Body autonomy becomes a global rallying cry at the Paris Forum on Gender Equality | UNFPA

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UNITED NATIONS, New York / PARIS, France – “Our cry of alarm is: there can be no gender equality without bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights, and no bodily autonomy and health and sexual and reproductive rights without full gender equality, ”UNFPA Executive Director Natalia Kanem said today in Paris at the Generation Equality Forum on Promoting Gender Equality.

The call was echoed by heads of state, lawmakers, feminist activists and young people in Paris and around the world, during a key session of the Forum: the launch of the Action Coalition on Autonomy body and sexual and reproductive health and rights. It is one of six action coalitions, each with a specific mandate to advance the well-being, rights and equality of women and girls. UNFPA is co-leading this coalition of action, alongside governments, civil society and private sector partners around the world.

“UNFPA looks forward to joining you in taking meaningful and deliberate action that will bring about real change on the ground, where it matters,” Dr Kanem said.

Youth voices

Participants in the Action Coalition included youth organizations, including grassroots activists and young feminist leaders whose voices were heard most in the halls of the Forum and on the virtual connections that enabled global participation.

Many young defenders spoke emphatically about the importance of scientifically accurate, age-appropriate, human rights-based information on sexual and reproductive health. video transmission. “A lot of transgender people take hormones without any supervision,” said another youth.

Dr Kanem spoke to activists, advocates and passers-by about the artwork and the larger message behind it. At the Forum, she calls on leaders to honor their commitments to women and girls, including their commitment to bodily autonomy. “Now is the time to deliver,” she said. Click on the image to see more photos from the event. © UNFPA / Appolonia Benoist

Comprehensive sexuality education is an essential catalyst and protector of bodily autonomy. UNFPA is committed to accelerating the provision of quality sexual and reproductive health information and services, one of many key commitments announced by UNFPA at the Forum this week.

UNFPA is also committed to increasing knowledge of reproductive rights to empower women and girls to make empowered decisions about their bodies, and to increasing support for feminist and women-led organizations that work to promote and protect sexual and reproductive health and rights and bodily autonomy.

Persistence in resistance

This Forum should trigger “a challenge to resistance against women’s access to their rights,” Oumou Salif Touré, 24, feminist leader from Mali, told UNFPA.

Ms. Touré came to the Forum with the Parisian NGO Equipop, a partner of UNFPA. Her own experience shows how knowing your rights can spark the movement for change.

“When I saw that I did not enjoy the same rights or advantages as boys of my age, I felt a certain revolt, and a fierce desire to change this state of affairs by becoming a feminist activist,” he said. she declared.

She, and many other young feminists, called for real change. And today, at the highest level, they are heard.


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