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International Community Must Reaffirm Commitments To Women’s, Girls’ Sexual, Reproductive Health

Inter Press Service: The World Made Promises to Women and Girls, We Must Fulfill Them
Monica Juma, cabinet secretary of Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“…Reaching [the goal of universal sexual and reproductive health care] is vital, not only for the health and well-being of women and girls everywhere, but also for the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly the ones related to ending poverty, securing good health, realizing gender equality, and achieving sustainable communities. Urgent and sustained efforts to realize sexual and reproductive health are therefore crucial. … [A]ll the evidence shows strong links between deliberate family planning; the health of the mother before, during, and after birth; and the health consequences for subsequent generations. … Every woman, regardless of her income or where she lives, has the right to information and services that allow her to determine for herself whether, when, or how often she becomes pregnant, starts and stops her childbearing. … [At this year’s Nairobi Summit, the international community must] reaffirm commitments that enable half of the world population to be empowered in a way that optimizes their contribution to human prosperity. On its part, the leadership of Africa must ensure that women’s health, and consequently that of the next generation, is frontloaded in all development plans. We must maintain the upward trajectory until every woman who wants to prevent a pregnancy has access to family planning and no woman dies giving life” (5/24).