to development. The Political Declaration, just adopted by the CPD, stresses the interlinkages of the ICPD with 'relevant multilateral processes.' We call on Member States to bring the ICPD's goals and objectives to relevant multilateral platforms, in particular, the Summit of the Future and its outcomes. We welcome the contributions of additional ICPD+30 fora, including the Cotonou Global Youth Dialogue Call to Action and the Oslo Statement of Commitment from the 8th Inter Parliamentary Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD. We urge Member States to act now, emphasizing accountability for the ICPD agenda and its impact on the lives of women, adolescents, and girls in all their diversity.   About ISRRC IPPF co-convenes the ISRRC, a cross-regional coalition of more than 100 civil society organizations from around the world, along with Countdown 2030 Europe, Red por la Salud de las Mujeres, Ipas, FEMNET, and ARROW.  

Japan and IPPF
news item

| 26 April 2024

Japan and IPPF commit to strengthen collaboration to promote Women Peace and Security (WPS)

IPPF Director General Dr Alvaro Bermejo attended the Parliamentarians’ Meeting on “ICPD30: Leaving No One Behind in an Ageing World”, which was held in Tokyo on 23 April 2024 at the occasion of 50th anniversary of Japan Parliamentarians Federation for Population (JPFP) along with parliamentarians from 20 countries. This meeting provided an excellent opportunity to look back to the 50 years of collaboration between Japan and IPPF as well as the achievements of the ICPD Plan of Action.   Prior to the meeting, Dr Bermejo met the Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa at MOFA on 22 April 2024. At the meeting, Foreign Minister Kamikawa said: “Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, and activities to promote gender equality by IPPF and UNFPA are essential for the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC). Japan intends to continue proactive efforts to achieve UHC. We look forward to continuing our cooperation. I hope IPPF will further contribute to the objectives of “reaching the most vulnerable first” and “leaving no one behind.”  The activities of IPPF and UNFPA are of critical importance also from the perspective of women peace and security (WPS). Japan will be promoting WPS even more vigorously and in a cross-cutting manner. And would like to strengthen cooperation in this area.” Dr Bermejo said: “IPPF provides SRH services at the grassroots level, particularly for vulnerable groups that are hard to reach by public services. By doing so we contribute to improving the wellbeing of people, particularly women and promoting gender equality and women’s rights, which are the core issues of WPS. IPPF will collaborate with Japan’s efforts to achieve both WPS and population related global commitments. As sexual and reproductive rights become increasingly threatened on the global stage, we must all stand together to advance and protect SRHR, recognising it as fundamental to all other efforts towards gender equality and human rights.”   Photo credits: Courtesy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

Japan and IPPF
news_item

| 26 April 2024

Japan and IPPF commit to strengthen collaboration to promote Women Peace and Security (WPS)

IPPF Director General Dr Alvaro Bermejo attended the Parliamentarians’ Meeting on “ICPD30: Leaving No One Behind in an Ageing World”, which was held in Tokyo on 23 April 2024 at the occasion of 50th anniversary of Japan Parliamentarians Federation for Population (JPFP) along with parliamentarians from 20 countries. This meeting provided an excellent opportunity to look back to the 50 years of collaboration between Japan and IPPF as well as the achievements of the ICPD Plan of Action.   Prior to the meeting, Dr Bermejo met the Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa at MOFA on 22 April 2024. At the meeting, Foreign Minister Kamikawa said: “Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, and activities to promote gender equality by IPPF and UNFPA are essential for the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC). Japan intends to continue proactive efforts to achieve UHC. We look forward to continuing our cooperation. I hope IPPF will further contribute to the objectives of “reaching the most vulnerable first” and “leaving no one behind.”  The activities of IPPF and UNFPA are of critical importance also from the perspective of women peace and security (WPS). Japan will be promoting WPS even more vigorously and in a cross-cutting manner. And would like to strengthen cooperation in this area.” Dr Bermejo said: “IPPF provides SRH services at the grassroots level, particularly for vulnerable groups that are hard to reach by public services. By doing so we contribute to improving the wellbeing of people, particularly women and promoting gender equality and women’s rights, which are the core issues of WPS. IPPF will collaborate with Japan’s efforts to achieve both WPS and population related global commitments. As sexual and reproductive rights become increasingly threatened on the global stage, we must all stand together to advance and protect SRHR, recognising it as fundamental to all other efforts towards gender equality and human rights.”   Photo credits: Courtesy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

