ICPD25: THE NAIROBI SUMMIT

Maya Hendler
Nov 19, 2019 · 4 min read
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Image Source: Women’s March Harare

Last week, Women’s March Harare participated in ICPD25 (The International Conference on Population and Development), The Nairobi Summit. The summit centred around five themes:

  1. Universal access to sexual and reproductive health as a part of universal health coverage.
  2. Financing to finish the ICPD Programme of Action and to sustain the gains made.
  3. Drawing on demographic diversity to drive economic growth and achieve sustainable development.
  4. Ending gender-based violence and harmful practices.
  5. Upholding the right to sexual and reproductive health care even in humanitarian and fragile contexts.
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Partners of ICPD25 made commitments to end maternal deaths, unmet need for family planning and gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls by 2030.

“The Nairobi Summit represents a renewed, re-energized vision and community working together to act and deliver. Together, we will make the next ten years a decade of action and results for women and girls, keeping their rights and choices at the centre of everything we do.” — Dr. Natalia Kanem, UNFPA Executive Director.

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Pictured is Theresa, a senior Chief from the Dedza district in Malawi, and Clariss Rufaro Masiya, member of Women’s March Harare.

Sessions at the International Conference on Population and Development centred around sexual and gender-based violence, institutionalised child rape and female genital mutilation (FGM).

Chief Theresa is committed to fighting against institutionalised child rape. She has annulled over 800 child marriages and dismissed subchiefs who promote child marriages and the practice known as ‘hyena sex’.

“In Malawi there is a practice that when a girl comes of age and starts menstruating, an adult man, called a hyena, is summoned by her family to sleep with her daughter so that she learns to satisfy a man. These men called hyenas are professional sex workers selected by the community. Some of the hyenas are HIV positive. Chief Theresa is fighting against this practice.” — Kira, Women’s March Harare.

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BODILY AUTONOMY NEWS

The US has said it will only support family planning programmes that offer alternatives to abortions, a message that encouraged anti-choice groups to speak out against the ICPD25 agenda. At the same time, more than 200 organisations from over 50 countries published a call to action to demand urgent advances in sexual and reproductive rights around the world.

“The time is now to commit to a new agenda that recognises intersecting forms of discrimination and offers actionable and sustainable solutions to achieve gender equality.”

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Maya Hendler is the Programmes and Communications Associate at Women’s March Global.

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