UNFPA: Why women must be at the center of development

Devex interviewed the Head of the UN Population Fund, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, on the subject of women in development and post-2015. Read extracts below:

“Up to 20,000 girls give birth every day, 95 percent of them in the developing world, according to the annual State of World Population report released on Wednesday by the United Nations Population Fund, focused this year on adolescent pregnancy and its consequences on girls’ well-being, education and productivity.

Maternal mortality is almost double for girls under 15 than for older females, 70,000 adolescent deaths occur every year from complications from pregnancy and childbirth, and adolescent pregnancy usually interrupts a girl’s schooling, the survey adds.

In order to address this, women must be at the center of development efforts, according to Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund.

“Women are at the center of people’s lives,” Osotimehin said during an exclusive interview with Devex. “So being able to provide the enabling environment for them to exercise their rights and make choices in their lives is … crucial for us to be able to have the kind of abilities and the kind of vitality we want to have in our communities and nations.””

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