Today, Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, HE Toyin Saraki delivered the keynote speech during the Women Pre-Conference of the 4th Nigeria Family Planning Conference at the Centre for Women Development in Abuja. The theme was: Women and Family Planning in Nigeria: A critical Requirement for Harnessing Demographic Dividend for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
HE Toyin Saraki commenced her speech by emphasising the importance of family planning for women and how its benefits go beyond women and mothers. “Family planning is more than contraception. It means much more than the avoidance or delay of pregnancy or childbearing. Family planning has been adjudged as one of the most positively impactful interventions in human and societal development. It is an enabler - an empowerment approach.”
“Women are key if we want to achieve the demographic dividend that comes with an interplay of reduced total fertility rate (TFR), an expanded base of the working-age population, and improved educational, infrastructural and healthcare investments. This holds true anywhere in the world, including low-income and high-income countries. In developing policies and programming of family planning, the voices and sensitivities of the women need to be considered. Without speaking with the women of Nigeria and learning what they need, we are again deciding for them and not providing what they need. “
Mrs. Saraki, who promotes midwifery globally as International Confederation Of Midwives" Global Goodwill Ambassador concluded with a pledge to utilize her new position as the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) Family Planning Champion in Nigeria to advance family planning in Nigeria.
The event also had in attendance a representative of the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development and the National Population Council, the Country Director of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, dignitaries from the Association for the Advancement Family Planning, Police Wives Association, Market Women Association and lots of other women organisations.