ICPD: Four Years Later Recent Trends and Challenges in Meeting ICPD Goals in Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health.

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Report prepared for the Expert Round Table Meeting on Ensuring Reproductive Rights and Implementing Sexual and Reproductive Health Programmes, including Women's Empowerment, Male Involvement and Human Rights - Kampala, Uganda, 22-25 June, 1998

ICPD: Four Years Later

Recent Trends and Challenges in Meeting ICPD Goals in Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. The Programme of Action on Reproductive Rights, Reproductive Health,Women Empowerment including Male Involvement and Human Rights
3. Policies for Sexual and Reproductive Health

  • Overview
  • Regional Perspectives
  • Policy Development Process
  • Financing Policies
  • Changes in Policies of Bi-Lateral and Multi-Lateral Donors

4. Designing Quality RH Services

  • Integrating and Broadening Service Delivery
  • Components of RH Programme Design
  • Training
  • Quality of Care - Implementing Reproductive Rights
  • Management Information Systems
  • Addressing Gender-Based Violence

5. Accessibility

  • IEC Needs and Services
  • Service Provision

6. Creating necessary Conditions for Implementing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

7. Conclusion

ICPD: Four Years Later

Recent Trends and Challenges in Meeting ICPD Goals in Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health

1. Introduction

At the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo in 1994, 184 countries recognized the need to view population issues in a different light. Previously, discussions on population had centered around the degree to which population growth was a cause or a consequence of failures of development, of poverty and its role in environmental deterioration. International discussion often reflected the first view by suggesting demographic targets for limiting the world’s population. In Cairo, however, the international community recognized that links between population and development were multidimensional, emphasized that human and social development was essential to establishing positive correlations between the two, and identified reproductive rights and sexual and reproductive health as the way to contribute to human and social development within the population context. The Programme of Action (POA) of the ICPD, focuses on the sexual and reproductive health needs of the most vulnerable members of society and of those who enjoy the least autonomy to protect their rights, including the poor, women and adolescents.

The ICPD POA defines reproductive health as a human right. Women have the right to access sexual and reproductive health services. This also means that women are entitled to demand from governments the provision of quality reproductive health services. The ICPD POA is unique by calling for the civil society, including NGOs, to take major responsibilities in designing and implementing reproductive health policies. The Programme also calls for national governments, bilateral and multilateral donors to make substantial budget reallocations.

This document reviews progress made in the implementation of the ICPD POA with respect to ensuring reproductive rights and implementing reproductive health four years after the Conference. It has been prepared as a background document for the Round Table meeting on Ensuring Reproductive Rights and Implementing Reproductive Health, including empowerment of women, involvement of males and human rights.

The paper builds on information gathered through a review of literature on the subject, interviews and on the expertise of UNFPA Country Support Team Advisers who work with the issues involved at country and regional level on a daily basis who kindly have provided their valuable inputs to this paper. This paper does not build on a systematic survey, and the main limitation of this methodology is that not all issues may be reflected in the paper and the examples provided may not all represent the most common developments in countries or regions. Furthermore, the important work of international non-governmental organization in advocacy and technical assistance is not included in its full dimension even though we recognize that this work in many places has been instrumental in bringing about the changes described in this paper.

The chapters of the document discuss the topics of the sessions of the Round Table meeting; a) "Policies for Sexual and Reproductive Health," addressing policy change since the ICPD, process and content; b) "Designing Quality Sexual and Reproductive Health Services," addressing management issues of broadening scope of and establishing linkages between services; c) "Accessibility," addressing. links between IEC and services, and role of providers; and d) "Creating Necessary Conditions for Implementing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights," addressing gender equality, women’s empowerment and reproductive rights.

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