Everyone has the right to enjoy reproductive health, which is a basis for having healthy children, intimate relationships and happy families. Reproductive health encompasses key areas of the UNFPA vision – that every child is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.
Reproductive health problems remain the leading cause of ill health and death for women of childbearing age worldwide. Impoverished women, especially those living in developing countries, suffer disproportionately from unintended pregnancies, maternal death and disability, sexually transmitted infections including HIV, gender-based violence and other problems related to their reproductive system and sexual behaviour. Because young people often face barriers in trying to get the information or care they need, adolescent reproductive health is another important focus of UNFPA programming. And all programming relies on the availability of essential supplies.
The critical importance of reproductive health to development has been acknowledged at the highest level. At the 2005 World Summit, world leaders added universal access to reproductive health as a target in Millennium Development Goals framework. UNFPA is fully committed to mobilizing support and scaling up efforts to make reproductive health for all a reality by 2015.