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Launch UNFPA State of the World Population Report 2021

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19 April 2021

My body is my own. How many women and girls can freely make that claim? Each of us has a right to bodily autonomy and should therefore have the power to make our own choices about our bodies, and to have those choices supported by everyone around us, and by societies at large. Yet, millions of people are denied their right to say no to sex. Or yes to the choice of a partner in marriage or to the right moment to have a child. Many are denied this right because of race, sex, sexual orientation, age or ability.

My Body is My Own

On Wednesday 14 April 2021 the UNFPA State of the World Population Report 2021 “My body is my own: claiming the right to autonomy and self-determination” was launched. On the occasion of the Dutch launch of this World Population Report, Rutgers organised an interactive webinar. During an interactive meeting it was reflected on key challenges around bodily autonomy and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR).

Through this edition of the State of World Population, UNFPA is highlighting why bodily autonomy is a universal right that must be upheld. The report reveals how serious many of the shortfalls in bodily autonomy are; many have worsened under the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, for instance, record numbers of women and girls are at risk of gender-based violence and harmful practices such as early marriage. The report also outlines solutions that are already at hand, while making the point that success requires much more than a disconnected series of projects or services, as important as these may be. Real, sustained process largely depends on uprooting gender inequality and all forms of discrimination, and transforming the social and economic structures that maintain them.

Programme and speakers

During an one hour event, Aida Bilajbegovic (Host & Programme Officer at Rutgers) talked to different people about the ins and outs of the report. She had conversations with:

  • Arthur Erken (Director, Policy and Strategy Division UNFPA);
  • Pascalle Grotenhuis (Director Social Development & Ambassador for Women’s Rights & Gender Equality at Ministry of Foreign Affairs);
  • Lisa de Pagter (Youth Ambassador SRHR, Gender Equality & Freedom of Choice at Ministry of Foreign Affairs);
  • Angel Lama (Miss Pink Nepal 2018; Blue Diamond Society) and;
  • Nelly Munyasia (Executive Director at Reproductive Health Network Kenya).

Look up the full programme and read more about the speakers. You can watch the recording of the interactive webinar down below:

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