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International Women’s Day: UNFPA advocates increased access to reproductive health rights to women


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The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) on Wednesday said economic inequalities plaguing much of the world today were reinforced by many other forms of inequalities, including inequality in sexual and reproductive health.

Dr Natalia Kanem, the Executive Director, UNFPA, made this known in a statement by Mrs Kori Habib, the Media Advisor, UNFPA Nigeria in Abuja.

The UNFPA boss said over 200 million women, many of them poor and living in rural and remote parts of the world, lacked access to voluntary family planning methods.

She added that more than 800 pregnant women, many in fragile socio-economic situations die each day from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth.

According her, access to services is particularly limited or even non-existent for rural and indigenous women, undermining their ability to exercise their reproductive rights in many parts of the world.

“Without addressing the discrimination that these women face in both private and public spheres, many of them will remain caught in a vicious cycle of poverty, repeated pregnancies, diminished capabilities, unfulfilled human rights and unrealized potential.

“The denial of reproductive rights not only harms individuals, it can also put a drag on economies and stifle countries’ development,’’ she said.

She said making reproductive health care universally accessible would help fulfill a rural woman’s reproductive rights.

He added that access to reproductive health care services would also enable her to stay healthy, get an education and participate in all facets of life, including economic life.

She the benefit of access to reproductive health services accrues to the woman her family and her country.


She said it was the mission at UNFPA to work with its partners to end unmet demand for family planning information and services, and bring an end to preventable maternal deaths.

She added that the agency was also committed on ending gender-based violence and other harmful practices against women and girls by 2030.

“Addressing inequalities and discrimination has always been at the heart of UNFPA’s work.

“ We work to ensure that no one is left behind through programmes that improve the lives of excluded and marginalized women,’’ she said.

The Executive Director therefore urged stakeholders to renew commitment towards addressing many forms of inequalities that hold women back on this International Women’s Day.

Kanem said a more equal world depends on it.

March 8 is celebrated as International Women’s Day.

The UN adopted day in 1977, the day was mostly celebrated in socialist and Communist countries; The UN celebrates the day on the basis of different themes. This year, the theme is #PressforProgress.


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