Dr. Natalia Kame, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has revealed that about 50 percent of women and adolescent girls in over 57 developing countries do not have full autonomy over their bodies. The report was released by UNFPA today Wednesday 14th April 2021.
According to Dr. Natalia Kame, 50 percent of women and adolescent girls are forced to make critical decisions when it comes to determining when to have sex, get married, seek health care, amongst others; a situation she has described as outrageous and says should be condemned.
The Dr. says that when women and adolescent girls do not have full autonomy in their bodies. It reduces the level of economic productivity in these countries and threatens the potential and safety of the women living in these brutal systems.
The report also noted that 20 developing countries do not have laws that protect raped victims. Instead, they have different kinds of laws that act as a green light for rapists to get away with their crimes by marrying the victim in what is known as “marry-your-rapist” laws. The “marry-your-rapist” law means that if a man rapes a girl or woman and accepts to marry her, he will not be prosecuted by the law except in situations where the victim is a minor.
Within the same report, close to 76 percent of women and adolescent girls in eastern and southeastern Asia were found to have full autonomy over their bodies, 50 percent in South Asia, Central Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. While in countries like Senegal, Niger, and Mali, close to 90 percent of women and adolescent girls do not own their bodies and depend on men to make decisions for them.
The same report accuses 30 countries of imposing restrictions on women to move around freely and considers the deprivation of body autonomy as a violation of fundamental human rights.