IPPF and MAs at CSW
news item

| 26 March 2024

IPPF Statement on the 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

IPPF welcomes the agreed conclusions of the 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), on the theme of “Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective”. IPPF actively engaged in the process by providing technical inputs to Member States, raising awareness about the interlinkages between SRHR, poverty, gender equality and the empowerment and human rights of all women and girls. IPPF also supported the engagement of civil society organizations (CSOs) from across the world, bringing women and girls’ real-life experiences into the conversation.    This year’s priority theme provided governments with an important opportunity to find common ground and to decide on accelerated action to respond to the broad and collective challenges related to poverty affecting women and girls, in all their diversity. Although the world has experienced continuous global poverty reduction for several decades, a period of significant crises, including the global Covid-19 pandemic, the triple planetary crisis and ongoing conflicts, resulted in lost progress. Between 2020-2022, poverty increased in low-income countries, which we have not yet recovered from.  Almost 700 million people live in extreme poverty today, and an additional $360 billion of investments are needed per year, in order to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).   Poverty is also a key contributor to numerous human rights violations. Globally, women and girls living in poverty are more likely to suffer the consequences of the climate crisis and food insecurity, as well as lack of access to health services, decent work, opportunities and protection measures from gender-based violence, harassment and abuse. Women also have less access to land, natural resources and financial assets.   CSW68 was the Commission’s third in-person convening after the global Covid-19 pandemic and provided an important platform for CSOs to meet, mobilize and elaborate on successful strategies. The negotiations were led by the Ambassador of the Netherlands. Discussions were animated, and there were diverse views on topics including SRHR, human rights, and multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination (MIFD).(1) Geopolitical landscape  The geopolitical backdrop to this year’s negotiations was, at times, extremely divided, with key issues such as the right to development, sexual and reproductive health and rights, comprehensive sexuality education, MIFD, family-related language, and ongoing humanitarian crises and conflicts causing political stalemate at times. Nonetheless, in the end, a consensus was reached, and Agreed Conclusions were adopted.  Sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights  IPPF welcomes strong references to sexual and reproductive health (SRH), health care-services, and sexual and reproductive health and rights: in particular, preambular paragraph PP27 and operative paragraphs (ii), (kk), (ll) and (mm). The consensus reached at this year’s Commission reflects the broad-based support of Member States to take steps to address the opportunities and challenges that arise in the context of SRH and poverty, and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective.   Adolescents   We welcome the Agreed Conclusion’s references to adolescents and girls, recognizing the need for a life course approach and their experiences of multidimensional forms of poverty. We also welcome language to promote the full, equal and meaningful participation and leadership of young women, adolescents and girls in the context of addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and gender-responsive financing. In particular, we welcome the language addressing the gender-specific barriers to their rights and empowerment, such as all forms of violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, child, early and forced marriage, and adolescent pregnancy, as well as the unequal distribution of unpaid care work.  Multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination   We welcome references to multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination in the text given its centrality to this year’s theme. Women, adolescents, girls, and marginalized groups experiencing MIFD are more likely to be structurally excluded and it is therefore important the Agreed Conclusions acknowledge this link with poverty eradication, and ensure gender-responsive actions and policies, including through the implementation of robust social protection measures and public services.   Diversity, gender-responsiveness and human rights references  We welcome the references to the diversity of situations and conditions of women and girls in the text, as well as the reference to ensure the full, equal and meaningful participation and representation of women in diverse situations and conditions in all spheres of public life and decision-making. This includes participation and representation in economic policy, budget and financial processes, public institutions, and in designing and implementing poverty eradication policies to both address institutional gender biases and promote pro-poor, economic and social policy actions that fully respect the human rights of all women and girls.  We welcome strong references to the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all women and girls in the text. In this sense, we welcome the linkage between social protection systems and the fulfillment of women’s and girls’ human rights; the recognition of the challenges to the full realization of human rights of older women; the reaffirmation that human rights of women include their right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on all matters related to their sexuality; and the need to ensure full respect for women and girls’ human rights in the digital context, to name some salient examples.     Putting the Agreed Conclusions into practice  Despite intensive and, at times, difficult political deliberations around key issues, the adoption of Agreed Conclusions signals the strong cross-regional support for women’s and girls’ human rights, the mandate of the Commission and its priority theme. It also reflects cross-regional support for key issues, including SRHR, human rights, and preventing, addressing and eliminating gender-based violence.   The importance and success of the Agreed Conclusions lie in its implementation at the national level. IPPF and its Member Associations are well placed as a locally owned, global Federation to work to ensure the implementation of the Agreed Conclusions at national, regional, and global levels. This will ultimately and most importantly benefit the lives of women, adolescents, girls, and other marginalized groups in the communities where they live.   ______ (1) Intersectionality is a term used to describe the idea that social relations involve multiple intersecting forms of discrimination. This means that a person might experience several forms of discrimination, such as sexism, racism, and ableism, all at the same time. See UNDP, “What is intersectionality? And why is it important for gender equality?” (May 27, 2023) Available at What is intersectionality? And why is it important for gender equality? | United Nations Development Programme (undp.org)  

