Sexual and reproductive health beyond 2014: Equality, Quality of care and Accountability
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In 1994, the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) endorsed a Programme of Action that set forth an ambitious population and development strategy (1). The ICPD Programme of Action was remarkable in its recognition that gender equality and equity, and the empowerment of women and human rights, are cornerstones of population and development (1, Principles 1, 4 and 8). This led to a paradigm shift from earlier policies targeting population control, to one that places the individual at the centre, and respects choice, rights and empowerment. A total of 179 countries endorsed this programme, and have worked over the last 20 years to meet its objectives. The 20th anniversary of the ICPD Programme of Action is an opportunity for the global community to reflect on progress made in advancing sexual and reproductive health, and address remaining challenges. This paper highlights the main achievements, gaps and remaining challenges in the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action in key areas related to sexual and reproductive health, and identifies cross-cutting themes impacting service provision. To advance the sexual and reproductive health and rights agenda beyond 2014/2015, inequalities must be addressed, quality of care guaranteed and accountability enhanced.