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Increased Youth Engagement Would Help Accelerate Family Planning Efforts

The Lancet: Family planning: accelerating the way ahead
Editorial Board

“The latest figures and progress of the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) global partnership were released in its annual report on Dec 5. FP2020 The Way Ahead, together with a related research paper by Niamh Cahill and colleagues published online in The Lancet, paint a mixed picture. … [T]he figures at current trajectories are far from the envisaged goal of an additional 120 million women and girls receiving modern contraception by 2020, which FP2020 set itself in 2012. … New political uncertainties, reduced funding to the U.N. Population Fund from the USA, in particular, together with the reinstated Mexico City policy and an increasing populist conservative movement … are potentially serious setbacks for the empowerment, education, and development of women and girls. … But here is our best opportunity for acceleration. Adolescents and young people themselves are increasingly more active and vocal, as seen during the July FP2020 summit. Especially in the poorest countries, if young people have early comprehensive sexuality and reproductive health education, access to contraceptive choices alongside secondary education, and early discussions on gender norms and power structures among both girls and boys, there might be hope for a future where choices lead to prosperity, wellbeing, and sustainable futures” (12/9).

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