A Nigerian-based organisation, Hillspring Diagnostics, has won the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) global innovation award for one of the 10 projects that will advance the empowerment of women and girls worldwide.
The UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria reports that UNFPA announced the 10 winners to its first ever Joint Innovation Challenge on Thursday.
Joint Innovation Challenge is a cutting-edge competition to provide funding for social enterprises with innovative solutions that advance the empowerment of women and girls worldwide.
Speaking on the award at a news conference in New York, UN spokesman, Mr Stéphane Dujarric, said 10 organisations that won the award are headed by women.
Dujarric said Hillspring Diagnostics from Nigeria came up with a revolutionary method for detecting ectopic pregnancy, a condition which can have dangerous consequences including death of the mother and baby if not diagnosed and treated in time.
According to him, organisations headed by women from other nine countries of Costa Rica, Armenia, Mongolia, Uganda, Turkey, Colombia, Bangladesh, Rwanda, and Cameroon were honoured.
Dujarric said the winners pitched a range of innovations – from a portable diagnostic system for pre-eclampsia to a board game that shares information on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
“The 10 winners each received 60,000 dollars which will allow these organisations to move from pilot stage to scale,’’ he said.
The challenge was financed by UNFPA’s Equaliser Accelerator Fund, and implemented in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the International Trade Centre.
Entrants were given the incentive of a cash prize which would allow them to expand their ideas from the test stage, to full production, for the potential benefit of millions around the world.
The challenge received further funding from the Governments of Luxembourg, Finland, and Denmark.
Launched in 2021, UNFPA’s Fund provides equity-free investments in social enterprises that are led or co-led by women, and can show evidence of the impact they will have.
Reacting to the award, Dr Natalia Kanem, UNFPA’s Executive Director said, in relation to the competition, “creative thinking and innovative solutions are key to accelerate progress for women and girls around the world.
” According to her, the 2022 challenge is awarding 10 women-helmed organisations from five different regions globally.
Initially, a panel of experts received 300 submissions from 61 countries.
After 20 finalists pitched their innovative ideas to the panel, the eventual 10 winners then signed nine-month contracts with UNFPA and will be receiving an equity-free investment of 60,000 dollars.
The funding will allow winning organisations to transition away from the pilot stage, and begin manufacturing at scale.
UNFPA and its partners will also support the social enterprises with targeted mentorship, training opportunities, interactive workshops, and unique access to the global UN network.
The winning ideas varied in function, but were united in ingenuity, said the agency.
Other winners from Africa are the Global Pre-Eclampsia Initiative from, Uganda; Urukundo Initiative, Rwanda and Women in Entrepreneurship and Technology (WETECH), Cameroon.
Evolving health cum economic emergencies clearly highlight the urgent need for countries like Nigeria to adopt economic policies that are new, unusual, achieveable and effective.These will be aimed at accelerating improved human capital development, productivity and optimal harnessing of Demographic Dividend.Demographic Dividend, according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), is the accelerated economic growth that may result from decline in a country’s birth and death rates and the subsequent change in the age structure of the population.Understandably, it is an economic boom achieved when there is increase in productivity with increase in the working age of the population structure and lesser dependency ratio.The trajectory of demographic dividend stems from economic boom of the four Asian Tigers namely Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan whereby the Asian Tigers economies recovered strongly as the world revived from financial crisis.The recovery, according to Dr Eyitayo Oyetunji, Federal Commissioner representing Oyo on National Population Commission (NPC), is highly attributable to government stimulus programmes in each region.Oyetunji explains that the programmes resulted in greater than four per cent growth in the GDP of each country in 2009. To mitigate the socioeconomic among other challenges, Nigeria is expected to rejig her economy.A league of health and economic experts hence call on Nigeria to invest rightly on education and health.Dr Dasogot Dashe of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) says that for Nigeria to achieve demographic dividend, sufficient investment must be made in education and health sectors of the country.Describing education and health as the rallying point of most sectors of the economy, Dashe says it is unfortunate that the two sectors are being neglected in terms of adequate funding.He says education, especially that of the girl-child, as well as health remain key in economic advancement of every nation.According to him, it is only when a girl-child is educated that she can be knowledgeable about fertility reduction through family planning.Consequently, Dashe emphasises the need for government at all levels and all times to ensure the availability and accessibility of quality healthcare for her populace for human capital development.Dr Olumide Okunola, Senior Health Specialist, World Bank, identifies poor implementation and monitoring of policies as the major challenges impeding the country’s achievement of demographic dividend.According to Okunola, global policies as Universal Basic Education (UBE) and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) must be domesticated practically and strictly in Nigeria to transit the country to enjoy demographic dividend.The World Bank health specialist enthuses that the usual complacency on out of school children especially girls must be jettisoned and a policy of mandatory education for all especially girls adopted.He expresses optimism on the impactful outcome of mandatory education for girls as having the potential to not just increase the country’s productivity level but reduce fertility rate of Nigeria.