Swedish FM underscores women's rights to sexual, reproductive health in UNFPA lecture

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-01 03:05:41|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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UNITED NATIONS, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom underscored women's rights to sexual and reproductive health in a lecture for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

Delivering the Rafael M. Salas Memorial Lecture of the UNFPA, Wallstrom reiterated some worrying facts outlined in this year's UNFPA report: 214 million women want to prevent pregnancy but are not using modern method of contraception; every fifth birth takes place without the attendance of skilled health personnel; every day more than 800 women die from preventable causes during pregnancy and child birth.

Citing another report, she said an average of nine U.S. dollars per capita a year would be enough to pay for the contraceptives and health services needed to address the needs of these women, deploring that somehow protecting these basic human rights has become controversial and that "the female body has become a battleground."

Furthermore, the Swedish top diplomat said many women who have been affected by sexual violence in war and conflict are denied the rights to sexual and reproductive health, calling for these issues to be addressed.

Tuesday's lecture is the 15th of its kind. The lecture series was created to honor the memory of Rafael M. Salas, the first executive director of UNFPA, providing a forum for guest lecturers to discuss important aspects of population and development. The first lecture was delivered in 1989.

The 2019 lecture coincides with the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo and the 50th anniversary of the start of the UNFPA operation.