Seventy years ago, with the founding of the United Nations, all nations reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, and in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small.
For most of human history, reproductive rights essentially meant men and women accepting the number, timing and spacing of their children, as well as possible childlessness. All this changed radically in the second half of the 20th century with the introduction of new medical technologies aimed at both preventing and assisting human reproduction.
The U.N.'s post-2015 development agenda has been described as the most far-reaching and comprehensive development-related endeavour ever undertaken by the world body.
As the United Nations continues negotiations on a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for its post-2015 development agenda, population experts are hoping reproductive health will be given significant recognition in the final line-up of the goals later this year.
As with many conflicts and other humanitarian emergencies around the world, those who suffer the most are women, young girls and children. The current terrible crisis in South Sudan is no exception.
As the U.N. focuses on refining its Post-2015 Development Agenda, divisions surrounding issues of population and development continue to plague consensus on a universal way forward.
Liberian journalist Mae Azango says she spent a year living “like a bat, going from tree to tree” with her daughter in order to escape religious fanatics who were threatening to kill her for exposing the practice of female genital mutilation in her home country last year.
Since the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the United Nations has consistently maintained that family planning is a basic human right to be exercised by all - not just the wealthy and otherwise privileged.
The Uruguayan Congress passed a law Wednesday decriminalising abortion, making it one of the few countries in the region where abortion is allowed in cases other than rape, incest, malformation of the fetus or danger to the mother’s life. But activists who backed the bill are not pleased with modifications introduced in the final version.
When Philippines President Benigno Aquino III delivered his annual state of the union address in July, he appealed to the country’s lawmakers to break a deadlock on progressive birth control laws in this predominantly Catholic nation.
From a wooden, weather-beaten building on the edge of this border town, Mahn Mahn charts dangerous missions deep Myanmar (also Burma) for the 2,000-odd health workers under his wing.
Sri Lanka has long enjoyed a low 0.1 percent HIV prevalence but, as the number of fresh infections rises steadily, experts are calling for a change in the country's archaic laws that make sex work illegal and criminalises homosexual activity.
Conservative attitudes toward women die hard in Vietnam, as seen in the country’s worsening sex ratio at birth (SRB). Yet, social mores have relaxed sufficiently for women to tune in to late night TV talk shows to learn about the acceptability of one-night stands.
“No scalpel, no stitch and no rest needed,” guarantees Dr. Ghulam Shabbir Sudhayao, referring to the surgical procedure called vasectomy - the least popular method of birth control around the world, including Pakistan.
Almost unnoticed, Nepal’s burgeoning adult entertainment industry has been drawing young girls away from being trafficked across the border to the fleshpots of India’s big cities.