European Commission Should Promote Gender Equality, Increase Investment In Family Planning

EurActiv: Commission must prioritize access to contraception in development policy
Heidi Hautala, Finnish Green MEP in the Greens/European Free Alliance group, and co-chair of the European Parliament Working Group on Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS, and Development (EPWG)

“…[T]he international community can make an enormous difference in increasing access to family planning when it acts with clear intent. … If we are to meet the [Family Planning] 2020 goal, investment in and commitment to family planning needs to be ramped up. The European Commission should give equal priority to family planning as to access to water, food, or education. In the context of the overseas development health spending, the Commission’s financial commitment to family planning is modest. To be a leader in giving 225 million women access to contraception, the Commission must increase its investment. We don’t highlight enough that promoting gender equality and women’s and girls’ human rights in Europe have been a landmark achievement of the E.U. By combining this with an effective overseas development policy, the E.U. can make a powerful impact on liberating and empowering women and girls worldwide. I am convinced that supporting access to family planning is the best way to achieve it” (7/19).