“Making sure a girl stays longer in school at least from primary to secondary school will prevent child marriage.“It will also reduce fertility rate as well as reduce maternal mortality by educating the girl on her sexual and reproductive health rights.” Advocacies for right investment are also made by Mr Shubham Chaudhuri, Country Director World Bank at different fora.Chaudhuri faults the subsidy investment on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) by Nigeria, saying such huge amount of money should be invested in education and health.He opines that government’s policies are critical in either achieving demographic dividend or disaster, hence Nigeria should embrace emphasis on beneficial economic roadmaps to attain sustainable development.These policies should be vehemently and indeed practically pursued with uncompromising implementation and monitoring.Also, government should begin to interrogate the efficiency of global goals as UBE and UHC to ascertain its impact.“Nigeria as a matter of urgency should rise above arm chair policy formulation but strict implementation like the Asian Tigers.“Nigeria, as the most populous country in Africa like the Asian Tigers, should strive to achieve economic growth through exports and rapid industrialisation.“Therefore, it is paramount for Nigeria to take advantage of its youthful bulge to drive productivity.” Nevertheless, Nigeria has a favourable demography, says Mr Clement Agba, Minister of Budget and National Planning, at the UN Population Fund’s Validation of 9th Country Programme Document (CPD) for the span of 2023 to 2027. Agba asserts that the country, with her youthful bulge, has an active and productive population structure that is highly productive for attendant demographic dividend.On his part, Dr Ejike Oji, Chairman Technical Management Committee Association for the Advancement of Family Planning in Nigeria (AAFP), identifies family planning as key to achieving sustainable development through harnessing of favourable demography.Oji says that until Nigeria’s fertility rate of 5.3 per woman is brought down minimally, achieving demographic dividend would remain a mirage.He explains that that access to quality healthcare is inevitable in achieving reduction in fertility rate.According to him, many women tend to have many children as a result of fear of infant mortality which points to the gap in quality healthcare.Understandably, government should take aggressive steps in closing the gap in maternal and infant mortality through vaccinations and antenatal care.This supports that girl and women education is fundamental to attaining human capital development or demographic dividend.Certainly, an educated girl or woman must know when to be pregnant and how many children to have and the facilities for infant vaccination to avert morbidities and mortalities.Indicators at the recent launch of the revised National Population Policy bring to fore the country’s quest to address high fertility rate, as President Muhammadu Buhari’s demonstrates the government’s commitment to addressing fertility rate of the country by launching the Revised National Population Policy on Feb. 3, 2022 .Dr Okai Aku, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN), expresses worry over Nigeria’s low Contraceptive Prevalence Rate which is 12 per cent.Aku advocates intensive expansion of access to modern contraceptive methods across the country to increase the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate. Also, Ms Margaret Edison, Director, Population Management, National Population Commission (NPC), reiterates the urgency to address Nigeria’s sustained high fertility rate, through expanding access to modern family planning, counselling and commodities as well as promote births spacing.Edison, who scores Rwanda high, urges Nigeria to achieve rapid fertility control, improve the health of women, adolescents, new born and children, and other population groups to achieve demographic dividend.She expresses the importance of investing in quality education of young people especially girls, human capital development, advancing holistic effort to achieve significant demographic transition.The Chairman, National Population Commission (NPC), Nasir Kwarra, urges Nigerians to embrace the noble ideals of Planned Parenthood and healthy reproductive behaviours.He highlights the imperatives of “Rights and Choices” as embedded in UNFPA’s concept “Bodily Autonomy” which necessitates the urgency to shift the conversation from quantitative population to qualitative population.According to him, it is high time for Nigeria to harness her teeming 216 population from liability to asset by transforming the development landscape of the country.