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Marginalized Communities Have Been Denied Services -UNFPA :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Marginalized Communities Have Been Denied Services -UNFPA

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It finds that 30 years of progress in sexual and reproductive health has mostly ignored the most marginalized communities
18 Apr 2024 14:27
Dr. Natalia Kanem, UNFPA Executive Director says despite this progress, inequalities within our societies and health systems are widening.
A new report by UN Population Fund says sweeping global gains in sexual and reproductive health and rights over the last thirty years have not benefited millions of women and girls. It says they have not benefited because of who they are or where they were born.

The 2024 State of World Population report, released today by UNFPA, the UN sexual and reproductive health agency said women and girls who are poor, belong to ethnic, racial, and indigenous minority groups, or are trapped in conflict settings, are more likely to die because they lack access to timely health care:  

Titled “Interwoven Lives, Threads of Hope: Ending Inequalities in Sexual and reproductive health and Rights”, the report highlights the role racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination continue to play in blocking broad gains in sexual and reproductive health for women and girls.       

More Highlights 

The report found that an African woman who experiences pregnancy and childbirth complications is around 130 times more likely to die from them than a woman in Europe and Northern America.     It further suggests that over half of all preventable maternal deaths are estimated to occur in countries with humanitarian crises and conflicts – that’s nearly 500 deaths per day.    

According to the report, Women with disabilities are up to 10 times more likely to experience gender-based violence than their peers without disabilities. It found that people of diverse sexual orientations and gender expression face rampant violence and steep barriers to care.      

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo – a landmark moment in which 179 governments committed to placing sexual and reproductive health and rights at the core of sustainable development. But progress is in danger.    

Millions of women and girls remain far behind, and progress is slowing or stalled on key measures: 800 women die every day giving birth, unchanged since 2016; a quarter of women cannot say no to sex with their partner and nearly one in 10 women cannot make their own decisions about contraception. In 40 per cent of countries with data, women’s bodily autonomy is diminishing.       

“In the space of a generation, we have reduced the unintended pregnancy rate by nearly one-fifth, lowered the maternal death rate by one-third, and secured laws against domestic violence in more than 160 countries,” said Dr. Natalia Kanem, UNFPA Executive Director.       

“Despite this progress, inequalities within our societies and health systems are widening, and we have not adequately prioritized reaching those furthest behind. Our work is incomplete but not impossible with sustained investment and global solidarity."

Pockets of inequality persist within countries 

The need for investment, solidarity and tailored solutions The report highlights the importance of tailoring programmes to the needs of communities –instead of large-scale, one-size-fits-all approaches – and empowering women and girls to craft and implement innovative solutions. It also calculates that if we spent an additional $79 billion in low- and middle-income countries by 2030, we would avert 400 million unplanned pregnancies, save 1 million lives and generate $660 billion in economic benefits

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