Sexual, Reproductive Health Rights Must Be Recognized In Post-2015 Development Framework

“[T]here’s a truth that needs to be spoken as discussions over the next generation of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) — the so-called post-2015 framework — have gotten underway this week,” Tewodros Melesse, director general of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, writes in a CNN opinion piece. “Sexual and reproductive health and rights were initially missing from the MDG framework, and that meant that amid all the goodwill and the good intentions money was wasted because a fundamental building brick of development was missing,” he states. Noting “the target of universal access to reproductive health by 2015” was added to the MDGs in 2007, he adds, “The Millennium Development Goals relating to reproductive health — including access to contraceptives and adolescent fertility rates — [have] made the least progress.”

“As long as women experience discrimination, inequality and violence, their human rights will not be realized and they will be prevented from participating meaningfully in the life of their communities and countries,” Melesse states, adding, “Development objectives cannot, and will not, be met if we continue at this pace.” He writes, “Unless the link between sexual and reproductive health and rights, social inequalities and gender inequality is recognized, the new framework will not tackle the root causes of poverty and we will not live in a world truly free from it,” concluding, “So we challenge [U.N.] member states to do their bit — by standing up and demanding they take action to capitalize on this momentum as we renew the commitment to secure a world of justice, choice and well-being for all” (9/24).

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