LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: More action needed on reproductive rights for all

Lynne FeatherstoneThis week, International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone is attending the UN Commission on Population and Development. She has written for the Huffington Post about how crucial it is to make sure that women have the choice about when to have children by having access to contraception, potentially saving 800 lives every day:

Globally there are 222million women who wish to space or delay the timing of births, but do not have access to modern forms of contraception. This has real and devastating consequences on their lives. In 2010, 800 women a day died from causes related to pregnancy or childbirth and in 2008 an estimated 8.7million young women aged 15 to 24 in developing countries resorted to unsafe abortions. All of this was preventable.

These figures are staggering and what makes it all the more astonishing is that after 20 years there is still so much resistance to women and girls having a right to decide what happens to their own bodies.

She explains what her Department is trying to achieve, alongside tackling violence against women and ending forced marriage and practices like Female Genital Mutilation.

The Department for International Development (DfID) has taken a leadership role in committing to reproductive rights. Our International Family Planning Summit in 2012 secured commitments to give 120million more women access to family planning helping to stop 200,000 women and girls from dying in pregnancy or childbirth and saving the lives of three million babies across the world’s poorest countries. By 2015 DfID alone will have given 10million women access to modern methods of family planning, enabling more women to delay their first pregnancy, as well as committing to providing increased skilled birth attendants, particularly for the poorest and most marginalised.

 You can read the whole article here.

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One Comment

  • Sadly, with today’s reshuffle, we need to work hard to ensure that women’s equalities doesn’t fall by the wayside. I’ve long been an admirer of Lynne’s tireless equality work, but if the Minister for Women doesn’t believe in reproductive rights in her own country, how well is DfID going to cope? I seriously feel that Greening, if not Lynne, should’ve been made the Minister for Women, especially with the focus on international women’s rights and international equality that DfID can be proud of.

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