Women's Human Rights Resources Database

This database lists hundreds of resources -- articles, documents and links -- related to international women's rights law and Canadian women's rights law. Annotations describe the content of each resource. Users can search by keyword and author as well as browse by women's rights topic. Full-text documents or links to full-text documents are provided where available.
Search Results for content type Article categorized with Reproductive Rights
Abrams, Paula , Population Control and Sustainability : It's the Same Old Song But With A Different Meaning , 27(4) ENVIRONMENTAL LAW, 1111-1135 (1997).
This article examines the "population problem" and compares two different approaches to population policy: the economic approach and the environmental approach. The article begins by discussing the theories behind these two approaches. It then points out the short sightedness - particularly with regard to the needs and interests of women - of population programs undertaken in the past to achieve economic and environmental objectives. Not only did these programs often violate human rights, they also proved to be unsuccessful. The author of this article argues that in dealing with the "population problem," the most effective approach is to respects human rights and to create a social climate in which people choose to have fewer children.


Adjetey, Fitnat Naa-Adjeley , Reclaiming the African Woman's Individuality: The Struggle Between Women's Reproductive Autonomy and African Society and Culture , 44 AMERICAN UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW, 1351-82 (1995).
The author notes that the African woman's exercise of her right to reproductive autonomy and reproductive health are closely linked to the customary laws and traditional practices applied in her community. This paper looks at several traditional practices which impede African women's rights in this area and at the evolution of customary law as it relates to the position of women in African society. Finally, it addresses how international human rights norms can be used to address the reproductive health needs of African women. The author concludes that changing custom and practice must occur through massive action on legal, educational and other fronts, and that international human rights norms must be linked to local and regional laws and human rights instruments to be effective. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Reproductive Freedom, International - Africa]


Agarwal, Anjana , Family Planning Policies and Resultant Discrimination Against the Girl Child - A Study of India and China , 27 SINGAPORE LAW REVIEW, 161 -178 (2009)
This article addresses discrimination against the girl child as an unintended consequence of reproductive laws and family planning programs in China and India. The introduction of family planning programs, coupled with the socio-cultural preference for sons in these countries, prompted widespread killing of female fetuses and infants. The family planning programs also produced depleting sex ratios, 'missing women', unregistered births, neglect and abuse of girls, female sterilization, and abandonment of baby girls. Although laws have been enacted to address some of these consequences, their implementation and enforcement is lacking. The author argues that legal action must be accompanied by state promotion of equality between men and women in order to alter the traditional mindsets that give rise to discriminatory practices.


Ahmed, Aziza , HIV and Women: Incongruent Policies, Criminal Consequences , 6 YALE JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, 32-42 (2011)
The author argues that UN Women must take an aggressive role in the standardization of health laws and policies in order to ensure that these laws and policies do not have negative or criminal consequences on the lives of women and girls, in particular those that are HIV-positive. Specifically, the article examines the criminalization of HIV transmission as well as public health policies that have the effect of making women vulnerable to persecution. The author uses the example of American courts' treatment of issues raised by HIV-positive women in the context of parenting and motherhood as a case study.


Akhirome-Omonfuegbe, Lilian , A Critical Appraisal of Women’s Reproductive Rights in Nigeria , 10(2) JOURNAL OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT LAW AND POLICY, 257-280 (2019)
This article compares the current state of women’s reproductive health rights in Nigeria to the developing international human rights discourse on the topic. The author begins by reviewing the definitions and standards on reproductive health rights set by academic scholarship and international conventions, and particularly the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). They then examine Nigeria’s contemporary legal landscape on the matter. An overview of relevant portions of the Nigerian Constitution, national criminal and labour laws, and international and continental charters indicate areas of the law where reproductive rights may be bolstered. The author acknowledges the legal system’s failure to adequately protect women’s reproductive health rights and attributes it in part to enduring patriarchal sociocultural barriers. They conclude by proposing ways to strengthen legal support for reproductive rights, including gender-specific national reproductive health legislation and domestic integration of ratified treaties.


Albertyn, Catherine , Abortion, Reproductive Rights and the Possibilities of Reproductive Justice in South African Courts , 2019 UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD HUMAN RIGHTS HUB JOURNAL, 87-119 (2019)
This article examines the interplay between international law norms on women’s reproductive rights and South African reproductive health case law. The author first summarizes key elements of abortion rights and reproductive health in international human rights laws such as CEDAW and CESCR. The author then sets out two approaches to defining reproductive autonomy that can be adopted in a given region’s legal system, including court cases. The first is a “reproductive choice” approach that is negative because it fails to dismantle societal norms, attitudes, and structural barriers that impede women’s reproductive autonomy. The second, preferred by the author, is a “reproductive justice” approach that centres disadvantaged women within a commitment to the structural transformation of society. The author then examines the contemporary court system in South Africa, determining that its courts currently use a reproductive choice approach. The author uses a particular South African court case as a basis for re-imagining the jurisprudence within a reproductive justice approach. Finally, they reflect on the usefulness of such court cases as transformative tools of reproductive justice because they can secure better implementation of abortion legislation for disadvantaged women.


