UNFPA wants every woman to have access to sexual and reproductive health care

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Over the past year and a half, women and girls have experienced record job losses, educational challenges, and a disproportionate burden of unpaid care and housework. This is because in times of disaster and crisis, women and girls are among the first groups to be affected.

The COVID-19 pandemic was no different. As health care systems and supply chains were disrupted around the world, women – especially those in low-income countries – lost access to the sexual and reproductive health services that help them achieve health benefits. support their bodies and realize their full potential. This derailed progress towards achieving gender equality by 2030.

Family planning is at the heart of gender equality and women’s empowerment, and is a key factor in poverty reduction. At the moment there is an estimate 218 million women in developing countries who want to delay or prevent pregnancy but do not have access to family planning services, information or resources in their community.

When women and adolescent girls do not have access to contraceptives, the consequences can be devastating: more maternal deaths, more unsafe abortions and more teenage pregnancies. Teenage pregnancies are also linked to girls drop out of school, which limits their economic potential and makes them more vulnerable to poverty and exclusion.

Family planning has huge benefits for individuals, couples, families, communities and nations. But while investing in women and girls is in the best interests of every country in the world, women’s health, rights and choices often take a back seat when it comes to funding.

This is where UNFPA, the United Nations agency for sexual and reproductive health, becomes an invaluable resource for women and girls around the world. United Nations agency expands access to family planning services through UNFPA Supplies Partnership providing vital maternal health medicines and contraceptives globally, with a special focus on women and girls in low-income countries.

Since its launch in 2008, the UNFPA Supplies Partnership has prevented 89 million unintended pregnancies and 26.8 million unsafe abortions giving women access to contraceptives and the support they need to make decisions about their personal health and their future.

“It’s not easy to manage studies, family issues, business, it’s all about determination. I don’t like to depend on men. I have to keep moving forward, ”says Salume, a Ugandan woman, of choose to have a contraceptive implant with the support of UNFPA. “Without family planning, I have no way to manage it. I have decided to go somewhere where I can get some advice and I will be sure what I do.

During the pandemic, the demand for family planning resources increased as services were interrupted and access to information and contraceptives was restricted. To fill this gap, the UNFPA Supplies Partnership calls on governments and the private sector to mobilize resources and funds to help the UN agency increase access to sexual and reproductive health services for some of the women and men. most vulnerable girls.

This year, some governments have taken the decision to cut overseas aid funding to support national pandemic recovery efforts, putting millions of lives at risk. From reduced support in Yemen to the threat of research and development of treatments that can eradicate infectious diseases, these aid cuts are impacting all the issues that plague people living in or devastated by developing countries. crises.

The work of the UNFPA Supplies Partnership has been greatly affected by the cut in funding, making it more important than ever for world leaders to scale up and urgently close the funding gap to support women’s rights and choices.

Over the next decade, the UNFPA Supplies Partnership believes the program can prevent 141 million unintended pregnancies, 328,000 maternal deaths and 42 million unsafe abortions – but only if Global Citizens around the world take action to improve access to family planning services.

COVID-19 has exposed the fragile nature of health systems, making it more important than ever to prioritize a gender-responsive recovery. With greater support, we can ensure that women and girls around the world are able to take charge of their bodies and their lives and realize our collective vision for a better and more equal future.


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