IPPF and MAs at CSW
news_item

| 26 March 2024

IPPF Statement on the 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

IPPF welcomes the agreed conclusions of the 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), on the theme of “Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective”. IPPF actively engaged in the process by providing technical inputs to Member States, raising awareness about the interlinkages between SRHR, poverty, gender equality and the empowerment and human rights of all women and girls. IPPF also supported the engagement of civil society organizations (CSOs) from across the world, bringing women and girls’ real-life experiences into the conversation.    This year’s priority theme provided governments with an important opportunity to find common ground and to decide on accelerated action to respond to the broad and collective challenges related to poverty affecting women and girls, in all their diversity. Although the world has experienced continuous global poverty reduction for several decades, a period of significant crises, including the global Covid-19 pandemic, the triple planetary crisis and ongoing conflicts, resulted in lost progress. Between 2020-2022, poverty increased in low-income countries, which we have not yet recovered from.  Almost 700 million people live in extreme poverty today, and an additional $360 billion of investments are needed per year, in order to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).   Poverty is also a key contributor to numerous human rights violations. Globally, women and girls living in poverty are more likely to suffer the consequences of the climate crisis and food insecurity, as well as lack of access to health services, decent work, opportunities and protection measures from gender-based violence, harassment and abuse. Women also have less access to land, natural resources and financial assets.   CSW68 was the Commission’s third in-person convening after the global Covid-19 pandemic and provided an important platform for CSOs to meet, mobilize and elaborate on successful strategies. The negotiations were led by the Ambassador of the Netherlands. Discussions were animated, and there were diverse views on topics including SRHR, human rights, and multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination (MIFD).(1) Geopolitical landscape  The geopolitical backdrop to this year’s negotiations was, at times, extremely divided, with key issues such as the right to development, sexual and reproductive health and rights, comprehensive sexuality education, MIFD, family-related language, and ongoing humanitarian crises and conflicts causing political stalemate at times. Nonetheless, in the end, a consensus was reached, and Agreed Conclusions were adopted.  Sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights  IPPF welcomes strong references to sexual and reproductive health (SRH), health care-services, and sexual and reproductive health and rights: in particular, preambular paragraph PP27 and operative paragraphs (ii), (kk), (ll) and (mm). The consensus reached at this year’s Commission reflects the broad-based support of Member States to take steps to address the opportunities and challenges that arise in the context of SRH and poverty, and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective.   Adolescents   We welcome the Agreed Conclusion’s references to adolescents and girls, recognizing the need for a life course approach and their experiences of multidimensional forms of poverty. We also welcome language to promote the full, equal and meaningful participation and leadership of young women, adolescents and girls in the context of addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and gender-responsive financing. In particular, we welcome the language addressing the gender-specific barriers to their rights and empowerment, such as all forms of violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, child, early and forced marriage, and adolescent pregnancy, as well as the unequal distribution of unpaid care work.  Multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination   We welcome references to multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination in the text given its centrality to this year’s theme. Women, adolescents, girls, and marginalized groups experiencing MIFD are more likely to be structurally excluded and it is therefore important the Agreed Conclusions acknowledge this link with poverty eradication, and ensure gender-responsive actions and policies, including through the implementation of robust social protection measures and public services.   Diversity, gender-responsiveness and human rights references  We welcome the references to the diversity of situations and conditions of women and girls in the text, as well as the reference to ensure the full, equal and meaningful participation and representation of women in diverse situations and conditions in all spheres of public life and decision-making. This includes participation and representation in economic policy, budget and financial processes, public institutions, and in designing and implementing poverty eradication policies to both address institutional gender biases and promote pro-poor, economic and social policy actions that fully respect the human rights of all women and girls.  We welcome strong references to the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all women and girls in the text. In this sense, we welcome the linkage between social protection systems and the fulfillment of women’s and girls’ human rights; the recognition of the challenges to the full realization of human rights of older women; the reaffirmation that human rights of women include their right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on all matters related to their sexuality; and the need to ensure full respect for women and girls’ human rights in the digital context, to name some salient examples.     Putting the Agreed Conclusions into practice  Despite intensive and, at times, difficult political deliberations around key issues, the adoption of Agreed Conclusions signals the strong cross-regional support for women’s and girls’ human rights, the mandate of the Commission and its priority theme. It also reflects cross-regional support for key issues, including SRHR, human rights, and preventing, addressing and eliminating gender-based violence.   The importance and success of the Agreed Conclusions lie in its implementation at the national level. IPPF and its Member Associations are well placed as a locally owned, global Federation to work to ensure the implementation of the Agreed Conclusions at national, regional, and global levels. This will ultimately and most importantly benefit the lives of women, adolescents, girls, and other marginalized groups in the communities where they live.   ______ (1) Intersectionality is a term used to describe the idea that social relations involve multiple intersecting forms of discrimination. This means that a person might experience several forms of discrimination, such as sexism, racism, and ableism, all at the same time. See UNDP, “What is intersectionality? And why is it important for gender equality?” (May 27, 2023) Available at What is intersectionality? And why is it important for gender equality? | United Nations Development Programme (undp.org)  

Nepal humanitarian response earthquake
news item

| 10 July 2024

IPPF Achieves Very High Performer Status in Global Health 50/50 Gender and Health Index 2024

IPPF is thrilled to announce that the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has been recognized as a Very High Performer in the 2024 Global Health 50/50 Gender and Health Index! This prestigious designation, coupled with our classification as a Consistently Strong Performer in trend performance, reflects IPPF's unwavering commitment to achieving gender equality.  Transparency, strong governance with gender parity, and actively closing the gender pay gap are all cornerstones of our mission as a feminist organization. This recognition by Global Health 50/50 validates our ongoing efforts to create a truly equitable environment, both internally and within the global health landscape.  Professors Sarah Hawkes and Kent Buse, Co-CEOs of Global Health 50/50, acknowledged IPPF's leadership, stating, “Global Health 50/50 is pleased to recognise International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) as a Very High Performer in our 2024 Report, 'Gaining Ground?'. We hope that International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)'s efforts to advance equality and diversity inspires others. We look to them to continue to push this hard won progress forward for the people working in global health and around the world." We are inspired by their words and committed to furthering this progress for the benefit of our staff and the communities we serve worldwide.  Read the report here.

Nepal humanitarian response earthquake
news_item

| 10 July 2024

IPPF Achieves Very High Performer Status in Global Health 50/50 Gender and Health Index 2024

IPPF is thrilled to announce that the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has been recognized as a Very High Performer in the 2024 Global Health 50/50 Gender and Health Index! This prestigious designation, coupled with our classification as a Consistently Strong Performer in trend performance, reflects IPPF's unwavering commitment to achieving gender equality.  Transparency, strong governance with gender parity, and actively closing the gender pay gap are all cornerstones of our mission as a feminist organization. This recognition by Global Health 50/50 validates our ongoing efforts to create a truly equitable environment, both internally and within the global health landscape.  Professors Sarah Hawkes and Kent Buse, Co-CEOs of Global Health 50/50, acknowledged IPPF's leadership, stating, “Global Health 50/50 is pleased to recognise International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) as a Very High Performer in our 2024 Report, 'Gaining Ground?'. We hope that International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)'s efforts to advance equality and diversity inspires others. We look to them to continue to push this hard won progress forward for the people working in global health and around the world." We are inspired by their words and committed to furthering this progress for the benefit of our staff and the communities we serve worldwide.  Read the report here.

Sex Workers' rights
news item

| 26 June 2024

IPPF Statement Reacting to the SR VAWG's Report on Prostitution and Violence Against women and Girls

Stigmatising.  Ideologically driven.   Damaging.  These are just a few words that can describe this report.  The International Planned Parenthood Federation is a global feminist, sexual and reproductive health and rights organisation with decades of experience providing services to sex workers’ of all genders.  We denounce in the strongest terms the content of this report and the ideologically driven process that led to it.  The report ignores decades of international evidence and global recommendations by WHO, UNAIDS, Amnesty International - and more importantly sex workers themselves.   Sex workers' voices have deliberately been ignored in the drafting of this report, reproducing the patriarchal silencing and exclusion that sex workers face in their daily lives.  At times of increasing attacks on women’s and LGBTQI communities, this report is fuelling misconceptions and harmful stigmatisation. The report promotes policies consistently proven to violate sex workers’ human rights using human rights rhetoric and erase sex workers consent, agency and humanity  At a time when racialised and migrant communities are increasingly calling to end police brutality and impunity, this report only offers more criminalisation and policing - putting the lives of most marginalised sex workers at risk.  The International Planned Parenthood Federation support the full decriminalisation of sex work. and stands in full solidarity with sex workers, their organisations and their struggles for human rights.  There is no feminism without sex workers.  Sex work is work. 

