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2024 trends


What does the year 2024 hold for us?

As the new year begins, we take a look at the trends and challenges ahead for sexual and reproductive health and rights.

What does 2024 hold for us? Some trends are already emerging for the opportunities and  battles ahead for sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice in 2024.

Around the world, 2024 will see a historic number of elections, casting a shadow of political uncertainty that could lead to geopolitical instability.

The climate crisis continues, threatening the livelihoods and human rights of affected populations. Sexual rights are integral to  the fight for our planet, which is why IPPF is continuing  environmental advocacy in 2024. At the same time, we continue to mobilize to ensure SRHR services during humanitarian crises, especially sexual and reproductive health services, for communities and displaced populations.

2024 also holds great promise: the fight for abortion rights continues, and we applaud the expansion of the Green Wave and liberalization of abortion laws in other regions that have historically been the most restricted, including in Africa. In Europe, we saw a turnaround in Poland: the results of the parliamentary elections showed growing support for democratic values and reproductive freedom. 2024 had a strong start with the victory of Marta Lempart in her libel case against the ultra-conservative organization Ordo Iuris. This is a clear win for freedom of speech and for all those who stand for women's rights. 

But democracy remains at risk in 2024. Our identities and freedoms are being attacked by more state and non-state actors. They have been excluding and marginalizing LGBTIQ+ aiming  to strip away reproductive rights and to criminalize sexuality and gender, as in Uganda, Russia, Indonesia. In some countries, however, they failed and we celebrated great victories. In particular, in 2023, several countries decriminalized same-sex marriage. And we hope to see the wave of marriage equality continue to spread.

In line with our Strategy 2028, the Federation is committed to continuing its work to ensure and extend access to sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice for and with the people we serve.

An all-time record of number of elections in 2024

2024 will be an exceptional and historic year - never before have so many elections aligned in a mere 12 months, including 75 national elections - presidential, parliamentary or both - in 57 countries. Over 2.5 billion voters will participate. Historic? Yes, it is. Dangerous? Perhaps - holding so many elections over such a short period of time carries the risk of mass political change across the world. It could shift the political balance. According to the World Economic Forum's Chief Risk Officers Outlook 2023, geopolitical volatility is the biggest risk this year.

The European elections in June will be the largest transnational election in the world: 400 million voters from 27 member states will elect 720 members of the European Parliament (EP). In the light of recent national elections in Europe - particularly in the Netherlands, Italy, Finland and Sweden - projections point to a rise of Eurosceptic and far-right parties in the EP. The European Parliamentary Forum has shown how these conservative movements lead to anti-democratic ideology. In fact, once elected, they often  target women's rights and sexual and reproductive rights as the first of broader attacks on freedom and democracy. 2024 European elections will therefore be crucial for the defense and protection of the rights of women and LGBTQI+ people as well as democracy in Europe and worldwide.

Conservative candidates are already in the spotlight for the upcoming national elections. In the United States, former President Donald Trump will once again face off against President Joe Biden in the presidential election. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, described by scholars(1) as populist, nationalist and authoritarian, is running to succeed himself.

But there are exceptions, for instance Mexico, which will have a pro-choice female president in 2024. Both candidates - the left-wing Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo, former mayor of Mexico City, and former senator Xóchitl Gálvez - are socially progressive and support abortion rights. 

Some elections still retain a certain mystery. On 25 February, Senegal will elect a new president. But the list of candidates has not yet been published by the Constitutional Council, which has until 20 January to examine the applications received. As of 26 December, 79 candidacies had been submitted, including former minister Karim Wade and former prime minister Aminata Touré.

“The world faces perhaps its most tumultuous year in a generation from a geopolitical standpoint,” said Bloomberg Economics chief geo-economics analyst Jennifer Welch.

Anxiety will be high in 2024 - so at IPPF we’ll take inspiration from our successes, knowing that when put to the vote, people around the world are demanding respect for their bodily autonomy, access to  sexual and reproductive health services that respect their rights and dignity, and reproductive justice for themselves and their communities.

(1) Widmalm Sten (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Autocratization in South Asia, 2022, Routledge.

Photo credits: Edmond Dantès/Shutterstock

People casting a ballot

Will 2024 be the warmest year ever?

2023 was the warmest year in 100,000 years - but 2024 could beat this new record. Climate change holds important consequences, one of them water scarcity as terrestrial water storage is diminishing. 2.3 billion people live in water-stressed countries, 733 million of whom live in countries with high and critical water stress. And these numbers will continue to rise in 2024, with women and girls among the most affected. 

The climate crisis is a humanitarian crisis with major implications for sexual and reproductive health and rights. According to a report on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in 2030(2), by decade’s end two-thirds of IPPF clients will live in countries where inequalities have increased, with a growing share caused by the climate crisis. Affected populations see their access to human rights threatened. As a result, IPPF and its Member Associations work to respond rapidly in affected areas when humanitarian crises occur. To provide quality, person-centered care, we design our responses with communities. In Kiribati, young people are leading and planning rapid responses for their communities during climate-related disasters, thanks to the Kiribati Family Health Association's (KFHA) Humanitarian Youth Club. In 2022, rain failure for a third consecutive rainfall season in Eastern and Northern Kenya caused most Arid and Semi-Arid Lands to experience critical drought conditions. Consequently, a large-scale, climate-induced, humanitarian crisis unfolded in the Horn of Africa. We responded to this emergency through our partner, Reproductive Health Network Kenya, with sexual and reproductive health outreach.

