Rwanda Hosts International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) 

Rwanda Hosts International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) KIGALI, 12-15 November 2018 – A delegation of African MPs represented FPA at this year’s International Conference on Family Planning.  EPF and FPA co-hosted two forum meetings which included speakers from UNFPA, WHO, Women Deliver, FP2020, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and IPPF.Here, MPs benefitted from an open discussion with these key SRHR donors and advocacy groups to learn how to better collaborate for the common goal of ensuring family planning accessibility for all.Hon Hadjira Ummouri commented, “Access to safe and voluntary family planning is a fundamental right. The involvement of men contributes to success. “

Hon. Paul Abuor, MP (Kenya) stated: ‘As legislators, when we go back to our countries, we can now implement programmes and policies in line with the programmes which the donors want to assist within family planning. We will give them all the support in pushing legislation that will make family planning affordable and reach as many people as possible.’

Hon. Gallican Niyongana, MP (Rwanda) revered the conference as ‘A big push toward universal family planning coverage.’ She continued: ‘The ICFP 2018 helped Rwandans and local stakeholders to understand family planning more deeply.  Even though we recognize tremendous progress, some people hesitate to opt-in in family planning due to cultural and religious mindset.  Therefore, the conference came as a help in family planning advocacy. It was a great opportunity for Rwandans, especially young people, and parents to be aware of family planning as a right, through strong testimonies from peers and eminent personalities from around the worldwide.’

The conference sessions were complemented by various site visits, namely to the Rwamagana District Hospital where MPs learnt more about the healthcare system in Rwanda, to the Nyamirambo Women’s Center to learn about success stories in terms of women’s empowerment and social development initiatives.

During the forum meetings, the MPs collectively produced a statement on their commitments regarding family planning access in their respective countries, which EPF and FPA Vice-Presidents Hon. Paul Chibingu, MP (Malawi) and Hon. Petra Bayr, MP (Austria), presented at the official closing ceremony of the conference as an official promise on behalf of their regions to prioritise family planning.