Alfred, Janice , The 45th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women: Gender Discrimination and the AIDS pandemic , 18 NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL JOURNAL OF HUMAN RIGHTS, 439-447 (2002).
This article reviewing the 45th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women begins by outlining the work and mandate of the Commission. During the 45th session, the connections between gender and the AIDS epidemic were a particular focus. The Commission noted that the imbalance of power between men and women is a significant cause of the spread of HIV/AIDS. The consensus during the meeting was on the need for a holistic approach to women's empowerment. One particular area which the article touches upon is the importance of modifying laws which contribute to violence against women. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Overview, Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]


Amin, Sajeda, Hossain, Sara , Women's Reproductive Rights and the Politics of Fundamentalism : A View from Bangladesh , 44(4) AMERICAN UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW, 1319-1344 (1995)
This paper examines the Bangladesh Constitution and legal framework for reproductive rights, particularly a state-supported family planning program. Despite religious laws and strong religious beliefs in Bangladesh, the author argues that religious opposition to menstrual regulation and the use of contraceptives is scarcely evident. In fact, religion, including Muslim laws, can be used to promote family-planning and in general, reproductive rights for all women.


Annas, Catherine L. , Irreversible Error: The Power and Prejudice of Female Genital Mutilation , 12(2) THE JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY HEALTH LAW AND POLICY, 325-54 (1996).
This article begins by noting that the reasons for the continuation of the practice of female genital mutilation are complex; issues of politics, gender, culture, nationalism, medical ethics, and law must be considered. The author shows that although the legal treatment of this procedure differs from country to country, its human rights implications transcend national boundaries and cultural beliefs. The article explains the medical procedures associated with emale genital mutilation, explores the legal theories and problems raised by this practice, and concludes with recommendations designed to prohibit the continued practice of female genital mutilation. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Female Genital Cutting, International]


Arbuckle, Anne N. , The Condom Crisis: An Application of Feminist Legal Theory to Aids Prevention in African Women , 3(2) INDIANA JOURNAL OF GLOBAL LEGAL STUDIES, 413-56 (1996).
This paper applies feminist legal theory in assessing the potential to address HIV/AIDS prevention through the promotion of the use of condoms. Part 1 of the paper reviews the nature of the AIDS pandemic and its disproportionate impact on Africa. Part 2 outlines the role of women in African society and their particular vulnerability to HIV infection. Part 3 discusses current efforts to increase the use of condoms as an effective means to prevent HIV/AIDS infection in Africa. Part 4 reviews feminist theory on considerations of equality and Part 5 concludes by advocating for an acceptance model as an appropriate mechanisms through which to approach preventative techniques. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International - Africa]


Bastow, Karen , Women, AIDS, and Family Benefits , (1994) 7 Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, 173-183.
This case comment discusses an appeal to the Social Assistance Review Board of a lower directors decision to refuse to grant benefits under the Family Benefits Act (1990) to a woman with HIV. The author discusses how the categories of permanently unemployable person or disabled person as defined within the Act discriminate against women. She also discusses how prejudices amongst health professionals toward HIV infected women work against these women in legal proceedings of this kind. The author further discusses how the governmental definition of AIDS discriminates against women. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, Canada]


Beltran y Puga, Alma Luz, Bettinger-Lopez, Caroline, Contesse, Jorge, Garcia-Rey, Paola , Gender Justice in the Americas: A Transnational Dialogue on Sexuality, Violence, Reproduction and Human Rights , 65 UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI LAW REVIEW, 751-766 (2011)
This article discusses utilizing an international human rights framework as a tool for gender, sexuality, and women’s rights advocacy in the USA and Canada and to reflect on the potential for domestic impact litigation in the Caribbean and Latin America. The article discusses an approach that involves bridging geographic, linguistic, conceptual, and professional divides to foster the development of an “Inter-American Gender Justice Network” in the Western hemisphere. Three landmark cases are discussed, Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) v United States, In re Campo Algodonero, and Karen Atala v Chile. These cases are all landmark cases for the Inter-American Court on Human Rights. The article discusses both positive and negative movements in the Western hemisphere that have gained traction lately.


