3 September 2020

Libraries and Women’s Rights to Sexual and Reproductive Health: Building Awareness, Providing Access to Information and Knowledge

IFLA Response to the Call for Submissions on Women’s and Girls’ Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Situations of Crisis

IFLA has submitted a response to the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights' call for inputs on women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Libraries around the world are working to raise awareness and knowledge about women’s SRHR, helping deliver on their fundamental rights to health and access to information.

The UN OHCHR Working Group on discrimination against women and girls is examining the challenges and good practices in ensuring women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in situations of crisis. One of the key elements in delivering on these rights is providing access to information – scientific and accurate materials about sexual and reproductive health and information about women’s rights and available services in these areas.

As part of their mission to deliver equitable access to knowledge and information, libraries help ensure that women and girls are able to acquire, understand and use SRHR information. Drawing on the experiences of different libraries in this field, IFLA has prepared a submission to this call for inputs, highlighting various good practices and key considerations.

This submission discusses:

  • The role of core library services (access to relevant print and electronic courses, information services, public internet access) in ensuring women and girls’ access to SRHR information.
  • Library-based targeted initiatives designed to raise awareness and knowledge of SRHR, especially initiatives focusing on girls and women in more vulnerable demographics.
  • Examples of partnerships working to widen access to SRHR information and services through libraries.

You can read IFLA’s submission on the publications page.

FAIFE (Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression), Access to information, Access to knowledge, Human rights, Women’s issues

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