It Takes Two to dance in Kampala
On International Women’s Day Concert, March 8th, in Kampala, Uganda 5,000 people came together in support to tackle high teenage pregnancy rates across the country.
The concert celebrated the official launch of It Takes Two - a national youth-focused family planning campaign that aims to achieve policy progress for family planning and enable more girls and women across Uganda to access sexual and reproductive health services and information.
Rocking the stage in the middle of Kampala, the impressive line-up of hip-hop and reggae artists expressed their passion for the rights of women and girls and their desire to address this issue.
“International Women’s Day is a key moment to remind our leaders that we must invest in girls and women’s access to family planning information and services,” said Nyanda, headliner of the event and It Takes Two Ambassador.
Alongside with international music artist two local parliamentarians, in charge of health and youth, Honorable Sarah Nyombi and Honorable Mariam Nalubega, addressed the audience with powerful messages of commitment of the state to work on increasing contraceptive use rates and knowledge about reproductive health among Ugandan youth.
Members of parliament proved that effective advocacy can be fun by getting down to the rhythms of hip-hop.
The campaign is planning to build massive public support for family planning and influence government to enact policies and increase investments that will:
- tackle teen pregnancy,
- ensure comprehensive, age-appropriate sexual education,
- increase access to youth-friendly family planning services,
- address stock-out issues and provide an adequate mix of contraceptive options.
This will be achieved by mobilizing Ugandan youth as powerful advocates for change. By taking actions on the Global Citizen platform Ugandans will be able to earn points and win tickets to music events and free air time on mobile phones, thanks to the partnership with Airtel.
In Uganda, 34% of women who want to prevent or delay pregnancy are not using modern methods of contraception. A lack of access to sexual education and family planning services along with high rates of child marriage have led to high rates of teen pregnancy and maternal mortality in Uganda. One in four Ugandan teenagers is pregnant or has a child and over 6,000 Ugandan women died from complications due to pregnancy and childbirth last year.
Fortunately, Ugandan policymakers recognize that providing girls, women, and their partners with family planning information and services can reverse these trends. At the landmark London Summit on Family Planning in July 2012, President Yoweri Museveni made commitments toward improving access to family planning information and services. He pledged to invest UGX 12.5 billion annually towards family planning services, reduce the unmet need for family planning from 40% to 10% by 2022, and achieve universal access to family planning.
Now, we must hold the Ugandan government accountable for its promises by showing them that young people want and need family planning. Show your support for youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health information and services for the country’s millions of young people. Sign the Power to Plan Pledge.