Beltran y Puga, Alma Luz , Paradigmatic Changes in Gender Justice: The Advancement of Reproductive Rights in International Human Rights Law , 3 CREIGHTON INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW JOURNAL, 158-173 (2012)
This article analyses how reproductive justice has been addressed by the InterAmerican Human Rights System through case law, hearings and thematic reports. The authors of the paper suggest that although reproductive rights have been integrated in the human rights frameworks, much remains to be done to apply these rights in Latin America. Further, it is put forth that until access to legal abortion, emergency contraception and reproductive techniques among other things are interpreted as a part of human rights, gender inequality will persist. Moreover, despite the significance of international jurisprudence addressing reproductive rights, until the socioeconomic and societal barriers which prevent regional judges from integrating international law into domestic law, gender equality and reproductive rights will be at risk.  


Blitt, Robert C. , Equality and Nondiscrimination through the Eyes of an International Religious Organization : The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Response to Women’s Rights , 34(4) WISCONSIN INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL, 755-822 (2017)
This article discusses the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) engagement with the international human rights legislation (IHRL) framework. The OIC is the world’s second-largest intergovernmental organization and the only one unified around a single religion. Several of its human rights declarations justify restricting women’s rights by invoking the supremacy of Islamic law and norms. Blitt argues that failing to reject the OCI’s parochial, Islamic notions of equality and non-discrimination risks undermining the spirit of universality reflected in IHRL ideas of fundamental human freedom and equality in dignity and rights. More immediately, it legitimizes ongoing rights violations against women. Given the OIC’s reach in the Muslim world, these concerns potentially impugn the rights of large swaths of women around the world. Understanding the challenges that Islamic and other religious organizations have posed towards actualizing the IHRL framework will be key to ensuring its global effectiveness and harmony with cultural antecedents.


Boland, Reed , Symposium on Population Law: The Environment, Population, and Women's Human Rights , 27 ENVIRONMENTAL LAW, 1137-1167 (1997).
This article examines coercive pro-natalist and anti-natalist policies that have been implemented, for example in Romania (pro-natalist), China, India, and Indonesia (anti-natalist), and describes the negative social consequences of these policies. The author shows that not only are such policies socially harmful, they are also largely ineffectual in achieving population objectives. The author then discusses the human rights implications of population policies, as well as the difficulties of relying on a rights-based approach in the reproductive health context. Finally, the author examines the causes of fertility decline, particularly the role of women in demographic transition. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Reproductive Freedom, International]


Bond, Johanna E. , Culture, Dissent, and the State: The Example of Commonwealth African Marriage Law , 14 YALE HUMAN RIGHTS & DEVELOPMENT LAW JOURNAL, 1-58 (2011).
The author argues that there should be greater state intervention in marriage, in particular, in the context of Commonwealth African states. Traditionally, customary law in many African nations restricts women's property rights and reproductive rights, and unequal power relations in the home can lead to gender-based violence. The author argues that the state has a dual obligation to promote equality and women's rights within intimate relationships, and these goals are best served by increased state regulation of marriage. The author argues that within the plural legal systems of Commonwealth Africa, statutory marriage regimes can provide women a more equitable alternative to the customary marriage law and an opportunity to protect their own rights within the marital relationship. The author proposes that Commonwealth Africa states implement a legislative floor that would create a minimum standard for women's rights within marriage. Johanna E Bond, Culture, Dissent, and the State: The Example of Commonwealth African Marriage Law (2011) 14 Yale Human Rts & Dev LJ 1.


Carrion, Fabiola , How Women’s Organizations are Changing the Legal Landscape of Reproductive Rights in Latin America , 19(1) CUNY LAW REVIEW, 37-56 (2015)
This article discusses alternative legal possibilities for women’s access to authorized abortions in Latin America, and highlights the importance of women’s rights advocates in raising awareness and driving legal change. The author first examines how international and regional jurisprudence have provided a preliminary platform for recognizing a legal abortion right. The analysis focuses on two landmark decisions against the Peruvian State, in which the CEDAW Committee successfully argued for guaranteed access to therapeutic abortion. This jurisprudence has influenced a more progressive national legislation on termination policies, such that most Latin American countries have authorized abortion  in the following circumstances: the woman’s life or health is in danger, the pregnancy is a result of  sexual assault or the fetus is incompatible with life. The author argues that further collaboration between the medical and legal community is required to unpack complicated laws and increase access to new legal vehicles for lawful abortion in Latin America. 


