State of World Population 2017 report launched
The 136-page document, launched by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) was entitled “World Apart: Reproductive health and rights in an age of inequality”.
The report called on nations to tear down barriers that prevent adolescent girls and young women from accessing sexual and reproductive health information and services.
It also called for the need to meet all unmet needs for family planning by prioritising women in the poorest 40 per cent of households; reach the poorest women with essential, life-saving antenatal and maternal health care.
The report also emphasised on providing a universal social protection floored by offering basic income security and covering essential services, including maternity-related benefits and supports.
It said adoption of progressive policies aimed at accelerated income growth among the poorest 40 per cent, including through stepped-up human capital investments in girls and women; eliminating economic, social and geographic obstacles to girls’ access to secondary and higher education, and to their enrolment in courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, could bridge the gap.
“Accelerate the transition from informal jobs to formal, decent work, focusing first on sectors with large concentrations of poor, female workers, and unblock women’s access credit and property ownership,” it added.
It also suggested bolstering services such as childcare to enable women to enter or remain in the paid labour force; working towards measuring all dimension of inequality and how they influenced each other, and strengthen links between data and public policy.
Above all, the report emphasised on the need for all nations to meet all commitments and obligations to human rights agreed in international treaties and conventions.
Mr O. B Amoah, a Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, said it was important for governments to acknowledge the benefits of improved sexual reproductive health and work towards achieving the goals.
He announced that the Ministry have been working on programmes aimed at improving sexual reproductive health, especially maternal mortality at the district and regional levels.
The Minister also reiterated the need to eliminate all social cultural barriers that mitigated against women and girls in society, adding that a year from now “we should be able to say that we are on course for the 10-points actions.
Mr Niyi Ojuolape, Country Representative, UNFPA, Ghana, said even though the world was unequal, the inequality was not about money but human rights, happiness, sexual reproductive health and childcare.
He said “every nation has to be inequitable to bridge the gap of inequality”, adding, “If a country is going to develop, it has to start with the women because they borne the brunch of the family, yet, their efforts are not recognised”.
Dr Fred Dzandu, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, also emphasised the need to give quality education to girls both in the urban and the rural areas to bridge the knowledge gap between them.
He said: “giving employable skills to girls at all levels is a sure way to bridge the literacy and sexual reproductive health gap”.
Dr Esther Ofei-Aboagye, Former Director, Institute of Local Government Studies, said even though over the years poverty reduced to some extent, inequality continue to persist and urged all to work towards bridging the gap between rural and urban poor.