Monday, September 25, 2023
HomeHEALTH & LIFESTYLE NGO advocates safe access to contraception for women, girls

 NGO advocates safe access to contraception for women, girls

By Ijeoma UKAZU

To mark World Contraception Day, a non-governmental organization, the Media, Health and Rights Initiative of Nigeria, MHR, has stressed the need for women and girls to have adequate knowledge, and access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of contraception for their choice.

The director of the organization, Mrs Alu Azege, said only access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of contraception including modern short-and long-acting contraceptives and other methods such as emergency contraception, as well as any other methods can guarantee the stoppage of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies.

She lamented that despite the numerous benefits of contraceptives which are synonymous with women, their use among women and girls remains very low with many of them not knowing what it is all about.

Azege said, “A Woman’s total wellbeing starts from her bodily autonomy-the right to govern over her own body and make informed decisions about her reproductive health.

“Universal knowledge of contraception as well as access to contraception are rudimentary determinants to women, and without these, their empowerment and gender equality remain elusive. Over the years, the world has experienced promising developments but also imperative setbacks affecting the right to sexual and reproductive health and rights albeit against Human rights law which stipulates that women must be free to decide when to be pregnant, how many children to have, and how to space pregnancies.

“MHR believes in and promotes the comprehensive education and enjoyment of sexual and reproductive health rights through information and engagement. This is essential to women’s and girls’ ability to exercise all other human rights and for the achievement of gender equality. Laws and policies that deny women and girls their sexual and reproductive health rights are inherently discriminatory.”

The director added that only girls and women who can plan their families have better opportunities to realize their potential; they can pursue education and participate in and contribute to the economy, leading to a more prosperous, stable and equitable society. 

She however pledged the organization’s determination in promoting adequate knowledge and access to safe, effective contraception for women and girls in the country to ensure they contribute their quota to the development of the nation.

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