ActionAid UK welcomes the participants of the 2017 Family Planning Summit in London. ActionAid UK works to deliver women and girls across the world their rights, and we are gratified to see governments, non-governmental organisations and private organisations collaborating on the way ahead to the Summit’s goal to empower 120 million women and girls to use modern contraception by 2020.
We strongly welcome the UK Government’s announcement this morning on 11 July 2017 of significant new funding for family planning work in developing countries. Helping women to access sexual and reproductive health services – and hence have greater control over their bodies and lives – is one of the most transformative ways to spend aid money, and the UK is right to prioritise this issue.
However, to ensure that these services are accessible to all women, the role that violence plays in women’s ability to access and make use of family planning services must be addressed. According to research published this week by ActionAid UK, ending domestic violence could prevent an estimated 8.4 million unsafe abortions — saving an estimated 14,100 women’s lives each year.
Our report also brings together real-life stories from women that explain in their own words how domestic violence has stopped them accessing their reproductive rights. ActionAid UK’s women’s rights policy adviser Danielle Spencer, author of the report, spoke at the Family Planning Summit today to ensure the link between domestic violence and women and girls’ lack of reproductive rights was on the agenda.
As these promising new commitments are implemented, we ask the UK Government and all those attending the Summit to recognise the impact of violence against women and girls on access to family planning. Addressing these issues in a collaborative way will unlock greater progress towards the Summit’s goal, transforming the life chances of millions of women worldwide.
For interviews and further information please contact ActionAid:
Charlotte Clarke — Charlotte.firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 (0)7743 642 775
Melanie Stern – Melanie.Stern@actionaid.org / +44 (0) 203 122 0920
Notes to editors:
Danielle Spencer is available for interviews and will be hosting a discussion on the report at the House of Commons on 12 July 2017. High res photos of one of the survivors are available upon request.
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