reclaiming & redefining rights – reproductive autonomy and rights in asia


Sex and reproduction are contentious issues: the divide between those who advocate for granting greater individual autonomy and those who argue for greater social control is evident at all political levels. To confer rights connected to the issues of sex and reproduction, UN conventions and conferences, such as the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD PoA, also known as the Cairo conference), the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) endorsed the concepts of reproductive health, reproductive rights1 and sexual health.2 However, the language of ‘sexual rights’ has not yet gained international acceptance.

Monitoring government commitment to international conferences and international covenants is a key activity of non-governmental organisations in holding governments accountable. This is especially crucial in the field of women’s rights and women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

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Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women