I work for a private Foundation based in London - every year CIFF supports large scale programs to improve the lives of vulnerable children. Over the last 4 years I have worked with my colleagues at CIFF to secure commitment from our leadership to engage on adolescent reproductive health.
Adolescent reproductive health has now become a top priority for the Foundation. Over the years, I have worked with outstanding partners to design and implement exciting programs that put adolescent girls at the center of the design process and tackle some of the most sensitive challenges: sex, contraception, abortion and what this means for a 15 year old.
I missed a pill, and I found myself walking into an MSI clinic in London to have an abortion. I did not like doing that, but it was okay, because I was in a country with supportive policies and high quality services. This was a choice I was making on my own. On that day I thought about the millions of women who needed, like me, to make choices about their contraceptive life, but who were challenged at every single step of the way.
I worked on adolescent reproductive health, there is lot of talks, but too little action. It is a trendy subject but few dare to actually address this problem - this is despite having adolescents dying and ruining their future because of unplanned births and unsafe abortions.
Through our work we are trying to partner with a few countries who have made this a priority - progress is slow though and we need to do much more.
I am from France - we have high CPR - but we still experience discrimination against women and girls when it comes to contraception. About two years ago, an organisation called Gyn&co created a new website that maps female friendly providers in France - they did it because this was needed, because too many women were experiencing stigma when accessing services. I cannot believe that such a website is needed in a country like mine.
Get a least one government in Sub-Saharan Africa standing to say they will halve teen pregnancy and eradicate unsafe abortion - and follow that through.