The Committee for the United Nations Population Award has selected the recipients of the 2022 United Nations Population Award, which is awarded to an individual and an institution in recognition of outstanding contributions to population, development and reproductive health.
This year’s individual laureate is Member of Parliament of the Republic of Namibia, the Honourable Emma Theofelus, for her advocacy of women’s empowerment and adolescent sexual and reproductive health. As current Deputy Minister of Information in Namibia, Ms. Theofelus – who, born in 1996, is the youngest-ever winner of the award and one of Africa's youngest cabinet ministers – she led the country’s public communication campaign on COVID-19 prevention, and as a Member of Parliament, was instrumental in a law declaring menstrual products tax-free.
The institutional laureate is the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN) from the Republic of Indonesia, for its innovative, rights-based family planning initiatives. It has helped reduce fertility from 5.6 to 2.2 births per woman in a generation, during which time the country made significant economic and education gains. The non-ministerial governmental agency has also helped avert 100 million unplanned births, was vital in raising the minimum age of marriage for girls and boys to 19 and developed a healthy ageing programme for families caring for the elderly.
The UN Population Award has been bestowed since 1983. The award committee is chaired by Her Excellency Ms. Amal Mudallali, Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations, and comprises representatives of nine other UN Member States. The United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs serves as the representative of the Secretary-General, United Nations, and UNFPA serves as its secretariat.