arrow for change – 15 years after cairo: taking stock, moving forward in asia and the pacific


Fifteen years after Cairo, we need to be cognizant of the socio-political paradigms that influence the realisation of the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of all human beings, especially of those who are poor and marginalised.

In the last 15 years, the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD PoA) has been chequered: sidelined by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), hampered by the Global Gag Rule and hindered by hostility to several dimensions of SRHR in many countries. Although the PoA is considered to be a compromised document, in many ways, it is the one existing comprehensive document on SRHR which is internationally agreed upon. More concerning is the fact that many stakeholders are of the opinion that the document itself should not be re-opened and re-negotiated at 2015 simply because the language that will emerge will be more regressive than the present, compromised language. This in itself speaks volumes regarding achievements on our rights to autonomy over our bodies and our sexual and reproductive lives in the past 15 years.

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Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women