Faith leaders at the UN issued on 19 September a call to action on sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights. They urge world leaders to uphold these rights and to ensure they are reflected in development plans being prepared for upcoming Post 2015 new Sustainable Development Goals.
"The declaration is unique. These are faith based actors that set an example and stand up for earlier achieved rights to sexual and reproductive health which promote the rights of girls and women", says Thora Holter, NCA senior advisor on gender.
“We stand today, facing critical challenges,” their statement acknowledges. “Too many of our communities still suffer the indignities of stigma, discrimination, violence and multiple forms of injustice. When such violations happen in the name of religion, culture or tradition we are aggrieved and hurt, as well as challenged to respond.” Click to read the full statement.
Norwegian Church Aid has together with World Council of Churches, ACT Alliance and UNFPA arranged meetings for faith based organisations in connection with several UN meetings under the UN Commission on the Status of Women in 2013 and 2014. NCA earlier this year formulated a new NCA joint position on sexual and reproductive health rights.
“Not in our name should any mother die while giving birth,” the faith leaders' statement says. “Not in our name should any girl, boy, woman or man be abused, violated or killed. Not in our name should a girl child be deprived of her education, be married, be harmed or abused. Not in our name should anyone be denied access to basic health care, nor should a child or adolescent be denied knowledge of and care for his/her body. Not in our name should any young person be denied their full human rights.”
The 40 religious leaders from around the word who convened the UN Headquarters in NYC and represented the Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim faiths. The declaration was issued on the sidelines of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly.The call was convened by UNFPA and supported by Norway.