Sexual and reproductive health is undeniably at the core of being human. It ensures the continuity of the human species through reproduction. It ensures the continuity of life when well taken care of. It is rather safe to say our sexual and reproductive health condition as humans determines the beginning or the end of life. It determines our socio-economic status; it determines the livelihood of our offspring. Our right to it therefore to it is undoubtedly not in question.
According to Amnesty International USA, sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is an essential component of the universal right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Therefore the United States have a mandate to ensure that this right is enjoyed by all the people in a nation. Amnesty International goes on to breakdown those rights as the right to get access to sexual and reproductive health care, autonomy in making decisions over one's sexual and reproductive choices, this is a critical component of beings exercising freedom of choice.
The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) which was held in Egypt, defines sexual and reproductive health rights to include voluntary, informed and affordable family planning services; prenatal care, safe motherhood services and assisted childbirth from a trained attendant, this is a very important aspect of health delivery. It also includes prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections including HIV and Aids as well as cervical cancer, safe and accessible post-abortion care and legal access to safe abortion services. Sexual health information, education and counseling to enhance personal relationships and quality of life are an integral aspect of these rights.
This essay discusses Zimbabwe's laws, policies and social stance in relation to sexual and reproductive rights and unpacks how they impact on human rights.