Sexual and Reproductive Rights as a Key Dimension of Women’s Health

Samikshya Mohanty and Poulomi Barik
KIIT Law School, India

Volume II – Issue I, 2020

On a global scale, women’s reproductive and sexual health rights have been denied, ignored, and violated. The protection and promotion of reproductive and sexual health (RSH) has evolved over time as individuals and organisations have found the urgent need and courage to voice their anger, fear, and demands for change. The forum that has, in many ways, been open to these voices is the International Human Rights (IHR) system.

In the 25 years since the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), human rights legal standards have developed significantly, and those involved in sexual and reproductive health (SRH) programming have largely come to see the importance of rights to achieve their goals. Many national legal systems have made clear commitments and increased implementation in relevant areas, such as maternal health, abortion, sexuality education, sexual health, contraception, reproductive morbidities, gender-based violence, and with specific attention to the needs and rights of marginalised populations

The key recommendations are to the provision of sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services; build awareness, acceptance, and support for youth-friendly SRH education and services; address gender inequality in terms of beliefs, attitudes, and norms; and target the early adolescent period (10–14 years). The many knowledge gaps, however, point to the pressing need for further research on how to best design effective adolescent SRH intervention packages and how best to deliver them.

Keywords- Adolescents, Sexual health , Reproductive health, ICPD, Sexuality education, Youth participation, human rights, gender discrimination, equality


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