The original version of this article, by Sarah Lindsay, appeared on the Ministerial Leadership Initiative’s Leading Global Health blog.
With more than 2,200 family planning policymakers, researchers, and advocates watching the opening plenary of the International Conference on Family Planning
(ICFP) – including some in seaside tents outfitted with big-screen TVs – two youth leaders captivated the audience.
The featured speakers included international dignitaries, headlined by the president of Senegal, but the younger leaders made a dramatic plea with an adamant demand: involve youth in family planning decision making.
As many family planning advocates say, family planning can improve the lives of future generations. Based on this argument, the youth leaders said they should be fully included in the discussions in making policy, and not have policymakers make decisions for them.
Both speakers, Saudou Node and Mohammed Barry, expressed disappointment that more has not been done to ensure universal access to family planning. Node told the plenary that projects and policies created to increase family planning access often never make it to the field.
Continue reading on Leading Global Health. For more on ICFP 2011, see Sarah’s full series of posts.