Resolution on Reproductive and Sexual Health

Affirming that improvements in women's health need more than better science and health care; they require state action to correct injustices to women.

Recognising that women's health is often compromised not by lack of medical knowledge, but by infringements on women?s human rights.

Recognising that when states have ratified human rights conventions they have legal obligations to implement them.

Noting that human rights are inalienable rights inherent to human dignity.

Upholding the principle declared by the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights that the human rights of girls and women are an inalienable and indivisible part of human rights, to be protected not only in courts, prisons and other areas of public life but also in the privacy of the home.

Noting that international human rights law has focused too exclusively on the public arena and neglected the private sphere of home, family and community in which women are traditionally enclosed.

Noting that women suffer the same indignities and breaches of their human rights as men; in addition, they are vulnerable to particular gender-based violations relating to their reproductive function and the way societies limit their role and potential.

The FIGO General Assembly

affirms its support for women in their struggle to claim and regain their basic human rights.

expresses its commitment to collaborate with other organisations at the national, regional and international level, including the United Nations system, to further advance these rights.

confirms that sexual and reproductive rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so the human rights of women include their right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, including sexual and reproductive health, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. Equal relationships between women and men in matters of sexual relations and reproduction, including full respect for the integrity of the person, require mutual respect, consent and shared responsibility for sexual behaviour and its consequences.

underscores that states have an obligation to protect women?s right to the highest attainable standard of health and bring forward plans for the attainment of this right that are based on an objective and reliable assessment of the magnitude of the burden of disease on women.

declares that violence against women, in all its forms including sexual violence, is not just a health and social problem; it is a violation of women?s basic right to freedom from torture and ill treatment, their right to liberty and security of the person, and their right to physical integrity.

states that while the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It is unacceptable that the international community remains passive when women?s rights, particularly those related to sexual and reproductive health are violated.

urges all states to ratify and implement the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against women, to report to its Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and comply with its recommendations.

calls upon FIGO member societies

To make their expertise available to health, educational and legal professional associations and to collaborate with women?s and human rights groups to promote a working partnership in order to foster compliance with human rights relating to reproductive and sexual health by:

proposing and promoting guidelines for the obstetrician/gynecologists for the respect of these rights

playing an active role in educating the public, making expertise available to policy makers and legislators about the health dimension of women?s rights and their impact on society at large

proposing national standards for the respect of these rights.

calling upon all members of the profession to respect and protect women?s rights in their daily practice, including their sexual and reproductive rights.


World Congress 2015