Sex Workers' rights
news_item

| 26 June 2024

IPPF Statement Reacting to the SR VAWG's Report on Prostitution and Violence Against women and Girls

Stigmatising.  Ideologically driven.   Damaging.  These are just a few words that can describe this report.  The International Planned Parenthood Federation is a global feminist, sexual and reproductive health and rights organisation with decades of experience providing services to sex workers’ of all genders.  We denounce in the strongest terms the content of this report and the ideologically driven process that led to it.  The report ignores decades of international evidence and global recommendations by WHO, UNAIDS, Amnesty International - and more importantly sex workers themselves.   Sex workers' voices have deliberately been ignored in the drafting of this report, reproducing the patriarchal silencing and exclusion that sex workers face in their daily lives.  At times of increasing attacks on women’s and LGBTQI communities, this report is fuelling misconceptions and harmful stigmatisation. The report promotes policies consistently proven to violate sex workers’ human rights using human rights rhetoric and erase sex workers consent, agency and humanity  At a time when racialised and migrant communities are increasingly calling to end police brutality and impunity, this report only offers more criminalisation and policing - putting the lives of most marginalised sex workers at risk.  The International Planned Parenthood Federation support the full decriminalisation of sex work. and stands in full solidarity with sex workers, their organisations and their struggles for human rights.  There is no feminism without sex workers.  Sex work is work. 

United Nations
news item

| 20 June 2024

Sex workers and feminist allies welcome UN human rights experts’ support for the full decriminalization of sex work

Major progress has been made in the debate on sex workers’ rights through a recent paper, “Eliminating discrimination against sex workers and securing their human rights,” published by the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Discrimination Against Women and Girls. In advocating for the full decriminalization of sex work based on international standards for strengthening women’s bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health, this guidance document is an important step toward a human rights-based approach to sex work for all UN bodies to follow. Unlike the sensationalist and reductive claims made by many anti-rights groups, the Working Group’s paper is grounded in evidence-based research and informed by consultations conducted with diverse sex workers across geographical regions, including those living with HIV and those who have experienced violence, exploitation, and abuse first-hand under restrictive policy models. “The position paper is not denying the injustices that occur in sex work, but merely highlighting the criminalisation of any aspect of sex work, and other punitive laws, policies and practices, that actually create these environments of violence, risk and abuse of sex workers,” as remarked by Jules Kim, Global Coordinator of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) during the launch of the position paper. Furthermore, the paper draws attention to recommendations by international bodies, including several UN Special Procedure mandate holders and UN agencies, calling for the removal of punitive provisions on sex work. Given the large body of evidence and the growing consensus among international human rights bodies regarding the situation of sex workers, the Working Group concludes that there is sufficient proof of the harms of any forms of criminalisation of sex work and calls for the full decriminalization of sex work as the most conducive model to ensure the human rights of sex workers. Under decriminalization, all forms of sex work-specific criminal and licensing laws intended to sanction sex workers, clients and people who operate with sex workers are removed. The Working Group found that “in jurisdictions which criminalize sex workers, violations of their rights are numerous.” This finding is supported by international best practice guidelines and a substantial body of evidence. Decriminalization is the legal framework favoured by most sex worker-led organisations worldwide, as well as leading authorities in health and human rights. In New Zealand, following the decriminalization of sex work in 2003, sex workers have reported improved working conditions, negotiation power, and increased confidence in asserting their legal and employment rights. Sex workers in New Zealand also report improved relationships with law enforcement and an increased likelihood of reporting incidents of violence to the police. In Australia, the New South Wales (NSW) Ministry of Health has found that the reforms that decriminalized adult sex work “improved human rights; removed police corruption; netted savings for the criminal justice system; and enhanced the surveillance, health promotion, and safety of the NSW sex industry.” Contrary to early concerns, the NSW sex industry has not increased in size or visibility. Most important, the Working Group emphasises that decriminalization does not impede states’ efforts to mitigate human trafficking, citing the 2020 report of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons. If anything, decriminalization assists efforts to combat trafficking and exploitation in the sex work sector. The UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery has recently called for the full decriminalization of sex work to prevent further human rights violations against sex workers. As the Working Group’s position paper was being drafted, NGO members of the Sex Workers Inclusive Feminist Alliance (see membership list below) and sex workers from the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) were respondents to the consultations. Sex workers from such organizations as the Kenya Sex Workers Alliance, the European Sex Workers’ Rights Alliance, Plataforma Latinoamérica de Personas que Ejercen el Trabajo Sexual, the Guyana Vulnerable Populations Alliance and the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers each briefed the working group on the challenges facing their constituents. Each one briefed the Working Group on the most pressing challenges facing sex workers in their regions, including the conflation of sex work and trafficking, an increasingly strong and coordinated anti-rights and anti-gender movement and rising calls for criminalization. These calls pose a serious threat to sex workers’ rights and fly in the face of the abundant evidence of increased discrimination and isolation of sex workers in countries where sex work is criminalized. The guidance paper exemplifies meaningful inclusion of sex workers’ voices in the drafting of policy recommendations. This inclusion will lead to changes that improve the conditions of people who do sex work, particularly those most at risk of violence, poverty and poor health. The working group joins several UN agencies that have long called for the decriminalization of sex work, including the UN Population Fund, the World Health Organization, the UN Development Program and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).   Originally published in PassBlue on May 31, 2024. SWIFA was formed as part of a long-term strategy of building alliances across the sex workers’ and feminist movements to advance the acceptance of sex workers’ rights within the women’s movement. Organisations in the alliance include: Amnesty International, CREA, FEMNET, Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW), Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP), International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW Asia Pacific), Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

