Contributions of FP2020 in Advancing Rights-Based Family Planning: Upholding and Advancing the Promises of Cairo

The 2012 London Summit on Family Planning not only marked the revitalization of family planning as an essential component of the global development agenda; it was also a historic moment of solidarity among many who wanted—and who still want—to see women and girls in the global South enjoy the same right and freedom to determine if, when, and how often they have children as those who happened to live in countries with more ready access to sexual and reproductive health services. The Summit solidified agreements that business as usual would no longer suffice, instead calling for an evidence-based focus on understanding and meeting the needs of adolescents and young people, on engaging country leadership in the work, and in ensuring measurement and accountability; it also drew attention to the importance of how programs and services are delivered.

This review shows the path taken by Family Planning 2020 to make rights-based programming a viable and central part of all our operations. Over the seven years since the 2012 Summit, we have worked with a range of partners to define, build understanding of, and operationalize rights-based approaches. In so doing, we also sought to implement a part of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) agenda that had somewhat languished since Cairo. Today, we are seeing more attention to and understanding of the importance of rights-based programming for women and girls, but there is still a long way to go until respect for the reproductive rights of women and girls is universally promoted, protected, and realized.