10 March, United Nations, New York A new report launched today reveals that sexual and reproductive health and rights are still nowhere near high enough up on the UN’s list of priorities. The International Planned Parenthood Federation’s (IPPF) “Sexual and reproductive health and rights: a crucial agenda for the post-2015 framework” report, unveiled on the first day of the United Nations Committee on the Status of Women (CSW), argues if Member States and the UN fail to prioritize women and girls, or sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), then the next development framework cannot hope to end poverty. A fundamental flaw in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was the failure to include SRHR from the beginning. Although universal access to reproductive health was added later, there was still a radical decrease in funding for services.
IPPF’s report – set to become an annual fixture in the SRHR calendar – chimes with the priority themes of the UN’s CSW meetings; implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls. The report maps country progress on sexual and reproductive health and rights and details how SRHR is inextricably linked to the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainable development, and provides a compelling case for putting it at the heart of the post-2015 framework. The report includes a “data tracker” that demonstrates progress on a wide range of issues spanning from equality legislation, contraceptive prevalence rates, abortion, female genital mutilation to violence against women and early and forced marriage.