Global Leaders Call for Accelerated Progress on Family Planning at Women Deliver 2013

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Janna Oberdorf, Women Deliver
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Melinda Gates, Babatunde Osotimehin and others highlight progress in expanding contraceptive access

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 29 May 2013 – On the second day of Women Deliver 2013, the largest conference on girls and women of the decade, global leaders announced progress and new commitments toward expanding contraceptive access for women in developing countries. They also outlined plans for sustaining this momentum in the years to come.

The day’s events built on commitments and energy generated at the landmark July 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, where global leaders pledged more than US $2.6 billion to provide 120 million more women and girls in the world’s poorest countries with voluntary access to contraceptive services, information, and supplies by 2020. Speakers at Women Deliver 2013 discussed strategies to reach women and girls in developing countries who do not want to become pregnant, but lack access to contraceptives.

“Putting women at the center of development and delivering solutions that meet their needs will result in huge improvements in health, prosperity, and quality of life,” said Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Melinda Gates. “When women have access to contraceptives they’re healthier, their children are healthier, and their families thrive.”

At the morning plenary session—led by Melinda Gates and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director and Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) Co-Chair Babatunde Osotimehin—government leaders from Africa and Asia highlighted concrete examples of progress on family planning and reaffirmed commitments to further expanding contraceptive access:

  • Senegal's Minister of Health Dr. Awa Coll-Seck discussed the country's dramatic progress in eliminating contraceptive stock-outs since the national family planning program's roll-out in November 2012, doubling the budget to CFA 200 million with plans for further increases in 2015.
  • The Philippines' Secretary of Health Dr. Enrique T. Ona discussed the country's historic passage of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act, after a nearly 15-year battle.
  • The First Lady of Zambia, Her Excellency Dr. Christine Kaseba-Sata, highlighted Zambia's stalwart commitment to expanding family planning access in the country, which launched its national family planning program last month.
  • Indonesia's Minister of Health Dr. Nafsiah Mboi announced the government's increase in funding for long-acting reversible contraceptives, as part of its redoubled efforts to regain momentum on family planning access after recent plateaus.
  • National Coordinator for Malawi's Safe Motherhood Initiative, Mrs. Dorothy Ngoma, discussed the government’s efforts to considerably strengthen the family planning component of safe motherhood efforts countrywide.

“These countries show that we can make an impact on women’s access to reproductive health if we rally the necessary political will and financial commitments,” said Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin. “Expanding access to contraceptives is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to save lives and ensure the health and well-being of future generations.” Continued advocacy will be needed to ensure that governments sustain and increase their commitments to family planning and to girls’ and women’s health and rights more broadly. In addition to a high-level plenary on innovative advocacy strategies, Global Poverty Project (GPP) CEO and Co-Founder Hugh Evans announced the new advocacy campaign It Takes Two, led by GPP in partnership with Women Deliver. This campaign aims to motivate young men and women to take action in support of family planning services and information, and to hold governments accountable for their FP2020 commitments.

The day’s conversations helped set the stage for tomorrow’s discussions on the critical role of girls and women in the post-Millennium Development Goal framework. Speakers will include United Nations (UN) Development Program Administrator Helen Clark, Former President of Finland Tarja Halonen, High-Level Task Force on ICPD Member HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and African Women’s Development Fund CEO Theo Sowa, among others.


About Women Deliver: Women Deliver is a global advocacy organization that brings together voices from around the world to call for improved health and wellbeing for girls and women. Launched in 2007, Women Deliver works globally to generate political commitment and financial investment for fulfilling Millennium Development Goal #5—to reduce maternal mortality and achieve universal access to reproductive health. Building from the groundbreaking conferences Women Deliver convened in 2007 and 2010, Women Deliver harnesses commitments, partnerships and networks to help prevent the approximately 350,000 deaths of girls and women from pregnancy- and childbirth-related causes that occur every year. Women Deliver’s message is that maternal health is both a human right and a practical necessity for sustainable development. Invest in women—it pays.

For live webcasts and archived videos of conference plenaries, presidential sessions and press conferences, please click here. Images are available on the Women Deliver Flickr page, and additional content is available here.

To access the full Women Deliver 2013 schedule, please click here.

For more information on Women Deliver, please visit:, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Use the hashtag #WD2013 to join the global dialogue.

Entry Comments

    • May 30
    • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    This was a fantastic conference which i wish I could have attended as I did last year in UK. My organization wish to join you in this advocacy especially we in Sierra Leone where men shy away to take family planning contraceptives.

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