‘Include family planning in Sustainable Development Goal’

New Delhi: In a global appeal, the Population Foundation of India (PFI) on Friday said every country should include family planning as a specific objective of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).

The PFI said that by doing so, countries with high population including India can contribute effectively to improved health outcomes for women and children.

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The organisation said that despite commendable progress in a number of areas, significant inequalities continue to persist in women’s access to education, healthcare, physical and financial resources and opportunities in economic, social and cultural spheres.

“As the Indian government negotiates for a new set of SDGs for its post-2015 development agenda, we are hopeful that reproductive health and family planning will be given due recognition in the final line-up of the goals and targets later this year,” said Poonam Muttreja, executive director at PFI.

According to PFI, India needed to do much more to promote reproductive rights of girls and women, which is critical for sustainable development.

“Programs that educate them (women) to influence their health and consequently their overall well being is needed to be made an absolute priority. Together with education, family planning and honouring reproductive rights of women are one of the best investments towards their empowerment,” said the PFI statement.

Currently, the percentage of women who die during abortions stands at 13 percent.

A recent survey also stated that at least 60 percent of women, who became mother without their will, did not know that abortion was legal in India.

“The country needs to strengthen and implement its policies effectively to fulfill the reproductive needs and rights of women so that every mother is a healthy mother and every child is a ‘wanted’ child,” said the statement from PFI.

The statement was released ahead of World Population Day, which falls on July 11.