Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Q&A

Challenges abound for women’s sexual and reproductive rights

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 23 December 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l7000
  1. Rojita Adhikari, freelance journalist
  1. Kathmandu, Nepal
  1. rojitaadhikari{at}

Health leaders gathered at the second International Conference on Population and Development in Nairobi last month to discuss how to improve women’s sexual and reproductive health. At the meeting Rojita Adhikari talked to Herminia Palacio, newly appointed president of the Guttmacher Institute, about the challenges and possibilities

Q: It’s been 25 years since the first ICPD conference was held. How far has the world come towards meeting the goals?

A: There has been some important progress, but it has not happened in a straight line. We also have some setbacks, and there is a lot of work ahead to achieve our goals.

Q: The UN’s Millennium Development Goals for 2015 and the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 call for better access to healthcare for women. How are women doing?

A: I would say we are still in a moment of peril. You can see what’s going on in my own country, the United States, where sexual and reproductive health and rights are being threatened, and politics and ideology are replacing facts and evidence. Just to mention …

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