ARROW and Partners Oral Statement to the 63rd CSW

March 19, 2019 IMG_0118

Thank you Chair,


It is an honor to make the statement on behalf of the Asian Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women, Asian Pacific Women’s Watch along with undersigned 47 national and grassroots organisations from the global south.


A fundamental component of maintaining gender inequality is the control over and undermining of women’s sexual and reproductive rights. If every woman does not have the right and autonomy to make decisions regarding her body and sexuality, she is unable to decide on the course of her life, her potential remains underutilised, she is pushed further into poverty, and she is at risk of a host of health implications such as unwanted pregnancies, poor health outcomes over the lifecycle, and increased negative impact on overall wellbeing. Therefore, the full realisation of sexual and reproductive rights is the key to achieving gender equality and empowerment.


The Asia Pacific region faces the highest rate of maternal mortality after Sub-Saharan Africa due to high fertility rates as a result of the unmet need of contraception; unsafe abortion; and inaccessible and unaffordable health services. At least 60 percent of people in the Asia-Pacific have no effective social protection. The social protection programmes, public service and infrastructure in the region have not taken into consideration gender perspectives and sexual and reproductive health and rights issues. Inequities in access to SRH services and supplies persist, especially among poor women and young people living in remote or rural areas. The quality of SRH services often fails to meet minimal public health and medical ethics standards due to multiple weaknesses in the health system.


We therefore call on the states to

  • Uphold their commitments to fully implement the sustainable development goals, underscoring the need for full realisation of Goals 3 and 5 –. We strongly feel that the principles and objectives of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for action in addition to other human rights treaties are critical to attaining the sustainable development goals.
  • Carry out constitutional obligations to adequately resource and provide universal health coverage including universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights that are acceptable, accessible, affordable, and of quality for all women and girls.
  • Ensure that the right to health and public health services remains a state responsibility. The social protection measures cannot function without adequate physical infrastructure at all levels.
  • Ensure that women and girls who experience multiple and intersecting forms of violence, discrimination and harmful traditional practices have access to social protection, public health services and sustainable infrastructure;
  • Ensure a Continuum of Quality Care across a woman’s lifecycle
  • Recognise all women’s and girl’s right to safe abortion as a human right by all parties. Where illegal, decriminalise abortion, and where legal, remove conditionality and restrictions in abortion law in the region and ensure that legal uncertainty and bureaucracy is addressed in instances where legalisation has been achieved.
  • Regulate the private health sector to provide acceptable, affordable, and accessible, quality health services and ensure dignity, respect, privacy and confidentiality.
  • Lastly, improve public investment in health and develop gender responsive social protection systems and health strategies.




  1. Aahung
  2. Aliansi Remaja Independen (Independent Youth Alliance)
  3. Bandhu
  4. Bargad – Organisation for Youth Development
  5. Beyond Beijing Committee (BBC)
  6. Blue Veins
  7. CCIHP
  9. CommonHealth
  10. Dance4Life
  11. FIAN International
  12. Forum for Dignity Initiatives-FDI
  13. Forum Remaja Independent Papua (Independent Youth Forum Papua)
  14. FRHAM
  15. Hivos
  16. Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association (PKBI)
  17. International Council of Women
  18. INTI Muda Indonesia (Indonesian Young Key Population Network)
  19. Jurnal Perempuan
  20. Kajian Gender dan Seksualitas, LP2SP UI (Gender and Sexuality Studies, LP2SP UI)
  21. Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre
  23. LOOM
  25. Naripokkho
  26. Perkumpulan Pamflet Generasi
  27. Pravah
  28. Ranao Women and Children Resource Center Inc. (RWCRC)
  29. Restless Development
  30. RHAC
  31. Rutgers
  32. Rutgers WPF Indonesia
  34. Shirkat Gah
  35. Society for Health Education (SHE) Maldives
  36. Society for International Development (SID)
  37. Soroptimist International
  38. SWARA
  39. Terra Nuova
  40. University of Health Science School of Medicine and Public Health Lao PDR
  41. Visible Impact
  42. Yayasan Kesehatan Perempuan (Women’s Health Foundation)
  43. YIFoS Indonesia
  44. YKP
  45. Youth Advocacy Network (YAN)
  46. YUWA
  47. Yuwalaya