UNFPA launches population report

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UNFPA representative, Marc Derveeuw

By Neo Kolane

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) today launched the State of the World Population Report of 2021 virtually, which was handed over to the minister of development planning, Selibe Mochoboroane.

The theme for the 2021 report is “My body is my own: claiming the right to self-determination” which is prompted by the fact that nearly half of all women are denied their body autonomy.

UNFPA stated that for the first time, a United Nations report focuses on bodily autonomy, the power and urgency to make choices about one’s body, without fear of violence or having someone else decide for you.

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“This lack of bodily autonomy has massive implications beyond the profound harms to individual women and girls; potentially depressing economic productivity, undercutting skills, and resulting in extra costs to health care and judicial systems,” UNFPA stated.

Speaking at the launch, UNFPA representative, Marc Derveeuw pointed out that through different interactions, bodily autonomy is much more than just gender equality;it is about rights, the right to self-determination.

“It’s about the consequences it is having on young girls and women when it is not respected. For instance, child marriage in a legal frame work is putting a stop to development and rights of young girls.”