Sexual/reproductive rights & health

Executive Summary

This briefing paper is intended to provide guidance on how to incorporate the principles of substantive equality into the Post-2015 Agenda. Specifically, when considering reproductive rights and gender equality in these programs, states should take the following steps:
Ensure that human rights guide and are present in all goals, targets, and indicators.
Ensure that the core principles of human rights—including the need for states to respect, protect, and fulfill rights, ensure equality for all, and promote accountability for rights violations—are mainstreamed throughout the new framework.
Use the principle of substantive equality to address underlying causes of gender inequality and other bases for discrimination such as race, disability, migration status, age and others that manifest as reproductive rights violations.
Use the framework provided by international human rights law concerning the right to health (Accessibility, Availability, Acceptability, Quality (AAAQs)) to guide implementation of all goals, targets, and indicators on health.
Ensure that women are able to meaningfully access effective administrative or judicial remedies for violations of reproductive rights, including access to information and comprehensive services, and that states promptly implement these decisions.

Betrothal of girls is pervasive in Afghanistan.  According to the Ministry of Public Healths Mortality Survey that was conducted in all provinces of the country in 2010, 53 percent of all women in the 25 to 49 age group were married by age 18, and 21 percent were married by age 15[2][2].  A report on Child Marriage in Southern Asia conducted by the International Center for Research on Women, Australian Aid and UNFPA states that 57 percent of Afghan girls are married before they turn 16 and 60 to 80 percent of them were forced into such unions by their families[3][3].  

The following submission, is presented to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the occasion of the 26th session of the Human Rights Council, and provides a brief summary of violations of rights of girl children in the Islamic republic of Iran as a result of laws that permit and indeed condone the practice of early marriage in that country.

Shereen El-Feki*

As my Egyptian grandmother used to say: “I am not a prostitute, and my husband isn’t giving me money, so where am I supposed to find the cash?”

With only a quarter of women across the Arab world, on average, in the workforce,[1] this question is a lived reality for millions today.

For the half-dozen or so women sitting with me in a café in downtown Casablanca, the answer to that question was clear. Starting at 50-plus dirhams (6 USD) and up per client—and with the prospect of servicing several clients a day—prostitution provides much-needed income to women who are having a hard time to make ends meet by other means.

Recently, women in three Kilinochchi villages were subjected to coercive population control.

This incident occurred on August 31, 2013 – at the Veravil government divisional hospital in Kilinochchi.  The affected women reside in Valaipaddu, Veravil and Keranchi; all three are coastal villages.

Ibrahim Kanuma winces as he recalls the moment a 63-year-old man asked him for his teenage daughter's hand in marriage. The proposal was not unusual in north-western Nigeria's remote, dust-blown state of Zamfara, but he considered the suitor too old for his only daughter, Zainab, 13.

A plan to make female high school students undergo mandatory virginity tests has been met with outrage from activists, who argue that it discriminates against women and violates their human rights.

NAIROBI, 30 November 2012 (PlusNews) - In August 2012, the African Gender and Media Initiative, a Kenyan NGO, released a report documenting cases of forced and coerced sterilizations of HIV-positive women, carried out by both private and government-run health facilities.

FREETOWN, 27 November 2012 (IRIN) - The new government is responding positively to health workers and youth groups who have long called for a change in the 1861 law banning abortion except in exceptional circumstances.

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