Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Child marriage is still widespread, even and especially in Malaysia, where 30% of women aged 15-19 are married. If present patterns continue, in the next decade around 100 million girls will be married as children.

Same-sex relationships between consenting adults are still illegal in 72 countries globally.

The UN estimates that a vast majority of adolescents and young people still do not have access to the comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services and education that they need to live a healthy life.

Every day in 2017, approximately 810 women died from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)

is a comprehensive umbrella term relating to sexual health, sexual rights, reproductive health, and reproductive rights. It includes issues such as access to safe, legal, and affordable abortion services, contraceptive services, gender-based violence, stigma, family planning and many more.

Universal access to SRHR was brought into the mainstream in 1994 at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, Egypt. The 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, hailed as groundbreaking for elevating issues such as violence against women and child marriage (that previously were deemed private and domestic concerns, or as cultural and traditional domain) into the public policy arena and recognising sexual rights and the rights of the girl-child as human rights.

SRHR access for young people 

Reproductive rights

need to be more widely acknowledged as human rights. Protecting and improving women’s health and reproduction has lasting repercussions in economic affairs, global health, overall improvement in the quality of life for women and girls and greater national development. Adolescent girls and young women face significant barriers in accessing comprehensive sexuality education, health services and protecting their own health. Women should be free to make reproductive health choices such as deciding whether or not to be pregnant and have a baby, use birth control, have safe sex or an abortion.

When women’s and girls’ SRHR are respected, protected, and honored, it goes a long way in ensuring than they can:

Live free from sexual violence

Choose if and when to have sexual relationships and with whom

Choose if and when they marry and who they marry
Have greater economic participation
Choose if, when, and under what circumstances they have children
Attend school and choose for their children to attend school
Engage in political processes and public life

What are Sexual + Reproductive Rights?

  • ^The right to equality and non-discrimination
  • ^The right to participation for all persons, regardless of sex, sexuality or gender
  • ^The right to autonomy and bodily integrity
  • ^The right to privacy
  • ^The right to information
  • ^Access to safe and legal abortion
  • ^Access to birth control
  • ^Freedom from forced sterilization and contraception
  • ^Access to quality reproductive healthcare
  • ^The right to menstrual health
  • ^The right to education and access to make informed reproductive choices
  • ^The right to protection from gender based violence

Find out more about maternal mortality.

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