Empower women to exercise rights over their bodies – NPC tells policymakers

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Story from Najib SANI, Bauchi

The National Population Commission (NPC) has advocated the empowerment of women by policymakers to educationally and economically exercise choice over their bodies and fertility.

Executive chairman of the commission, Honourable Nasir Isa Kwarra made the advocacy while addressing journalists on the 2021 world population day in Bauchi.

Represented by a federal commissioner in charge of Bauchi state Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed Darazo, he said whether spouses want baby boom or bust, priority should be given to the reproductive health and rights of the women in order to tackle violence against women.

“The theme of the 2021 world population day, ‘Rights and Choices are the answer: Whether baby boom or bust, the solution lies in prioritizing the reproductive health and rights of all people’ aims to create awareness on strategies to safeguard the reproductive health and rights of women and girls as well as eliminate practices that undermine the equality of women and girls.

“The awareness focusses on ensuring sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls as well as bodily autonomy and addressing gender-based violence”. He explained.

According to him, the advent of COVID 19 and the concomitant lockdown in Nigeria affected issues of reproductive health particularly family planning thereby reversing the gains made on population management with short and long-term implications.

“There is a need for policymakers to work to ensure health systems are strengthened particularly primary health care centres at community levels to support the delivery of quality sexual and reproductive health care services.

“Women must be empowered educationally, economically and politically in order to exercise unencumbered choice over their bodies and fertility”. The commission said.

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