On Taboos and Women’s Health
This week I’m working at Women Deliver in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - here’s an excerpt from a piece for UN Dispatch:
The hidden subtext of the Women Deliver 2013 Conference in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, the largest global health event of the decade, is all about breaking taboos: Taboos about women and power, about sex, about relationships between men and women, and about the role of global institutions in quite simply talking about sexual health.
According to Marie Stopes International, 222 million women around the world have an unmet need for family planning. Access to this care would prevent unnecessary deaths and reduce poverty.
The consensus of over 4,000 highly educated and sensible people that “Reproductive health is a human right” feels revolutionary to an American in our current political climate. But at Women Deliver, family planning is depoliticized. Everyone here addresses sexual and reproductive health and rights as absolutely key to the health of global economies.
The connection between a healthy and economically sustainable planet and sexual and reproductive health is clear, proven again and again by data, but difficult to discuss, in almost every country.