“The call to place emphasis on the people requires looking beyond the numbers to according attention to the profile and characteristics of the population..” Kwarra opines that such would be better explained by the age structure which shows the ratio of various age groups as a determining factor for the current and prospective fertility or reproductive status of the population.As such, focusing on numbers underplay the importance of “Rights and Choices”, he says.Kwarra like Mr Clement Agba, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, affirms Nigeria’s favourable demography.He explains that the country’s age structure favours young people, those below the ages 30 years who make up over 70 per cent of Nigeria’s population On the other hand, Kwara says the current youthful age structure has the capacity to hold the momentum that would drive and sustain increase of the population growth into the future without immediate interventions.Interventions through provision of quality and sustained investments in healthcare particularly in family planning for women and Adolescents.Furthermore, transformative and relevant education for growing numbers of children and young people that fit in into the present and future jobs requirements, housing and decent employments across successive administrations and governance.That good governance through ingenious and people oriented policies are critical elements in achieving Demographic Dividend is axiomatic.Therefore, introspectively, the federal government, in fact the three tiers of government in Nigeria should vehemently address the emerging population challenges with germane and productive policies to achieve Demographic Dividend.Dr Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has argued that “Societies that invest in their people, in their Rights and Choices, have the proven that such investments create the road to enduring peace and prosperity everyone desires and deserves.” In line with this postulation, Nigeria needs to harness her favourable demography and use as a catalyst for economic growth.Nigeria is expected as matter of urgency to key into the scores of global Development plans to actually achieve their domestic desirable aspirations.This “miracle”, like the Asian Tigers, will be tenable when millions who are of working age are engaged productively Therefore, Nigeria at this juncture should vigorously pursue her National Development Plan of 2021 to 2025 to avert demographic disaster.Efforts must be in top gear to achieve reduction in Total Fertility rate of current 5.3 per woman especially Adolescent fertility of 104 children per 1000 women.Essentially, economic and health analysts therefore are urging Nigeria to match their words with action by harnessing the youthful bulge to achieve Demographic Dividend.In conclusion, reduction in high mortality and morbidity rates for children and adolescent mothers with heavy investment in the health and reproductive education remain non negotiable in achieving Demographic Dividend.In addition, importantly, girl child education should be considered national agenda both the at state and community levels in line with the UNFPA’s transformative results of ending preventable maternal mortality.Including unmet need for family planning as well as Gender Based Violence (GBV) and harmful practices for desirable healthy lives cum productive and healthy economy.Nigerian political gladiators both at national and sub-national levels should rise to the occasion by way of policy formulation, implementation and monitoring to transition her youthful bulge from liability to asset.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
As the globe marks the 2022 World Population Day (WPD) with the theme: “A World of 8 billion: Towards a resilient future for all – Harnessing Opportunities and Ensuring Rights and Choices for All,” it is pertinent to analyse the roadmap toward achieving Demographic Dividend.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that WPD was established by the Governing Council of the UN Development Programme in 1989, an event that is annually observed on July 11 to raise awareness on global population issues.According to the United Nations, the world’s population is expected to hit eight billion by the end of 2022 amid global health inequalities.It says while the world population continues to grow, there are spectacular progress made in global vaccination.However, health pundits have argued that the progress made so far in healthcare is lopsided, given the high maternal mortality rate in Africa and some parts of Asia.Dr Ejike Oji, the Chairman, Technical Management Committee, Association for the Advancement of Family Planning (AAFP), while reacting to the world population, told the News Agency of Nigeria that youths constitute about 60 per cent of the expected eight billion people in the world.Oji said youths are the economic force in every population and called for policies that would engender harnessing of the potential of the younger generation.While congratulating the world for achieving the milestone figure of eight billion population, the medical practitioner, however, stressed the need for governments and other stakeholders to accelerate access to Family Planning services.He said “it is important for women to exercise authority over their Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights to create a secure and peaceful future.”Dr Okai Aku, the Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN), also reacting to the eight billion world population, stressed the need to discourage population explosion not just for food security but demographic security.He blamed some demographic crises as clashes on geographical area shrinking occasioned by population explosion.He added that to achieve