United Nations
news_item

| 20 June 2024

Sex workers and feminist allies welcome UN human rights experts’ support for the full decriminalization of sex work

Major progress has been made in the debate on sex workers’ rights through a recent paper, “Eliminating discrimination against sex workers and securing their human rights,” published by the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Discrimination Against Women and Girls. In advocating for the full decriminalization of sex work based on international standards for strengthening women’s bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health, this guidance document is an important step toward a human rights-based approach to sex work for all UN bodies to follow. Unlike the sensationalist and reductive claims made by many anti-rights groups, the Working Group’s paper is grounded in evidence-based research and informed by consultations conducted with diverse sex workers across geographical regions, including those living with HIV and those who have experienced violence, exploitation, and abuse first-hand under restrictive policy models. “The position paper is not denying the injustices that occur in sex work, but merely highlighting the criminalisation of any aspect of sex work, and other punitive laws, policies and practices, that actually create these environments of violence, risk and abuse of sex workers,” as remarked by Jules Kim, Global Coordinator of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) during the launch of the position paper. Furthermore, the paper draws attention to recommendations by international bodies, including several UN Special Procedure mandate holders and UN agencies, calling for the removal of punitive provisions on sex work. Given the large body of evidence and the growing consensus among international human rights bodies regarding the situation of sex workers, the Working Group concludes that there is sufficient proof of the harms of any forms of criminalisation of sex work and calls for the full decriminalization of sex work as the most conducive model to ensure the human rights of sex workers. Under decriminalization, all forms of sex work-specific criminal and licensing laws intended to sanction sex workers, clients and people who operate with sex workers are removed. The Working Group found that “in jurisdictions which criminalize sex workers, violations of their rights are numerous.” This finding is supported by international best practice guidelines and a substantial body of evidence. Decriminalization is the legal framework favoured by most sex worker-led organisations worldwide, as well as leading authorities in health and human rights. In New Zealand, following the decriminalization of sex work in 2003, sex workers have reported improved working conditions, negotiation power, and increased confidence in asserting their legal and employment rights. Sex workers in New Zealand also report improved relationships with law enforcement and an increased likelihood of reporting incidents of violence to the police. In Australia, the New South Wales (NSW) Ministry of Health has found that the reforms that decriminalized adult sex work “improved human rights; removed police corruption; netted savings for the criminal justice system; and enhanced the surveillance, health promotion, and safety of the NSW sex industry.” Contrary to early concerns, the NSW sex industry has not increased in size or visibility. Most important, the Working Group emphasises that decriminalization does not impede states’ efforts to mitigate human trafficking, citing the 2020 report of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons. If anything, decriminalization assists efforts to combat trafficking and exploitation in the sex work sector. The UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery has recently called for the full decriminalization of sex work to prevent further human rights violations against sex workers. As the Working Group’s position paper was being drafted, NGO members of the Sex Workers Inclusive Feminist Alliance (see membership list below) and sex workers from the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) were respondents to the consultations. Sex workers from such organizations as the Kenya Sex Workers Alliance, the European Sex Workers’ Rights Alliance, Plataforma Latinoamérica de Personas que Ejercen el Trabajo Sexual, the Guyana Vulnerable Populations Alliance and the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers each briefed the working group on the challenges facing their constituents. Each one briefed the Working Group on the most pressing challenges facing sex workers in their regions, including the conflation of sex work and trafficking, an increasingly strong and coordinated anti-rights and anti-gender movement and rising calls for criminalization. These calls pose a serious threat to sex workers’ rights and fly in the face of the abundant evidence of increased discrimination and isolation of sex workers in countries where sex work is criminalized. The guidance paper exemplifies meaningful inclusion of sex workers’ voices in the drafting of policy recommendations. This inclusion will lead to changes that improve the conditions of people who do sex work, particularly those most at risk of violence, poverty and poor health. The working group joins several UN agencies that have long called for the decriminalization of sex work, including the UN Population Fund, the World Health Organization, the UN Development Program and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).   Originally published in PassBlue on May 31, 2024. SWIFA was formed as part of a long-term strategy of building alliances across the sex workers’ and feminist movements to advance the acceptance of sex workers’ rights within the women’s movement. Organisations in the alliance include: Amnesty International, CREA, FEMNET, Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW), Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP), International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW Asia Pacific), Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

