Pathfinder International and UNFPA Renew Collaborative Commitment to Advance Family Planning, Gender Equality
"Strengthened collaboration will enable us to step up our efforts to improve the lives and wellbeing of women and young people. Ensuring that adolescent girls, in particular, have the choices and tools . . . to realize their full potential will enable them to contribute to a more sustainable future for everyone."
-Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin
Today, leaders from Pathfinder International and UNFPA signed a memorandum renewing the organizations’ collaborative commitment to advance family planning and gender equality worldwide.
Pathfinder President Purnima Mane and UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin met at UNFPA headquarters in New York to sign the agreement at a critical juncture in time—as progress toward the Millennium Development Goals is being assessed, new global development goals are taking shape, and the world is reviewing where we stand 20 years after the landmark International Conference on Population and Development.
The renewed memorandum, first signed in 2010, states that Pathfinder will provide technical support for a range of UNFPA initiatives including contraception education, counseling, and services; adolescent and youth reproductive health services; maternal care; HIV and AIDS prevention, care, and treatment; and abandonment of harmful traditional practices, such as female genital cutting and early marriage.
"On behalf of Pathfinder International, I'm honored to stand with the UNFPA today to pledge an even stronger partnership for the advancement of sexual and reproductive health and rights worldwide,” said Pathfinder President Purnima Mane. “Now, more than ever, we must work together to ensure that sexual and reproductive health and rights are not forgotten nor left behind.”
“We at UNFPA are proud of our longstanding partnership with Pathfinder International," said UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin. “Strengthened collaboration will enable us to step up our efforts to improve the lives and wellbeing of women and young people. Ensuring that adolescent girls, in particular, have the choices and tools, including access to family planning, to realize their full potential will enable them to contribute to a more sustainable future for everyone.”
Pathfinder and UNFPA have conducted joint programs for almost two decades in 15 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and South America. Together, the organizations have focused on bringing services to the least advantaged, improving adolescent sexual and reproductive health, increasing access to family planning, and reducing maternal mortality.
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The World Health Organization's new publication titled "Core competencies in adolescent health and development for primary care providers" includes technical input from Pathfinder's Gwyn Hainsworth.
While a complex set of factors contribute to sexual and reproductive health problems among adolescents, these problems are exacerbated by the lack of youth-friendly health services and accurate information on safe sex and contraceptive use, says the International Women's Health Coalition.