“When sleeping women awake, mountains move,” said Dr. Natalia Kanem, UNFPA’s Executive Director, quoting a Kenyan proverb at an event in the sprawling Kibera informal settlement.

The event, held on International Women’s Day, was a celebration of women leaders and innovators. It was also an opportunity to call on national and international authorities to uphold the rights of girls and women, and to highlight the need for their increased representation in leadership and governance.

Dr. Kanem also emphasized the importance of the upcoming Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, which will convene activists, governments and leaders to commit to realizing sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights are not only a human rights imperative; they are essential to achieving sustainable development.

The international community must take note, she said, with “all roads leading to Nairobi” for the Summit in November.

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