Sexual and reproductive rights in Europe: between threats and progress
Sexual and reproductive rights are absolutely essential in achieving independence and empowerment for women as well as equality, not just between genders but between all people, irrespective of their gender identity and sexual orientation. Although equality is an integral part of the European agenda, the European Union (EU) is lagging behind on these issues.
Always challenged yet never trivialised, the sexual and reproductive rights have always held a place “apart" among human rights. They must be defended constantly to ensure that they are not only recognised, but truly implemented. They prompt misgivings of a moral, social, cultural or religious nature. These rights are a prime example of a matter that concerns both the private and political spheres, with a twofold societal dimension in that they reflect sociological shifts in terms of what a couple, the family and sexuality mean for example, but are also private since they concern the relationship with our own body.
Against this uncertain and shifting backdrop, the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (ESEC) considered it of the utmost importance to draw attention to the threats facing these sexual and reproductive rights and to assess their recognition in the eyes of the law, their effectiveness, the resistance and opposition they fuel and the current issues and challenges.