This is the second report in the Vision 2020 series, published by the International Planned Parenthood Foundation  this publication.”SRHR- the key to gender equality and women’s empowerment” sets out how SRHR is critical to gender equality and women’s empowerment across three dimensions. It explores how ensuring universal access to SRHR can promote economic growth, social equity and political participation. My evidence review and policy recommendations inform and are reproduced in the first of three sections, on equality in social development. The report also draws on my research into pathways of empowerment.

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The research examines the relationship between SRHR and three key aspects of social development: health, education, and sexual and gender-based violence, as critical to the empowerment and equality of girls and women all spheres of development.  Among other areas, it highlights that globally, the single leading risk factor for death and disability in women of reproductive age in low‑and middle‑income countries is unsafe sex, mainly due to HIV, and to maternal mortality; that girls in smaller families tend to have fewer care taking responsibilities, girl children are valued more, gender and family dynamics are more supportive of girls and women, and there are lower rates of adolescent pregnancy; and that convincing links have been shown between the care‑giving roles and economic responsibilities of children in families living with HIV and disruptions to schooling for girls. It highlights too that screening for violence in the context of SRH services can be effective in preventing the recurrence of violence and enabling the empowerment of women and girls. Find the full report and related recommendations here.