Reproductive Health and Human Rights: The Way Forward

By Laura Reichenbach; Mindy Jane Roseman | Go to book overview

Notes

Chapter 1. Global Reproductive Health and Rights: Reflecting on ICPD

1. The governments assembled at the 1999 ICPD five-year review in New York reendorsed the concepts unanimously in its revised outcome document (UNFPA 1999).

2. Women from the Global South tended to articulate the connection of discrimination against women to macroeconomic systems leading to underdevelopment, corruption, poverty, and human rights abuses in general. Women’s movements in the North tended to bracket race/ethnic and class dimensions and focused more on issues of gender.

3. All the nations of the world have ratified at least one human rights treaty that contains one or more human right relevant to reproductive and sexual health.

4. This famous saying came out of the 1974 Bucharest Conference and was attributed to Karan Singh, the Minister representing India at the conference.

5. It is worth noting that the following year, in 1995, women’s rights advocates did succeed in having “sexual rights” recognized in the UN Fourth World Conference on Women at Beijing (para. 96) as the ability to control matters related to sexuality.

6. Conversely, the antecedent term “international health” focused on control of epidemics that could cross national boundaries. Others, such as Derek Yach and Douglas Bettcher, insist that global health tracks the transformations understood as “globalization.” They argue that the homogenization of culture and diffusion of market values has allowed pathways for ideas and commodities as well as for disease and unhealthy lifestyles to circle the globe at unprecedented rates. From this perspective, international responses to global challenges to public health need multilateral coordination (led by an institution such as WHO) (Brown, Cueto, and Fee 2006).

7. We recognize that not all approaches to global public health take a vertical view. There are champions of addressing underlying social conditions (Farmer 2003), as well as attempts at contextualizing diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV as diseases of poverty in the research, design, and implementation of programs (WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health 2007; WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases 2007). There is also emerging insistence on health systems and health infrastructure (see WHO Global Health Workforce Alliance 2007). The latter, however, is slightly redolent of neoverticalization in that it focuses on one piece of the comprehensive approach to health.

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