UN
news item

| 29 April 2024

Civil Society Welcomes CPD Political Declaration

The International Sexual and Reproductive Rights Coalition (ISRRC) celebrates the 30th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD PoA) and the outcomes of its reviews and its transformative impact on the lives of women, adolescents, girls, and structurally excluded groups across all regions. The ISRRC members have, for the last thirty years, been implementing the PoA, directly impacting gender equality, human rights, and the sexual and reproductive lives of women, adolescents, and girls in all their diversity around the world. We celebrate the contributions and role of civil society, feminist and women’s movements and youth-led organizations in advancing the ICPD agenda. Our efforts have led to significant reductions in maternal mortality rates, increased access to reproductive health services, and improved gender equality in many communities.  Three decades ago, world leaders made a groundbreaking declaration, recognizing sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as human rights. The ICPD PoA has not only transformed lives but remains a pertinent solution to today's complex problems. The world has evolved since 1994, presenting unprecedented uncertainties and multiple crises. In this context, the ICPD PoA is not just a historical document but a living agenda that demands immediate action and continuous advancement to address the intricacies of today's global challenges.   The Political Declaration adopted at the 57th session of the Commission on Population and Development is a step towards ensuring accelerated action on the ICPD PoA, including its unfinished business. By reaffirming their commitment to the full implementation of the PoA and the follow-up to international and regional commitments, Member States are recommitting themselves to fulfilling sexual and reproductive rights for all and ensuring access to SRH services for young persons and adolescents, among other relevant issues. The inclusion of 'human rights for all', 'gender equality', and 'the empowerment of all women and girls' in the Political Declaration serves as a poignant reminder of the areas that demand immediate attention. The Political Declaration urges further action to scale up financing for sustainable development and references the right to development. The Political Declaration, just adopted by the CPD, stresses the interlinkages of the ICPD with 'relevant multilateral processes.' We call on Member States to bring the ICPD's goals and objectives to relevant multilateral platforms, in particular, the Summit of the Future and its outcomes. We welcome the contributions of additional ICPD+30 fora, including the Cotonou Global Youth Dialogue Call to Action and the Oslo Statement of Commitment from the 8th Inter Parliamentary Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD. We urge Member States to act now, emphasizing accountability for the ICPD agenda and its impact on the lives of women, adolescents, and girls in all their diversity.   About ISRRC IPPF co-convenes the ISRRC, a cross-regional coalition of more than 100 civil society organizations from around the world, along with Countdown 2030 Europe, Red por la Salud de las Mujeres, Ipas, FEMNET, and ARROW.  

UN
news_item

| 29 April 2024

Civil Society Welcomes CPD Political Declaration

The International Sexual and Reproductive Rights Coalition (ISRRC) celebrates the 30th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD PoA) and the outcomes of its reviews and its transformative impact on the lives of women, adolescents, girls, and structurally excluded groups across all regions. The ISRRC members have, for the last thirty years, been implementing the PoA, directly impacting gender equality, human rights, and the sexual and reproductive lives of women, adolescents, and girls in all their diversity around the world. We celebrate the contributions and role of civil society, feminist and women’s movements and youth-led organizations in advancing the ICPD agenda. Our efforts have led to significant reductions in maternal mortality rates, increased access to reproductive health services, and improved gender equality in many communities.  Three decades ago, world leaders made a groundbreaking declaration, recognizing sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as human rights. The ICPD PoA has not only transformed lives but remains a pertinent solution to today's complex problems. The world has evolved since 1994, presenting unprecedented uncertainties and multiple crises. In this context, the ICPD PoA is not just a historical document but a living agenda that demands immediate action and continuous advancement to address the intricacies of today's global challenges.   The Political Declaration adopted at the 57th session of the Commission on Population and Development is a step towards ensuring accelerated action on the ICPD PoA, including its unfinished business. By reaffirming their commitment to the full implementation of the PoA and the follow-up to international and regional commitments, Member States are recommitting themselves to fulfilling sexual and reproductive rights for all and ensuring access to SRH services for young persons and adolescents, among other relevant issues. The inclusion of 'human rights for all', 'gender equality', and 'the empowerment of all women and girls' in the Political Declaration serves as a poignant reminder of the areas that demand immediate attention. The Political Declaration urges further action to scale up financing for sustainable development and references the right to development. The Political Declaration, just adopted by the CPD, stresses the interlinkages of the ICPD with 'relevant multilateral processes.' We call on Member States to bring the ICPD's goals and objectives to relevant multilateral platforms, in particular, the Summit of the Future and its outcomes. We welcome the contributions of additional ICPD+30 fora, including the Cotonou Global Youth Dialogue Call to Action and the Oslo Statement of Commitment from the 8th Inter Parliamentary Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD. We urge Member States to act now, emphasizing accountability for the ICPD agenda and its impact on the lives of women, adolescents, and girls in all their diversity.   About ISRRC IPPF co-convenes the ISRRC, a cross-regional coalition of more than 100 civil society organizations from around the world, along with Countdown 2030 Europe, Red por la Salud de las Mujeres, Ipas, FEMNET, and ARROW.  

Japan and IPPF
news item

| 26 April 2024

Japan and IPPF commit to strengthen collaboration to promote Women Peace and Security (WPS)

IPPF Director General Dr Alvaro Bermejo attended the Parliamentarians’ Meeting on “ICPD30: Leaving No One Behind in an Ageing World”, which was held in Tokyo on 23 April 2024 at the occasion of 50th anniversary of Japan Parliamentarians Federation for Population (JPFP) along with parliamentarians from 20 countries. This meeting provided an excellent opportunity to look back to the 50 years of collaboration between Japan and IPPF as well as the achievements of the ICPD Plan of Action.   Prior to the meeting, Dr Bermejo met the Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa at MOFA on 22 April 2024. At the meeting, Foreign Minister Kamikawa said: “Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, and activities to promote gender equality by IPPF and UNFPA are essential for the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC). Japan intends to continue proactive efforts to achieve UHC. We look forward to continuing our cooperation. I hope IPPF will further contribute to the objectives of “reaching the most vulnerable first” and “leaving no one behind.”  The activities of IPPF and UNFPA are of critical importance also from the perspective of women peace and security (WPS). Japan will be promoting WPS even more vigorously and in a cross-cutting manner. And would like to strengthen cooperation in this area.” Dr Bermejo said: “IPPF provides SRH services at the grassroots level, particularly for vulnerable groups that are hard to reach by public services. By doing so we contribute to improving the wellbeing of people, particularly women and promoting gender equality and women’s rights, which are the core issues of WPS. IPPF will collaborate with Japan’s efforts to achieve both WPS and population related global commitments. As sexual and reproductive rights become increasingly threatened on the global stage, we must all stand together to advance and protect SRHR, recognising it as fundamental to all other efforts towards gender equality and human rights.”   Photo credits: Courtesy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

Japan and IPPF
news_item

| 26 April 2024

Japan and IPPF commit to strengthen collaboration to promote Women Peace and Security (WPS)

