Contextualising reproductive rights challenges: The Vietnam situation

Heather Xiaoquan Zhang, Catherine Locke

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Since the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, the language of reproductive rights has gained prominence in international social policy forums. The overarching international human rights framework defends universal rights but recognises that the means for realising those rights need to be locally specified. In practice, though, rights-based approaches to reproduction have generally offered a fairly uniform, expanded and improved constellation of reproductive health services that take little account of the embedded nature of reproductive rights issues. For Vietnam, we link an understanding of rights with an assessment of the shifting identities and diverse reproductive health needs of women. Through identifying a number of contextualised challenges for a rights-based approach to reproduction in the country, we demonstrate that engagement with the wider realities of women's lives and incorporation of notions of social differences is necessary to effectively broaden the scope of reproductive freedoms and entitlements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-453
Number of pages11
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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