By Liz Ford
A global campaign to ensure that the right of people to make decisions over their own bodies is enshrined in the next set of development goals was launched by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) on Tuesday.
Fifty member organisations of the federation from across the world will be holding talks, carnivals, rallies and marches in support of the I decide campaign. The campaign seeks to win the support of leaders for including women’s and men’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in discussions about what should follow the millennium development goals, which expire next year.
Organisers want to gather 1m signatures to present to Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, in the summer of 2015.
The UN’s open working group on sustainable development goals is due to present a draft set of universal targets to member states at the UN general assembly in September. Women’s rights activists have been campaigning for a standalone goal on gender equality and women’s empowerment, which has so far been the subject of broad agreement.
The IPPF says the standalone goal must include targets specifying universal access to reproductive healthcare, such as the availability of education and information about family planning services and access to safe abortion. The federation also wants targets to eliminate gender-based violence, legal equality for women, and the equal participation of women in public life and decision-making. It is calling for sexual and reproductive health and rights to be included as a target under a health goal, and gender equality and sexual health and rights to be mainstreamed through all other goals.
By 2020, the federation wants to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and girls.