IPPF Director General Dr Alvaro Bermejo attended the Parliamentarians’ Meeting on “ICPD30: Leaving No One Behind in an Ageing World”, which was held in Tokyo on 23 April 2024 at the occasion of 50th anniversary of Japan Parliamentarians Federation for Population (JPFP) along with parliamentarians from 20 countries. This meeting provided an excellent opportunity to look back to the 50 years of collaboration between Japan and IPPF as well as the achievements of the ICPD Plan of Action.   Prior to the meeting, Dr Bermejo met the Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa at MOFA on 22 April 2024. At the meeting, Foreign Minister Kamikawa said: “Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, and activities to promote gender equality by IPPF and UNFPA are essential for the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC). Japan intends to continue proactive efforts to achieve UHC. We look forward to continuing our cooperation. I hope IPPF will further contribute to the objectives of “reaching the most vulnerable first” and “leaving no one behind.”  The activities of IPPF and UNFPA are of critical importance also from the perspective of women peace and security (WPS). Japan will be promoting WPS even more vigorously and in a cross-cutting manner. And would like to strengthen cooperation in this area.” Dr Bermejo said: “IPPF provides SRH services at the grassroots level, particularly for vulnerable groups that are hard to reach by public services. By doing so we contribute to improving the wellbeing of people, particularly women and promoting gender equality and women’s rights, which are the core issues of WPS. IPPF will collaborate with Japan’s efforts to achieve both WPS and population related global commitments. As sexual and reproductive rights become increasingly threatened on the global stage, we must all stand together to advance and protect SRHR, recognising it as fundamental to all other efforts towards gender equality and human rights.”   Photo credits: Courtesy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

IPPF and MAs at CSW
news item

| 26 March 2024

IPPF Statement on the 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

IPPF welcomes the agreed conclusions of the 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), on the theme of “Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective”. IPPF actively engaged in the process by providing technical inputs to Member States, raising awareness about the interlinkages between SRHR, poverty, gender equality and the empowerment and human rights of all women and girls. IPPF also supported the engagement of civil society organizations (CSOs) from across the world, bringing women and girls’ real-life experiences into the conversation.    This year’s priority theme provided governments with an important opportunity to find common ground and to decide on accelerated action to respond to the broad and collective challenges related to poverty affecting women and girls, in all their diversity. Although the world has experienced continuous global poverty reduction for several decades, a period of significant crises, including the global Covid-19 pandemic, the triple planetary crisis and ongoing conflicts, resulted in lost progress. Between 2020-2022, poverty increased in low-income countries, which we have not yet recovered from.  Almost 700 million people live in extreme poverty today, and an additional $360 billion of investments are needed per year, in order to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).   Poverty is also a key contributor to numerous human rights violations. Globally, women and girls living in poverty are more likely to suffer the consequences of the climate crisis and food insecurity, as well as lack of access to health services, decent work, opportunities and protection measures from gender-based violence, harassment and abuse. Women also have less access to land, natural resources and financial assets.   CSW68 was the Commission’s third in-person convening after the global Covid-19 pandemic and provided an important platform for CSOs to meet, mobilize and elaborate on successful strategies. The negotiations were led by the Ambassador of the Netherlands. Discussions were animated, and there were diverse views on topics including SRHR, human rights, and multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination (MIFD).(1) Geopolitical landscape  The geopolitical backdrop to this year’s negotiations was, at times, extremely divided, with key issues such as the right to development, sexual and reproductive health and rights, comprehensive sexuality education, MIFD, family-related language, and ongoing humanitarian crises and conflicts causing political stalemate at times. Nonetheless, in the end, a consensus was reached, and Agreed Conclusions were adopted.  Sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights  IPPF welcomes strong references to sexual and reproductive health (SRH), health care-services, and sexual and reproductive health and rights: in particular, preambular paragraph PP27 and operative paragraphs (ii), (kk), (ll) and (mm). The consensus reached at this year’s Commission reflects the broad-based support of Member States to take steps to address the opportunities and challenges that arise in the context of SRH and poverty, and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective.   Adolescents   We welcome the Agreed Conclusion’s references to adolescents and girls, recognizing the need for a life course approach and their experiences of multidimensional forms of poverty. We also welcome language to promote the full, equal and meaningful participation and leadership of young women, adolescents and girls in the context of addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and gender-responsive financing. In particular, we welcome the language addressing the gender-specific barriers to their rights and empowerment, such as all forms of violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, child, early and forced marriage, and adolescent pregnancy, as well as the unequal distribution of unpaid care work.  Multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination   We welcome references to multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination in the text given its centrality to this year’s theme. Women, adolescents, girls, and marginalized groups experiencing MIFD are more likely to be structurally excluded and it is therefore important the Agreed Conclusions acknowledge this link with poverty eradication, and ensure gender-responsive actions and policies, including through the implementation of robust social protection measures and public services.   Diversity, gender-responsiveness and human rights references  We welcome the references to the diversity of situations and conditions of women and girls in the text, as well as the reference to ensure the full, equal and meaningful participation and representation of women in diverse situations and conditions in all spheres of public life and decision-making. This includes participation and representation in economic policy, budget and financial processes, public institutions, and in designing and implementing poverty eradication policies to both address institutional gender biases and promote pro-poor, economic and social policy actions that fully respect the human rights of all women and girls.  We welcome strong references to the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all women and girls in the text. In this sense, we welcome the linkage between social protection systems and the fulfillment of women’s and girls’ human rights; the recognition of the challenges to the full realization of human rights of older women; the reaffirmation that human rights of women include their right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on all matters related to their sexuality; and the need to ensure full respect for women and girls’ human rights in the digital context, to name some salient examples.     Putting the Agreed Conclusions into practice  Despite intensive and, at times, difficult political deliberations around key issues, the adoption of Agreed Conclusions signals the strong cross-regional support for women’s and girls’ human rights, the mandate of the Commission and its priority theme. It also reflects cross-regional support for key issues, including SRHR, human rights, and preventing, addressing and eliminating gender-based violence.   The importance and success of the Agreed Conclusions lie in its implementation at the national level. IPPF and its Member Associations are well placed as a locally owned, global Federation to work to ensure the implementation of the Agreed Conclusions at national, regional, and global levels. This will ultimately and most importantly benefit the lives of women, adolescents, girls, and other marginalized groups in the communities where they live.   ______ (1) Intersectionality is a term used to describe the idea that social relations involve multiple intersecting forms of discrimination. This means that a person might experience several forms of discrimination, such as sexism, racism, and ableism, all at the same time. See UNDP, “What is intersectionality? And why is it important for gender equality?” (May 27, 2023) Available at What is intersectionality? And why is it important for gender equality? | United Nations Development Programme (undp.org)  

