Sexual and Reproductive Rights

Women’s bodies have regularly been – and still are – the central target of conservative and fundamentalist ideology and praxis. Although the individual right to self-determination has always been shaped by social and cultural norms and legal frameworks, it is currently being determined more than ever by reproductive technologies and medical issues.

This essay provides analytical background information for critical and controversial debates, continues the politicisation of seemingly personal issues, aims to open space for the clarification of positions and provide motivation to explore political intervention. Therefore, it raises questions rather than simply providing answers.


Product details
Date of Publication
July 2015
Heinrich Böll Foundation
Number of Pages
Table of contents


1. Introduction
1.1 Brief Chronology
1.2. Brief Review

2. Social Norms, Values and Rights
2.1. Human Rights: between Universalism and Cultural Relativism
2.2. Sexual and Reproductive Rights: between Liberation and Authoritarianism
2.3. Desire, Self-determination and Labour
2.4. Universal but not Uniform; Contextualised but Critical

3. Biopolitics and Biopower
3.1. Biopolitics and Population Control
3.2. Biopolitics, Pronatalistic and Heteronormative Policies

4. Reproductive Technologies and Bioeconomy
4.1. Biomedicine, Reproductive Technologies and Life Science
4.2. Transnational Reproductive Markets and Fertility Industries

5. Which Way Forward?

List of Abbreviations

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