The Center hosts multiple events at the 54th session of the Commission on the Status of Women
Realization of women’s sexual and reproductive rights is essential to achieve gender equality and the full respect of women’s human rights. This is the message that the Center for Reproductive Rights will promote at the 54th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), taking place in New York from March 1 – 12. CSW is one of the main bodies at the United Nations for promoting women’s rights and gender equality.
Fulfilling Commitments Made at the Beijing World Conference on Women
The upcoming CSW session will commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, and review progress on implementation of the Platform for Action (PFA) that resulted from the conference. The Beijing PFA is generally regarded as the most comprehensive international consensus document on gender equality and women’s rights. The Beijing PFA gives special attention to a range of topics related to women’s sexual and reproductive rights, including access to family planning, maternal healthcare, unsafe abortion and post-abortion care. The Center has released a new factsheet, Beijing + 15: No Equality Without Full Enjoyment of Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Rights, that outlines progress made in implementing the PFA and recommends steps that international and national actors should take to fulfill their commitments to sexual and reproductive rights.
The Effects of Kenya’s Restrictive Abortion Law
The Center will be launching its new human rights fact finding report on Kenya, In Harm’s Way: The Impact of Kenya’s Restrictive Abortion Law, at its official CSW side event on Wednesday, March 3rd. The report documents how Kenya’s abortion law and policies harm women’s lives and health and ultimately deprive them of their human rights. The report also captures how this legal and policy environment negatively impacts healthcare providers and the healthcare system.
Criminal Laws that Violate Reproductive Rights
Additionally , the Center and its partners will present an oral submission to the Commission on the alarming global trend of criminal laws that target and impact women’s right to control their sexuality and reproduction. These laws include those that highly restrict or ban women’s access to safe and legal abortions, limit or deny access to emergency contraception and criminalize exposure and/or transmission of the HIV virus. While these laws often purport to protect women and safeguard public health, in practice they often severely compromise women’s autonomy, equality and health and thus directly contravene the Beijing PFA. The Center and its partners call on governments to repeal these harmful criminal laws and take positive steps to promote women’s health and rights. The Center and its partners are also hosting a roundtable on this issue, Outlawing Women: Effects of Laws Criminalizing Women’s Sexuality. The panel will be held on Thursday, March 4th at the New York City Bar Association from 6:00 – 7:30pm. To RSVP to the roundtable, please email [email protected].