Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)
What is sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)?
At The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, we adhere to the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission’s definition of SRHR. This means that we define SRHR as a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social wellbeing in relation to all aspects of sexuality and reproduction, not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction, or infirmity. We also believe that achieving sexual and reproductive health rests on realising sexual and reproductive rights, such as the right to control one’s own body, define one’s sexuality, choose one’s partner, and receive confidential, respectful, and high-quality services.
In practice this means that we support initiatives that contributes to:
- The right to reproductive health, including maternal health, and gynaecological health.
- The right to safe and legal abortions.
- The right to enjoy consensual, safe sex free from force or violence.
- The right to modern contraceptives and comprehensive sexual education.
- The right to decide over one’s own body and sexuality, regardless of sexual preferences, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC), without fear of discrimination, persecution, or violence.
Why is SRHR important?
When young women lack access to comprehensive sexual education, modern contraceptives, and safe abortions they are not able to decide freely if or when and with what spacing they want to have children. In many places in the world girls and young women are locked into poverty for the rest of their lives when they are for example forced to drop out of school due to unwanted pregnancies or child/early/forced marriages and/or unions. This is one example as to why access to SRHR is essential for women’s economic independence, self-determination, and ability to part-take and contribute in all parts of society.
In conflict-affected areas sexual violence against women and girls often intensifies. This could include both conflict related sexual and gender-based violence committed by soldiers and militias, but also other forms of SGBV, such as an increase in child marriages and different forms of sexual exploitation. At the same time health care, including reproductive health care/maternity care, contraceptives and family planning becomes more difficult to reach. Lack of SRHR is therefore seen as one of the biggest threats against women and girls in conflict-affected areas and displacement.