Her life, her choice, our future -UNFPA
Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Dr. Natalia Kanem, called upon governments, civil society, communities and people from all sectors and walks of life to be bold and courageous, to do what is right for women and girls around the world on World Population Day.
In a statement this week, she said women have the right to make their own decisions about whether, when and how often to become pregnant, which was reaffirmed in 1994 in Cairo at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), where 179 governments agreed that sexual and reproductive health is the foundation for sustainable development.
“Despite considerable gains over the past 25 years, we still have a long way to go to live up to the promise of Cairo, to many continue to be left behind, too many are still unable to enjoy their rights,it is time to act now, urgently, to ensure that every woman and girls is able to exercise her rights,” she emphasised.
She explained that cost of inaction is simply too high because more women and girls are dying, more unintended pregnancies, more unsafe abortions, more pregnant girls shamed out of school, the potential of individuals and societies squandered.
“There is no time to waste, our future depends on it, that is why we work with countries and partners to deliver on the world we imagined 25 years ago, therefore our sights are firmly set on achieving three zeros by 2030, zero unmet need for family planning, zero preventable maternal deaths and zero gender based violence and harmful practices, such as child marriage and female genital mutilations,” she added.
According to Kanem high quality data will help them zero in on where the needs are greatest and end the invisibility of those furthest behind.
“Women and girls cannot wait, countries and communities cannot wait, the time to act on promises made and to deliver on family planning is now,” she concluded.