Prof Fathalla, still fighting for women’s health and rights
Professor Mahmoud F. Fathalla, FIGO Past President 1994-1997, has spent his career documenting, researching and advocating for women’s health and rights. Here, he reflects on the changes, challenges and vision for FIGO’s future.
"Across the decades of my career, I have seen how international approaches to critical issues of women’s health - particularly reproductive health and choice - have changed.
The first United Nations International Conference on Population (ICPD), convened in Bucharest in 1974, upheld the slogan that family planning is the solution. Ten years later, the second ICPD in Mexico City put forward that development is the solution, development is the best contraceptive pill. The third conference, in Cairo in 1994, when I became president of FIGO, recognised these and more. It upheld the importance of family planning, the importance of development, but affirmed a greater truth: women are the solution.