Cisse, Bernadette Passade , International Law Sources Applicable to Female Genital Mutilation: A Guide to Adjudicators of Refugee Claims Based on a Fear of Female Genital Mutilation , 35 COLUMBIA JOURNAL OF TRANSNATIONAL LAW, 429-451 (1997).
This article begins with a description of female genital mutilation (FGM) practices and an examination of the international human rights provisions that may be invoked to protect individuals opposed to FGM. The rest of the article provides a guide on how United States adjudicators should determine asylum claims involving FGM. The international protection guidelines issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees serve as a basis for this guide. [Descriptors: Migration - Refugees and Immigration, Reproductive Rights - Female Genital Cutting, International]


Coffey, Mary Ruth , From Comparison to Paradox to the Dichotomous Nature of International Human Rights and Feminist Perspectives of Female Circumcision as a Violation of the Human Rights of Women , 4 DEPAUL INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL, 1-15 (2000).
This author argues that female genital cutting (FGC) must be legally classified as violence against women or torture in order to gain recognition under the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Current arguments of cultural relativism and religious freedom relegate FGC to the arena of the family or of medicine, under which it may still be practiced in certain circumstances. The author acknowledges that Western feminism must incorporate or allow for varying culture, and argues for the participation and inclusion of women who experience FGC in the fight to eradicate it. [Descriptors: Reprodutive Rights - Female Genital Cutting, International]


Coliver, Sandra , The Right of Access to Information About Reproductive Health Under International Law , 44 AMERICAN UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW, 1279-1303 (1995).
This article argues that the right to freedom of expression and information, taken together with a number of other international human rights, has evolved to the point that immediate and concrete obligations are now imposed on governments to provide, and to refrain from interfering with, the communication of information necessary for the protection and promotion of reproductive health and choice. Part I examines the nature of governmental obligations under international human rights law, the importance of information in securing the rights to reproductive health and choice, and mechanisms for promoting government compliance with the obligation to respect the rights to information. Part II lays out the relevant international jurisprudence concerning the right to freedom of expression and information. Part III identifies the components of the right to reproductive health information that impose immediate obligations on governments, concluding that these components should be enforced by human rights bodies and national courts. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Right to Know, International]


Cook, Rebecca J., Fathalla, Mahmoud F. , Duties to Implement Reproductive Rights , 67 NORDIC JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 1-16 (1998).
This article explores the nature of states' duties to respect, protect and fulfill reproductive rights.It outlines the means to hold states accountable at the international level to implement reproductive rights. It analyzes how events-based and standard-based data can be used to show whether states are in compliance with or in violation of their obligations to implement reproductive rights and to determine the effectiveness of remedies. It concludes with a call for greater collaboration among reproductive health professionals and human rights activists to ensure greater protection and promotion of human rights. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Overview, International]


Cook, Rebecca J., Dickens, Bernard M. , Human Rights and HIV-Positive Women , 77(1) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GYNECOLOGY AND OBSTETRICS 55-63 (2002).
This article discusses various national responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with a particular focus on the incorporation of international guidelines and responses into national strategies. The article begins by reviewing the decisions of national level courts and assesses the extent to which these courts establish the rights of HIV-positive patients to appropriate health care. The authors also consider the particular needs of women patients in clinical care. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]


Cook, Rebecca J. , Human Rights and Reproductive Self-Determination , 44 AMERICAN UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW, 975-1016 (1995).
The author notes that women's interests and aspirations are gradually being translated into national and internationally recognized rights, particularly through recent UN conferences and the documents that have emerged from them. She also notes that the Cairo Conference testified to the centrality of reproductive self-determination to the dignity of women. This article clusters the human rights contained in various international and regional instruments around four different reproductive interests. Part I examines how the substance of abstract human rights can be developed by examining feminist methodologies, standard setting and the documentation of abuses. Part II sets out the human rights relating to reproductive self-determination in four areas: reproductive security and sexuality, reproductive health, reproductive equality and reproductive decision-making. Part II outlines "the way forward" by examining duties to respect human rights. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Reproductive Freedom, International]


Cook, Rebecca J., Dickens, Bernard M. , Human Rights Dynamics of Abortion Law Reform , 25(1) HUMAN RIGHTS QUARTERLY 1-59 (2003)
This article proposed that the legal approach to abortion is evolving from criminal prohibition towards accommodation as a life-preserving and health-perserving option, particularly in light of data on maternal mortality and morbidity. The authors assert that the modern momentum for liberalization comes from international adoption of the concept of reproductive health, and wider recognition that the resort to safe and dignified healthcare is a major human right. They outline how respect for women's reproductive self-determination legitimates abortion as a choice when family planning services have failed, been inaccessible or been denied by rape. The authors conclude that recognition of women's rights of equal citizenship with men requires that their choices for self-determination be legally respected, not criminalized. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Abortion, International]


Cook, Rebecca J. , Human Rights Law and Safe Motherhood , 5 EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF HEALTH LAW, 357-373 (1998).
In this article, the author argues that the preventable rate of maternal mortality is a symptom of a larger social injustice of discrimination against women and violation of women's human rights that societies are unwilling to prevent, remedy and punish. In order to advance safe motherhood through human rights, the author points out that it must be recognized that maternal mortality is a denial of human dignity constituting an injustice which states are obligated to remedy. Part II of the article discusses human rights which are relevant to safe motherhood. Part III is a discussion of obligations to observe human rights and how these obligations also apply to reduce maternal mortality. In Part IV, the author argues that the advancement of safe motherhood through human rights must begin with a diagnosis of laws, policies and norms that affect this right. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Safe Motherhood, International]


