Adopting Inclusive Approach, Finding Common Ground Could Help Advance Sexual Reproductive Health, Rights, Achieve SDGs

The Lancet: Sexual and reproductive health and rights and population policies: from “either/or” to “both/and”
Carmen Barroso, member of the WHO Gender and Rights Technical Advisory Group, and Steven W. Sinding, director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation from 2002-2006

“…We identify population growth and sustainable development, people and the planet, and reproductive and sexual rights as the three most important issues facing the field today and propose responses. These three issues once seemed irreconcilable, but the application of comprehensive analysis and on-the-ground experience to ‘either/or’ dilemmas of global development have led, and can continue to lead, to the discovery of ‘both/and’ solutions. Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) remain at best a second-tier priority in the U.N. 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We believe that the adoption of ‘both/and’ approaches will enhance the health and dignity of individuals and help to achieve most of the SDGs. … Lessons can be learnt from the past about how human rights, women’s rights, reproductive rights, and sexual rights evolved from somewhat separate issues into a powerful common agenda. … [T]he past successes in resolving differences and finding common ground offer important lessons for new and emerging leaders, if we are to make real progress in SRHR and achieving the SDGs. To overcome conservative resistance to SRHR, alliances with advocates of other SDGs need to be built. We believe that the lessons learned from these three central debates during the 20th century have laid the basis for what should be broad agreement in the 21st century on how to implement the global consensus of Agenda 2030” (7/20).

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