“I demand that governments respect our rights as women. We are girls and we have rights, and so long as they do not respect these rights, we will continue to fight to demand them.”
- Clara, youth rights promoter, Nicaragua
Being able to make our own decisions about our bodies and our lives is a basic human right. But for millions worldwide, it’s a right violated daily.
Nearly 20 years ago at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), governments agreed that sexual and reproductive rights are human rights. But what has happened since then? Many of the 1.8 billion young people worldwide still struggle to access the information, sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services they need.
Too many young women and girls face violence, coercion and discrimination. They are unable to access contraception without consent from their husband or family, forced into marriage, or denied access to safe and legal abortion. Boys and girls are taught to think and behave in ways that perpetuate these violations of their human rights. Some governments and groups are even questioning the principle of gender equality.
In the lead up to the 2014 ICPD+20 Conference, world leaders will meet to discuss progress on sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the future they hope to create. They need to hear our voices now. Amnesty International will deliver petition signatures directly at events throughout 2013.
Photo: Women, girls, men and boys take to the streets in Nicaragua on the Day for the Decriminalization of Abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean, 28 September 2011 © Amnesty International