The politicization of women's health and wellbeing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The framers and advocates of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals face a unique challenge when it comes to the goals of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, good health and wellbeing, as it concerns women's health. The health of women, and in particular reproductive rights, have been politicized in the work of the UN. Forums of the UN have become a battleground between those who would frame reproductive rights as a morality policy versus those who frame them as a feminist policy. This problem is not new to the organization's work. Indeed, it has been a challenge to the UN's ability to promote women's health for years. This article explores how the framing of women's reproductive rights poses a unique challenge to implementing some of the goals of SDG3, and in particular targets 3.1, 3.7, and 3.8. It also offers strategies to surmount the challenge with an example of a different intergovernmental organization that managed to overcome this issue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3593
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 May 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.


  • Abortion policy
  • Feminist policy
  • International conference on population and development programme of action (PoA)
  • Maputo protocol
  • Medical frame
  • Morality policy
  • Public health
  • Reproductive rights
  • SDG3
  • SDG5

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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