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Reproductive rights

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Reproductive rights

  1. 1. Reproductive Rights Dr. Haghighatjoo 2010
  2. 2. Women’s Health & UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) <ul><li>Promoting gender equality & empowering women
  3. 3. Reducing child mortality
  4. 4. Improving maternal health
  5. 5. Combating HIV/AIDS </li></ul>
  6. 6. Key questions : reproductive health <ul><li>Can a woman control when & with whom she has sexual relations?
  7. 7. Can she have sexual relations without fearing infection or unwanted pregnancy?
  8. 8. Can she choose whether or not to have children?
  9. 9. Can she go through pregnancy & childbirth safely?
  10. 10. Can she obtain safe contraceptives?
  11. 11. Can she access information on reproductive health? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Definitions: <ul><li>Health:
  13. 13. State of “complete physical, mental & social well-being”; not just the “absence of disease or infirmity” (World Health Organization)
  14. 14. Reproduction:
  15. 15. process of generating offspring
  16. 16. Family planning:
  17. 17. program to regulate number, timing, and spacing of children in family through contraception or other birth control methods </li><ul><li>Services may include providing: education, information, contraceptives, abortions, fistula repair, maternal & infant health care, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Challenges for Women <ul><li>Reproductive freedom is critical to women's equality
  19. 19. Reproductive health problems remain the leading cause of ill health & death for women of child-bearing age (ages 15-49) (UNFPA)
  20. 20. Poor women suffer disproportionately from: </li><ul><li>Unintended pregnancies
  21. 21. Maternal death & disabilities
  22. 22. (see example of fistulas in West Africa, H&J)
  23. 23. Sexually transmitted infections (HIV & more)
  24. 24. Gender-based violence </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Family Planning as Human Rights <ul><li>1968 UN Human Rights Conference
  26. 26. It was acknowledged that family planning is a human right
  27. 27. Couples should be able to freely decide how many children they want and the spacing of those children </li></ul>
  28. 28. Health & Women’s Agency “… Good health is essential to leading a productive and fulfilling life, and the right of all women to control all aspects of their health, in particular their own fertility, is basic to empowerment.” <ul><ul><li>Beijing Platform for Action (1995), Paragraph 92 </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Foundations in Human Rights & Development Under CEDAW women are accorded basic rights related to health: <ul><li>Access to education & information on health & family planning
  30. 30. Not be discriminated against in the field of health care </li></ul>
  31. 31. Transnational Feminist Issue <ul><li>Women’s reproductive rights are a critical transnational feminist issue
  32. 32. Because of the intimate relationship between women’s reproductive choice and their status, power, and health </li></ul>
  33. 33. Symptoms of Women’s Unequal Rights <ul><li>Lack of freedom to control the timing and number of their children
  34. 34. To make informed decisions regarding their reproductive health </li></ul>
  35. 35. Maternal Mortality <ul><li>Refers to the death of a woman while pregnant or within forty-two days of termination of pregnancy from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management </li></ul>
  36. 36. Causes of Maternal Deaths <ul><li>Hemorrhage
  37. 37. Sepsis (systemic infection)
  38. 38. Unsafe abortion
  39. 39. Obstructed labor
  40. 40. Toxemia (hypertensive disease brought on by pregnancy)
  41. 41. Diseases </li></ul>
  42. 42. Death Prevention <ul><li>Demographers estimate that about ¼ of maternal death could be avoided if women’s needs for family planning were met
  43. 43. Deaths & disabilities due to pregnancy are preventable with greater access to contraceptives, prenatal care, & birth assisted by medical personnel.
  44. 44. The more pregnancies a woman has, the more frequently she is subjected to risks associated with pregnancy; risk are increased by having children in close succession and by having children when one is under 16 or over 35 </li></ul>
  45. 45. Important Links <ul><li>http:// www.unfpa.org / </li></ul>
  46. 46. Reproductive Choice <ul><li>Reproductive choice involves offering women a broad range of birth control methods.
