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25 years of women and girl’s rights to decide over their own bodies

In 2019 we celebrate the 25 year anniversary of the Cairo Programme of Action created at the International Conference on Population and Development – ICPD in Cairo in 1994. The Cairo Programme of Action was a milestone in the global development agenda, as 179 countries made the right to decide over your own body a top priority of the international development agenda and human rights were put in the forefront of population numbers and population control. The programme of Action highlights the links between provision of universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights as part of universal health coverage with almost every aspect of population and development from urbanization, migration and ageing to changing family structures and the importance of addressing the rights of young people. With the 2030-agenda and the 17 SDG’s created in 2015 the importance of equality, women and girls rights as well as access to education are a cornerstone of sustainable development.

The Cairo programme of Action and following conferences the last 25 years have created the framework for women and girl’s rights globally – normatively in the UN and EU-discussions but also at a national level. Women and girl’s rights and especially sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRSR) is a key in Danish development work and humanitarian aid.

The celebration of the Cairo Programme of Action is going on throughout 2019 but will culminate at a highlevel conference – Nairobi Summit – taking place in Nairobi, Kenya on the 12-14th of November 2019, which Denmark and Kenya are co-convening with the UN population fund (UNFPA).

The aim of the conference is to celebrate the last 25 years of progress, like the fall in teenage pregnancies by 32%, the depletion of maternal deaths by 40% and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) falling with more than a third in 24 countries.

Simultaneously the conference will try to create new political and financial momentum behind the parts of the Cairo Programme of Action that are still lacking, like how 830 women still die every day in childbirth, that 33.000 girls every day are married before turning 18, and 232 million women don’t have access to modern birth control.

Find much more information on the conference on the website here: Nairobi Summit , read more about the ICPD and Cairo here and find the text in danish here.