State of World Population 2005

The Promise of Equality - Gender Equity, Reproductive Health and the Millennium Development Goals

image of State of World Population 2005

This year’s report explores the degree to which the global community has fulfilled pledges made to the world’s most impoverished and marginalized peoples. It tracks progress, exposes shortfalls and examines the links between poverty, gender equality, human rights, reproductive health, conflict and violence against women and girls. It also examines the relationship between gender discrimination and the scourge of HIV/AIDS. It identifies the vulnerabilities and strengths of history’s largest cohort of young people and highlights the critical role they play in development.

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The promise of human rights

One of the major achievements of the 20th Century was the development of a rich body of international law affirming the equal rights of all human beings. Building on the foundation of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, numerous conventions, protocols and agreements have affirmed and expanded its principles. But despite the many agreements embraced and treaties ratified, the reality is that in the early 21st century, women and other neglected groups, especially those whose lives are circumscribed by poverty and discrimination, are not able to exercise their fundamental human rights. The next major challenge is fulfilling the promise of human rights.

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