(2) University of Cape Town/University of Oxford consortium, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in 2030, November 2021.

Photo credits: IPPF/Hannah Maule-ffinch

IPPF Humanitarian - Climate Change Kiribati

Our humanitarian response to conflict

Since October 2023, Gaza is under bombardment and the population is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Our Member Association in Palestine, the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA)’s only health center in Gaza was destroyed on 8 October when an Israeli airstrike hit an adjacent building. Our staff in Gaza are sheltering from constant bombardments and are providing care to people in their community with limited supplies and resources, whilst under a total blockade of medical commodities. Like most other humanitarian organizations, IPPF and PFPPA have been prevented from distributing sufficient aid to meet the enormous scale of need amid Israel's relentless bombardment of Gaza. PFPPA staff are among the heroic healthcare workers in Gaza that continue to provide care as best they can in the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe. We fear for their safety - and that of the 2.3 million civilians in Gaza - every single day. There must be a full and immediate ceasefire in place now as the only viable solution to prevent thousands more deaths, including maternal and newborn deaths. We must be able to coordinate a broad aid operation into Gaza with our partners safely and peacefully. 

Palestinians are systematically denied sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights. Our health system has been repeatedly targeted and depleted by the Israeli occupation, and the more it disintegrates, the more it will hinder the full realization of these rights for women and girls” said Ammal Awadallah​, Executive Director, PFPPA

By providing sexual and reproductive health and rights services in humanitarian settings, IPPF and its partners have been at the forefront of responses to conflicts: in Sudan, where sexual gender-based violence is on the rise, in Armenia, where the refugee crisis is erupting, and in Ukraine, where since the start of the full-scale, illegal, Russian invasion, our Member Associations have been mobilizing both in Ukraine and in neighboring countries to provide internally displaced people and refugees right-based services.

Photo credits: IPPF/SFPA/2023

Sudanese woman

Aborto legal, seguro y gratuito!

A year and a half ago, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Since then, abortion policy is the responsibility of each individual state, with fourteen enacting total bans and another seven severely restricting access. Planned Parenthood Federation of America continues to work tirelessly to advocate for access to safe and legal abortion across the country, including in 22 states where legal protections for abortion have been strengthened or codified. A sign of hope - in every instance since where abortion has been on the ballot Americans have protected or advanced access to abortion, even in conservative states like Kansas and Kentucky

In Latin America, the Green Wave has shown how feminist solidarity and action over decades compels change: Argentina decriminalized abortion in 2020, Colombia in 2022 and Mexico in 2023. We remain optimistic for the coming year: the Green Wave has just begun!

Photo credits: Wara Vargas

Feminist demonstration in Bolivia

A growing backlash against LGBTIQ+ rights

LGBTIQ+ rights are facing a growing backlash. In the recent years, several countries passed anti-LGBTIQ+ legislation: Uganda and its “anti-gay law”, Hungary by banning information on gender and sexuality to minors, in the US, Texas qualifying gender reassignment procedures as child abuse… The pushback is strong but we will keep fighting for our identity, our freedoms and overall for democracy. We did celebrate some victories for LGBTIQ+ rights in 2023, particularly  equal marriage rights. Three countries legalized same-sex marriage (Andorra, Estonia and Slovenia). Three more solidified legislative progress towards decriminalizing same-sex unions: a Japanese court ruled it is unconstitutional for the nation not to legally recognise same-sex unions. And the Supreme Courts of Nepal and Namibia recognised marriages of same-sex couples registered abroad.

According to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation which tracks developments in the legal recognition of same-sex marriage around the world, more countries could legalize same-sex marriage in 2024. In particular, the Czech Republic, India, Japan, Nepal, Philippines and Thailand show signs of growing support for marriage equality - progress we hope to see continues in 2024.

Feminist grounding drives us, as MAs, to remove obstacles that pollute and stifle love and make it hard for so many to breathe. It drives us to be a disruptive force, rejecting gender injustices and marginalization of LGBTQ+ persons who are denied their human rights.” said Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth, Caribbean Family Planning Association (Come Together Strategy 2028, p.19)

Photo credits: Aiden Craver/Unsplash

LGBTIQ+ demonstration


Faced with a high-stakes year that promises to be complicated and demanding, the commitment of each of us is essential. It is through collective action that change happens. We are grateful to all those who are at our side - our Member Associations and partners, stakeholders, grassroots movements, youth-led organizations and activists - in the defense of sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice.

We wish 2024 to be a year of success for the feminist and sexual rights movements. 

We wish for quality SRHR for everyone, everywhere


Banner credits: IPPF