UN Report Finds Global Progress; Growing Inequality in “ICPD Beyond 2014” Report

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By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultant

The United Nations ICPD Beyond 2014 Global Report, launched today by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin, offers a global review of progress toward the groundbreaking 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action. The report explores evidence on a range of health, gender equality, economic development and education challenges. In particular, it notes that the dramatic global decline in maternal mortality is among the most significant developments signaling progress toward achieving the ICPD vision of universal access to sexual and reproductive health. However, the report also finds that like many other elements of the vision laid out in the ICPD Programme of Action, progress on maternal health has not been shared equally.

From the report’s launch announcement:

“Too many people, particularly the poor, still live without access to sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning,” said Dr. Osotimehin. “And laws designed to protect the rights of women and girls, where they exist, are often not enforced.”

The report also finds, that the global community still must do more to protect women’s rights, even beyond adolescence. Significant gains have been made, particularly with respect to maternal death, which has declined by nearly half (47 per cent) since 1994. Yet, in one of its most alarming statements, the report says that one in three women worldwide still report they have experienced physical and/or sexual abuse and there are areas where many men openly admit rape without facing consequences. And, in no country are women equal to men in political or economic power.

For more, including full text of the report, visit the ICPD Beyond 2014 website.