IPPF and MAs at CSW
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| 26 March 2024

IPPF Statement on the 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

IPPF welcomes the agreed conclusions of the 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), on the theme of “Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective”. IPPF actively engaged in the process by providing technical inputs to Member States, raising awareness about the interlinkages between SRHR, poverty, gender equality and the empowerment and human rights of all women and girls. IPPF also supported the engagement of civil society organizations (CSOs) from across the world, bringing women and girls’ real-life experiences into the conversation.    This year’s priority theme provided governments with an important opportunity to find common ground and to decide on accelerated action to respond to the broad and collective challenges related to poverty affecting women and girls, in all their diversity. Although the world has experienced continuous global poverty reduction for several decades, a period of significant crises, including the global Covid-19 pandemic, the triple planetary crisis and ongoing conflicts, resulted in lost progress. Between 2020-2022, poverty increased in low-income countries, which we have not yet recovered from.  Almost 700 million people live in extreme poverty today, and an additional $360 billion of investments are needed per year, in order to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).   Poverty is also a key contributor to numerous human rights violations. Globally, women and girls living in poverty are more likely to suffer the consequences of the climate crisis and food insecurity, as well as lack of access to health services, decent work, opportunities and protection measures from gender-based violence, harassment and abuse. Women also have less access to land, natural resources and financial assets.   CSW68 was the Commission’s third in-person convening after the global Covid-19 pandemic and provided an important platform for CSOs to meet, mobilize and elaborate on successful strategies. The negotiations were led by the Ambassador of the Netherlands. Discussions were animated, and there were diverse views on topics including SRHR, human rights, and multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination (MIFD).(1) Geopolitical landscape  The geopolitical backdrop to this year’s negotiations was, at times, extremely divided, with key issues such as the right to development, sexual and reproductive health and rights, comprehensive sexuality education, MIFD, family-related language, and ongoing humanitarian crises and conflicts causing political stalemate at times. Nonetheless, in the end, a consensus was reached, and Agreed Conclusions were adopted.  Sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights  IPPF welcomes strong references to sexual and reproductive health (SRH), health care-services, and sexual and reproductive health and rights: in particular, preambular paragraph PP27 and operative paragraphs (ii), (kk), (ll) and (mm). The consensus reached at this year’s Commission reflects the broad-based support of Member States to take steps to address the opportunities and challenges that arise in the context of SRH and poverty, and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective.   Adolescents   We welcome the Agreed Conclusion’s references to adolescents and girls, recognizing the need for a life course approach and their experiences of multidimensional forms of poverty. We also welcome language to promote the full, equal and meaningful participation and leadership of young women, adolescents and girls in the context of addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and gender-responsive financing. In particular, we welcome the language addressing the gender-specific barriers to their rights and empowerment, such as all forms of violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, child, early and forced marriage, and adolescent pregnancy, as well as the unequal distribution of unpaid care work.  Multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination   We welcome references to multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination in the text given its centrality to this year’s theme. Women, adolescents, girls, and marginalized groups experiencing MIFD are more likely to be structurally excluded and it is therefore important the Agreed Conclusions acknowledge this link with poverty eradication, and ensure gender-responsive actions and policies, including through the implementation of robust social protection measures and public services.   Diversity, gender-responsiveness and human rights references  We welcome the references to the diversity of situations and conditions of women and girls in the text, as well as the reference to ensure the full, equal and meaningful participation and representation of women in diverse situations and conditions in all spheres of public life and decision-making. This includes participation and representation in economic policy, budget and financial processes, public institutions, and in designing and implementing poverty eradication policies to both address institutional gender biases and promote pro-poor, economic and social policy actions that fully respect the human rights of all women and girls.  We welcome strong references to the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all women and girls in the text. In this sense, we welcome the linkage between social protection systems and the fulfillment of women’s and girls’ human rights; the recognition of the challenges to the full realization of human rights of older women; the reaffirmation that human rights of women include their right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on all matters related to their sexuality; and the need to ensure full respect for women and girls’ human rights in the digital context, to name some salient examples.     Putting the Agreed Conclusions into practice  Despite intensive and, at times, difficult political deliberations around key issues, the adoption of Agreed Conclusions signals the strong cross-regional support for women’s and girls’ human rights, the mandate of the Commission and its priority theme. It also reflects cross-regional support for key issues, including SRHR, human rights, and preventing, addressing and eliminating gender-based violence.   The importance and success of the Agreed Conclusions lie in its implementation at the national level. IPPF and its Member Associations are well placed as a locally owned, global Federation to work to ensure the implementation of the Agreed Conclusions at national, regional, and global levels. This will ultimately and most importantly benefit the lives of women, adolescents, girls, and other marginalized groups in the communities where they live.   ______ (1) Intersectionality is a term used to describe the idea that social relations involve multiple intersecting forms of discrimination. This means that a person might experience several forms of discrimination, such as sexism, racism, and ableism, all at the same time. See UNDP, “What is intersectionality? And why is it important for gender equality?” (May 27, 2023) Available at What is intersectionality? And why is it important for gender equality? | United Nations Development Programme (undp.org)