The ability to make decisions for one’s health, family, and future is a fundamental right of every person.
Good sexual and reproductive health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being in all matters relating to the reproductive system. It means that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life and that they have access to information and resources to support their sexual and reproductive health. This includes family planning, prenatal and safe delivery care and support services for survivors of violence.
But far too often, women and girls are deprived of their rights and the care they need. They encounter barriers to using the contraception of their choice and may experience unintended pregnancy as a result. They face life-threatening pregnancy and childbirth complications which could be prevented with proper care. They are forced into child marriages, barred from pursuing education and employment opportunities, and subjected to violence.
When sexual and reproductive health needs are not met, individuals are deprived of the right to make crucial choices about their own bodies and futures. This has a cascading impact on their families’ welfare and future generations. And because women bear children–and also often the responsibility of nurturing them–sexual and reproductive health and rights issues cannot be separated from gender equality.
218 million women and girls who want to avoid pregnancy lack access to family planning.
Every year, 121 million women and girls become pregnant before they’re ready.
Every two minutes, a woman or girl needlessly dies of pregnancy or childbirth complications and the majority of these deaths occur in crisis settings.
Globally, complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for girls aged 15 – 19.
90 percent of women who experience obstetric fistula, a debilitating childbirth injury, have a stillbirth.
1 in 3 women will experience physical or sexual violence in her lifetime.
Every day, more than 30,000 girls become child brides.
4 million girls undergo female genital mutilation, an extreme human rights violation, every year.
A woman or girl is murdered by a member of her own family every 11 minutes.
None of this has to be the case.
All of us have the same hope, the same dream: to live and love with control of our lives, to be healthy, and to feel joy. These are universal desires of all humanity. But each woman’s hopes, dreams, and body are unique. We provide sexual and reproductive health care in over 150 countries so every woman and girl can realize her fullest potential and pursue her dreams.
We work toward universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. UNFPA works with governments, other UN agencies, civil society organizations, and supporters like you to reach every woman and right with care.
Our work is a key effort toward achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. We advance Goal 3, which calls for good health and well-being, Goal 5, which calls for gender equality, as well as many others included in the 2030 Agenda.
“Now, I am capable of everything.”