Welcome to FP2030’s Daily Dispatch from Kigali! I’m MaryBeth Hastings, FP2030’s Resident Gender Nerd — aka Senior Gender Advisor — and I’ll be reporting out every day on the themes, perspectives, and discussions emerging from the Women Deliver conference happening now in Kigali, Rwanda.
Sunday began with pre-conferences galore, and FP2030 was in the thick of it. First up, UNFPA’s “Scaling up Actions to End Preventable Maternal Deaths,” where FP2030 Executive Director Dr. Samukeliso Dube moderated a session on strategies and solutions for bold action to eradicate avoidable deaths during pregnancy and childbirth. Access to contraception – including postpartum family planning – is key to combatting maternal death. Speakers also challenged outdated leadership ideas to push our movement forward.
Too often, maternal health and family planning are treated as two separate movements, when in fact we are both working to further human rights and we have so much to gain from collaboration. I was glad to see many of the conversations from F2030’s Stronger Together event at the International Maternal and Newborn Health Conference came forward here too, about how these two movements can work together to advance human rights and help meet the SDGs.
FP2030 also cosponsored Women Deliver’s Gender and Climate Change preconference, which highlighted the disparate burdens that women and girls are experiencing due to climate change and related disasters. Gender must be central to climate resilience, and participants spoke about the urgent financing and policy changes that are needed to ensure women and girls are included in decisions and benefit from investments. Women and girls in climate emergencies must have access to the tools they need to postpone childbearing if they wish. Stay tuned in coming months for FP2030’s Emergency Preparedness and Response strategy which will outline how we can partner with humanitarian actors to ensure women and girls everywhere – including in areas affected by climate change – can make their own reproductive decisions. And if you haven’t already, check out Ready to Save Lives, a sexual and reproductive health care in emergencies toolkit designed to bring together existing learning and guidance as a starting point for stakeholders to begin SRH preparedness work.
Population Council’s GIRL Center brought star power to the FP2030-co-hosted Girls Deliver preconference. Climate activist Vanessa Nakate provided challenging and inspiring opening remarks on girls’ lived experience of the connections among climate, SRHR, and gender equality. Malala Yousafzai, Stacey Abrams, and powerful youth activists engaged in a fireside chat on the urgent priority of centering adolescent girls. And I was pleased to participate in the discussion for the Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights panel with Margaret Bolaji, FP2030’s North, West, and Central Africa Youth Officer, who shared her perspectives on the government integration roundtable.
Stay tuned for more tomorrow, and we hope to see you in the plenary hall and at the FP2030 side event, Equity Means Everyone.