State of World Population 2017 Report presented in Ashgabat

17 November 2017

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund’s flagship Report, The State of World Population (SWOP) 2017, titled “Worlds Apart: Reproductive Health and Rights in an Age of Inequality” was presented today in Ashgabat. The Award Ceremony of the Media Competition 2017 for the best published materials in gender equality followed the Report Launch.

The Report was presented at the ceremony, which was attended by the Turkmen national partners, representatives of the UN agencies and international organizations, the diplomatic corps, university professors and students, as well as the civil society and national and international mass media. The report was also launched globally in more than 100 countries.

The costs of inequalities, including in reproductive health and rights, could extend to the entire global community’s goals, states the new UNFPA report. 

Failure to provide reproductive health services, including family planning, to the most vulnerable women can weaken economies and sabotage progress towards the sustainable development goals.

“The 2030 Agenda has envisaged a better and more inclusive future,” said Elena Panova, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNFPA Representative in Turkmenistan. “One where we collectively tear down the barriers and correct disparities, focusing first on those left furthest behind. Reducing all inequalities needs to be the aim. In that respect, some of the most powerful contributions can come from realizing gender equality and women’s reproductive rights.”

UNFPA’s Worlds Apart report calls for actions that lead to a brighter future, where all women govern their own lives, have equal access to reproductive health care and have the knowledge, skills and power to find gainful employment.

During the SWOP Report Launch in Ashgabat, Mr. Batyr Orazov, Deputy Director of the Turkmen National Institute of Democracy and Human Rights under the President of Turkmenistan, welcomed the guests of the event and expressed appreciation to UNFPA for the continued partnership.  He noted the results of the country in promoting gender equality.  The adoption of the National Action Plan on Gender Equality in Turkmenistan for 2015-2020, with UNFPA support, continues to serve as the major instrument for gender mainstreaming in all spheres of life.

Mr. Muhammet Ergeshev, Head of the Treatment and Prophylactics Department of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, read the opening statement of the Deputy Minister, which reiterated the importance and relevance of the topic.  He outlined key milestones in the strategic partnership between UNFPA and the Ministry of Health in realizing the reproductive rights of women and couples.  He further reaffirmed the commitment of the Government of Turkmenistan in providing universal access of the people to the reproductive health services. 

The key findings and recommendations of the Global Report were presented by Ms. Ene Tuyliyeva, UNFPA Advocacy Communication Associate.  Ms. Tuyliyeva gave an overview of the linkages between the economic inequalities and gender inequalities, as well as inequalities in access to reproductive health services.

When a woman is able to exercise her reproductive rights, she is more able to benefit from her other rights, such as the right to education. The results are higher incomes, better health for her and her children and greater decision-making power for her, both in the household and the community. When women and men together plan their childbearing, children benefit immediately and in their long-term prospects. “That is what 179 governments agreed at the International Conference on Population and Development in 1994,” said Ms. Tuyliyeva.

Ms. Bayramgul Garabayeva, UNFPA Assistant Representative in Turkmenistan, continued the dialogue by presenting the relevance of the Report to Turkmenistan.  In her interactive presentation, Ms. Garabayeva made a focus on importance of increasing access of women, especially most vulnerable groups, to the reproductive health information, services and commodities.  The partnership between UNFPA and Ministry of Health and Medical Industry was described, starting from the beginning of cooperation when UNFPA delivered contraceptives into the country.

Key milestones were featured, including development of the first national strategy on reproductive health in the region and establishment of the reproductive health centers and rooms countrywide, and later the adoption of the new indicator into the medical statistical system, which helped better identify most at risk women.  Most significant milestone was the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, where the Government demonstrated a financial commitment to procurement of the contraceptives in the country in 2014.  At the end of the partnership roadmap was the establishment of the Coordination Committee, which will further reduce the gap in women’s access to reproductive health services, enabling them to realize their reproductive rights, especially those furthest behind. 

“UNFPA is proud of the achievements of the Government of Turkmenistan in realizing the reproductive rights of women and couples in the country,” said Ms. Garabayeva.  “Although we are very close to reaching the goal of providing universal access to women and couples to reproductive health, much remains to be addressed.  We hope that the Coordination Committee will be an effective mechanism in meeting the needs of women.  It is also crucial that evidence-based analysis and timely forecasting is conducted by the Committee to ensure uninterrupted supply of at least four methods of contraceptives in the country.”

Ms. Akjemal Durdyeva, Director of the National Reproductive Health Center of Turkmenistan and a member of the Coordination Committee further presented the structure, key stakeholders and functions of the Committee under the leadership role of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry.  Ms. Durdyeva assured that the primary purpose of the Committee is to work together with the private sector to identify women in need and ensure that they are equipped with the modern methods of contraception in a timely manner.  “This will help us significantly improve maternal and child health in our country,” said Director. 

The Report Launch concluded with the Award Ceremony of the UNFPA Media Competition 2017.  Here, UNFPA recognized the winners of the Media Competition under the theme “Equal opportunities of women and men in achieving the sustainable development”, which was announced in the beginning of the year. 

Journalists of the national media submitted more than 40 materials covering the issues of women empowerment, gender in healthcare, education and employment.  Five media materials published in the national and local media were awarded the first prizes during the SWOP Report Launch in Ashgabat for quality and in-depth coverage. 

“Media plays a key role in promoting gender equality in our society,” said Ms. Bayramgul Garabayeva, UNFPA Assistant Representative in Turkmenistan during the Award Ceremony.  “The UNFPA Media Competition allows us to raise the awareness of the public at large on importance of the issue.  It is also noteworthy that the annual UNFPA Media Competition, which is now a tradition, has already created a professional network of journalists interested in covering the issue of gender equality.  This year it was a great pleasure to see an entire sequence of creative works published on women empowerment, male engagement and existing mechanisms and legislation in Turkmenistan promoting gender equality.”


For the full SWOP 2017 Report and other resources, please visit:


In the news:

Watch SWOP Report Launch 2017 coverage on Watan:

Read in Russian in Turkmen State News Agency:


UNFPA: Delivering the world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.


For additional information, please contact:

Bayramgul Garabayeva, UNFPA Assistant Representative

Ene Tuyliyeva, Advocacy Communication Associate

Tel: 488325