THE International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) launched its second regional office for the Americas and Caribbean on Thursday, located at Reserve Road, Trincity Industrial Estate. The first office is in Colombia. The event was attended by regional director Eugenia Lopez Uribe and deputy regional director Dona Da Costa Martinez, among others.
Lopez Uribe told reporters the TT office would complement the one in Colombia.
"We're opening the office because we're re-building our presence in the region. It is very important to have the two locations to make sure America works better with the Caribbean and we give the space and effort required that the Caribbean needs in our fighting ensuring universal access to reproductive and sexual rights. It is also a matter of reproductive justice, social justice."
She said now was an excellent time to set up the TT office as the IPPF was about to launch its new strategy.
"I think the communities have been strongly struggling and fighting to achieve reproductive justice. I think they are also making their governments accountable to deliver on the commitments at national level of human rights, especially for women, girls and other marginalised communities."
Lopez Uribe said regional governments still have room to improve, even as the IPPF acts to improve access to sexual and reproductive rights.
She said the IPPF wants people to be who they want to be, where they want to be and to whom them want to marry and whether they want children.
"We have some areas we can include. Comprehensive sex education is one of them. Young people need to have access to it.
"We also need gender comformative programmes engaging funding, engaging leaders, engaging communities. That we all know how to break social norms that are putting women and girls at risk.
"We also want to make sure people have access to the services they need with dignity." This included women who want to become mothers or to alternatively to delay this, Lopez Uribe added.
Da Costa Martinez, speaking to reporters, urged women to let their voices be heard by the Government.