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

December-04-02

UNFPA Releases Report on State of World Population

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) released a report yesterday calling for improved access to reproductive health services and education for women as crucial steps in the fight against global poverty. The UNFPA’s “State of the World Population 2002” report shows that gender inequality and inadequate reproductive services lead to high fertility rates among the poor, in turn perpetuating poverty and inequality. The report reveals that half of the world’s six billion people live under impoverished conditions, earning less than $2 a day. In developing and developed countries alike, women are much more likely to perform the bulk of the unpaid labor. Fertility rates are shown to be linked to economic growth, increasing women’s participation in the workforce and increasing the education levels. With education, women have fewer and healthier children, who are more likely to be educated themselves.

However, several factors continue to limit the overall benefits that come from educated, healthy women with access to family planning services. One is the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. For the first time, women make up half of all cases of HIV/AIDS, and in the most severely affected region of Sub-Saharan Africa, women are 58 percent of all those infected. Mozambique’s Prime Minister is quoted in the report as saying “HIV/AIDS is transmitted through the most intimate and private human relationships, through sexual violence and commercial sex; it proliferates because of women’s poverty and inequality.” The UNFPA report underscores the importance of empowering women to stem the AIDS crisis, citing certain cultural and social beliefs about women as contributing to their vulnerability in this epidemic.

The report was released in the United States in both Washington, DC, and New York City. At the DC release, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) criticized the Bush Administration for refusing to release $34 million appropriated by Congress for the UNFPA’s work at the urging of a right-wing, anti-abortion interest group. “This misguided decision will cost thousands of women and children’s lives. When we prevent money and services from reaching those in need, women die,” Maloney stated, according to CNSNews.com. The UNFPA states that the US funding would have prevented two million unwanted pregnancies and more than 77,000 infant and child deaths. Bush has recently threatened to back out of the landmark population policy ratified by 179 nations in 1994 if the terms “reproductive rights” and “reproductive health services” were not removed from the language of the agreement. One of the three primary objectives of the UNFPA is to advance the goals agreed upon at the 1994 conference.

TAKE ACTION Urge Bush to Release UNFPA Funding

LEARN MORE Click here to read women's narratives about barriers or successes in accessing reproductive health and family planning services.

Media Resources: UNFPA report 2002; UNFPA press release 12/3/02; Associated Press 12/3/02; CNSNews.com 12/4/02; Reuters 12/3/02; National Geographic Today 12/3/02; Feminist Daily News Wire


© 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

9/30/2014 US Supreme Court Shuts Down First Week of Early Voting in Ohio - Less than 24 hours before the start of Ohio's would-be voting period, the Supreme Court blocked efforts to restore a full seven days of early voting in the state, marking a win for the Republican-controlled legislature that enacted the new voting restrictions. The Supreme Court's order offered no opinion or explanation, but Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Stephen Breyer would have ruled differently. . . .
 
9/30/2014 Georgetown Alumni Call Out University for Not Allowing Reproductive Rights Protests - Over 200 Georgetown University alumni have sent a letter to university President John J. . . .
 
9/29/2014 Hope for Afghan Women as New President is Sworn In - Ashraf Ghani, who has publicly and consistently stated his support for women's rights and women's participation in government, was sworn in as the new President of Afghanistan today at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. Over 1000 national and international guests attended the ceremony, including high-ranking officials from the United Nations and 34 countries and a delegation from the United States. . . .