Abstract

This paper addresses the challenges faced in mainstreaming the teaching of sexual and reproductive health and rights into public health education. For this paper, we define sexual and reproductive health and rights education as including not only its biomedical aspects but also an understanding of its history, values and politics, grounded in gender politics and social justice, addressing sexuality, and placed within a broader context of health systems and global health. Using a case study approach with an opportunistically selected sample of schools of public health within our regional contexts, we examine the status of sexual and reproductive health and rights education and some of the drivers and obstacles to the development and delivery of sexual and reproductive health and rights curricula. Despite diverse national and institutional contexts, there are many commonalities. Teaching of sexual and reproductive health and rights is not fully integrated into core curricula. Existing initiatives rely on personal faculty interest or short-term courses, neither of which are truly sustainable or replicable. We call for a multidisciplinary and more comprehensive integration of sexual and reproductive health and rights in public health education. The education of tomorrow's public health leaders is critical, and a strategy is needed to ensure that they understand and are prepared to engage with the range of sexual and reproductive health and rights issues within their historical and political contexts.

Disciplines

Health Law and Policy | Human Rights Law | Law

Date of this Version

3-2014

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