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Areas of action

Realising sexual and reproductive rights


Young girls attend an informal school outside a mosque in Afghanistan.

By promoting the rights of women and their participation in all societal processes and decision-making, German de­vel­op­ment policy is making a key contribution to realising sexual and reproductive rights. The basis of success in this field is an orientation to human rights standards and to fundamental human rights principles.

With its Human Rights Action Plan 2010–2012, the German gov­ern­ment has reaffirmed its political commitment to strengthening human rights. Realising sexual and reproductive rights is an im­por­tant part of this commitment.

Access to appropriate medical care is also a human right, and can prevent women and children suffering avoidable diseases or even dying as a result of such conditions. Germany supports partner coun­tries in putting in place relevant health services.

Irrespective of their particular thrust, all German de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion measures are under an obligation to comply with the principle of the equitable participation of women and men in the de­vel­op­ment process. They must promote this objective by means of initiatives in politics and society (gender mainstreaming). The approach is based on the De­vel­op­ment Policy Action Plan on Gender 2009–2012.

Improving education opportunities for girls and women is key. Girls and women must be able to gain access to information, to claim their right to sexual self-determination and to take informed and autonomous decisions on when and how often they become pregnant.

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