Since the late 1990s approaches to women's reproductive health has shifted from a service-based model to a human rights approach. This approach associates reproductive health with freedom from discrimination and enjoyment of a satisfying and safe sex life, and full access to information and services related to reproduction. In spite of this shift, and the global effort to promote women's reproductive health through the enhancement of human rights and gender equality, progress has been very slow. In this book the author fills a much-needed empirical study of women's reproductive health. The author assesses data from 137 developing countries (or areas) and challenges the prevailing bioscience and public health models by linking women's reproductive health to gender equality measures and development policies. Discussion on abortion rights, regional variations and reproductive health needs among refugees and internally displaced persons are also discussed. This is a timely study which provides a theoretical and social policy basis for monitoring and improving women's reproductive health in developing countries. This is particularly important in the light of insufficient research in the field and a lack of analysis on the empirical and theoretical linkages between reproductive health and gender equality. The book will be of interest to researchers, professionals and students interested in women's health issues, gender/women's studies and human rights.
Guang-zhen Wang is a Professor and Departmental Chair of the Sociology department at the University of Texas - Pan American. She is the co-author of 'Women's Reproductive Rights in Developing Countries' (Ashgate, 1999)
'Wang's book is a much-welcome tour de force, bringing together elusive data from 137 developing countries (or areas) with an innovative analytical framework connecting gender inequality to health. It is an ambitious, highly readable contribution to our understanding. A "must read" for all development leaders as well as academics who seek to understand global challenges.' Susan A. McDaniel, University of Lethbridge, Canada