(March 2011) Nafis Sadik has had an unequaled international career as a champion of women’s reproductive health and rights. Sadik joined the United Nations in 1971 and served from 1987 to 2000 as the executive director for UNFPA, becoming the first woman to head one of the United Nations’ major agencies. Since 2001, she has served as the Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific for the UN Secretary General. Sadik has consistently called attention to the importance of addressing the needs of women, and of involving women directly in making and carrying out development policy, particularly important for population policies and programs.
Sadik talked with PRB as part of PRB’s celebration of the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day, and discussed the accomplishments and unfinished work for women she has witnessed in her career, how HIV/AIDS affects women, the importance of mentors and parental support in her life, and how reproductive health is crucial to women’s rights and well-being.