Promoting SRHR

© Olivier Papegnies


The International Conference on Population in Development in Cairo in 1994, followed by the Fourth World Conference on Women which took place in Beijing in 1995, were devoted for the first time to the right of individuals to decide on their health, body and sexuality. Definitions of sexual and reproductive health and sexual and reproductive rights then evolved to move towards a more holistic approach. When sexual and reproductive rights are not respected, sexual and reproductive health is threatened. Respecting these rights, as with all human rights, is a prerequisite for a free life and good health.

In 2018, The Guttmacher-Lancet Commission published a new integrated definition of sexual and reproductive health and rights which MdM also decided to adopt!

Sexual and reproductive health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to all aspects of sexuality and reproduction, not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Therefore, a positive approach to sexuality and reproduction should recognise the part played by pleasurable sexual relationships, trust and communication in promoting self-esteem and overall well-being. All individuals have the right to make decisions governing their bodies and to access services that support that right.