Understanding SRHR

To understand sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is to understand gender equality. When women’s and girls’ SRHR are respected, protected, and honored, they can:
  • Live free from sexual violence
  • Choose if and when to have sexual relationships and with whom
  • Choose if and when they marry and who they marry
  • Choose if, when, and under what circumstances they have children
  • Attend school and choose for their children to attend school
  • Engage in political processes and public life
  • Have greater economic participation

Unfortunately, SRHR are by no means universal. Today, women and girls around the world are denied these basic human rights. Restrictive policies, insufficient funding, systematic discrimination and stigmatization, harmful traditional practices, and outright violence have led to devastating health consequences for women and girls. Tens of thousands of women and girls die each year from unsafe abortions, hundreds of millions have an unmet need for family planning, hundreds of thousands die from pregnancy-related causes, and women account for more than half of the world’s population living with HIV.

These issues might seem a world away, but U.S. politics and policy play a significant role in preventing women and girls and others who face stigma and discrimination from realizing their rights and living the lives they want to live. CHANGE is committed to breaking down the barriers to these rights by building political will among U.S. decision-makers, funders, and advocates to make SRHR a foreign policy priority.

We hold the U.S. government accountable for the aid and policies they implement overseas. We’re vigilant against ideologies and political impulses that shape policy and threaten hard-fought human rights of women and girls globally.

Gender equality, and the true empowerment of women and girls, is only possible when SRHR is realized.

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