September 13, 1994

United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD)

Feminist activists continued to carve out space at UN conferences, insisting that women’s perspectives be heard at the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo, Egypt in September of 1994. A similar process to the Global Campaign for women’s human rights was organized by the International Women’s Health Coalition with its Global South allies in the three years leading up to the conference, including international gathering in Rio to agree upon a feminist agenda in 1992 and feminist presence at the regional and global preparatory meetings for ICPD. The Cairo Programme of Action reflected “a paradigm shift in population policy because of its overarching human rights frame and emphasis on the interconnections of sexual and reproductive health, gender equality, women’s empowerment and poverty reduction.”[1] This paradigm shift centered the crucial role of women’s reproductive rights for both population and development policies and called for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, including universal access to reproductive health services and the reduction of maternal mortality and the health risks associated with unsafe abortion.

[1] Sonia Correa, Adrienne Germain and Gita Sen. “Feminist mobilizing for global commitments to the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls.” In Women and Girls Rising: Progress and resistance around the world, edited by Ellen Chesler and Terry McGovern, 51-68. Routledge: 2015.

Category: Conferences