Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss Omission Of Sexual, Reproductive Health Language From U.N. Security Council Resolution

The Lancet: The erosion of women’s sexual and reproductive rights
Editorial Board

“…[T]he news last week that a U.N. Security Council resolution had been adopted to reaffirm member states’ commitment to combating sexual violence is to be welcomed. … The bigger news — that the USA threatened to veto the resolution if it included language on sexual and reproductive health — is extremely alarming. … Autonomy over one’s own body is not just a cornerstone of reproductive rights. The right to choose whether, when, how often, and with whom to get pregnant is foundational to women’s well-being, education, status, and participation in society, and it in turn is crucial to the health of families and communities. A massive outcry about last week’s U.N. Security Council resolution debacle is certainly warranted. But a better outcome would be for advocates globally to redouble their efforts and form alliances. They must prepare and organize to produce a stronger, more visible, and unified approach against the conservatism that is slowly eroding women’s rights” (5/4).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: OPINION: A resolution without resolve — U.N. Security Council fails to protect women and girls in conflict
Mazeda Hossain, co-director of the UKRI GCRF Gender, Justice, and Security Hub and assistant professor; Natasha Howard, director of the Security, Conflict, and Health Research program and assistant professor; and Neha Singh, deputy director of the Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre and assistant professor, all at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

“…[T]he adopted resolution omitted words that many of us working with survivors of sexual violence during humanitarian emergencies understand as crucial — ‘reproductive and sexual health’ rights and services. … For survivors of sexual violence in conflict, reproductive and sexual health care is essential. … By omitting these four words and thus refusing to explicitly express support for access to sexual and reproductive health care services in conflict, the international community is failing to ensure the right to health care and dignity for millions of innocent victims. …Considering earlier commitments to sexual and reproductive health by the U.N. Security Council, it is unacceptable that Resolution 2467 was approved without reference to sexual and reproductive health. Its adoption suggests that all member states who approved it are not committed to the provision of essential sexual and reproductive health care for survivors of sexual violence in conflict-affected settings. … Omission of these four words represents a major ethical and human rights setback, and ultimately threatens the well-being, rights, and dignity of women and girls around the world” (5/1).

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