This briefing paper addresses Religious Fundamentalisms (RFs) and extreme interpretations of religion and their significant impact on women’s human rights protected under the CEDAW Convention, including sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Specifically, it details the implications of RFs not only for laws and policies but also as a barrier to their implementation. It also addresses widespread impunity that arises when accountability for violations of women’s human rights is threatened due to the influence of RFs.
The Center for Reproductive Rights, the Sexual Rights Initiative, the Global Justice Center, Arrow, Rutgers, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education, Plan International, the Association for Women’s Rights in Development, the Federation for Women and Family Planning, Akahatá and the White Ribbon Alliance applaud the significant progress on the rights of women and girls and on sexual and reproductive health and rights at the 39th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC).
More than 200 civil society organizations from around the world came together to sign this statement in the lead up to the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion. Read the statement below, also available in French, Spanish and Russian.
Reproductive rights are human rights, and they include the right to safe, accessible, and legal abortions. Over 40 million abortions take place each year. In most developed countries and in many developing countries, abortion is legal on demand until the 12th or 14th week of pregnancy, and abortion is legal beyond that timeframe when there is a threat to the woman’s life or health, or fetal impairment, or when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest.
Presently, a number of UN Member States and NGOs are advocating for the Human Rights Council to create a new Special Rapporteur on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI). From the perspective of the SRI, the proposed mechanism would be limited in its ability to protect the fundamental rights of people most in need and risks neglecting a range of sexuality and gender related abuses that demand the UN’s attention.