April 28, 2022
Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are critical to people’s health and well-being, as well as economic development and global prosperity. Governments have committed to investment in SRHR through international accords. However, progress has been impeded by a lack of political will, insufficient resources, continued discrimination against women and girls, and a refusal to address sexuality issues openly and thoroughly. Underprivileged women, especially from developing countries are affected by unintended pregnancies which lead to maternal death and disability, sexually transmitted infections including HIV, gender-based violence and other problems related to reproductive system and sexual behaviour. The inclusion of SRHR in SDGs and its enshrinement in international policy instruments obligates countries to ensure its fulfilment and mandate the recognition of sexual and reproductive health within the framework of human rights.
India, being signatory to the declaration on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and home to one-sixth of all humanity is obligated to ensure implementation of policies and laws that look after the sexual and reproductive health rights. The national laws and policies relevant to SRHR in India leave much scope for action in this direction and exhibit huge gaps. There have been extreme violations of autonomy and sexual and reproductive rights especially of women belonging to marginalised communities.