UNFPA Executive Director Applauds Young Women’s Leadership in Sexual and Reproductive Health

12 July 2011
Author: UNFPA

ZURICH, Switzerland – Under the theme, “Women Creating a Safe World,” participants from more than 100 countries gathered in Zurich for the International Women’s Summit organized by the World YWCA. Delivering a keynote address, Dr. Osotimehin spoke about the importance of young women’s leadership in sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.

“Imagine the difference one girl can make,” said the Executive Director, painting a vision of the future. “Educated, healthy and skilled… she will be able to contribute fully to her society and help break the cycle of poverty. Multiply this by 500 million girls in the developing world and imagine the possibilities.”

Dr. Osotimehin underscored the importance of laws and policies for promoting young women’s rights to information and education about sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights. He stressed that these laws and policies must be reinforced by resources and accountability.

The Executive Director also called upon his fellow men to “man up!” explaining that being a real man means saying no to gender-based violence and respecting the rights of women as equals.

Also speaking on the panel about securing sexual and reproductive rights for all women were Mathilda Parau, YWCA of Papua New Guinea; Jan Beagle, Deputy Director of UNAIDS; Lissette Herrera, President of YWCA of Peru; Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, Director of Population & Reproductive Health at The David and Lucile Packard Foundation; and Gill Greer, Director General of IPPF.

Population : 1.2 mil
Fertility rate
Maternal Mortality Ratio
Contraceptives prevalence rate
Population aged 10-24
Youth secondary school enrollment
Boys 36%
Girls 47%

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