UNFPA Executive Director Asks Monterrey Conferees to Invest More in Women

18 March 2002
Author: UNFPA

MONTERREY, Mexico - Thoraya A. Obaid, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), today called on world leaders gathered here to give women a greater role in any development strategy they adopt. Speaking at the plenary of the International Conference on Financing for Development, Ms. Obaid also called for greater resources for the UNFPA, particularly from developed nations, so that the organization can increase the number programmes that address women's needs.

"Everything we have learned shows that when women are empowered-through laws that ensure their rights, health care that ensures their well-being and education that ensures their active participation-the benefits go far beyond the individual, they help the family, the community and the nation," said Ms. Obaid. "While we work to close the poverty gap we must also close the gender gap. When women engage in development, families, societies and nations gain substantially-economically, socially and culturally. Women are key to development and, therefore, we must invest in their participation in development."

The UNFPA has been working towards development goals in the framework of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo in 1994. Those goals seek to bring women into the mainstream of development, protect their health, promote their education, and encourage their economic contribution to their nations. They also aim to expand women's access to safe motherhood and reproductive health.

The Executive Director plans discuss those issues in greater detail at a press conference at 10 a.m. (local time) on Wednesday, 20 March, at the conference venue in Monterrey.

The UNFPA is the world's largest international source of population assistance. Since it became operational in 1969, the Fund has provided about $5.6 billion in assistance to virtually all developing countries.

Contact Information:

William A. Ryan
Tel.: +66 2 288 2446

Population : 132.3 mil
Fertility rate
Maternal Mortality Ratio
Contraceptives prevalence rate
Population aged 10-24
Youth secondary school enrollment
Boys 76%
Girls 79%

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