IPPF: 60 Years of Advocacy, 60 Days of Action

Sixty years ago, the International Planned Parenthood Federation was founded in Mumbai (Bombay), India when a handful of women set out to create a different kind of world. These women—from eight family planning organizations representing the Netherlands, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, West Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States—believed that empowering women to control their own bodies was essential to creating healthy families and sustainable communities. From this bold vision, the International Planned Parenthood Federation was born.

For some, it’s hard to imagine a time when vociferous advocates of family planning could be imprisoned for their actions to improve the lives of women and families around the world. When we first began distributing contraception, we were met with opposition. But we persevered, and today, our Member Associations work with governments, local communities, and the private sector to deliver nearly 29 million services each year.

But in Latin America and the Caribbean, the battle for bodily autonomy as a human right continues. Nearly half of sexually active young women in Latin America and the Caribbean have an unmet need for contraception, and over half of all pregnancies in the region are unintended. According to the World Health Organization, 95% of abortions in Latin America are performed illegally, and one in eight maternal deaths result from unsafe abortion.

These startling statistics reflect the reality of millions of women, men, and young people in the region. It also reflects the continued need for international advocacy in support of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

That’s why IPPF is celebrating its anniversary with a global “60 Days of Action” campaign to promote increased access to quality health care and sexual and reproductive rights. Since September, IPPF Regional Offices and local Member Associations in other parts of the world have been carrying out actions in support of sexual and reproductive health. Now, it’s our turn.

For the next ten days, our Member Associations and friends will be celebrating IPPF’s 60th anniversary—and raising awareness about sexual and reproductive health and rights—in a number of creative ways. From Trinidad and Tobago to Ecuador, our network will host community awareness events, speak up about the importance of sexual rights in local media and distribute free male and female condoms.

Watch our blog and social media for updates, and contact your local Member Association to find out how your country is celebrating. In addition to following our blog, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter to learn more about the actions in our region as they unfold, you can join our celebration as a Social Media Ambassador.

Here are six actions you can take to honor our 60th Anniversary:

1. Follow us on Twitter.
2. Like us on Facebook.
3. Follow us on Pinterest.
4. Take a photo of yourself with this sign for our Facebook page and email it to mvandeven@ippfwhr.org.
5. Tweet your reasons for supporting @IPPF_WHR using the hashtag #IPPF60 and ask six Twitter followers to do the same.
6. Make a $60 donation and ask six friends to do the same.

Together, we can continue to make a real difference for the next 60 years and beyond!

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