Discussions of sexual and reproductive health and rights do not necessarily inspire those of climate change. Likewise, SRHR does not spring to mind when climate change is being discussed. But the two are inextricably linked. Climate change is one of the biggest threats faced by nations across the world today and like is the case with most humanitarian crises, SRHR is an important factor that should not be dismissed.
One significant example is the detrimental effect that climate disasters and extreme weather events, such as floods, tsunamis and hurricanes etc. have on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls across the world. In emergencies such as these, healthcare services and clinics have to shut down and are not available as a result of power outages, significant destruction of the infrastructure and death of medical personnel. As a result, there is reduced access to emergency contraception, STI treatments and PEP to reduce HIV infections. This can lead to unwanted pregnancies, the spreading of preventable diseases and even death.
This is just one link between climate change and SRHR but there are many more. There is no doubt that SRHR concerns need to be incorporated into adaptation and mitigation efforts in order for states and organisations alike to provide a comprehensive response to climate change.
In 2021, the CoP will conduct a desk review and mapping on SRHR and Climate (Change) with the support of an intern. Later on, they plan to develop a draft position paper on SRHR and Climate including recommendations for organisations. This position paper shall be discussed and validated through round tables with Share-Net members as well as with the wider SRHR and climate community. The CoP additionally aims to organise a meeting the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to explore needs and areas of work.
CoP members can access their online working space on Mighty networks via this link (Share-Net Netherlands members only).
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