Expert Round-table Meeting on Ensuring Reproductive Rights, and Implementing Sexual and Reproductive Health Programmes

 Kampala, Uganda
22-25 June 1998

Report of the Round Table on Ensuring Reproductive Rights and Implementing Sexual and Reproductive Health Programmes Including Women’s Empowerment, Male Involvement and Human Rights.


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The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has convened an international round-table meeting on 22-25 June in Kampala, Uganda, to discuss progress made since the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in ensuring reproductive rights, especially for women, and in implementing sexual and reproductive health programmes.

The round-table, Dr. Nafis Sadik said, should address the empowerment of women and the role of men in that process. Women's empowerment must include education, support and advocacy for the rights of women and girls, and free choice in the numbers and spacing of children. Empowerment requires changes in the attitudes and behaviour of men, she stressed. Programmes must therefore educate them and provide them with access to appropriate reproductive health services and information. Press Release

The Director of Uganda's Population Secretariat, Jotham Musinguzi, said his country has tried innovatively to implement the Programme of Action, with the help of UNFPA, and will continue to strive to "promote reproductive rights, provide reproductive health programmes, empower women, involve men and protect human rights". "Even though Uganda has done its best, its best may not be good enough," he continued. "Therefore, we will follow the outcome of the round table closely in order to find lessons to learn and apply in this country. Press Release

Sharad Iyengar, Executive Director of Action Research and Training for Health (ARTH), reported on recent policy and programme changes in India since the ICPD. India's reproductive health and rights situation mirrors its wide demographic diversity, sociocultural influences and the various capacities of civil institutions, he said. But one common thread is the need to translate policy changes into concrete, sustainable actions. He cited decentralization measures and the abolition in 1995 of family planning targets and quotas.Press Release

Jackson Chekweko, project manager of Uganda's Reproductive, Education and Community Health Programme (REACH), which has ended the practice in the eastern district of Kapchorwa, just two years after its launching in 1996. The UNFPA-supported programme works with elders, peer educators and health workers to create positive cultural values and empower girls through education. Press Release

Barbara Klugman, coordinator of the Women’s Health Project at the University of the Witwatersrand, then reported on the gains made in legislating and implementing reproductive rights in South Africa since the end of apartheid. This progress includes the country’s new constitution, which contains explicit provisions for equality, health care and sexual and reproductive rights; its newly adopted population policy; and the Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1997. Press Release

Anika Rahman, Director of the International Programme of the New York-based Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, spoke on "reproductive health as a human right: gender equality and women’s empowerment". She started by explaining the legal foundation for reproductive rights in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and other human rights instruments adopted by the international community since 1945. Press Release

Press Releases:


Round Table on Reproductive Health and Rights Ends in Uganda Recommends Key Actions to Ensure Women's Rights and Improve Health Programmes

Reproductive Rights Need to be Secured in Practice, Panel Told.


Reproductive Health Round-Table Focuses on Violence Against Women, Including FGM.


Experts Consider Ways to Improve Reproductive Health Services

Poverty No Excuse for Denying Women's Rights, UNFPA Executive Director Declares


Round Table on Reproductive Health and Rights Opens


Kampala Round Table to Examine Progress by Nations in Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health Care


  • identify strategies that have emerged since ICPD to ensure reproductive rights, and to operationalize sexual and reproductive health programmes;
  • identify successes and constraints in policy, legal, administrative, managerial, strategic and financial aspects; and
  • agree on actions to accelerate further progress at national level towards achieving the goals of ICPD.

Related Documents:

Report prepared for the expert Round Table Meeting on Ensurin g Reproductive Rights and Implementing Sexual and Reproductive Health Programmes, including Women's Empowerment, Male Involvement and Human Rights - Kampala, Uganda, 22-25 June, 1998
ICPD: Four Years Later
Recent Trends and Challenges in Meeting ICPD Goals in Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health.

The State of World Population 1997: The Right to Choose--Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health