The 2004 global and regional roundtables reviewing and monitoring progress of the Cairo Programme of Action (POA) implementation concluded that this document remains a critical comprehensive UN document which outlines an agenda and framework linking human rights principles with population and development, poverty eradication, social justice, gender equality, women’s empowerment, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and NGO participation.
Ten years into the POA, progress in implementation in the Asia-Pacific region remains poor. ARROW’s eight-country regional monitoring study revealed that one million women have died unnecessarily in childbirth, pregnancy and unsafe abortion since Cairo. Only China has attained the goal of reducing maternal mortality by 50% by the year 2000. Nationally, the ICPD POA has not yet been clearly institutionalised in national development frameworks like women’s development, health, population and in poverty. Although there has been significant progress in the region in the area of violence against women and the creation of national machineries like ministries and commissions, women are still not able to exercise control over their reproductive and sexual lives due to the following barriers.