global demographic resilience, much more should be done by healthcare stakeholders to leverage global healthcare, noting that health inequality must be addressed for the world to sustain the eight billion people.Medical disparities that could make the Sustainable Development Goals unattainable ought to be squarely addressed too for global prosperity, Aku said.Ms Margaret Edison, the Director, Population Management Department, National Population Commission (NPC), said the UN data published in 2018 indicates that 250 infants are born every minute globally or more than 130 million annually.Edison said that with Nigeria’s projected population of 216 million, expectations are that it would be effectively utilised in demographic transition.She interrogates the role of Nigeria as component of the eight billion people by the end of 2022, urging the people to be solution than problem.Emphatically, the population director said achieving Demographic Dividend is possible when people are encouraged to live their lives to its full potential.In her statement to mark the July 11 WPD, Dr Natalia Kanem, the Executive Director, UN Population Fund (UNFPA), said that the people were not the problem but solution.Kanem, like Edison, urged each country to meet the desires of its population by ensuring that people meet their full potential.The UNFPA boss said “people are the solution, not the problem. At UNFPA, we advocate for measuring and anticipating demographic changes.“Each country should have the information it requires to meet the needs of diverse population groups and ensure that individuals can realise their full potential.”According to her, when people exercise their rights and responsibilities, they can navigate risks and become the foundation of more inclusive, adaptable and sustainable societies.Kanem said the world is much more than a number, adding that “numbers matter, but let’s count carefully. A resilient world of eight billion, a world that upholds individual rights and choices, offers infinite possibilities – possibilities for people, societies and our shared planet to thrive and prosper.”The executive director said that achieving demographic resilience starts with a commitment to counting not just number of people but also opportunities for progress and called for transformation that would break discriminatory norms that hold individuals and societies back.She reiterated the need for education and other factors necessary for achieving demographic resilience, saying “it leads to economies that work for all people instead of just a few, and to a fair use of resources so that we can mitigate risks and meet the needs of current and future generations.”On his part, Dr John Tor-Agbidye, the Managing Director of In-Country Medicare, expressed the imperatives of choice for all in tackling population explosion.Tor-Agbidye called for reduction of Nigeria’s fertility rate from the present 5.3 children per woman to 2.3 per woman in tandem with global standard.He explained that only the availability of choices for reproductive women to take decisions on when and how many children to have would the world attain demographic resilience.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has urged societies to invest in people, their rights and choices, saying it is the road to the prosperity and peace that everyone wants and deserves.
The call is in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria by the Fund’s Media Associate in Nigeria, Hajiya Kori Habib in Abuja on Monday, on the occasion of the 2022 World Population Day (WPD).
NAN reports that WPD was established by the Governing Council of the UN Development Programme in 1989, an event that is annually observed on July 11 to raise awareness on global population issues.
The 2022 WPD has “A World of 8 billion: Towards a Resilient Future for All –Harnessing Opportunities and Ensuring Rights and Choices for All” as its theme.
Habib also stated that the world body had announced that the world’s population would hit eight billion on Nov. 15.
She added that the milestone figure would attract attention and debate, and likely scaremongering over “too many” people, but that would be a mistake.
She quoted the UNFPA Executive Director, Dr Natalia Kanem, as saying that “focusing only on population numbers and growth rate often lead to coercive and counterproductive measures and the erosion of human rights.
“The population story is far richer and more nuanced than a single number can capture. There may be more people in the world today, but equally important is the unprecedented demographic diversity we see within the global population.
“A growing number of countries face population ageing, and roughly two-thirds of the world’s population now live in a country or area with below-replacement fertility, or fewer than 2.1 births per woman.
“Others have youthful and growing populations and more people are on the move, either by choice or driven by crises ranging from conflict to climate change. Understanding these shifts is critical to harnessing opportunities and mitigating potential downsides.
“People are the solution, not the problem. At UNFPA, we advocate for measuring and anticipating demographic changes.
“Each country should have the information it requires to meet the needs of diverse population groups and ensure that individuals can realise their full potential.”
The UNFPA executive director said when people have the power to make informed choices about whether and when to have children, when to exercise their rights and responsibilities, they can navigate risks and become the foundation of more inclusive, adaptable and sustainable societies.
