Global Issues

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Globally, an estimated 225 million women and girls wish to avoid pregnancy but do not have access to modern contraception. Each day, more than 1,000 women and girls die from complications during birth or from unsafe abortion. In developing countries, this is the number one cause of death for adolescent girls aged 15-19.

Lack of sexual and reproductive health information, education, and services disproportionately affects women and girls. It denies them the right to live lives of health, respect, dignity and equal opportunity. It denies them the right to reach their full potential. Lack of sexual and reproductive health also acts as a barrier to sustainable development, the eradication of poverty, and the achievement of equality.

The IFPA’s mission is to enable people to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health at home and all over the world. As part of our work, we advocate for the implementation of government commitments regarding sexual and reproductive health and rights. We also collaborate with partner organisations and civil society internationally to raise awareness of the importance of sexual and reproductive health and rights for achieving sustainable and equitable development.

This section highlights our work on global issues and what remains to be done to ensure that every person across the world has access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Read about our current and recent work below.


CIES: Investing in Bolivia’s Most Vulnerable Youth

Centro de Investigación, Educación y Servicios (CIES) is the IFPA's Bolivian partner. The organisation provides high quality sexual and reproductive health information and services to some of Bolivia's most vulnerable young people. Click here to read out about the work of CIES in empowering marginalised young people in Bolivia through the Irish Aid funded project ‘Investing in Bolivia’s Most Vulnerable Youth’.


Factsheets: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

The All-Party Oireachtas Interest Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Development, of which the IFPA acts as secretariat, is producing a series of factsheets on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The first of these focuses on young people: why investment in young people's SRHR is so crucial, barriers standing in the way, and what the Irish Government can do. More.


Photo Exhibition: Placing Reproductive Health at the Heart of Development Policy

In 2014, the All-Party Oireachtas Interest Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Development marked the 20th anniversary of the International Conference of Population and Development (ICPD) with a photographic exhibition highlighting the importance of the inclusion of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the post-2015 development framework. More.


UNFPA: State Of World Population Report

Each year the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) releases its flagship State of World Population Report.  A recurring theme of each report is the importance of sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equality and education as a means of ensuring people's well-being. As UNFPA's Irish partner, the IFPA launches the report in Ireland each year. Read about previous State of World Population reports here.


I Decide: IPPF Global Campaign for Sexual and Reproductive Rights

In 2014, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) launched the 'I Decide' campaign. I Decide focuses on the right of women and girls to make fundamental and informed decisions about their lives and the need to ensure that sexual and reproductive health and rights are central to the post-2015 development framework. The IFPA, an IPPF Member Association, launched the global campaign in Ireland. More.


7 Billion People: 7 Billion Actions

7 Billion People 7 Billion Actions

By the close of 2011, the global population will have reached 7 billion. Finding ways to ensure the well-being of people alive today as well as the generations that follow will require new ways of thinking and unprecedented global cooperation. Find out more about the 7 Billion Actions campaign here.

Pregnancy Should Not be a Cause of Death

Maternal mortality and unsafe abortion are among the greatest causes of death of women worldwide. Over 500 000 women and girls die every year from pregnancy related causes. This could be avoided by investing more in women and girls' sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). More.

Young People Need the Facts About Sex
Young people need facts about sex

More than a half a million healthy young women die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth each year. Young women run the greatest risk of dying from an unsafe abortion. Young people are also the group that, to the greatest extent, contract sexually transmitted infections (STIs). More.

Sexual & Reproductive Health and Rights
Sexual & Reproductive Health and Rights

Sexual and reproductive health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in everything concerned with the reproductive system and its functions. This also means that all people have the right to a satisfying and safe sex life free from coercion and discrimination. They have the right to determine if, when and with whom they have sex, if and when they have children and with whom. More.

HIV/AIDS & Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
Worls AIDS day image

Today, around 33 million people are living with HIV. Young people account for 40% of all new adult (15+) cases and women comprise 50% of people living with HIV. Linking initiatives for sexual and reproductive health and HIV multiplies opportunities for preventing and treating sexually transmitted infections including HIV. More.

Sex & Poverty
Sex & poverty

Sexual and reproductive health can play a key role in breaking the cycle of poverty. Health problems related to sexuality and reproduction account for a fifth of all the world’s diseases. Increased access to reproductive health services leads to fewer children, which enables families and governments to invest more in each child. More.

Reproductive Health Supplies
Condoms thumbnail

Lack of condoms and other contraceptives threaten the international fight against poverty. Generally, it is estimated that as many as a third of all women in developing countries lack access to modern contraceptives despite expressed and manifest need. More.

Act Now Campaign
Act Now on 2015 logo

The IFPA supports the Dochas Act Now on 2015 Campaign, which aims to highlight the impact of cuts to Ireland's Overseas Development Aid budget on the world's poorest people.

By repeatedly cutting its overseas aid budget and reneging on its promise to reach the 0.7% target by 2015, Ireland broke its promises to the poorest, affecting millions of lives in developing countries. For more information on the campaign see


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