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Exclusion Of Reproductive Rights From Rio+20 Agreement 'Backslide' On Women's Rights, Former Ireland President Robinson Says

“Women’s rights are under the greatest attack for almost 20 years after a failure of world leaders to continue to support reproductive rights, according to Mary Robinson,” former president of Ireland and a member of the Elders group, the Guardian reports in its series “The Politics of Family Planning.” “Robinson joined campaigners criticizing the final agreement reached between 190 countries at the Rio+20 summit,” the news service writes, adding, “The former president accused global leaders of ‘backsliding on fundamental texts’ agreed at two summits subsequently lauded for protecting women and girls: Cairo in 1994 and Beijing in 1995.”

“Women’s rights and youth campaigners were shocked that a coalition of the Holy See, Russia, Syria, Egypt and several of the more conservative states in South America were able to jettison international agreements made in the 1990s by speaking against the inclusion of reproductive rights in the final agreement,” the Guardian notes. “Instead, the only mention of reproductive rights in the 80-page missive was as a ‘health issue,'” the news service writes. “Robinson said this ‘failure of leadership’ could have a devastating effect on some of the world’s poorest and most powerless women,” the Guardian adds (Martinson, 7/5).