  47. 47. Husbands, government and the global economy and international politics are players in women’s reproductive choice in term of women’s access to contraceptives </li></ul>
  48. 48. Contraceptives <ul><li>Reliable and safe contraceptives are key to women’s health.
  49. 49. Some contraceptives have potentially serious side effects and without medical monitoring can endanger women’s health.
  50. 50. Norplant- a hormonal contraceptive
  51. 51. IUD </li></ul>
  52. 52. Media Files http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJ0l9yDgN-8 http://www.pamf.org/teen/sex/birthcontrol/ring.html
  53. 53. Some Websites Discussing FGM <ul><li>www.freewebs.com/fgmsociety/pictures.htm
  54. 54. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/
  55. 55. http://www.fgmnetwork.org/index.php
  56. 56. http://members.tripod.com/~Wolvesdreams/FGM.html </li></ul>
  57. 57. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) <ul><li>Female genital cutting
  58. 58. Refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for cultural or other non-medical reasons
  59. 59. The most typical age is between 7 and 10 years
  60. 60. 130 million girls & women have undergone FGM </li></ul>
  61. 61. Health Consequences of FGM <ul><li>Short-term medical consequences: </li><ul><li>Pain, severe bleeding & infection, some deaths </li></ul><li>The long-term consequences: </li><ul><li>Difficulty urinating, menstruating, having sex, & giving birth
  62. 62. Prolonged labor
  63. 63. Inadequate drainage is responsible for tears (fistulae) in the tissue separating the vagina from the urinary tract and the bowel </li></ul></ul>
  64. 64. Rationales for FGM <ul><li>It is not intended to harm girls and women
  65. 65. It is intended: </li><ul><li>To control female sexuality by preserving virginity before marriage and fidelity after marriage
  66. 66. Female external genitalia are dirty or ugly and that the practice is hygienic and beautifies a woman
  67. 67. An important rite of passage and initiation into womanhood </li></ul></ul>
  68. 68. Clitoridectomy as Therapy <ul><li>Clitoridectomy was practiced in Western Europe and the USA in 1950s to treat ailments in women as diverse as hysteria, epilepsy, mental disorders, masturbation, nymphomania, melancholia, and lesbianism </li></ul>
  69. 69. Efforts to Eradicate FGM <ul><li>The UN condemns the practice and has tried to reduce it
  70. 70. Incompatible with numerous international covenant such as CEDAW
  71. 71. 20 countries have passed laws against FGM and a few people have been prosecuted
  72. 72. Educational programs </li></ul>
  73. 73. Agents Controlling Women’s Reproductive Choices <ul><li>Male partners
  74. 74. Government: population control
  75. 75. Corporations: profit
  76. 76. Religious organizations: women socialized through religion, cultural taboos and other mechanisms to accept sexual subordination even sexual oppression. </li></ul>
  77. 77. Male control of women’s reproductive choice <ul><li>In parts of Asia and Africa women’s bodies are viewed as the property of their husbands, so they make decision of the number and spacing of the children
  78. 78. Wrong attitudes: </li><ul><li>Use of contraception will lead to her promiscuity
  79. 79. Women’s enjoying sexual relations & prevention pregnancy= against sexual morality
  80. 80. Having many children is a sign of male virility
  81. 81. Manliness: Demonstrate sexual prowess by having multiple sexual partners
  82. 82. Sex with a virgin can cleans a man of infection </li></ul><li>Male control increased women’s risk for AIDS because of extramarital sexual relations
  83. 83. Women are often unable to negotiate the use of a condom or discuss fidelity with their partner without threat of violence </li></ul>
  84. 84. Reproductive Information <ul><li>Reproductive freedom is enhanced by information.
