By Haruna Gimba
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, has called for global action to prioritize family planning by ensuring expanded access to contraception by women and girls across the world.
The president spoke in Nusa Dua, Indonesia, at the opening of the fourth International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP), Co-hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health and the National Population and Family Planning Board of Indonesia.
In an opening remark, Mr. Widodo said to build a better planet by 2030, global leaders must ensure all women and girls are empowered to choose whether and when they want to have children and space their births, so that mothers and their babies can have better lives and opportunities.
The Indonesian leader said he intends to solve contraceptive discontinuation and cost which create major challenges for family planning progress in his country, by reducing the cost of family planning through a provision of free services and peer education programs.
Widodo also insisted that stigma and discrimination against women seeking family planning services must end, adding that family planning education must become a priority in every district and regency of the country.
In his address, Executive Director of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin said family planning is about women’s rights and their capacity to make decisions about their health and well-being.
“It is a most significant investment to promote human capital development, combat poverty and harness a demographic dividend, thus contributing to equitable and sustainable economic development within
the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he said.