Resolution on Professional and Ethical Responsibilities Concerning Sexual and Reproductive Rights (Santiago, 2003)

Resolution on ‘Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Rights - A Social Responsibility for Obstetricians-Gynecologists’: For approval by the FIGO General Assembly in Santiago Chile in November 2003

Recalling the resolution of the 2000 General Assembly on ‘Women’s Rights Relating to Reproductive and Sexual Health’.

Recalling that reproductive rights embrace certain human rights that are already recognized in national laws, international human rights documents, and other consensus documents. *

Re-affirming that women’s health is often compromised, not by lack of medical knowledge, but by infringements on women’s human rights

Noting with satisfaction the progress report of the FIGO Committee on Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Rights affirming that improvements in women’s health worldwide require the advocacy and action of obstetrician/gynecologists

Acknowledging that obstetricians and gynecologists are obligated by the special professional privileges granted to them by nations and societies, as well as their unique knowledge, to promote and protect women’s health in their individual and professional encounters

The General Assembly,

Confirms its commitment to continue to collaborate with other organizations at the national, regional and international level, including the United Nations System, to further advance women’s sexual and reproductive rights Declares that advocacy and inclusion of the human rights of women are an integral and priority area in FIGO activities

Invites FIGO member societies to: adopt and adapt a human rights-based code of ethics for women’s health, in the professional conduct of all their activities; work with educational bodies to incorporate the human rights based code of ethics in the curriculum of all levels of training in obstetrics and gynaecology; focus their efforts on priority areas in human rights failings identified in their own countries, where advocacy efforts by gynecologists and obstetricians, in collaboration with other civil society groups, can have an impact on women’s health

Calls upon all members of the profession to: stand for women’s sexual and reproductive rights in their countries, respect and protect women’s rights in their daily practice *

*Cairo document para 7.3

These 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; and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. It also includes their right to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence. 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, as expressed in human rights documents.