Social determinants of sexual and reproductive health: Informing future research and programme implementation

Case Studies & Research
166 p.

The relationship between poverty and poor reproductive health is well established. While the last two decades have seen improvements in access to and utilization of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, progress in many countries has been slow and - after decades of investments - disappointing. Social activists and health analysts have highlighted the potential role that persistent inequities in health play in hindering progress towards achieving international and national development goals. Health inequity is defined as inequalities in health deemed to be unfair or to stem from some form of injustice. The dimensions of being avoidable or unnecessary have often been added to this concept. This report makes some conclusions and recommandations. Both research and advocacy can encourage policy-makers and programme managers to develop a comprehensive service response to physical and sexual violence against women. That work was effective in encouraging policy reform of the service response to sexual violence. Evidence suggests that sexual coercion has implications for all aspects of sexual and reproductive health programming, including prevention and health-care services. Therefore, governments and health organizations should seek to integrate attention to sexual coercion into a wide range of women's health services.

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