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Stakeholders seeks government support on sexual, reproductive health

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Stakeholders on women health rights have called on the Federal Government to support women’s sexual and reproductive health rights.

The project director, Vision Spring Initiatives, Mrs Ngozi Juba, at a stakeholders’ townhall meeting in Lagos said it was unfortunate that Nigeria was not prioritising the voices of young people on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

She said, “We are having a dialogue with strategic stakeholders, society representatives, people in government, politics and those in private sector. We are discussing generation equality.

“There was a meeting held in Paris recently where government representatives, including Nigeria agreed that issues of sexual and reproductive health and rights are critical for young people.

“But unfortunately, many countries including African countries made a commitment in terms of money they are going to invest to ensure that sexual and reproductive health and rights issues are realised in their various countries, Nigeria did not commit a dime and what that means is that Nigeria is not prioritising the voices of young people when it comes to sexual and reproductive health rights.”

The Executive Director, International Centre for Environmental Health, Dr Ndudi Bowei, said climate change was also affecting the reproductive health of women.

“Women are very close to the environment because they use natural resources to take care of their families, homes and themselves. Take for instance, women needs access to land rights, they need to have access to adequate clean water for their families. With the problem of climate change women lose access to these natural resources. We know that in Nigeria, 70 per cent of our women populace are in the rural areas and they are engaged in agricultural activities and farming.

“With the way the climate is changing, women are having problems with their produce, the soil quality is reducing and because of that, women are having poor harvest and that is affecting food security in Nigeria.”

“Climate change doesn’t just affect the quality of soil, produce and women’s income, it also cut across health issues. When women are under challenges of climate and environment, they have health problems that affect their reproductive health rights. That is why climate change is a big issue right now.”

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