Opposition to SRHR

Opposition to SRHR might rise from challenging environments where for instance family planning services might be acceptable but be limited to only married couples excluding everyone else (adolescents, unmarried, sex workers, sexual and gender minorities). There is also well-financed and organised anti-gender movement consisting on ultra-conservatives.

  • One most notably force against SRHR is widely recognized so called anti-gender movement. The term “anti-gender movement” is often used to describe a loosely affiliated group of individuals and organizations who oppose certain aspects of gender equality and advocate for traditional gender roles and norms. Supporters of the movement may have various motivations, including religious, cultural, or ideological beliefs. The movement’s opposition to these issues can have harmful consequences for public health, individual rights, and social progress.
  • The main subject the movement fight against are: Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), Reproductive Rights such as access to contraception and safe abortion services, LGBTQI+ Rights and Gender Equality.
  • The anti-gender movement should be considered when formulating development policies and must be actively countered, as it is well-funded, organized, and wields influence over policy decisions, resulting in the reversal of laws and policies that promote gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
  • Conservative/traditional societies, communities and cultures raise several barriers that impede universal access to SRHR. Access to rights-based services, such as contraception and comprehensive sexuality education, is often compromised or denied.
  • In challenging environments SRHR taboos include several topics such as sexuality in general, condom use, family planning, addressing sexual and gender based violence.
  • It is essential to recognize and address these taboos to be able to advance SRHR and break the barriers for positive changes.
  • Certain groups are marginalized and left behind in challenging environments. Especially adolescents are not receiving comprehensive sexuality education which would equip them with skills to enhance their well-being, nor can they access SRH services to realize safe sex practices. Either adolescents are denied services, they are embarrassed to seek them, or they are treated with disrespect and negative attitudes.
  • Building enabling environments is a complex task that requires long-term interventions at family, community and policy level.

Read more:

European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF) resource to anti-gender