By Ikenna Osuoha
A Don, Prof. Oka Obono, has identified global unity against all forms of vulnerability and violations of women and girls’ reproductive health rights as key to guaranteeing security and equality for women.
Prof Obono, Guest Speaker at this year’s World Population Day lecture, entitled “25 Years of ICPD: Accelerating the Promise” said this in Abuja on Thursday.
Obono identified poverty and illiteracy as the major weapons used in the oppression of women, calling for a collaboration for liberation of women.
“According to UN reports, around the world crisis, poverty and discrimination continue to put basic sexual and reproductive health care out of reach for women and girls,” Obono said.
He said that the country had a lot to do in order to accelerate the Cairo Plan of 25 years ago.
NAN reports that about 179 countries in 1994 gathered in Cairo, Egypt to chart a course of reproductive healthcare rights for women.
Earlier, Alhaji Yusuf Anka, Acting Chairman, National Population Commission (NPC) said that the country has vigorously pursued the Cairo plan successfully to some extent.
Anka asserted that women in Nigeria today have degree of right say over their reproductive health.
According to him, about 12 per cent of women in Nigeria today use contraceptives.
The population boss, however, called for a collective effort of all to take the country to the next level of development especially in guaranteeing women’s reproductive health right.
Also speaking, Mr Eugene Kongnyuy, Country Representative, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said that about 19 per cent of women in Nigeria had no access to family planning especially in rural areas.
Kongnyuy called for total implementation of the “Cairo Plan” which he said was giving women right to chart a future for themselves.
According to him, if we don’t start now, more women will die in pregnancy, there will be more case of unintended pregnancies.
The highlight of this year’s World Population Day celebration was interactive session on women’s reproductive health care rights. (NAN)