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SWOP: NPC urges support for women, girls’ bodily autonomy

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SWOP: NPC urges support for women, girls’ bodily autonomy

By Ikenna Osuoha

Alhaji Isa Kwarra, executive chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC) called for increased support for bodily autonomy for women and girls .

Kwarra made the appeal at a State of the World Population (SWOP) press conference on “My body is mine: Claiming the right to autonomy and self-determination” in Abuja on Monday.

The AFN President stressed the need for women and girls to make choices about their bodies, including when to get married.

He said that “denying women and girls the right to bodily autonomy translates into denying them the right to make choices that shape their lives.

“Women and girls should have the right to decide when to start having children, how to space the births of children, to decide how many children they want to have.”

Kwarra, who described women’s equitable access to health services without fear or violence as an inalienable rights of women, condemned coercion or the practice of letting someone else decide for them.

He disapproved of the practice of allowing women and girls to face constraints in exercising their rights from birth to opportunities to make decisions that should shape their lives and futures.

He underscored the importance of education for women and girls, noting that investing in girls’ education was the most effective way to generate significant economic return and progress for nations.

He reiterated the need to preserve the bodily autonomy of women and girls in order to improve Nigeria‘s prospects of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)p>

Mr. Lawal Idris, Chairman of the House of Representatives Population Committee, congratulated the National Population Commission (NPC) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for the timely launch of the SWOP .

Idris pledged to continue to work in synergy with the Population Commission and UNFPA to give women and girls access to sexual and reproductive health (SRHS) rights essential to achieve the Demographic Dividends (DD).

According to him, the education of girls is essential in the development of the country.

Ms Buky Williams, Executive Director, Education as Vaccine (EVA), stressed the need for women and girls to access education, noting that the measure would help end child marriage and its consequences.

Williams lamented that child marriage and women’s denial of access to sexual and reproductive health rights are responsible for high maternal mortality.

(NAN)

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