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Minister Brophy launches flagship UN report highlighting the importance of women’s bodily autonomy

Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy T.D., today launched the UNFPA 2021 State of World Population report.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Brophy said:

“The ‘My Body is My Own’ report finds that only 55 percent of women worldwide have the power to make decisions about their own healthcare, contraception, and engagement in sexual intercourse. Ireland is proud to work with partners like UNFPA to empower women.

"Women must be able to assert their agency and autonomy in relation to sexual intercourse. Educating girls is key to empowering them to make decisions that are good for them. Ireland plays a leading role on adolescent girls’ education in the Generation Equality Forum, advocating for a strong focus on this across the Forum’s Action Coalitions. This February, I participated in two global policy dialogues with adolescent girls’ activists, hosted by Ireland. The result was a Youth Communiqué calling for access to comprehensive sexuality education, and asking the Action Coalitions to this call forward as part of the Generation Equality commitment on comprehensive sexuality education.

"Ireland’s work on global health has received renewed emphasis over the last year. We will spend €50 million on global health in 2021. We will work to ensure that women determine the care they receive, and that women’s reproductive care is central to health services.”

The launch event was chaired by Senator Annie Hoey, Co-Chair of the All-Party Oireachtas Interest Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights chaired the launch event, which was hosted by UNFPA’s Irish partner, the Irish Family Planning Association, and attracted the attendance of TDs, Senators, NGO representatives, activists and academics.



14 APRIL 2021

Notes for Editors

Ireland’s Policy for International Development, A Better World, designates gender equality as one of four policy priorities on which Ireland intends to make a significant contribution towards achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Ireland is playing a leading role in advocating for a strong focus on adolescent girls’ education in the Generation Equality Forum, a global gathering for gender equality convened by UN Women and co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France in March-July 2021.

More than 75% of Ireland’s bilateral development aid in 2019 focused on gender equality initiatives.

UNFPA, the UN Population Fund, is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. The agency’s mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.

The State of World Population report is an annual report published by UNFPA, analysing global demographic trends. The theme of the 2021 report is “My Body Is My Own”. The report is available at:

Irish Aid is a consistent supporter of UNFPA, providing flexible core funding of €3.5 million a year.

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