Advancing the sexual and reproductive health and human rights of women beyond 2015

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Obstetrics and Gynaecology (East Africa); Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health


Poor sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is a major impediment to global health and economic development. Many women and girls in resource–poor settings face multiple and unique obstacles to services, including lack of access to health services, fragile health systems, stigma and discrimination in service delivery, weak and poor health system coverage or low-quality services. Inequalities of any sort impact on an individual's realisation of their SRH, but when these inequalities are multiple and intersecting and take on a gender dimension which undermine young girls and women, the barriers can seem insurmountable, further entrenching some in a sense of diminished self-worth. For instance, while national and local laws may stipulate ages of consent for reproductive services, many legal systems recognise ‘mature minors’ on the basis of marital status, pregnancy, parenthood and independent living arrangements.1 A compounded effect of these challenges is often denial of access to SRH services to women and girls. All women should be able to enjoy the same SRH and human rights. The development of safe, acceptable, and affordable technologies that provide more options to women and girls to meet their needs can potentially lead to the achievement of this goal and improve women's and girls' health and wellbeing.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

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