Cook, Rebecca J., Dickens, Bernard M., Bliss, Laura E. , International Developments in Abortion Law from 1988 to 1998 , 89(4) AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, 579-86 (1999).
The authors note that a systmatic review of national and international developments regarding abortion showed that the progressive liberalization of abortion laws between 1967-1977 and 1977-1988 generally has been maintained during the last decade. This article traces devlopments in national legislation, leading court decisions, and constitutional provisions on abortion worldwide and analyzes United Nations conference documents, observations made by the committees that monitor government compliance with international human rights conventions, and the interpretative literature since 1988. The article describes punative, health, and human rights law reforms and explains that all three of these approaches have been used in abortion law development. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Abortion, International]


Cook, Rebecca J., Dickens, Bernard M. , Recognizing Adolescents' 'Evolving Capacities' to Exercise Choice in Reproductive Healthcare , 70(1) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GYNECOLOGY AND OBSTETRICS, World Report on Women's Health - Year 2000, 13-21 (2000).
This Article addresses the specific duties of government and health service providers to implement adolescent rights regarding their reproductive and sexual health needs. It highlights the fact that all countries (except Somalia and the USA) have adopted the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which usually applies to individuals aged under 18 years. The Convention requires governments to "respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child" and sets a legal limit on parental power to deny capable adolescents reproductive and sexual health services. The authors argue that the question of whether an adolescent is a "mature minor" must be decided by health service providers independently of parental judgment. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Adolescents, International]


Cook, Rebecca J., Dickens, Bernard M., Horga, M. , Safe Abortion: WHO Technical and Policy Guidance , 86 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GYNECOLOGY AND OBSTETRICS 79-84 (2004)
This article highlights the key features of the 2003 World Health Organization handbook Safe Abortion: Technical and Policy Guidelines for Health Systems, a non-political guide outlining practical methods for improving abortion services in countries where they are not prohibited. The authors summarize the guide recommendations, including the need for pre- and post-procedure clinical care, review and amendment of existing planning and managing services, including funding and training concerns, and the need for legal policy considerations. The authors conclude the guide is useful in encouraging providers to work within their domestic legal environment to not only provide safe abortions, but also to educate and reduce the need to resort to abortion. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Abortion, International]


Cook, Rebecca J., Maine, Deborah , Spousal Veto over Family Planning Services , 77 AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, 339-44 (1987).
The authors note that in many countries a spouse, usually the husband, can veto a partner's use of family planning services and that where spousal veto acts as a barrier to family planning services, it represents a serious threat to the lives and health of women and children. The authors point out that removal of spousal authorization requirements has been shown to increase the use of family planning services and that courts of several countries have held that spousal veto practices violate principles of personal privacy and autonomy and the right to health care. This article discusses the nature and application of spousal veto practices, explains how such requirements can violate certain human rights, and explores possible remedies to this problem, including ministerial, legislative and judicial initiatives. [Reproductive Rights - Reproductive Freedom]


Cook, Rebecca J., Dickens, Bernard M. , The Injustice of Unsafe Motherhood , 2(1) DEVELOPING WORLD BIOETHICS, 64-81 (2002)
This article looks at the causes and potential solutions to the high incidence of unsafe motherhood in developing countries. Various causes include social conventions favoring early marriage or creating women's powerlessness to resist unprotected intercourse with HIV/AID infected men; inadequate access to health care and qualified health care providers; and religiously based laws. Part of the article focuses on abortion rights and their socio-economic dimensions. It is argued that beyond the bio-ethics of autonomy, the role of macro-ethics and community values in shaping laws affecting women's maternal health must be considered and a public health approach incorporation human rights values should be adopted. The authors note that provisions found in primary human rights instruments such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and Universal Declaration of Human Rights can serve to hinder the full recognition of women's rights and autonomy by linking the protection of women to their pregnant status or child-bearing role. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Safe Motherhood, International]


Cusack, Simone, Pusey, Lisa , CEDAW and the Rights to Non-discrimination and Equality , 14 MELBOURNE JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 54-92 (2013).
This article analyzes the way the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (the Committee) has interpreted CEDAW in response to cases of individual women under CEDAW's Optional Protocol. The author examines the analysis and results in these cases to show that the Committee has responded differently to claims based on reproductive rights and violence against women than it has to claims based on civil, political, or economic matters. The Committee has consistently condemned discrimination in cases based on the former, but has been more hesitant to take such strong action in cases based on the latter. The author argues that the Committee should take a more holistic and critical view of gendered problems to effectively address structural gender inequities.


