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s.Three Contemporary Applications, 14 Equity in Health: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights »

Terry McGovern, Aziza Ahmed
From: Foundations of Global Health & Human Rights
Edited By: Lawrence O. Gostin, Benjamin Mason Meier
This chapter examines the evolution of international human rights standards for health equity, focusing on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). A rich history of women’s rights advocacy informs the international commitments that define SRHR. Over time, sexual and reproductive health rights have been incorporated into development agendas, clarified by treaty bodies, expanded to include sexual minorities, and implemented (or not) at the national level. With the progressive trajectory of SRHR increasingly uncertain, there are continuing challenges to the realization of SRHR, including the continuing criminalization of those who seek out sexual and reproductive health services, the rise of right-wing populism in direct opposition to feminist advancements, and the pushback against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights. Given rising opposition to sexual rights, safe abortion, and sexuality education, creative stealth advocacy will be required to advance SRHR.

IV International Legal Efforts to Address Rising Health Threats, 17 Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: Advancing Human Rights to Protect Bodily Autonomy and Sexuality »

Aziza Ahmed, Terry McGovern
From: Global Health Law & Policy: Ensuring Justice for a Healthier World
Edited By: Lawrence O. Gostin, Benjamin Mason Meier
This chapter, “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights,” provides an overview of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) as they emerged from the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and drove the creation of key international agreements under the 1994 Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo and the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women. This evolution of international law to safeguard human rights has led to a paradigm shift in sexual and reproductive health—from a focus on population control, through maternal health, and onto reproductive health with greater respect for bodily autonomy and sexual rights. SRHR has now become formalized in human rights treaties and international agreements, institutionalized in the agendas of international organizations, and implemented in global governance to ensure sexual and reproductive health. Yet despite the progressive development of SRHR in global health law and policy, the SRHR agenda has faced recent obstacles from the rise of right-wing populism, leading to new opposition to feminist advancements and pushback against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights.