Sexual and reproductive health means that everybody has a right to have pleasant and safe sex. It also means, for example, that people must be able to decide for themselves if and when they want to have children. In many countries this isn’t natural.
A few key areas
Family planning can prevent unwanted pregnancies, reduce the number of abortions, and it can produce better obstetric care. Additionally, the use of condoms can protect against both unwanted pregnancy and Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STD).
What’s more, for adolescent girls it can be life saving to have access to modern contraception. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are leading causes of death for girls in the age group 15 – 19. Their babies have also a higher risk of dying than the babies of older women.
Gender equality is a human right; women are entitled to live their lives with dignity, respect and without fear. It can only be achieved when women are empowered and they enjoy the same opportunities, rights and obligations as men. That means financial independence, good education and the ability to realize their ambitions. It’s most important that women have reproductive rights: when a woman can plan her family, she can plan the rest of her life.
Protection against HIV
This continues to be extremely important. That includes access to essential information and services to prevent and treat HIV. Because the majority of HIV-infections are sexually transmitted, it’s paramount to focus on methods of safe sex, for example the use of condoms. In addition to this, adequate attention should be given to ways of preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Making motherhood safer is an important human right. Most maternal deaths and complications related to pregnancy or childbirth are preventable. Especially unsafe abortions can become a tragedy. It’s essential that all women have access to contraception in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies, pregnant women should have skilled care at delivery and women with complications should have timely access to quality emergency obstetric care.