Dickens, Bernard M., Cook, Rebecca J. , Adolescents and Consent to Treatment , 89 iNTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GYNECOLOGY AND OBSTETRICS 179-184 (2005)
This article addresses the legal and ethical duties of health service when dealing with prospective patients who are minors. The authors discuss how the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) limits parental powers by emphasizing adolescents' "evolving capacities" for self-determination. The authors address a number of concepts relevant to medical treatment and the rights and capacity of adolescents including "mature minors", "emancipated minors", age of consent, and confidentiality. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Adolescents, International]


Dillon, Susan , Healing the Sacred Yoni in the land of Isis: Female Genital Mutilation is Banned (again) in Egypt , 22 (22) HOUSTON JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 289-326 (2000).
This article examines the debate surrounding female genital mutilation (FGM) in Egypt where approximately 97 percent of women have undergone this practice. It shows that in 1997, the Supreme Administrative Court of Egypt overturned a lower ruling and upheld the 1996 Health Minister's decree banning FGM. It reviews comparative legal efforts in African and European countries banning FGM and looks into the gradual concerns of the international health community. It is argued the experience in other countries suggest that a multiapproach might be sensitive to the practices and be more efficient than a legal attack. Due to the long-term support to FGM, without cultural comprehensive sensitive campaigns, the author argues the ban will remain unenforceable. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Female Genital Cutting, International - Africa]


Durojaye, Ebenezer , Turning Paper Promises to Reality: National Human Rights Institutions and Adolescents' Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa , 26 NETHERLANDS QUARTERLY OF HUMAN RIGHTS, 547-578 (2008)
The article examines the history of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in general, and their establishment in Africa in particular. Using examples from three countries - Malawi, Nigeria and South Africa - the article critically analyses the promotional and protective mandates of these institutions and argues that their experience over the years in promoting human rights in their domains can be similarly useful in advancing the sexual and reproductive rights of adolescents. The author acknowledges the challenges NHRIs may face in doing this, including poor funding, undue interference from the executive and shortage of personnel. The author discusses some of these challenges and offers suggestions for the way forward.


Ely Yamin, Alicia, Maine, Deborah , Maternal Mortality as a Human Rights Issue: Measuring Compliance with International Treaty Obligations , 21(3) HUMAN RIGHTS QUARTERLY, 563 (1999).
This article discusses issues relating to the detection, treatment and measurement of maternal morbidity from the public health point of view. Second, the article explains how the United Nations Guidelines can be translated into law, as binding standards which judge state parties' compliance with the provisions of international human rights treaties relating to women's healthcare. Part II describes the scope of maternal morbidity and discusses the reasons for using the United Nations Guidelines. Part III then describes the legal context for creating a state obligation to reduce maternal mortality as part of the guarantee to the right to health. Part IV proposes three ways to use the United Nations Guidelines in setting enforceable standards with respect to states' obligations to take steps to reduce maternal mortality. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Safe Motherhood, International]


Eniola, Bolanle Oluwakemi, Aremo, Joseph I. , Bride Price and Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Women : A Case Study of South Africa and Nigeria , 96 JOURNAL OF LAW, POLICY & GLOBALIZATION, 26-33 (2020)
This article examines the impact of bride price on the sexual and reproductive health rights (SRH) of women in South Africa and Nigeria. By outlining the legal framework of both countries, the author argues that flawed interpretations of bride price directly inhibit SRH rights, which are entrenched in both international instruments (e.g., CEDAW) and domestic laws. By reducing women to the status of legal chattel, bride price may infringe on the right to bodily integrity and self-determination, encouraging early/forced marriage. However, the notion that payment connotes buying the bride is argued to be a misconception of the legal purpose of bride price in African cultures. Rather, bride price indicates a mere token of gratitude and confirmation of consent. Shifting societal norms to reflect this contemporary discourse requires educational initiatives that express bride price as a cultural observation without any ulterior motive to subordinate or commodify women. 


Erdman, Joanna N. , Constitutionalizing Abortion Rights in Canada , 49 OTTAWA LAW REVIEW, 221-261 (2017)
This article explores the Canadian feminist activism which led to constitutional abortion rights established in the SCC case R v Morgentaler in 1988. Part 1 describes covert “back-alley” abortion practices prior and immediately after the 1969 criminal reform. Part II studies how judicial reasoning resulted in the constitutional decisions. Part III explores how Morgentaler 1988 de-radicalized abortion rights.


