This submission is made by the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI). SRI is a coalition of national and regional organizations based in Canada, Poland, India, Argentina, Egypt and South Africa, that work together to advance human rights related to sexuality, gender and bodily autonomy at the United Nations.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and subsequent Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) rightly highlighted the need for adequate and effective state response to prevent and eliminate preventable maternal mortality and morbidities. The inadequate attention paid to women’s and girls’ health is evidenced by the fact that 15 years of implementation failed to achieve the targets in the MDGs vis-à-vis maternal mortality. The persistent high rates of maternal mortality and morbidities represent a failure of states to realise the rights related to bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights of everyone. While interventions and services needed to combat maternal mortality do exist, “there is no single cause of death and disability for men between the ages of 15 and 44 that is close to the magnitude of maternal mortality”. Feminist organising across the world and human rights mechanisms including Special Procedures, Treaty Monitoring Bodies and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights continuously advocated that policy and programmes on Maternal Mortality be rooted in human rights principles including accountability, participation, transparency, empowerment, sustainability, international cooperation and non-discrimination.
 MDG Target 5.A. Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio
 SDG Goal 3 includes a target of Reducing the global MMR to less than 70 per 100 000 births, with no country having a maternal mortality rate of more than twice the global average”.
 According to the World Health Organization, about 295 000 women died during and following pregnancy and childbirth in 2017. https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/maternal-mortality
 A/61/338, para. 9; United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Preventable Maternal Mortality and Morbidity and Human Rights, https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Women/WRGS/Health/ReportMaternal…
 United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Preventable Maternal Mortality and Morbidity and Human Rights, para 32 https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Women/WRGS/Health/ReportMaternal…