World Population Day Promotes Reproductive RigthsMonday, July 26 2010
Gender Equality Key to Achieving MDGs
July 15, 2005: The United Nations Popualtion Fund (UNFPA) in recognition of World Population Day 2005 emphasized the importance of gender equality and women's empowerment through the postponement of early marriage and childbearing, expansion of access to reproductive health services, and removal of barriers to women's educational, economic and political participation.
The day, which had the theme: Equality Empowers, aims to promote gender equality in education, economics, and reproductive health and rights.
UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, in a message commemorating the day said gender equality is central to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) because the consequences of inequality include poverty, gender-based violence, high levels of maternal mortality, sex-selective abortion and an increasing number of HIV/AIDS cases among women and girls.
UNFPA Executive Director, Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, said:
"Equality is an end in itself and a cornerstone of development," as well as a "goal that demands sustained political commitment and leadership."