Erdman, Joanna N. , Theorizing Time in Abortion Law and Human Rights , 19 HEALTH AND HUMAN RIGHTS, 29-40 (2017)
This article looks at the issue of time in abortion laws. Time is a very important factor in abortion laws because the laws often relate or refer to gestational age and length or pregnancy. This article focuses on three struggles over time in abortion laws: those related to morality, health and justice. The article concludes that in respect to morality, collective faith and trust should ultimately be placed in the moral judgement of those most affected; the pregnant women. The article concludes that in respect to health, abortions laws need to be more evidence based to counter the stigma associated with abortions which currently results in overregulation and access barriers. The article concludes that in respect to justice, it is important to recognize that abortion services need to be safe, legal, and accessible.


Fathalla, Mahmoud F. , The Impact of Reproductive Subordination of Women's Health-Family Planning Services , 44 AMERICAN UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW, 1179-89 (1995).
This article notes that empowering women with the ability to regulate and control their fertility is a basic requirement for women's health, well-being and quality of life. It argues that coerced contraception, sterilization or abortion, and coerced motherhood equally deny women the dignity of making reproductive choices. The author notes that the negative impact on health caused by such a violation is equally severe whether it is a result of direct state action or the failure to protect reproductive rights. The author also discusses the Cairo Program of Action which upheld the principles of women's reproductive rights. The author emphasizes that to hold states accountable for both action and inaction in this area, there is a need to bring together the legal community, health community and women's organizations under the banner of human rights treaties and the Women's Convention. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Reproductive Freedom, International]


Fegan, Eileen V. , Recovering Women: Intimate Images and Legal Strategy , 11(2) SOCIAL & LEGAL STUDIES 155-183 (2002)
This article addresses the divergence between the lack of abortion legislation in Canada and women's own experiences obtaining abortions in Canada. The author addresses a mismatch between the public perception and the private experience and she connects women's experience with legal narratives as well as legal theory. The author asserts that ideological notions surrounding abortion can be reshaped by allowing women's experiences to inform the discourse of feminist strategy, partly through empowering women psychologically. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Abortion, Canada]


Feitshans, Ilise , Is There a Human Right to Reproductive Health? , 8 TEXAS JOURNAL OF WOMEN AND THE LAW, 93-133 (1998).
This article was inspired by the 1998 Medical and Ecological Problems of Workers Health Conference (MEPWHC), in which researchers from around the world presented alarming data on the health of pregnant workers. Part I considers the meaning of health and discusses the health protections offered by international human rights documents. Part II examines a declaration written after the MEPWHC by the World Health Organisation/Russian Academy of Medical Sciences Committee of Experts on Reproductive Health at Work (COERHW) and proposes areas for further consideration when the COERHW reconvenes. Part III examines the role of the International Labour Organisation in protecting health in the workplace. Part IV concludes that a human right to reproductive health exists and that laws protecting occupational health, women's health, and reproductive health should be implemented and further developed. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Overview, International]


Fleishman, Rishona , The Battle Against Reproductive Rights: The Impacts of the Catholic Church on Abortion Law in Both International and Domestic Arenas , 14 EMORY INTERNATIONAL LAW REVIEW, 277-306 (2000).
This article scrutinises the stand of the Catholic Church with respect to abortion, and recommends certain measures that should be taken. The first part of the article deals with the traditional attitude of the Catholic Church towards abortion and the role it has played in the international arena. The second part addresses the role and influence of the Catholic Church at the national level, analysing in particular the liberalisation process of abortion law in Spain. The final part presents several strategies by which the Church could constructively participate in the struggle for realising reproductive rights with respect to abortion. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Abortion, International]


Ford, Mary , Evans v United Kingdom: What Implications for the Jurisprudence of Pregnancy? , 8(1) OXFORD HUMAN RIGHTS LAW REVIEW, 171-184 (2008).
This article uses the 2007 case of Evans v United Kingdom (European Court of Human Rights) to analyze human rights provisions in the area of reproductive technologies. Ms. Evans and her then-partner underwent fertility treatments in the course of which they froze some of Ms. Evans' embryos. The case concerned the use of those embryos after the relationship had ended, against Ms. Evans' partner's wishes. The case implicated Articles 2, 8, 12 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, with a particular focus on Article 8, the right to freedom from interference in private life. Mary Ford, Evans v United Kingdom: What Implications for the Jurisprudence of Pregnancy? (2008) 8:1 Oxford Human Rights Law Review 171.


