Recent posts about human rights and sexuality on our blog Akimbo

Human Rights and Sexuality Print E-mail

The Context: Sexuality, human rights, and gender equality

The Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing) Platform for Action put forward the groundbreaking concept that the right of women to control their sexuality—the basis for sexual rights—is an indivisible part of their human rights, and that without it, women cannot fully realize their other human rights. This notion has been reaffirmed at several subsequent international meetings, but in practice, few countries' laws and policies provide women with effective protection against coercion, discrimination, and violence, and fundamentalist states and movements all over the world consistently target women's sexual and reproductive autonomy. 

Our Commitment: Putting sexual rights on the global agenda

In order to address urgent health concerns such as the HIV/AIDS pandemic, persistently high rates of maternal mortality, and violence against girls and women, governments and nongovernmental organizations must continue to advance, protect, and promote women's and young people's sexual rights. Advocates worldwide must expand and clarify affirmative understandings of sexual rights—for example, the right to health—while continuing to focus attention on rights violations. Despite progress made in the last decade, the concept of sexual rights remains widely misunderstood. Click here to read more about what the term really means.

Our Partners: Making sexual rights a reality

We are supporting a number of groups that are using diverse strategies and approaches to raise awareness of sexual rights violations in their countries and regions. They are also contributing to community, national, regional, and global understandings of the connection between sexuality and human rights. For example:

  • In Nigeria, we are supporting INCRESE, based in Niger state, where Sharia'h Islamic law threatens women's human rights and limits public discussion of sexuality. INCRESE advocates for the sexual health and rights of society's most disenfranchised groups—including youth, sexual minorities, survivors of sexual violence, commercial sex workers, and widowed women living with HIV/AIDS—through education programs in its outreach center and advocacy throughout the community. Read more about INCRESE and our partners in Nigeria>>
  • In Asia, we are supporting Turkey-based WWHR-New Ways as the secretariat of the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR), a network of more than 60 organizations and individuals from the Middle East, North Africa, and South and Southeast Asia, including IWHC partners Aahung and CREA. Read more about CSBR and our partners in Asia>>
  • In Latin America, we are supporting CLADEM, a network of individuals and institutions in Latin America committed to the common cause of protecting and advancing women's sexual and reproductive rights. Founded in 1987, CLADEM now has offices in 17 countries, has initiated several successful campaigns, and has conducted groundbreaking research on women's health needs and human rights at the country and regional levels. Read more about CLADEM and our partners in Latin America>>
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International Women's Health Coalition
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