Ensure protection of women’s dignity and rights in humanitarian response

Date: 11/07/2015

UNFPA Pacific, Suva (Fiji) July 11, 2015 - In commemorating World Population Day today, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is calling for increased specificity to women and girls particularly adolescents, in national response plans to humanitarian crises.

A young boy outside his home in a Port Vila informal settlement in Vanuatu, after Cyclone Pam. Picture: UNFPA PSRO/Ariela Zibiah.

"On this World Population Day, we call on the international community to redouble efforts to protect the health and rights of women and girls," Dr Laurent Zessler, Director and Representative of the UNFPA Pacific Sub-Regional Office said.
"We must enable women, adolescent girls and young people to play their full role in peace talks, peace building and recovery, and to ensure that governments comply with international law and bring perpetrators of sexual violence to justice.
"By prioritizing health, rights and the full participation of women, adolescent girls and young people in public life, we increase our prospects for a more just, stable and peaceful world."
One of the priorities of UNFPA is to empower and safeguard the well-being of women, adolescent girls, and young people and address their specific needs and concerns.
"We work closely with governments, the United Nations system, local partners and others on disaster preparedness to ensure that reproductive health is integrated into emergency responses," Dr Zessler said.
"UNFPA deploys hygiene kits, obstetric and contraceptive supplies, trained personnel and other support to vulnerable populations. It also works to ensure the needs of women, adolescent girls and young people are served through both an emergency and the reconstruction phase. Our aim is to ensure that women's and adolescent girls' right to sexual and reproductive health is protected and their safety is ensured."