Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is an essential building block to achieving gender equality, but it’s restricted globally.

Families everywhere are trapped in cycles of poverty because they do not have the option to plan when to have children or decide how big they want their family to be. Meanwhile, countries that don’t categorize rape as a crime put the lives of women and girls at risk daily, and the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted access to HIV/AIDS services — leaving some of the most vulnerable populations without care.

Access to full, comprehensive health care that includes sexual and reproductive health can change the course of a person’s life and set them up to reach their full potential.

Here’s everything you need to know about SRHR and why we can’t create a more sustainable and equitable world without ensuring everyone has access.

What Does SRHR Mean?
SRHR encompasses the different human rights related to sexuality and reproduction, such as sexual health, sexual rights, reproductive health, and reproductive rights. Everyone, including children and adolescents, is entitled to SRHR. It’s an essential part of universal health coverage, which doesn’t just include the absence of disease or dysfunction, but also ensures physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being.

3 Key Facts About SRHR

  • Some 4.3 billion people of reproductive age will lack at least one essential sexual or reproductive health service throughout their reproductive life.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, where the majority of the world’s poor live, two-thirds of illnesses that women of reproductive age experience are caused by sexual and reproductive health problems.
  • In developing countries, more than 200 million women want to avoid pregnancy but don’t have access to modern contraception.

Read the full article about sexual and reproductive health rights by Leah Rodriguez at Global Citizen.