With young people, for young people: IYAFP and FP2020 partner to empower the next generation of family planning leaders

Ramya Jawahar Kudekallu, 27, of Bangalore, India, summed it up: “Sexual and reproductive health rights are human rights. It is that simple, inalienable, and non-negotiable. Access to contraceptives speaks to the expansion of this right for young women and girls… In order for us to promise that these services are available to every single woman, the investment in youth needs to continue and increase.”

Ramya is an executive working with nearly 60 Country Coordinators for the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning (IYAFP), a youth-led organization dedicated to cultivating a new generation of leaders between the ages of 15 and 30 on family planning. IYAFP was founded in 2013 on the principle that young people are uniquely situated to identify and overcome obstacles to accessing safe, comprehensive, and quality family planning services in their communities.

Integrating the youth perspective is critical to achieving the goals of Family Planning 2020 (FP2020), a global partnership which supports the rights of women and girls to decide, freely and for themselves, whether, when and how many children they want to have. Worldwide, there are 1.8 billion individuals between the ages 10 and 24, and over a billion of those young people live in FP2020’s 69 focus countries. Grounded in principles of rights and empowerment, family planning policies and programs must integrate and reflect the diverse lived experiences of young people worldwide.