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Women’s silent killer – rights missing from sexual and reproductive health policies worldwide

Amnesty International recently put out a press release with findings from their own experiences and research that show that the true leading cause of women’s death isn’t the lack of services available to them, but rather the lack of information about what services are available:

“Every year millions of women and girls face almost insurmountable barriers to accessing the most basic health care, in particular when it comes to their sexual and reproductive health. They are consistently denied access to information, contraceptives, emergency obstetrics services, and even remedies for substandard care,” said Mollmann.

“The tragic reality is that many deaths and injuries connected with pregnancy and childbirth can be prevented.”


After looking into the availability and quality of health care access in more than a dozen countries, Amnesty International found that a leading cause of women’s deaths is the lack of information on available health care services.

In Indonesia, for example, women interviewed by the organization said they were not given proper information about their right to access contraceptives.

Lack of information coupled with restricted access to abortion means that many young women are left with no choice but to carry on with an unwanted pregnancy or seek a clandestine abortion, usually in unsafe conditions.

They’ve launched an online petition asking world leaders to prioritize the health and human rights of young people, especially young women and girls, at the International Conference on Population and Development Beyond 2014. To sign the petition visit Amnesty International’s My Body My Rights page and read the language of the petition below.

All over the world, hundreds of social movements, including millions of young people, are demanding justice. Local, national and international activists are speaking out, calling for the meaningful participation of young people, including young women, in all areas of public life; for their full access to information, education and livelihoods; and for fulfilment of their human rights, including sexual and reproductive rights.

We ask for YOUR sustained action and accountability to prioritize the health and human rights of young people, particularly young women and adolescent girls, in the ICPD+20 and post-2015 development agenda and beyond, including:

  • Universal access to quality, comprehensive, integrated sexual and reproductive health services, counselling, and information, with respect for human rights, and with an emphasis on equality, equity and diversity.
  • Comprehensive sexuality education and other programs that empower young people to know their bodies and to exercise their human rights.
  • Young women’s leadership at all levels and in all types of decision-making processes that affect their lives.
  • Respect, promotion and protection for sexual and reproductive rights.

We are the present and the future of our communities, nations and the world. We are counting on you to do the right thing.

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This entry was posted on February 20, 2013 by in Family Planning, Financing, Reproductive Health, Sexual Health and tagged , .
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