Sexual health and rights under pressure – resistance and challenges

"My body my choice" Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

Medicus Mundi Switzerland Conference:
19 April 2023 in Bern

In countries around the world, sexual and reproductive rights are under pressure and the right to self-determination especially of women is threatened.

In some regions, religious fundamentalists are even mobilizing against sexual and reproductive rights. Moreover, there is a movement in various political milieus to question LGBTQIA+ communities and women's rights, including the right to abortion. This calls into question fundamental human rights that are central to ensuring access to not only sexual and reproductive health services but also often integrated early childhood care and sexually transmitted disease prevention that have come to be vital components in fighting STIs and the AIDS pandemic.

The MMS Conference will discuss the challenges facing international health cooperation and document how women, men, and LGBTQIA+ communities are fighting back.

Progress has been made in recent years through increased access to and use of contraception, resulting in a decline in the global rate of unintended pregnancies. But despite global commitments such as the 2030 Agenda (SDGs) and the Programme of Action of the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development, there are still large disparities in access to contraceptive and abortion care between countries and especially for marginalized communities.

Access to the full range of quality sexual and reproductive health care is still not guaranteed, and the lack of access to safe, timely, affordable, and respectful abortion care is a critical public health and human rights issue. Pro-life movements, political action against gender equity and enforced discrimination of people based on their sexual orientation are threatening sexual and reproductive health of people around the world.

The MMS Conference on sexual and reproductive health and rights will explore what the drivers are behind these developments and how they are linked. It will reflect on the role of the international health cooperation in addressing these trends.

Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash