Posted on | March 8, 2012 by Lisa Correnti |
Today, International Women’s Day established by the UN, was an opportunity for many international women’s groups to celebrate the work being done on behalf of marginalized women and girls across the globe. Sate Department official Maria Otero, Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, who oversees U.S. foreign policy relating to the protection of individuals and promoting just societies, was the speaker at a luncheon in Washington DC hosted by the American Cancer Society, Women Deliver, and Global Health and Diplomacy.
Ms. Otero praised President Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton for elevating women’s issues by incorporating them into foreign policy. She expressed that in order to achieve peaceful societies, women’s health must be a priority and, in particular, sexual and reproductive healthcare is essential for women and girls. The increase in funding for reproductive health and family planning the past three years demonstrates this priority.
The Obama Administration recognizes that family planning and sexual and reproductive health services are not only a necessary part of women’s basic healthcare, they are vital to a woman’s ability to achieve personal development and thus be a more productive member of her society. We acknowledge that no matter what, family planning is an important aspect of any functioning society.
Otero also praised U.S. partners who have demonstrated a commitment to RH/FP:
We have excellent partnerships with the United Nation’s Population Fund (UNFPA), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and others. Together, we are working to tackle some of the most challenging issues of our time. UNFPA works to improve access to sexual and reproductive health, and promote gender equality, combating gender-based violence, and help governments and policy makers to better understand and consider the impact of population on development.
The entire address can be read here.