The United Nations (UN) held its annual Commission on the Status of Women in New York and concluded Friday no woman should be prevented from accessing reproductive healthcare and abortion services.
The Commission aims to “increase financial investments in quality, affordable and accessible health-care facilities and support services for rural women and girls,” the UN posits in its assessment on how to better serve the world’s women.
The UN has a duty to ensure women and girls have universal access to “sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, including health-care services for family planning,” the report concluded.
Every woman also has the right to have an abortion and make reproductive choices without shame, guilt, coercion, discrimination or violence, the commission goes on to explain. Its conclusion comes after it has condemned Ireland and other nations where abortion is illegal, calling the act of criminalizing abortions a violation of rights.
Women have the right to have abortions (despite its illegality in many countries), while the UN also has a duty “to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence and harmful practices against rural women and girls,” it concludes, directly following its notes. It lists domestic violence, forced marriages and female genital mutilation as sources.
Leaders and governments should seek to strengthen national gender equality mechanisms that will eliminate gender disparities in education and other arenas, the UN also noted in its report.
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