GENEVA / STATE OF THE WORLD POPULATION

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10-Apr-2019 00:02:45
More than four in ten women in 51 countries cannot refuse their partner’s demands for sex, the UN population fund, UNFPA, said on Wednesday, noting that they are also unable to make basic decisions about getting pregnant and health care. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / STATE OF THE WORLD POPULATION
TRT: 2:45
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 10 APRIL 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. Exterior shot, Palais des Nations.
2. Wide shot: Room III.
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Monica Ferro, Director UNFPA Geneva:
“We, of course, see it as worrisome because we would like the numbers to be much higher and to mean much more women having access, because it’s what we always say when we use a percentage: don’t forget that these numbers, each one of them, is a person.”
4. Med shot: journalists.
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Monica Ferro, Director UNFPA Geneva:
“The numbers show that women have gained control over their lives and over their futures. We know that we are saving lives but still there are hundreds of millions of women who have been left behind, unable to enjoy the rights to sexual and reproductive health.”
6. Med shot, journalists.
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Monica Ferro, Director UNFPA Geneva:
“Women and girls left behind are typically poor, rural and less educated. Two-thirds of all maternal deaths today occur in sub-Saharan Africa.”
8. Close up, journalist.
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Monica Ferro, Director UNFPA Geneva:
“A girl who marries when she is 10 will probably leave school. And because she leaves school, she won’t get the negotiating skills, and she won’t get the specific skills which will allow her to then get a better-paid job. Or if she’s married when she is 10, the probability that she will start child-bearing before her body is even ready for that, not to talk about her mind, this will also increase the possibilities of her going through complications in pregnancy, and complications in childbirth.”
10. Med shot, podium.
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Monica Ferro, Director UNFPA Geneva:
“More than 800 women die every day from preventable causes during pregnancy and childbirth. More than 200 million women want to prevent a pregnancy, but are not using a modern form of contraception, and one in three women will be subjected to violence at some point in their lives.”
12. Close up, microphone.
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Monica Ferro, Director UNFPA Geneva:
“A staggering 376 million of new infections, of chlamydia, of gonorrhoea, or syphilis are happening every day among people between the ages of 15 and 44, and only about one-fifth of the need for emergency obstetric and new-born care is met in low-income countries.”
14. Close up, journalist.
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Monica Ferro, Director UNFPA Geneva:
“Every day, more than 500 women and girls including in countries with emergency settings, die during pregnancy and childbirth, due to the absence of skilled birth attendants or emergency obstetric procedures.”
16. Zoom out, UNFPA report.
17. Close up, journalist.
18. Close up, photographer.

STORYLINE:

More than four in ten women in 51 countries cannot refuse their partner’s demands for sex, the UN population fund, UNFPA, said on Wednesday (10 Apr), noting that they are also unable to make basic decisions about getting pregnant and health care.

“We, of course, see it as worrisome because we would like the numbers to be much higher and to mean much more women having access,” said Monica Ferro, Director of UNFPA Geneva. “Because it’s what we always say when we use a percentage: don’t forget that these numbers, each one of them, is a person.”

The findings, which refer to women who are married or in a relationship aged 15 to 49, are published for the first time in UNFPA’s State of World Population 2019 report. They also show that an estimated 214 million women cannot easily access contraceptives because of cultural and economic obstacles, despite their increasing availability.

“More than 800 women die every day from preventable causes during pregnancy and childbirth,” Ferro said. “More than 200 million women want to prevent a pregnancy, but are not using a modern form of contraception, and one in three women will be subjected to violence at some point in their lives.”

According to the report, the absence of reproductive and sexual rights has a major and negative repercussions on women’s education, income and safety, leaving them “unable to shape their own futures”.

Those women and girls left behind “are typically poor, rural and less educated”, Ferro said, adding that “two-thirds of all maternal deaths today occur in sub-Saharan Africa”.

In addition to the rural and urban poor, unmet needs for sexual and reproductive health services are also highest in marginalized groups – including minority ethnic groups – young people, unmarried people, LGBTi individuals and those with disabilities.

Early marriage continues to present a major cultural obstacle to female empowerment, the UNFPA report suggests.

“A girl who marries when she is 10 will probably leave school,” Ferro said. “And because she leaves school, she won’t get the negotiating skills, and she won’t get the specific skills which will allow her to then get a better-paid job. Or if she’s married when she is 10, the probability that she will start child-bearing before her body is even ready for that, not to talk about her mind, this will also increase the possibilities of her going through complications in pregnancy, and complications in childbirth.”

Highlighting the health risks caused by economic, social and institutional barriers that block women’s access to contraception, Ferro explained that “a staggering 376 million of new infections, of chlamydia, of gonorrhoea, or syphilis are happening every day among people between the ages of 15 and 44”.

In addition, “only about one-fifth of the need for emergency obstetric and new-born care is met in low-income countries”, she added.

Despite these concerns, the UNFPA report highlights that “untold millions” have enjoyed healthier and more productive lives in the 50 years since the agency was founded, thanks to pressure from civil society and governments to dramatically reduce unintended pregnancies and maternal deaths.

Highlighting positive changes in the last half-century, the report shows that in 1969, the average number of births per woman was 4.8, compared with 2.9 in 1994 and 2.5 today.

Fertility rates in the least developed countries have dropped significantly in that time too, from 6.8 in 1969 to 5.6 in 1994 and 3.9 in 2019, while the number of women who died from pregnancy-related causes has decreased from 369 per 100,000 births in 1994, to 216 in 2015.

In addition, while 24 per cent of women used modern contraceptives in 1969, that percentage increased to 52 per cent in 1994 and 58 per cent in 2019, the UNFPA data demonstrates.

Looking ahead, the UN agency also highlights the threat to women’s and girls’ reproductive rights posed by emergencies caused by conflict or climate disasters.
It notes too that some 35 million women, girls and young people will need life-saving sexual and reproductive health services, as well as services to address gender-based violence, in humanitarian settings in 2019.

“Every day, more than 500 women and girls including in countries with emergency settings, die during pregnancy and childbirth, due to the absence of skilled birth attendants or emergency obstetric procedures,” Ferro said.

Judith Bruce, one of 15 “champions of change” featured in the report for their positive influence in sexual and reproductive health and rights, called for the UN’s 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development Goals to be used to drive investment to places where child marriage, sexual coercion and poverty overlap.

Some 50 million 10-year-old girls in the world’s poorest countries face growing pressures “to trade sexuality and fertility” in the face of “increasing climate emergencies, conflict, displacement, scarcity and stress”, Bruce insisted.
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unifeed190410e
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