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Crown Princess Mary visits Indonesia

By UNRIC - CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Crown Princess Mary has wrapped up a three-day visit to Indonesia with the United Nations Population Fund.

Joining the Executive Director of the UNFPA and the Danish Development Minister, Crown Princess Mary’s visit was to “provide insight into how [sexual and reproductive health and rights] challenges and solutions are handled in Indonesia.”

Arriving on Monday, Crown Princess Mary joined in on a panel discussion about childhood health and organic food, as well as exercise practices. She also attended events to mark World AIDS Day and gave a speech to mark the day.

The Royal House website notes that the UNFPA is “a leader in AIDS prevention work for the region’s sex workers and promotes, among other things, workers’ knowledge of their HIV status as well as knowledge about safe sex.”

Monday evening wrapped up with a working dinner at the Danish Ambassador’s residence.

On Tuesday, Crown Princess Mary visited the Indonesia Midwives Association to learn about female circumcision and how the practice—though illegal—still continues in the country. The UNFPA “supports efforts for both midwifery education and dissemination of knowledge on female circumcision. Among other things, the organization is helping to upgrade the curriculum of midwifery education and to be in dialogue with religious leaders about erroneous links between girl circumcision and Islam,” per the Royal House.

Crown Princess Mary then participated in a panel discussion on gender-based violence and humanitarian crisis management with experts from the health profession and the National Commission for Violence Against Women.

Afterwards, the group visited Peacumber Coffee, which is a mobile health clinic that provides access to contraceptives and helps provide free access to information and healthcare for women, particularly unmarried women and women who don’t have the permission of their husbands.

Crown Princess Mary also learned about how mobile health clinics are helping provide information on sexual and reproductive health and rights to young people in the country.

On Tuesday evening, Crown Princess Mary attended an event to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Danish-Indonesian diplomatic relations. She gave a speech and watched a Danish-Indonesian ballet and dined on a menu of Danish and Indonesian cuisine.

On her final morning in Indonesia, Crown Princess Mary visited the Puskesmas Tegalrejo Health Centre to learn more about how general health care is improving in the country and learned more about sexual and reproductive health and rights as a result of the implementation of national health insurance in 2014.

Crown Princess Mary then attended an official lunch at the Sultan Hamengkubuwono X’s palace in Yogyakarta before taking part in one final panel discussion on family planning and how men are involved in the conversation.

The dialogue included religious leaders as “religion plays a key role in promoting family planning programs as well as counselling for expectant parents,” according to the Royal House. The UNFPA is also involved in helping provide assistance and educational opportunities for religious leaders and men to increase their knowledge about family planning practices.

On the UNFPA website, Crown Princess Mary’s accomplishments with the Fund are listed, as she’s been its patron since 2010. The UNFPA notes that her work has seen her become a “very visible and vocal advocate for UNFPA’s mandate and…a respected spokesperson on sexual and reproductive health and rights, notably as they relate to maternal health, youth and humanitarian issues.”

About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.