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Breaking Through: A Guide to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

The coming together of the international community in Cairo in 1994 at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) signalled a radical change in the approach to population issues. Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) replaced the narrower, demographically oriented perspective. The right of the individual to information and reproductive health services in order to take control of his/her own sexuality was brought into focus, as was the importance of gender equality at all levels of society. Objectives and an action plan to achieve them were adopted by 179 countries in the ICPD Programme of Action. Five years later, countries met again at a follow-up conference, called ICPD+5, to evaluate the progress of implementing the ICPD Programme of Action.

To mark the tenth anniversary of the Cairo conference, the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU) published this ICPD guide, which is a useful tool for those who negotiate and advocate on sexual and reproductive health and rights issues. The guide offers an overview of the Programme of Action; an explanation of controversial SRHR terms, "the opposition", and various political arguments; and a summary of international treaties and documents relevant to our efforts to reinforce SRHR as a fundamental human right. The book is published by RFSU. The Center for Reproductive Rights assisted in drafting certain sections of the text.