  85. 85. A woman's premarital virginity is associated with the assumption that knowledge of sex indicates that she is a bad woman; so, women often lack knowledge about their bodies and how HIV is transmitted or prevented. </li></ul>
  86. 86. Government Control of Women’s Reproductive Choice <ul><li>Through : </li><ul><li>bans against some forms of contraception & abortion
  87. 87. Government family planning services that provide limited birth control options
  88. 88. Legislative: Making sterilization illegal. </li><ul><li>Poland & Japan’s government banned hormonal contraceptives </li></ul></ul><li>Politics & political administration changes affect the reproductive choices available to women- ex. Mifepristone
  89. 89. The policies of a country may affect the reproductive choices of women in the other countries- GGR </li><ul><li>The Bush administration withheld $34 million pledged to the UNFPA for family planning programs, claiming that supporting coercive sterilization </li></ul></ul>
  90. 90. Global Gag Rule & U.S. Social Politics Abroad <ul><li>Reagan instated Mexico City Policy (1984) & Clinton reversed in 1990s
  91. 91. 2001: G.W. Bush reinstated the Mexico City Policy also known as the “Global Gag Rule”
  92. 92. Bars U.S. family planning assistance to foreign NGOs, who w/ own funds support abortion-related activities in own country
  93. 93. USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) largest donor for all contraceptive supplies
  94. 94. Impacts? </li></ul>
  95. 95. questions <ul><li>Should a government control reproductive policies?
  96. 96. Governments often control women’s reproduction in the name of social needs or national interests
  97. 97. Governments & population control? Pronatalist & antinatalist / birth rate </li></ul>
  98. 98. The Global Economy <ul><li>Pharmaceutical companies play a large role in the reproductive technologies available to women
  99. 99. They are motivated primarily by profit, not by concerns about women’s reproductive choice or health
  100. 100. Research & development costs down
  101. 101. Emphasize benefits and downplay side effects and risks
  102. 102. ex. Depo-Provera – presented incomplete information
  103. 103. Aggressively market contraceptives to government-run population control programs with the goal of monetary profit </li></ul>
  104. 104. Religious Organizations <ul><li>Religious fundamentalism is associated with the curtailing of women’s reproductive rights
  105. 105. Favor traditional roles for women
  106. 106. Catholic Church is officially opposed to use of contraception: </li><ul><li>Chile, the Philippines
  107. 107. Catholic hospitals in USA will not perform sterilizations, abortions or emergency contraception even for rape </li></ul><li>Explanation : the will of individuals against God’s will </li></ul>
  108. 108. Abortion <ul><li>Approximately 50% of pregnancies are unintended, many due to poor availability and knowledge of contraception
  109. 109. Half of unintended pregnancies end in abortion (52 million annually)
  110. 110. Restricting legal abortion does not reduce the incidence of abortion
  111. 111. Legality does influence the safety of abortion and reduce mortality rates </li></ul>
  112. 112. Abortion & Legality or Illegality? <ul><li>Illegal before the second half of the twentieth century
  113. 113. Abortion is forbidden </li><ul><li>under any circumstances </li><ul><li>In 35 countries </li></ul></ul><li>Abortion is permitted under special circumstances: </li><ul><li>to save the women’s life and to preserve her physical health </li><ul><li>Iran, Egypt, Ireland </li></ul><li>rape or incest: </li><ul><li>Thailand, Ghana </li></ul><li>Fetal impairment </li><ul><li>panama, Liberia, Israel </li></ul><li>social or economic hardship </li><ul><li>Zambia, India </li></ul></ul></ul>
  114. 114. Reasons for Liberalization of Abortion Laws <ul><li>Illegality and restriction of abortion is human rights violations
  115. 115. The laws threaten women’s rights to autonomy in reproductive decision making since women are forced to carry unwanted pregnancies
  116. 116. Threaten women’s right to physical and mental health
  117. 117. Constitute a form of discrimination against women since they criminalize a procedure only women need </li></ul>
  118. 118. Reasons for Liberalization of Abortion Laws (continued) <ul><li>Women’s activists do not view abortion as a form of contraception
  119. 119. They would prefer a dramatic reduction in the number of unwanted pregnancies
  120. 120. They favor of increasing the availability of contraceptives and reproductive health education
  121. 121. Higher abortion rates are most strongly tied to lack of contraceptive information and availability </li></ul>

Hinweis der Redaktion

  • http://www.unfpa.org/gender/resources1.htm