Research Themes Overview

Progressive realisation of sexual and reproductive health rights among poor and marginalised populations depends on three factors:

•  More conducive social and policy environments for improving sexual and reproductive health

•  The provision of sensitive, accessible and affordable services, products and information

•  Mobilisation of groups to demand their rights and the means to achieve them.

The guiding principle of the Realising Rights programme is that these three pathways are mutually supporting. Radical improvements will best be achieved by simultaneously focusing on all three.

Our research programme is divided into three main themes that can contribute most effectively to these pathways to sexual and reproductive health rights. The research themes are:

•  Measurement and mapping of morbidities and social vulnerabilities

•  Meeting rights through improving access to and rights of poor and socially-excluded people to sexual and reproductive health services and technologies

•  Contextualising and operationalising rights at national and local level

Conceptual approaches

The programme is multidisciplinary and draws together complementary frameworks for strengthening sexual and reproductive health and rights, including:

•  A developmental approach to sexual and reproductive health and rights. This links a multidimensional understanding of poverty, gender and livelihoods to sexual and reproductive health and rights through an analysis of the pathways between sexual and reproductive health outcomes and poverty

•  A gender relations framework for understanding how sexual and reproductive health is embedded in the dynamics of gender inequalities

•  A life-course approach that expands definitions of sexual and reproductive health and rights, drawing on the frameworks of the International Conference on Population and Development, the Beijing Platform, and human rights discourses

•  A health systems approach to service delivery needs

•  Socially-embedded rather than universalistic perspectives on realising human rights.