Kanem added that achieving demographic resilience starts with a commitment to counting not just numbers of people, but opportunities for progress and barriers that stand in its way.
She, therefore, called for transformation of discriminatory norms that hold individuals and societies back “and a fair use of resources so that we can mitigate risks and meet the needs of current and future generations.”
The mandate of the UNFPA is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
Nigeria among countries to account for projected increase by 2050
The latest UN projections suggest that the world population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050, before reaching a peak of around 10.4 billion people during the 2080s. The population is expected to remain at that level until 2100.
The annual report released on Monday, to coincide with World Population Day, also noted that the global population is growing at its slowest rate since 1950, having fallen to less than one percent in 2020.
Fertility, the report states, has declined markedly in recent decades in many countries: today, two-thirds of the world's population lives in a country or area where lifetime fertility is below 2.1 births per woman, approximately the level required for zero growth in the long term, for a population with low mortality.
In 61 countries or areas, the population is expected to decline by at least one percent over the next three decades, as a result of sustained low levels of fertility and, in some cases, high rates of emigration.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect on demographic change: global life expectancy at birth fell to 71 years in 2021 (compared to 72.9 in 2019) and, in some countries, successive waves of the pandemic may have produced short-term reductions in the number of pregnancies and births.
The Director of the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), John Wilmoth, said: “Further actions by governments aimed at reducing fertility would have little impact on the rate of population growth. between now and mid-century. due to the youthful age structure of the world's population today," said
"However, the cumulative effect of lower fertility, if sustained over several decades, could be a more substantial slowdown in global population growth in the second half of the century."
According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), people are the solution and not the problem to population problems.
Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA, had this to say in a statement Monday on the occasion of World Population Day in Abuja.
Kanem, who urged each country to meet the wishes of its population, said it was imperative to ensure that people reach their full potential.
“People are the solution, not the problem. At UNFPA, we advocate measuring and anticipating demographic changes. Every country must have the information it requires to meet the needs of diverse population groups and ensure that people can develop their full potential,” he said.
The Executive Director of UNFPA explained: "When people have the power to make informed decisions about whether and when to have children."
According to her, when they can exercise their rights and responsibilities, they can avoid risks and become the foundation of more inclusive, adaptable and sustainable societies.
According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), people are the solution and not the problem to population issues.Dr Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, UNFPA, said this in a statement on Monday on the occasion of World Population Day in Abuja.Kanem, who urged each country to meet the desires of its population, said ensuring people met their full potential was imperative.“People are the solution, not the problem. At UNFPA, we advocate for measuring and anticipating demographic changes.“Each country should have the information it requires to meet the needs of diverse population groups and ensure that individuals can realize their full potentials,” she said.The UNFPA Executive Director explained: “When people have the power to make informed choices about whether and when to have children.”According to her, when they can exercise their rights and responsibilities, they can navigate risks and become the foundation of more inclusive, adaptable and sustainable societies.She said: “Numbers matter, but let’s count carefully.“A resilient world of eight billion, a world that upholds individual rights and choices, offers infinite possibilities – possibilities for people, societies and our shared planet to thrive and prosper.”The UNFPA boss said achieving this demographic resilience would start with a commitment to counting not just numbers of people but also opportunities for progress.She called for transformation aimed at breaking discriminatory norms that hold individuals and societies back.Kanem, however, reiterated the need for education and other factors necessary for achieving Demographic resilience.“It leads us to economies that work for all people instead of just a few, and to a fair use of resources so that we can mitigate risks and meet the needs of current and future generations.“World Population Day offers a moment to celebrate human progress.”She affirmed unity and oneness of the world despite the brazen challenges confronting its unity and progress.“Our world, despite its challenges, is one where higher shares of people are educated and live healthier lives than at any previous point in history.”Kanem said that societies that invest in their people, in their rights and choices, have proven to be on the road to prosperity and peace that everyone had wanted and deserved.“Let’s keep this fact in mind when, in the next few months, the total number of people in the world tops 8 billion.“This milestone will attract much attention and debate, and likely scaremongering over “too many” people. That would be a mistake.’Kanem explained that Focusing only on population numbers and growth rates often lead to coercive and counterproductive measures and the erosion of human rights.She identified acts as preventing women from making decisions over their reproductive rights as capable of eroding progress made.“For example, to women being pressured to have children or prevented from doing so.“It can deepen already acute inequalities, such as through policies shutting down reproductive health care or denying adequate pensions for the elderly, further marginalizing the most disenfranchised.”The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme for the 2022 World Population Day is “A World of 8 billion: Towards a resilient future for all – Harnessing Opportunities and Ensuring Rights and Choices for All.”NewsSourceCredit: NAN
UN Population Fund (UNFPA) says gender-based and income inequalities are highlighted as key in fuelling teen pregnancies by increasing child marriage rate among women in developing countries.