Forder, Caroline , Abortion: A Constitutional Problem in European Perspective , 1 MAASTRICHT JOURNAL EUROPEAN AND COMPARATIVE LAW, 56-100 (1994).
This article investigates the constitutional limits of abortion in Europe. The first part of the article looks at various options found in different European countries for recognizing abortion and considers the advantages and disadvantages. The second part considers the approach to abortion restrictions under German Basic Law and potential lessons for other European countries. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Abortion, International - Europe]


Forder, Caroline , Human Rights Aspects of Assisted Procreation: A European Perspective , 1(2) JOURNAL OF WOMEN'S HEALTH AND LAW 167-207 (1999-00).
This article examines whether or not a right to assisted reproduction could be upheld under international and European law. It shows that there are four types of human rights that might encompass a right to assisted reproduction: 1) the right to marry and found a family; 2) the right to privacy and family life; 3) the right to health; and 4) the right not to suffer discrimination. The author assesses arguments made for and against including a right to assisted reproduction in the first three of these categories of human rights. She notes that article 12 of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women might successfully be used to uphold human rights claim for access to assisted reproduction. She then discusses certain limitations that should be placed on human rights claims to assisted reproduction. Finally, the right not to suffer discrimination in relation to assisted reproduction is examined. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Reproductive Freedom, International - Europe]


Freedman, L.P. , Using Human Rights in Maternal Mortality Programs: From Analysis to Strategy , 75 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GYNECOLOGY AND OBSTETRICS 51-60 (2001)
The author of this article argues that the high mortality rates experienced by pregnant women globally are largely preventable. She advocates a broad-based movement informed by human rights to overcome maternal death and disability by improving access to, and the quality of, emergency obstetric care services, and prioritizing maternal health issues at the clinical and national policy levels. The author uses human rights principles to assert that governments have an obligation to address the health concerns of pregnant women. Her argument highlights the intersection of maternal health with other more conventional human rights themes, like dignity and gender discrimination. The author emphasizes the importance of using human rights to guide the design and implementation of maternal mortality policies and programs in order to achieve the goal of lower mortality rates. Specific examples are discussed to demonstrate how human rights can be applied in health programs. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Safe Motherhood, International]


Freedman, Lynn , Human Rights and the Politics of Risk and Blame: Lessons from the International Reproductive Health Movement , 52(4) JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL WOMEN'S ASSOCIATION, 165-168 (1997).
This article examines criticisms advanced by public health professionals that public health has become too "politicized". The author argues that epidemiological concepts of risk are routinely used in the legal and political systems to apportion blame and responsibility for poor health. This article uses the example of reproductive health and rights to argue that new understandings of the connection between socioeconomic conditions and poor health will only generate change when they are reframed into political claims and pressed by social movements. In this regard, the author notes that human rights language, principles, and practice hold great potential for the U.S. reproductive rights movement, which has sometimes been constrained by the narrow scope of court rulings. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Overview, International - North America]


Freedman, Lynn , Reflections on Emerging Frameworks of Health and Human Rights , 1(4) HEALTH AND HUMAN RIGHTS, 315-348 (1998).
This article discusses ways in which the analytical tools of public health can be used in conjunction with emerging theories of human rights to craft effective advocacy strategies, focusing particularly on women's reproductive health and reproductive rights. It notes that public health research, although often presented as an objective scientific inquiry, is actually a value-laden and therefore, highly political endeavor that should be used by advocates to elucidate the connections between women's health and the wider social, economic, and political conditions in which they live. The author points out that such research can then inform theory and practice in the dynamic field of women's human rights. This article suggests an approach to health and human rights collaboration that views women as committed, indispensable members of the collectivities in which they live, and that seeks to identify and implement social structures and cultural configurations that promote and support women's dignity and autonomy and thus, their health and well-being,in that social context. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Overview, International]


Gilbert, Lauren , Rights, Refugee Women and Reproductive Health , 44 AMERICAN UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW, 1213-52 (1995).
This paper examines means to effectively apply human rights norms to protect and ensure reproductive rights of refugee women. The author examines the gap between refugee law and the actual practice of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and international donors in responding to the needs of refugee women. This examination explores the applicability of other legal and policy frameworks for addressing issues of sexual violence and reproductive health. The paper also addresses the issue of transnational versus individual state responsibility for guaranteeing to refugee women the full range of human rights. [Descriptors: Migration - Refugees and Immigration, Reproductive Rights - Overview International]


Girard, Françoise , Cairo + Five: Reviewing Progress for Women Five Years After the International Conference on Population and Development , 1 JOURNAL OF WOMEN'S HEALTH AND LAW, 1-14 (1999).
In 1999, five years after the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), 170 countries and 200 NGOs met to examine the successes and failures of implementing the ICPD's Programme of Action (POA). This article briefly reviews the findings of this meeting. The author explains what the POA is and highlights five of its commitments to improve women's sexual and reproductive health. In spite of these commitments, the POA is found to have shortcomings such as the "sovereignty clause" which provides that "the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Programme of Action is the sovereign right of each country". The author describes four new commitments undertaken by governments at the ICPD Plus Five Review and discusses steps that must be taken to ensure the achievement of both of these goals and the goals in the original POA. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Overview, International]