The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo was a milestone in the history of population and development, as well as in the history of women's rights. During the conference, 179 countries agreed that population and development are inextricably linked, and that population is not only about numbers but also about people. Implicit in this rights-based approach is the idea that every person counts. The conference also made it clear that empowerment of women is not simply an end in itself, but also a step towards eradicating poverty and stabilizing population growth. Reproductive health and rights are cornerstones of women's empowerment.

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