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My Body is My Own: Caribbean Youth Engage on Bodily Autonomy

Caribbean Youth engaged in a virtual discussion on bodily autonomy hosted by the UNFPA Caribbean Sub Regional Office (UNFPA SROC) in August.  The “Youth Round Table Talk'', which included youth discussants from a cross-section of the Caribbean, was hosted to launch UNFPA's annual State of World Population Report (SWOP) in the region.  The theme for this year is “My body is my own: Claiming the right to autonomy and self-determination”. The report explains that bodily autonomy is the power to make our own choices about our bodies, and to have those choices supported by everyone around us, and by our societies at large. 

During the event it was highlighted that countless people were often excluded from making autonomous decisions about their bodies, particularly women and girls, persons with disabilities and those with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. One recommendation to address this was to focus on education and knowledge in advocating for change and awareness. Consent in sexual relationships was highlighted as another matter of concern because, according to one of the panelists, “we fail to realize that ownership and respect play important roles in the conversation.” 

The 2021 SWOP report can be accessed using this link. UNFPA is committed to continuing its mission to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.