Sexual and reproductive health and rights
Canada works to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in order to empower women and girls and to contribute to gender equality.
Evidence demonstrates the positive relationship between SRHR and the economic empowerment of women and girls:
- Access to family planning enables women to choose the timing and spacing of their pregnancies
- Fewer pregnancies lead to greater workforce participation for women. With each additional child born to a woman between the ages of 25 and 39, it is estimated that labor participation decreases 10%-15%
- Improved menstrual health means women and girls are not required to miss work or school
- Adolescent pregnancy can have negative social and economic effects on girls, their families, and their communities. Often, girls who become pregnant have to drop out of school, and girls with little or no education have fewer skills and opportunities to find a job
- Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) can contribute to a reduction in rates of adolescent pregnancy and rates of HIV. Both pregnancy and disease during adolescence can inhibit workforce participation later in life
Sexual and reproductive health and rights
SRHR is not only a health issue but also a human rights issue and a gender equality issue. It is important to understand SRHR within the broader context of people’s lives. This includes their economic and education status and their risk of sexual and other gender-based violence, as well as the existence of harmful social and cultural practices and legal structures. Due to the multi-sectoral nature of SRHR, a gender-responsive, rights-based approach is needed with linkages to the wider suite of human rights.
Canada’s approach to SRHR will work to address systemic barriers facing the most vulnerable and marginalized populations, including but not limited to:
- adolescent girls
- LGBTI persons
- Indigenous peoples
- persons with disabilities
- ethnic and religious minorities
It will also support SRHR programming that meets the specific needs, rights, and interests of these groups.
Canada’s approach will also support SRHR programming that meets the needs of men and boys, and will support their role in advancing SRHR and achieving gender equality.
Canada supports the goal of ensuring that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every girl and woman is treated with the dignity and respect she deserves.
As part of our feminist approach, Canada is committed to supporting access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health services and information. This funding will support the full range of sexual and reproductive health services and information. This includes comprehensive sexuality education, family planning, prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence, safe and legal abortion, and post-abortion care.
Over 2015-2020, Canada has committed $3.5 billion to improving the health and rights of women and children. As part of our approach, Canada seeks opportunities to support investments that provide an integrated package of health services. Canada’s assistance is focused on helping the poorest and most vulnerable, including in fragile and conflict-affected states.
On March 8, 2017, Minister Bibeau announced $650M in support to sexual and reproductive health and rights as a means of advancing the gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls. This funding will support the full range of sexual and reproductive health services and information.
On March 2, 2017, Minister Bibeau announced up to $20M for 2017-2018 to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and girls, including up to: $4M to the International Planned Parenthood Federation, $4M to Population Services International, $4M to Marie Stopes International, $5M to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and $3M to Ipas. Funding will provide support for comprehensive SRHR services and information, including safe and legal abortion.
In March 2016, Canada announced $81.6 million in support to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), including $5 million to UNFPA Supplies for their flagship contraceptive supplies initiative, an $11 million contribution to a project in Honduras to prevent adolescent pregnancies, $50 million to a project in South Sudan to train midwives and other front-line providers, and $15.6 million in renewed institutional funding to UNFPA.
Democratic Republic of Congo - Reaching Adolescent Girls Everywhere- Increasing Youth Access to Family Planning and Contraceptives
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