Tejinder Singh - AHN Correspondent
Washington, DC, United States (AHN) - Hillary Clinton, the U.S.Secretary of State today (Jan 8) in Washington reiterated the Obama administration's support for the International Conference on Population and Development Action Plan.
The U.S. top diplomat noted the day as the "commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the groundbreaking gathering and agreement in Cairo," which was signed by 180 nations in Cairo in 1994 with a 20-year strategy for making family planning universally available by 2015.
Secretary Clinton recalled "in retrospect that Cairo was the first ever global forum that recognized the connection between women's health, the quality of women's lives, and human progress on a broader scale."
Speaking in the Ben Franklin Room on the eight floor of the State Department, Hillary cited statistical data to drive home the point that, "we have to do a better job of making the equity argument on behalf of girls and women, and particularly on behalf of the Cairo agenda."
With "more than 215 million women worldwide" lacking "access to the modern forms of contraception," the Secretary noted, "this contributes to the nearly 20 million unsafe abortions that take place very year. Sexually transmitted diseases, of course including, but not limited to, HIV and AIDS, claim millions of lives annually among women. Fistula destroys the lives of millions, and it is often the result of pregnancies that occur when a girl is too young.
"An estimated 70 million - that is 70 million women and girls worldwide - have been subjected to female genital cutting, a procedure that is not only painful and traumatic but is also the source of infections and increased risks of injury during childbirth," Hillary added…