Although past resistance to sexual rights in global debates has often been grounded in claims to culture, nation and religion, opposition voices are now using, rather than rejecting, the frame of international human rights. This Commentary argues that, despite opponents’ attempts to defeat sexual rights with other rights claims, a careful understanding of the principles of international human rights and its legal development exposes how the use of rights to oppose sexual rights should, and will ultimately, fail. The Commentary briefly takes up three kinds of “rights” claims made by opponents of sexual rights: limiting rights to protect rights, textual basis, and universality, and explores the rationales and impact of their application to countering sexual rights. Because sexuality and reproduction intersect as well as diverge in the opposition they face, this struggle matters intensely and plays out across advocacy, programmatic and policy worlds. Underpinning this Commentary is the understanding that opposition to sexual and reproductive health rights uses common arguments about rights principles that must be understood in order to be countered.
Authors: Alice M. Miller, Sofia Gruskin, Jane Cottingham, Eszter Kismödi
Published By: Reproductive Health Matters
Date: November 1, 2015
Publication Link: http://www.rhm-elsevier.com/article/S0968-8080(15)00084-1/abstract