Gender-based and income inequalities, driving teenage motherhood by increasing child marriage rates, keeping girls out of school, restricting their career aspirations, and limiting health care and information on safe, consensual sex.
The UN reproductive health agency, in new a report published on Tuesday, stated that almost one third of women in developing countries had their first baby while they were still in their teens.
According to the report, one third of women in developing countries had their babies in teens, with nearly half of those new mothers aged 17 and younger – still children themselves.
It revealed that entrenching these inequalities are climate disasters, COVID-19 and conflict, which are all upending lives around the world, obliterating livelihoods and making it more difficult for girls to afford or even physically reach school and health services.
These leaves tens of millions yet more vulnerable to child marriage and early pregnancy.
“When nearly a third of all women in developing countries are becoming mothers during adolescence, it is clear the world is failing adolescent girls,” the UNFPA Executive Director, Dr Natalia Kanem, said.
“The repeat pregnancies we see among adolescent mothers are a glaring signpost that they desperately need sexual and reproductive health information and services.”
According to the report, among girls with a first birth at 14, or younger, nearly three quarters also have a second birth later in adolescence, and 40 per cent of those with two births, progress to a third birth before leaving the teen years.
Most births among girls under the age of 18 in 54 developing countries are reported as taking place within a marriage or union.
Although more than half of those pregnancies were classified as “intended”, young girls’ ability to decide whether to have children can be severely constrained.
The report finds that adolescent pregnancy is often – albeit not always – driven by a lack of meaningful choice, limited agency, and even force or coercion.
UNFPA stated that complications from giving birth are a leading cause of death and injury for adolescent girls but being an adolescent mother can also lead to other grave violations of their human rights.
It stated that it can lead to other grave violation of human rights and serious social consequences, including child marriage, intimate-partner violence and mental health issues.
In addition, the UN agency stated that across the globe, there are encouraging signs of declining levels of motherhood in childhood and adolescence.
But the pace of decline has been “alarmingly slow”, according to UNFPA, by some three percentage points, per decade.
“Governments need to invest in adolescent girls and help expand their opportunities, resources, and skillsets, thereby helping avoid early and unintended pregnancies.
“When girls can meaningfully chart their own life course, motherhood in childhood will grow increasingly rare,” Kanem said. (
The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has urged governments around the globe to invest
in adolescent girls to expand their opportunities, resources and skillsets.
The information is in a statement issued by Hajiya Kori Habib, the Media Associate of the Fund in Nigeria.
Habib stated that the Fund made the call as it released the findings of its research that revealed that nearly a third
of women in developing countries begin childbearing at age 19 or younger.
She added that the research findings, released on Tuesday in New York, states that if governments invest in adolescent
girls and boost their opportunities, it will help to avoid early and unintended pregnancies.
The media associate quoted the UNFPA Executive Director, Dr Natalia Kanem, as saying “the repeat pregnancies we see
among adolescent mothers are a glaring signpost that they desperately need sexual and reproductive health information and services.’’
She added that complications from childbirth are leading causes of death and injury for adolescent girls.
Kanem said that being an adolescent mother could also lead to grave violation of human rights and serious social consequences,
including child marriage, intimate-partner violence and mental health issues as child mothers face the highest risks.
The executive director, therefore, stressed the need for governments to invest toward expanding adolescent girls’ resources and skills.
She said “when girls can meaningfully chart their own life course, motherhood in childhood will grow increasingly rare.’’
The report of the research recommended that policymakers should provide girls with comprehensive sexuality education,
mentorship, social support, and quality health services.
