Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

September-08-09

Berlin Conference Issues Call to Action

The NGO Forum on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Development held in Berlin last week issued a Berlin Call to Action urging immediate and international action to improve women's health and access to resources. The call to action stated that "with five years left" until the deadline established by the 1994 Cairo Consensus, "we call on local, national and international decision-makers to join with non-governmental organizations to establish and implement concrete, practical and fully-funded actions for ensuring sexual and reproductive health and rights," reported Planetwire.

The action plan calls for governments to guarantee that sexual and reproductive rights "are fully recognized and fulfilled, through legal reforms and new family policies;" to increase access to sexual and reproductive health information, family planning, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and to address "unsafe abortion as a public health and human rights issue;" to remove barriers to young people's access to information that will empower them to ensure their sexual and reproductive rights; to involve "young people, marginalized groups and NGOs in policy dialogue and guaranteeing them autonomy;" and to "ensure that donor contributions and national budgets and policies meet the needs of all people for sexual and reproductive health and rights, especially during times of economic stress."

The conference, which brought delegates from over 300 non-governmental organizations together, was held on the fifteenth anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo, where 179 nations agreed on what is known as the Cairo Consensus, a plan of action that included plans to provide access to reproductive healthcare worldwide, drastically reduce infant and maternal mortality, and close educational gender gaps, according to DAWN News.

Under former President George W. Bush, vital funding was withheld from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which was the organization primarily responsible for implementing the action plan. The withheld US funds accounted for 13 percent of UNFPA's annual budget and would have prevented some two million unwanted pregnancies, 4,700 maternal deaths, nearly 60,000 cases of maternal illnesses and over 77,000 cases of infant and child death each year. President Barack Obama has pledged to restore US funding to UNFPA in upcoming appropriations and signed the 2009 fiscal year omnibus spending bill in March, which included a provision allotting $50 million to the UNFPA.

Scott Radloff of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) told the Associated Press after the conference, "we're likely to be witnessing about a 50 percent increase in funding for both family planning, reproductive health and for maternal/child health over a two-year period" from the US.

Media Resources: Planetwire 9/4/09; DAWN News 9/4/09; Associated Press 9/4/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 3/12/09


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

11/21/2014 STATEMENT: Feminist Majority Foundation Applauds President's Executive Order on Immigration - Statement from Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority Foundation president: "The Feminist Majority Foundation applauds President Obama for taking much needed executive action to help fix our broken immigration system that has for too long torn hardworking families apart. . . .
 
11/21/2014 Fifth Circuit Court Refuses to Reconsider Ruling Blocking Mississippi TRAP Law - The full US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday refused to reconsider a panel decision blocking enforcement of a Mississippi law that threatened to close the last remaining abortion clinic in the state. In July, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction against a Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals. . . .
 
11/21/2014 UN Expert Calls for Action To End Violence Against Women in Afghanistan - United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Rashida Manjoo returned last week from a nine-day official visit in Afghanistan with a call to the Afghan Government and the international community to continue its focus on creating sustainable solutions to reduce violence against women. This was Manjoo's third visit to Afghanistan, and the Special Rapporteur noted many positive developments since her travel to the country in 1999, during the Taliban regime, and in 2005. In particular, Manjoo cited the creation of the Elimination of Violence Against Women Law (EVAW) by presidential decree in 2009 as "a key step towards the elimination of violence against women and girls."EVAW criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women - including rape, child and forced marriage, domestic violence, trafficking, and forced self-immolation - and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .