The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) adopted a statement last night that included the first-ever mention of emergency contraception in a document on global priorities for ending violence against women.
March 16, 2013
Despite opposition from Egypt, Iran, and the Holy See, the CSW, the body of member states that meets annually to address progress in women’s rights around the world, reaffirmed past UN agreements acknowledging that reproductive rights are human rights, and that young people have the right to decide on all matters related to their sexuality; and it recognized the reproductive health needs of victims of gender-based violence.
“You cannot prevent or address violence against women without recognizing survivors’ reproductive health needs,” said Latanya Mapp Frett, vice president–global, Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “This acknowledgment by the global community is a win for women and girls around the world.”
Negotiations during the two week convening of the CSW remained tense until the final hours of debate, with member states including Egypt, Iran, and the Holy See leading objections to any language recognizing the individual’s needs based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Additionally, they voiced reservations about language acknowledging intimate partner violence.
“There should be no debate when it comes to empowering women and girls,” Frett said. “We will continue to push for global recognition of diverse gender identities and sexual orientations and for stronger protections for survivors of intimate partner violence.”