Know your reproductive rights, as a woman

What are reproductive rights?

Millions of women are denied the right to choose whether or not to have children, to live without violence and stigma, and to receive essential health services every day. Girls can legally marry as child brides in 93 countries. One in four people live in a nation that does not allow abortion, even to save a woman’s life. The fact that reproductive rights are fundamental to women’s rights is recognized by international agreements and reflected in local law worldwide. At the International Conference on Human Rights in 1968, reproductive rights emerged as a subset of human rights. Human rights that deal with sexual and reproductive health are referred to as reproductive rights. Reproductive rights are essential to the achievement of population, health, and development goals, but they are also significant as human rights meant to safeguard an individual’s inherent dignity.

The vast majority of issues that women have faced for decades are covered by the issue of women’s reproductive rights. They give women the right to make their own decisions about whether or not they need an abortion, birth control, the right to good reproductive healthcare, freedom from forced sterilization, the right to learn about STDs, good menstrual care, and protection from practices like female genital mutilation (FGM). Reproductive rights are defined by the World Health Organization as the fundamental right of every couple and individual to freely and responsibly choose the number, spacing, and timing of their children, as well as the right to the highest possible level of sexual and reproductive health. They also include the freedom from discrimination, coercion, and violence for everyone to make decisions about reproduction.

Broader Categories of Reproductive Rights

The application of human rights in guidelines, national laws, constitutions, and regional and international treaties ensures the protection of reproductive rights. There are three broad categories of reproductive rights:

  1. Rights to control over one’s reproductive health, 
  2. Rights to information, education, and services related to sexual and reproductive health, and
  3. Equality and nondiscrimination rights.

Consequences of sexual and reproductive health rights violations

Violations of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights frequently result from deeply ingrained beliefs and societal values regarding women’s sexuality. Consequences of these violations Women are frequently valued based on their capacity to reproduce because patriarchal conceptions of women’s roles in the family are prevalent. Pregnancy after an early marriage or multiple pregnancies spaced too closely together, frequently in an effort to produce male offspring due to a preference for sons, has a devastating effect on women’s health and can even result in death. Women are also frequently held responsible for infertility, which results in social exclusion and a number of violations of human rights.

Relevant human rights standards

Relevant human rights standards The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in 1979. They have been fighting for women’s rights for a long time and have helped set standards for many countries’ laws.

They have successfully carried out the following causes:

– Women’s rights to exercise their freedom and responsibility in determining the number and spacing of their children and to have access to the information, education, and tools necessary to do so.

– Education and access to specific educational materials, including information and guidance on family planning, to support families’ health and well-being.

– The right of women to be free from coercion, discrimination, and violence in their decision-making regarding their sexuality, including their sexual and reproductive health.

– Family planning and sex education can prevent unintended pregnancies.

– Support for mothers’ health and the right to health during pregnancy and childbirth

– To change or get rid of laws, policies, and practices that make it illegal for someone or a group to get into sexual and reproductive health facilities, services, goods, or information.

How can we proceed?

Here are a couple of things we can do to contribute to the cause:

  • Support communities as they advocate for policies that are supportive of their unique needs for sexual and reproductive health care. 
  • Bring together global experts, government officials, and health providers to share knowledge and find solutions that promote sexual and reproductive health and rights worldwide.
  • Raise our voices to inform, influence, and advance global efforts to ensure that all people have the right to make their own decisions about their bodies and their future. 
  • Engage key stakeholders in governments and communities to dedicate increased funds for sexual and reproductive health where the need is greatest.


The fundamental human right to liberty is the source of the right to autonomy in the decision-making process regarding health decisions in general and sexual and reproductive decisions in particular. The right of a woman to make decisions about her fertility and sexuality without being coerced or subjected to violence is known as autonomy. The client’s freedom to make decisions is greatly aided by the client’s rights to informed consent and confidentiality in health care settings. Providers of health care and service providers are subject to certain correlative duties as a result of these rights. Additionally, autonomy means that a woman seeking fertility and sexuality-related health care has the right to be treated as an individual. This relates, among other things, to the woman’s right to legal capacity equality before the law. We can only fight for the rights to which we are entitled as women if we are aware of them.

Join the cause to help us keep fighting!