Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of UNFPA has called on people to go forward with the message, “No woman should die giving life,” as we celebrate World Population Day, on 11 July, 2007.
According to a press release from UNFPA it is time for all men-as fathers, brothers, husbands, community and religious leaders and government officials to become partners in maternal health, and to promote the right of every woman to enjoy a life of health, dignity and equal opportunity.
The press release revealed that too many women die needlessly from complications of pregnancy and child birth. “Every minute, another woman losses her life, and for every woman who dies, 20 or more women experience serious complications such as obstetric fistula”.
The UNFPA boss said that, world leaders have committed themselves to improving maternal health and advancing gender equality, adding that men can make a tremendous contribution by using their power for positive change.
He noted that the United Nations Population Fund supports safe motherhood initiatives around the world. He revealed that they work with governments and other partners to ensure that every woman has access to three reproductive health services that save women’s live.
According to him, experience has shown that men’s involvement and participation can make all the difference by discouraging early marriage, promoting girl’s education, fostering equitable relationships and supporting women’s reproductive health and rights, for progress to be made.
He finally said that World Population Day is a time to focus on commitment and action to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.
In a similar vein, Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General, in his message on the World Population day stated that several countries have succeeded in significantly reducing maternal death rates in the space of a decade, when women gained access to family planning, midwives and back up emergency obstetric care the number of women also die giving birth has reduced.
The release also encouraged men to become partners and agents for change, in supporting human rights and safe motherhood.