Relationship between sexual and reproductive rights and the empowerment of the girl child

Relationship between sexual and reproductive rights and the empowerment of the girl child

One of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations is to have a gender equal world by 2030 wherein the sexual and reproductive choices of women and girls will be respected.

Sexual and reproductive health rights-SRHR, are basic human rights that permit young girls to make informed choices and decisions on what to do with their sexual life. Such rights permit young girls to fight against all forms of violence such as rape, genital mutilation, forced marriages and forced pregnancies. Being aware of such rights help them to easily speak out in the case of abuse and ascertain themselves without fear anywhere.

An important factor is the age at which young women get to be aware of their rights over their bodies. Prudence Lubiche, Senior Program Officer Of  Newseta, thinks that girls should be given such information from a tender age, "Normally as from the age of 10 years a young girl is supposed to be aware of her basic sexual and reproductive rights. With today’s happenings, I feel such rights need to be simplified and as early as 1-year-old by using appropriate education methodology, young girls are supposed to know they have the right to their sexual and reproductive rights. This is important at that age because as early as zero year we hear and see children being raped or harassed as early a one month or five months that is really uncalled for."

To fully empower girls, governments must play a key role to enable the effective implementation of all SRHRs in their nations.

“Human rights and accountability are essential for realizing the ambitious commitments of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is imperative that states implement meaningful, measurable policies guaranteeing universal access to reproductive health and rights, in order to ensure that women and girls are not left behind.” Said Nancy Northup, president and CEO at the Center for Reproductive Rights, New York, USA.

Doreen Sere penn

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