Gender, Human Rights, and Reproductive Health
POLICY's Gender and Human Rights Working Groups have collaborated to facilitate linking human rights to key gender issues in reproductive health. As stated by the International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo Programme of Action), human rights are crucial to supporting reproductive health:
Advancing gender equality and equity and the empowerment of women, and the elimination of all kinds of violence against women, and ensuring women's ability to control their own fertility, are cornerstones of population and development-related programmes. The human rights of women and the girl-child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights.1
The requirements of international law2 and the distinct reproductive health problems and outcomes faced by women3 demonstrate the necessity of addressing gender equity in reproductive health programming. Gender equity indicates fairness and justice in the distribution of benefits and responsibilities between women and men.4 Meeting human rights obligations of ending inequalities between men and women, and of promoting the conditions and health care services necessary to meet the different needs of women and men, is essential to ensuring the highest standard of reproductive health for all.
It is important to note that applying human rights to support gender equity has been an evolving practice. [To learn more, click here.]
1International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), Principle 4.