New UNFPA study on SDG indicator 5.6.1: What determines women’s ability to decide on their sexual and reproductive health and rights?

HEART partners hera‘s Alice Behrendt and Marieke Devillé, under supervision of Dia Timmermans, are currently working on a UNFPA funded systematic review investigating factors determining women’s ability to make their own decisions regarding sexual relations, contraceptive use and reproductive health care in lower and middle income settings. The team is working with the UNFPA human rights officer.

In 2018, the UNFPA commenced analysis of available data to explore factors determining the results of the Sustainable Development Goal indicator 5.6.1 and how this indicator relates to desirable reproductive health and gender equality outcomes. The Indicator 5.6.1 looks at the proportion of married women aged 15–49 years who make their own informed decisions regarding sexual relations, contraceptive use and reproductive health care.

The rationale for the current UNFPA funded hera review is to triangulate data from qualitative and quantitative sources to increase understanding on what factors impact on women’s empowerment on SRHR. The age range for the study is 15 – 49 years. The approach will include a systematic review and literature review, informant interviews, and case studies.

The specific areas of interest are summarised in the questions below:

  1. What factors influence women’s informed decision making on sexual relations, contraceptive use and reproductive health care?
  2. What type of development and humanitarian (or Nexus) interventions and programs impact positively and sustainably on women’s informed decision making on sexual relations, contraceptive use and reproductive health care?
  3. Who is being left behind? Which women groups are the most disadvantaged in relation to decision making regarding sexual relations, contraceptive use and reproductive health care?

Sustainable Development Goal number five is to achieve gender equality by 2030. SDG goal 5.6 sets out to “ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights,” and indicator 5.6.1 points to an important set of targets to measure progress. Achievement of sexual and reproductive health relies on the realization of sexual and reproductive rights, which are based on the human rights of all individuals. hera is committed to supporting human rights and the rights of all individuals to make decisions governing their bodies and to access services that support that right.

Results from hera’s review will be made available on their website when they are ready, please follow hera on twitter if you wish to receive updates and contact them if you wish to learn more.

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