Reproductive and Sexual Rights

Reproductive Rights to Take Centre Stage at U.N. Special Session

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.

OP-ED: Violence Leaves Women, Girls, and Young People on the Edge in South Sudan

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. 

Divisions over Gender Complicate Development Agenda

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.

Sex Educators Struggle to Break Taboos

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.

Family Planning Falters Despite Treaty Commitments

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.

Women’s Groups Say Uruguay’s New Abortion Law Falls Short

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.

Nearer the Church, Farther From MDGs

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.

Death Stalks Pregnant Women in East Myanmar

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.

Archaic Laws Stymie HIV/AIDS Work in Sri Lanka

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. 

Vietnamese Girls Grapple With Changing Sexual Climate

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.

Birth Control – Roping in Pakistan’s Men

“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.

Growing ‘Entertainment’ Industry Traps Nepali Girls

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.

War Widows Turn to Sex Work in Sri Lanka

On May 18, some 800 women in Sri Lanka’s northern region will hold Hindu religious ceremonies for the welfare of thier husbands who disappeared or surrendered to the military as it moved in to mop up nearly three decades of armed Tamil separatism.

Badi sex workers await rehabilitation. Credit: Naresh Newar/IPS

Caste Blocks Revamp of Nepal’s Sex Workers

Social activists say that attempts to rehabilitate sex workers in this former monarchy call for special efforts to uplift the Badi, a Hindu caste that has for centuries been associated with entertainment and prostitution.

U.S. Lifestyle Is Not Up for Negotiation

Just before the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, some of the industrial nations, and specifically the United States, were lambasted for their obscenely high consumption of the world's finite resources, including food, water and energy.

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