HRC34: Statement on behalf of the Sexual Rights Initiative concerning Preventable Maternal Morbidity


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This statement was delivered by Action Canada for Population and Development on behalf of the Sexual Rights Initiative. It was made during the Panel Discussion on Preventable Maternal Mortality and Morbidity & Human Rights on March 9, 2017 within the framework of the 34th session of the Human Rights Council.

The statement points out that “violations of women and girls’ sexual and reproductive rights that lead to these sobering statistics remain largely unaddressed by States in this foremost body on human rights”. It goes on to say that: “A human rights based approach to eliminating preventable maternal mortality and morbidity is built upon the basic understanding that women and girls have the right to have control over all aspects of their sexuality and their body.”

Addressing the impact of culture, religion or national exceptionalism, the statement clearly rejects their attempts to “undermine our sexual and reproductive rights”.

Conclusively, the statement “call[s] on all States to respond to the crisis of maternal mortality and morbidity with the urgency it so deserves by challenging the deeply rooted forces of gender inequality which violate the rights of women and girls around the world”.

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