It also recommended increased support for families and engagement of local organisations within a supportive policy
and legal framework that recognises the rights, capacities and needs of adolescents.
UNFPA is the UN sexual and reproductive health agency with the mission to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted,
every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
The Fund calls for the realisation of reproductive rights for all, and access to sexual and reproductive health services, including
quality maternal healthcare.
UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director, Ms Natalia Kanem, says the agency will stand behind survivor-centred investigations and prosecution of allegations of sexual violence.
Kanem said the agency would do “everything possible to disrupt the gender inequalities that feed all forms of gender-based violence”.
Kanem said this in her statement to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, globally commemorated on June 19, to raise awareness on the need to end conflict-related sexual violence.
According to her, this is UNFPA’s reminder that sexual violence in conflict is not “normal” and it should be eliminated.
She pointed out that “when wars begin, so does the terror and devastation of sexual violence”.
“The bodies of women and girls become battlefields. Rape is used as a weapon of war just as surely as the bomb that blows up a building or the tank that ploughs through a crowd.’’
She elaborated on the many consequences of sexual violence, from brutalised bodies to scarred minds, noting that it silenced and shamed women.
The UNFPA chief said sexual violence sowed fear, insecurity and left a destructive legacy through prolonged disability, sexually transmitted infections, lost wages, health-care costs and stigma for survivors and their families.
Kanem reminded that sexual violence is a violation of human rights and a crime under international humanitarian law that should never be ignored, excused or downplayed.
“In fact, it should not happen at all.
“It points to the scale and ubiquity of gender inequality and gender-based violence in all societies, everywhere, an unacceptable reality that is only exacerbated by crises and conflict,” she stated.
According to her, regardless of circumstances, all women and girls have inherent rights to be safe, to live in peace and with dignity, to enjoy freedom and equality. (www.
FIFA (www.FIFA.com) Secretary General Fatma Samoura celebrated IWD2022 at Expo 2020; She detailed the growing number of women in leadership positions globally; The audience also heard how next year's FIFA Women's World Cup could break records again.
FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura put women's football center stage, as she discussed FIFA's work to break bias and elevate the women's game, as part of an event to celebrate International Women's Day 2022 at the Expo 2020 Women's Pavilion in Dubai.
Addressing an audience made up of delegates from around the world, the Secretary General was among the speakers from the arts, media and popular culture who gathered at the high-level forum, co-hosted with Cartier, to discuss Redefining the Future of Women, Breaking Barriers in the Workplace, Eliminating Stereotypes of Women in Popular Culture, Leveling the Sports Playing Field, and the Next Generation of ChangeMakeHers.
At the center of Fatma Samoura's conversation with the moderator, UN Migration regional spokesperson and journalist Yvonne Ndege, was her enthusiasm for the upcoming FIFA Women's World Cup, which reached a significant milestone with 500 days to go yesterday, 7 of March.
Speaking to the Breaking the Bias audience about the inclusive steps taken to break the bias to involve more women in football, Fatma Samoura said: “We are 47 per cent women in FIFA (employees); six women sit on the FIFA Council, FIFA's decision-making body; eight women run football federations in Africa, Europe and New Zealand; and more than forty women are part of the different FIFA commissions.
"Before my appointment, I believe that there was no position for women in senior management. Today I am happy to see and say that we have three powerful women on the FIFA board of directors... which means that my example is not a isolated case". It has certainly motivated the leaders of football and other sports to realize that it is not only a good thing to have women in football, but that it is the right thing to do."
On the subject of the ninth edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup™ in 2023, the FIFA Secretary General said: “The next FIFA Women's World Cup will take place next year and it will be a World Cup organized in two different confederations.
"There will be 32 expanded teams playing, which means that small countries (that have never qualified before, like Vietnam and the Philippines) will have a chance to play the big countries... the so-called 'superpowers' of women's football. More This Cup of the World will generate money and I am definitely sure that we will break the record in terms of spectators and attendance, once again”.
Participants in the Breaking the Bias Forum, celebrating International Women's Day 2022 at the Women's Pavilion, included: Cyrille Vigneron, President and CEO of Cartier International; Sheryl Sandberg, director of operations for Meta; Dr. Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for International Cooperation, UAE; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former Executive Director of UN Women; HE Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, UAE; Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA and HE Ann Linde, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden.