I am pleased to have been invited to speak at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for the Advancement of Women on June 6, 2006. The meeting was chaired by Ms. Rachel Mayanja, UN Assistant Secretary General and Special Advisor to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Gender Issues and Women's Advancement (OSAGI). Over 20 high-ranking UN officials attended the meeting. Novel developments of particular concern to women include human egg and other tissue markets, as well as the recently announced vaccine for cervical cancer, a disease which kills approximately 300,000 women each year--mostly in the developing world. I argued that it is vital for women, who have a special stake in bioethical issues, to come together to promote a thoughtful application of biotechnology to improve the status of women's lives, to safeguard women's bodies from harm, and to ensure that social policies regarding women are appropriately recognized and incorporated into public policy.
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