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Access to education, the right to make choices about your own body – these are things many of us take for granted. But the reality for many women and young girls in developing countries is very different.
Denied rights to some very basic choices – such as how many children to have and when, whether to stay in school, and how to participate in their country’s economy.
For some, this is about culture, custom, economics or just denial of basic human rights. For others it is as simple, yet life changing, as not having access to modern contraceptive methods.
Times Square, New York. On 23rd September thousands of commuters and tourists in Times Square watched as the faces of young women from all over the world lit up a billboard accompanied by the message: ‘I Decide’.
The billboard broadcast is part of the ‘I Decide’ campaign which is demanding that sexual and reproductive health and rights are put at the heart of the new development framework.
The kidnapping of more than 200 girls in Nigeria has been condemned by most people and organizations and we urge their release. This event represents not just an assault on the girls and their families but also the way women are treated in locations around the globe, the International Planned Parenthood Association (IPPF) said.
“Unless we empower women and girls, expand their educational opportunities, and work every day for their rights then they will continue to be singled out simply on the grounds of gender,” said IPPF’s President Naomi Seboni.
The Rwandan genocide of 1994 is well documented. During what has been described as “one of the most intensive killing campaigns in human history”, over 2 million people fled the country to neighbouring states. As they began to return home, settling in populous refugee villages with limited health support and infrastructure, pre-existing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) problems grew in volume and severity, and the need for action became ever more urgent.