The swift development of human race has comprehensively stressing on the vitality of health as an indispensable component consisting of fundamental value for an entity’s capability to flourish. Access to Sexual & Reproductive Rights is one of the important fundamental as well as basic human rights and recognized as the subset of human rights which are the state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and also entails the freedom to have a safe sexual and reproductive opportunities and rights. Reproductive Rights of Women are also protected under the Constitution of India and embraces immense vitality. However, its recognition in India is still trivial and is understood only in context of female feticide, pregnancy, and menstrual health and hygiene issues.
Neglect of the reproductive rights of women amounts to discriminatory practices, gender inequality and deters access to reproductive health services. Various facets of reproductive health are still neglected. Facets like abortion, surrogacy, female genital mutilation, forced virginity examination, pregnancy inclusive of coerced pregnancy, menstruation, etc still face paucity of exacting legislations.
Due to the engrained patriarchy and established social values, women are compelled to undergo through unwanted & repetitive pregnancies, coerced virginity examination and many others despite several health implications and the infringement of their fundamental human rights. Notwithstanding the remedies provided by the courts for the violation of reproductive rights, a significant means for the practical realization and availability of these rights lie in transmitting the essential information and knowledge to the women whose daily subsistence are affected by such discriminatory practices. Irrefutably, an express and stringent legislation is needed for proper implementation of reproductive rights but legislation shall be complimented with the dissemination of awareness amongst the women and society as well.
Aparna Singh, Assistant Professor, Unitedworld School of Law (UWSL)
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