Hello again! I’m Mary Beth Hastings, the resident gender nerd at FP2030 bringing you day two of FP2030’s Daily Dispatch from Women Deliver. This whole conference is a massive treat for someone like me, whose passion lies at the junction of gender and sexual and reproductive health and rights. So yesterday’s preconference, Bodily Autonomy: The Power of Choice organized by UNFPA, was absolutely filled with delicious inspiring moments.
Speaker after speaker shouted out the importance of ensuring consent (for sex but also in other contexts), ending unsafe abortion, protecting the rights of LGBTQIA+ people, advancing access to rights-based family planning, funding feminist movements, eradicating female genital mutilation, guaranteeing comprehensive sexual education – all issues grounded in the right of every person to have decision-making power over their bodies.
And this is what FP2030’s new gender strategy (now available in English, coming soon in Spanish and French) is all about – understanding the connections of all these issues under the umbrella of gender equality.
Gender is at the root of every person’s ability to make and carry out decisions about sex, contraception, and sexual and reproductive health. Ensuring every girl, every woman, and every person has the fundamental right to bodily autonomy is at the heart of what we at FP2030 believe and do.
So as speaker after speaker – including the First Lady of Rwanda H.E. Jeannette Kagame and civil society activists from around the world – underscored the urgency of action on bodily autonomy, I felt so energized that the themes and principles captured in the FP2030 gender strategy were echoed in this space by such a diverse range of leaders. I also know that as the speakers pointed out, it’s a tremendous challenge, with anti-rights groups pushing against comprehensive sex ed, access to contraception, safe abortion, and LGBTQIA+ rights around the world.
FP2030’s Executive Director, Dr. Samu Dube, brought absolute fire to this theme of bodily autonomy and human rights on stage today in the SRHR plenary session. In contrast to how many might see women’s reproductive decisions only through the lens of population policy, Samu said, “Women are not tools to be open or closed to align with your priorities! We are human beings!”
And on the topic of anti-rights groups, she made it clear that across varying movements, we are all united in the fight for human rights. We cannot see attacks on other rights, including LGBTQIA+ and rights to safe abortion, as separate, because the same forces will soon come for us. “We must double down on rights,” and not shy away because of pushback she said. It was great to hear such strong words from our executive director on such a vital subject.
Our next dispatch will feature highlights and pictures from today’s side event “Equity Means Everyone.” Looking forward to sharing more tomorrow!
|Check out FP2030’s gender strategy!
As FP2030 continues to build a global support network, gender – and gender transformative approaches – are at the heart of what we do. Learn more in the new FP2030 gender strategy, now available in English and coming soon in French and Spanish.
Don’t miss FP2030 Bingo for your chance to win a contraceptive pin! Stop by the exhibition hall and visit booths Akagera 25-27 to play.