Ensuring universal access to reproductive health is about supporting women and young people, especially those who are the most disadvantaged, to make choices in their lives. This publication relates the life stories of eight women who have endured various challenges related to poor reproductive health. Each story gives a voice and a face to those most affected by the failures of dysfunctional health systems — and by gender inequality, violation of their human rights, blatant disregard for their social and cultural circumstances, and abject poverty.
These eight women -- from Bangladesh, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Moldova, Niger, Uganda and Zambia -- represent millions of others in low- and middle- income countries who have overcome obstacles, confronted injustice and demanded the right to a better future. Their lives are a testament to the positive change that can happen when women are empowered to transform their situations and are afforded access to good quality, integrated sexual and reproductive health care and services.
UNFPA created this publication because reproductive health is all about the story of women and their quest for justice and equality. One of the women interviewed was surprised at first to learn that she had any story to tell. Yet she, like most women,had a powerful story to share. Eight Lives: Stories of reproductive health reminds us to make certain that the global response to sexual and reproductive health puts people, especially women and girls, first.