Sustainable Development Goals and Sexual and Reproductive Health
In a new comment published in The Lancet, experts Ann Starrs, Alex Ezeh, Gilda Sedgh, and Susheela Singh outline the collective work needed to advance sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services for all by 2030. They emphasize the significant contributions of SRH to economic growth, poverty eradication, gains in education, reduced inequalities, and environmental sustainability.
The authors note that progress has been made in SRH since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, such as a 13% decline in the global adolescent birth rate. However, they highlight that progress in many areas has stalled, with maternal mortality rates remaining high and even increasing in some high-income countries. They attribute this lack of progress to the politicization of sex, gender, and reproduction.
The authors call on all countries to integrate SRH services into their universal health coverage plans and budgets. They advocate for the inclusion of the following essential package of SRH services recommended by the Guttmacher–Lancet Commission:
- Comprehensive sexuality education
- Counseling and services for a range of modern contraceptives
- Antenatal, childbirth, and postnatal care
- Safe abortion services and treatment of complications
- Prevention and treatment of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections
- Prevention, detection, and services for cases of sexual and gender-based violence
- Prevention, detection, and management of reproductive cancers
- Information, counseling, and services for subfertility and infertility
- Information, counseling, and services for sexual health and well-being
The authors conclude that with commitment and leadership from national governments, supported by a broad base of stakeholders, the realization of universal access to the full range of SRH services is well within reach.
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SDGs, Targets, and Indicators
1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?
- SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being
- SDG 4: Quality Education
- SDG 5: Gender Equality
- SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
- SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
- SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
- SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?
- Target 3.1: By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio.
- Target 3.7: By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services.
- Target 4.7: By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development.
- Target 5.1: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.
- Target 5.2: Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres.
- Target 8.5: By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities.
- Target 10.2: By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, or economic or other status.
- Target 11.7: By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive, and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons, and persons with disabilities.
- Target 16.1: Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere.
3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?
Yes, the article mentions or implies several indicators that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets. These include:
- Maternal mortality rate
- Adolescent birth rate
- Access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights services
- Number of women and girls experiencing violence
- Number of hospitals providing maternity services
- Representation of women in leadership positions
- Access to contraception
- Incidence of congenital syphilis
- Particulate pollution levels
- Duration of long COVID symptoms
SDGs, Targets, and Indicators Table
|SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being||Target 3.1: By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio.||Maternal mortality rate|
|SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being||Target 3.7: By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services.||Access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights services|
|Target 3.7: By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services.||Incidence of congenital syphilis|
|SDG 4: Quality Education||Target 4.7: By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development.||Number of hospitals providing maternity services|
|SDG 5: Gender Equality||Target 5.1: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.||Number of women and girls experiencing violence|
|Target 5.2: Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres.||Number of women and girls experiencing violence|
|SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth||Target 8.5: By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities.||Representation of women in leadership positions|
|SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities||Target 10.2: By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, or economic or other status.||Representation of women in leadership positions|
|SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities||Target 11.7: By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive, and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons, and persons with disabilities.||Number of hospitals providing maternity services|
|SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions||Target 16.1: Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere.||Number of women and girls experiencing violence|
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