Kenya: Finishing the unfinished business of ICPD

Kenya: Finishing the unfinished business of ICPD

Date: November 13, 2019
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Nairobi, 12 November: Across the globe over 800 women die each day while pregnant or during child birth , 33000 girls are forced into child marriage every day, while 4 million are at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) each year.

These shocking stats are some of the issues that are delaying and hindering the realisation of women and girls Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). To reflect and give a new impetus to the fight for SRHR over 6 000 participants including world leaders, civil society  representatives, business leaders, faith leaders and youth gathered at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC)  to attend the #NairobiSummit on the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (#ICPD25).

The conference convening from 12-14 November seeks to mobilise political will and financial resources to accelerate the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action.

13 global world leaders pledged their support and that of their governments to ensure the uplifting of Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights. This is part of commitments that different countries have made to achieve SRHR in their countries.

Speaking at the opening session of the summit Kenya’s  President Uhuru Kenyatta noted that “Empowering women essentially empowers all our families. It empowers our societies. It empowers our nations. It empowers our world.” President Kenyatta  pledged his personal and government support towards realisation of SRHR in accordance to the constitution of the country . He further noted that there has been significant progress made since 1994 however this progress has been uneven. He noted that he will provide leadership in seeing the end of harmful practices such as FGM by 2022 as well as eliminating all forms of GBV and harmful practices by 2030 through addressing cultural norms that propagate these practices

The Executive Director of UNFPA Dr Natalia Kanem at the start of the summit said that “The journey that started 25 years ago is far from over. It is now time to finish the unfinished business. Cairo ICPD began the push to put women and girls at the centre of global development strategies. This has paid off time again but that ICPD vision is still far from reality. It is now time to finish the unfinished business.”

Participants vowed to mount an unprecedented push for SRHR from local, regional and international levels to ensure that SRHR goals are achieved by 2030. They dedicated themselves to the implementation of ICPD POA and reprioritisation of SRHR. It will give a push to all stakeholders to collaborate and contribute to achieving gender equality and empowerment of women building momentum for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda

The recommitments as well as new commitments made by all give a renewed hope for the rights of women and girls across the globe.  With political will and support as well as resources injected into the fight for women and girls rights there is hope that there will be zero new HIV infection , zero GBV , zero maternal mortality,  zero child marriages and  zero unmet need for contraception. The next 10 years will serve as a barometer on how the ICPD POA will serve women and girls SRHR.

The meeting takes place as the world gears up for the Beijing +25 review in 2020 which will again put a spotlight on women and girls reflecting on the successes and challenges of achieving the targets in the 12 critical areas of concern espoused in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

The Nairobi summit is a call to action to up the effort push back on the push back so that the world can finish the unfinished business of the ICPD.

(Tarisai Nyamweda is the Media Manager at Gender Links. This article is part of the Gender Links News Service that offers fresh views on every day news).


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