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Nothing about us without us

What: a global conference in Nairobi, organised by the UNFPA. 
Who: you! 
Why: to strengthen the SRHR of young people all over Africa 

For young people to live meaningful and safe lives, we need to be included when decisions concerning our sexual and reproductive health and rights are made. We also need to stand up for each other when our rights are at risk, or when our governments are not prioritizing youth friendly health care services. This year, we have the chance to speak up about SRHR on a global level. How? Keep reading.  

Achieving and maintaining sexual health without having access to sexual rights is very difficult. The link between the two is increasingly visible, and countries all over the world have been working for strengthening people’s access to sexual health services in order to lower the maternal death rates, STI and HIV infections and cases of FGM, to mention some. One of the efforts the international community has made was coming together for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994, arranged by the UNFPA. This conference was a game changer in the way it shifted how we look at reaching our goals on development. Before this conference, the norm had been to focus on reaching demographic targets. At the ICPD in 1994, they started looking at meeting the needs of individuals. To do so, they adopted a Programme of Action(PoA), a recipe for how to go about to reach the goals for all the states present at the meeting. In this recipe, it was highlighted how important sexual and reproductive health is for development, and how each and every person’s health plays a role. This year, 25 years later, governments and stakeholders from the civil society will meet in Nairobi for the ICPD+25 to look at three things:

  1. What has been done so far?
  2. What remains? 
  3. What do we need to do to make the necessary changes happen? 

The theme for this year’s conference is Accelerating the promise – because development has been too slow. The stakeholders will try to accelerate the speed of development by focusing on 5 pillars: 

  1. Universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights as a part of universal health coverage.
  2. Financing required to complete the ICPD Programme of Action, and to sustain the gains made.
  3. Drawing on demographic diversity to drive economic growth and achieve sustainable development.
  4. Ending gender-based violence and harmful practices.
  5. Upholding the right to sexual and reproductive health care even in humanitarian and fragile contexts.

From the Nairobi Summit webpage

Development has been too slow for 25 years. Youth are game changers, pushers for change and policy shakers. We need to be included! It is important that decisions regarding our SRHR are not taken without our presence or participation. For that reason, we have a form at the end of this article that you can fill out so we can bring your opinion with us to the summit. Please answer the short questions and help us tell the world leaders what matters to you! 

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