Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association Launches Vision 2020

Pamela Nauth, President of Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association

On Sunday, October 27, the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (GRPA) celebrated its 40th anniversary by launching Vision 2020, IPPF's ten-point call to action to ensure that sexual and reproductive health and rights become reality in every community around the world. The event featured several honored speakers, including First Lady Deolatchmie Ramotar and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shamdeo Persaud. GRPA President Pamela Nauth kicked off the launch with this rousing speech:

Special invitees, guests, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the Board of Directors, management, staff, and volunteers of the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association—and my own behalf—I am extremely delighted to welcome you to this significant milestone. Under the theme of "Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for all Guyanese," GRPA is celebrating its 40th anniversary and launching the IPPF's Vision 2020 in the fantastic ambiance of the famous Georgetown Seawall Bandstand with the pleasant wind from the mighty Atlantic Ocean.

The next few years will see the creation of a new set of international development goals. It is an unparalleled opportunity to secure a world of justice, choice, and well-being for all people. Sexual and reproductive health and rights are central to that vision. But we still have a long way to go for the next forty years.

Global funding for sexual and reproductive health and rights has decreased radically, while 222 million women and girls worldwide still lack access to the contraceptives they want and need. This is despite the fact that IPPF is currently working in 172 countries to empower the most vulnerable women, men, and young people to access lifesaving opportunities and to live with dignity.

Important progress has been made in establishing gender-based violence as a human rights concern, but little headway has been made in addressing violence against girls and women as a public health issue. There is a notable absence of attention to this issue in reproductive health policymaking, a critical and strategic entry point if the consequences of violence against women are recognized as an important and integral part of women’s health concerns.

Half of the world’s population is women, which means just over 3 billion women. This is why GRPA continues to collaborate with IPPF in promoting Vision 2020 and calling on supporters to direct much more resources towards sexual and reproductive health information and services.

The Vision 2020 manifesto consists of 10 targets:

1. Sexual and reproductive health and rights as essential in the 2015 development framework.
2. Half the poverty gap between rich and poor by 2020.
3. Eliminate discrimination against women by 2020.
4. Recognize sexual and reproductive health and rights as human rights by 2020.
5. Engage young people in all policy decisions.
6. Integrate sexual and reproductive health and rights services within all health systems.
7. Half the unmet need for family planning by 2020.
8. Comprehensive sexuality education for all by 2020.
9. Reduce maternal mortality due to unsafe abortion by 75%.
10. Allocate resources to achieve all 9 targets by 2020.

It is only 10 goals to a fairer world.

We call on governments and policymakers to provide and strengthen education and employment opportunities; increase the investment in the education, health, and well-being of young people; enhance child-sensitive programmes that provide opportunities for young people; and prevent youth from being catapulted prematurely into adulthood. We are requesting governments to promote laws, policies, and programs that protect the rights of all young people and recognize the diversity in this target group. We are asking not only implementing laws and policies, but also for greater enforcement to ensure they are actually assisting.

These are basic women's rights, which are encapsulated in human rights, that enable women and girls their meaningful participation in shaping the futures of their societies. As Elizabeth Cady Stanton said, "Social science affirms that woman's place in society marks the level of civilization."

In the next 40 years, GRPA will continue to be committed to providing accessible, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services to better serve our clients. We join IPPF in reaffirming its commitment to work towards the elimination of poverty, gender inequality, and injustice in ways that respect, protect, and fulfill the human rights of all.

Sustainability will be a key element, as competition has increase and donors funds have decrease significantly. Hence, we need to ensure that resources are distributed rationally and fairly. We are not there yet.

It is now time to take decisive action and move forward in achieving sustainable growth and promoting the targets of Vision 2020. After all, as the saying goes, “God only made man before woman because you always make the rough draft before the final masterpiece.”

Once again, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I extend warm greetings of welcome to you to this auspicious anniversary event and launch of Vision 2020. Thank you for your attention.


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