United Nations, New York, NY (Vocus) July 10, 2009
Investing in women and girls during the global financial crisis will help set the stage for economic recovery and reduce inequality and poverty, according to Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. “There is no smarter investment in troubled times,” added Ms. Obaid in her statement for World Population Day, which falls on Saturday, 11 July.
Women and girls were the majority of the world’s poor, even before the current financial crisis, said Ms. Obaid. “Now, they are falling deeper into poverty and face increased health risks, especially if they are pregnant.” For World Population Day, she added, “I call on all leaders to make the health and rights of women a political and development priority.”
In developing countries, women’s health has critical economic importance. Women are more than half the agricultural labour force. They grow 80 per cent of staple crops in Africa, and in South-east Asia, 90 per cent of rice growers are women.
Investing in reproductive health is especially cost-effective, noted Ms. Obaid, adding, as an example, “an investment in contraceptive services can be recouped four times over–and sometimes dramatically more over the long term–by reducing the need for public spending on health, education and other social services.”
In a separate statement, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on decision-makers to “protect women’s ability to earn income, keep their daughters in school, and obtain reproductive health information and services, including voluntary family planning.
“Together,” added Mr. Ban, “let us advance the rights of women and girls, and empower them as highly productive members of society capable of contributing to economic recovery and growth. There can be no better investment on this day or any other.”
Since 1990, governments and their national partners have been marking World Population Day with a variety of activities and events focusing on the importance of population to overall development strategies. This year’s 20th anniversary of the Day coincides with the 40th anniversary of UNFPA and the 15th anniversary of the historic International Conference on Population and Development that guides UNFPA’s work.
UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.
For more information, please contact:
Omar Gharzeddine, +1 212 297 5028
Abubakar Dungus, +1 212 297 5031
or visit the UNFPA website, http://www.unfpa.org
Washington, DC (PRWEB) October 27, 2011
With the seventh billion child expected to be born this month, Girl Up is drawing attention to the need to count, advocate for and invest in girls worldwide. Investing in a girl today means in the future she will have the tools to reinvest back into her family and community, which helps build a better world for all of us.
Todays youth generation is the largest in history with more than 1.2 billion adolescents ages 10 to 19, half of whom are girls. As such a sizeable segment of the population, adolescent girls represent the worlds greatest source of untapped potential. Research shows that less than two cents of every development dollar goes toward adolescent girls, and according to the Population Council, in some cases 80-90% of youth program participants are boys.
With a growing population of adolescent girls among the worlds 7 billion people, it is more important than ever that we ensure all girls are provided with the tools, information and resources they need to bring about change, said Gina Reiss-Wilchins, Director of Girl Up. Counting girls in order to properly steer national and development resources can help prevent child marriage, afford girls access to education, provide them with health services and prepare them to be the next generation of future leaders.
Adolescent girls have tremendous potential, and we know the keys to unlocking that potential are access to quality education, health information and services, social and economic skills training, and violence prevention and protection services. Yet, because research rarely measures adolescent girls as a segment, they become invisible and our ability to meet their needs is jeopardized.
You can help make girls count by going to GirlUp.org.
About Girl Up
Girl Up, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation, gives American girls the opportunity to channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for programs of the United Nations that help some of the worlds hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. Through Girl Ups support, girls have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted and positioned to be the next generation of leaders. Campaign supporters are encouraged to give a High Five to girls in developing countries by donating $ 5 or more to provide girls with such basic needs as access to school supplies, clean water, life-saving health services, safety from violence and more. Founding campaign partners include MTV Networks, National Coalition of Girls Schools, Womens National Basketball Association, Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, Girls Inc., and 10×10. Go to GirlUp.org to learn more.
About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turners historic $ 1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. We build and implement public/private partnerships to address the worlds most pressing problems, and work to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. Through our campaigns and partnerships, we connect people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. These campaigns focus on reducing child mortality, empowering women and girls, creating a new energy future, securing peace and human rights, and promoting technology innovation to improve health outcomes. These solutions are helping the UN advance the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For more information, visit http://www.unfoundation.org.
Rachel Runnals, United Nations Foundation
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