India – A human health project

A human health project
Empowering women to make reproductive choices and opt for quality family planning services can help India not only address the fertility challenge but fulfill the ICPD pledge

Friday, 12 July 2019
Swapna Majumdar

Ever since 1989, July 11 is observed as the World Population Day to draw attention to issues surrounding human population. The urgent need to provide an enabling environment to facilitate women’s autonomy in reproductive decisions was underlined five years later in 1994 at the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Here, for the first time, an international agreement, recognising the right to sexual and reproductive health, was signed by 179 countries, including India.

Twenty five years have passed since the historic ICPD Programme of Action. Although India has taken several measures to provide universal access to reproductive health services, including contraceptives, has it really delivered on its promise to give women the right to choose when, if and how many children to have?