Call for Papers – Universal Health Coverage: Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Focus
Political and public health agendas promise, and evidence indicates, that universal health coverage (UHC) will deliver significant benefits for improved access to health services, including for sexual and reproductive health (SRH). UHC also has potential to protect from impoverishment arising due to ill health. Experiences across low- and middle-income countries suggest that the achievement of UHC requires attention to, and integration of, core principles of equity, solidarity, gender equality and human rights.
In the current political climate, achieving UHC for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), particularly in the context of rights, can be challenging. There is under-representation of SRHR in broader public health discussions and longstanding neglect of the needs and rights of the most marginalized, including women and girls, refugees, migrants, people living with disability, people living with HIV, as well as lesbian, gay and transgender people.
The integration of SRHR within the context of UHC is considered to be an essential element for fulfilling Agenda 2030. However, progress towards SRHR generally, and in the context of UHC in particular, requires a combination of political commitment and well-defined and coherent strategies for ensuring successful integration of rights-based approaches to SRHR interventions. There is limited understanding as to how integration of SRHR within UHC National Strategic Plans can be designed, monitored and successfully implemented.
This SRHM themed issue explores the promises and limitations of UHC for SRHR, with special attention to rights-based perspectives. We aim to examine whether UHC policies and their implementation sufficiently address SRHR. The journal issue seeks current evidence of UHC reforms at both the global and country level and provides analysis through an SRHR lens. Questions regarding the circumstances under which UHC leads to the improvement or worsening of inequalities and the respect and protection of SRHR will be considered. Examples of UHC reforms that have paid explicit attention to SRHR within a rights framework will be examined.
Submitted papers may explore the following areas: how SRHR is defined and reflected in a specific UHC plan; the availability, accessibility (including affordability), acceptability and quality of SRH services; discrimination; and accountability, with attention to population coverage and services delivered. Papers submitted to the themed issue may also seek to assess how SRHR obligations are understood and implemented in different local contexts, in terms of political commitment, health system programming and service delivery.