his month, FIGO celebrates 65 years as a federation dedicated to enhancing the health and wellbeing of each woman global.
Professor Mahmoud F. Fathalla, FIGO Past President 1994-1997, has spent his career documenting, gaining knowledge of and advocating for girls’ fitness and rights. Here, he reflects on the modifications, demanding situations and imaginative and prescient for FIGO’s future.
“Across the many years of my career, I have seen how worldwide methods to important issues of ladies’ health – particularly reproductive fitness and choice – have changed.
The first United Nations International Conference on Population (ICPD), convened in Bucharest in 1974, upheld the slogan that family planning is the solution. Ten years later, the second one ICPD in Mexico City recommends that improvement is the solution; improvement is the excellent contraceptive tablet. The 1/3 conference, in Cairo in 1994, after I became president of FIGO, known those and greater. It upheld the importance of circle of relatives making plans, the significance of improvement, however, affirmed a greater fact: ladies are the answer.
My era of girls’ health specialists has been lucky to witness how girls internationally, empowered through a circle of relatives making plans, were capable of modifying and manage their fertility, broadening their life alternatives and pursuing an effective and now not most effective a reproductive profession. So whilst concerns about population growth are raised, FIGO has a critical role to play in explaining that during spite of all the rhetoric, women in many nations round the arena nevertheless have a huge unmet want for a circle of relatives planning.
Women additionally have want of safe abortion. Millions of girls around the arena danger their lives and fitness to give up an unwanted being pregnant; however, the controversy surrounding it tends to obscure its size as health trouble. Laws that permit prison termination of being pregnant best while the lifestyles of the mom are in chance sarcastically put the life of the mother in chance. Unsafe abortion is one of the brilliant omitted problems of health care and an extreme challenge to ladies all through their reproductive lives.
“Mothers are not dying because of illnesses we cannot save you or deal with. They are still demise due to the fact societies haven’t begun to make the selection that their lives are worth saving.” I made this remark a few years in the past, and regrettably, it stays a glaring, inconvenient reality. Progress has been made and should be applauded, but in many nations, maternal deaths are nonetheless a primary fitness scandal. Mothers are left to die to venture the unstable technique of giving us a brand new lifestyle; to die when their lives can be stored.
As the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 approaches, my message can be: contend with ladies’ health and rights, and the ‘populace problem’ will take care of itself.
If the arena wanted proof approximately the health dangers for girls denied equality and empowerment, the AIDS pandemic provided a tough lesson. What started out as a by and large male epidemic has now left ladies, particularly young girls, extra vulnerable.
Women do no want “huge brother” to dictate choices for them approximately what to do with their own bodies. They may be depended on to make knowledgeable decisions approximately their reproductive health, and their choices ought to be respected and applied. It ought to be an obligation of the entire worldwide network to make sure that girls, wherever they’re, are given a desire in their lives and are given the manner to implement their preference.
This is in which our FIGO stands.
Our career is greater than a scientific technical uniqueness, best to supply infants and attach pelvic organ sickness. We see first-hand how ladies’s fitness is often compromised, no longer because of loss of clinical expertise, however due to infringement on ladies’ human rights. As we mark 65 years of FIGO’s work to improve the health of all girls, we renew our dedication to a destiny in which every woman is empowered to gain lively participation in her own fitness and rights.