Media Release: World Population Day, 11th July: London family planning summit could compensate for Rio+20 failures
London family planning summit could compensate for Rio+20 failures – if fundamentalist religion will get out of the way
Women around the world were rightly furious that the term “reproductive rights” was removed from the outcome document produced at the UN’s Rio +20 conference on sustainable development last month according to national environment group, Sustainable Population Australia (SPA).
But SPA National President, Sandra Kanck, says that a UK Government sponsored Family Planning summit, appropriately being held tomorrow on World Population Day, should compensate for that failure.
“However, fundamentalist religious groups in Britain are already claiming the summit is immoral. They should get out of the way.
“The real immorality is the fact of almost 800 women dying every day of the year from pregnancy or childbirth complications.
“Well over 200 million women who want them cannot get access to contraception and other reproductive services,” says Ms Kanck. “If this Family Planning Summit can address the needs of over half these women, as it aims to, it will be a great start.
“Such an outcome would result in the lives of 200,000 women being saved each year, and what is immoral about that?
Ms Kanck endorsed the sentiments of the current and former Executive Directors of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a partner in the Summit. Current Director, Dr Babtunde Osotimehin said voluntary family planning should be an integral part of national health systems. Former Director Dr Nafis Sadik has said a “woman’s control over her own fertility is basic to her freedom. It is the source from which other freedoms flow”.
“As we face various global challenges such as climate change, energy and water shortages, food insecurity and biodiversity decline, it is critical that we stabilise global population as soon as possible. The way to do this is to give women control over their own fertility through access to family planning services, along with education and greater equality,” says Ms Kanck.
“While fertility rates have dropped in many countries, they remain stubbornly high in many places, not least sub-Saharan Africa,” she says. “Many of these countries are very poor and the international community must help in terms of provision of contraceptive supplies and reproductive services. That is why this London Summit is so important.”
Further information: Sandra Kanck 08 8336 4114