Advancing Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century

Published: 24 June 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/zcrd68rpv6.1
Taiwo Bawa-Muhammad


This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the critical global challenges and emerging opportunities in advancing women's sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in the 21st century. The author explores the centrality of SRHR to women's empowerment, documents the persistent barriers to SRHR, and outlines a rights-based agenda for driving progress, including through legal and policy reform, health system strengthening, and addressing social determinants. The paper also highlights innovative approaches, such as the integration of digital health technologies and the need for multisectoral collaboration, to accelerate SRHR achievements. Finally, the author issues a call to action, underscoring the imperative of strengthening political will, fostering equity and inclusion, and amplifying the voices of women and girls to realize universal SRHR.


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Advancing women's sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is a critical global imperative that is inextricably linked to the realization of gender equality, women's empowerment, and sustainable development. While significant progress has been made in recent decades, the 21st century continues to present persistent challenges and emerging opportunities in this vital arena. In this paper, Taiwo Hassanat Bawa-Muhammad, a seasoned public health professional from Nigeria, provides a comprehensive exploration of the multifaceted issues surrounding women's SRHR. Drawing on her extensive experience and a thorough review of the literature, the author unpacks the centrality of SRHR to women's empowerment, documents the complex web of barriers that continue to undermine universal access, and outlines a bold, rights-based agenda for driving progress. Importantly, the paper not only highlights the persistent challenges, but also shines a light on the innovative approaches and emerging opportunities that hold promise for accelerating SRHR achievements in the years to come. This includes the integration of digital health technologies, the imperative of fostering multi-stakeholder collaboration, and the critical need to center the voices and experiences of women and girls themselves. By providing a comprehensive, evidence-based analysis, this paper aims to serve as a valuable resource for policymakers, program implementers, researchers, and advocates working to advance the SRHR agenda. The insights and calls to action presented here have the potential to catalyze renewed momentum and greater collective impact in this vital domain, ultimately empowering women and girls to live healthy, dignified, and fulfilling lives.


Primary Health Care Inc


Sexual Public Health, Women's Health, Global Women's Health, Collaboration Strategy