Interpreting reproductive rights: institutional responses to the agenda in the 1990s

Heather Xiaoquan Zhang, Catherine Locke

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5 Citations (Scopus)


This article reviews the way in which three very different international organisations concerned with reproductive health policy responded to the reproductive rights agenda during the 1990s. The intention is not to evaluate these responses but to describe how these organisations saw their roles with respect to establishing and promoting reproductive rights in developing countries. We seek to explore their different strategies of defining and interpreting rights, to examine the imperatives behind these strategies and to consider how these variously fed into the practical actions and agendas with which these organisations were engaged. The organisations included were the Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights, the International Federation of Family Planning Associations and the UK's Department for International Development. Their diverse understandings about implementing reproductive rights contribute to a plural political environment in which these rights and their interpretation are debated. For all the three, their particular conception of reproductive rights is an important organising principle through which their efforts around reproductive health are given wider meaning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-50
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Administration and Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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