When the Department of State released the 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices earlier this year, I announced our intention to restore the section on reproductive rights — because women’s rights are human rights. Today we are releasing updated Country Reports with information on a broad range of issues related to sexual and reproductive health and rights. In each 2020 country report found here: https://www.state.gov/reports/2020-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/, an addendum now includes information on key issues such as maternal mortality, government policy adversely affecting access to contraception, access to skilled healthcare during pregnancy and childbirth, access to emergency healthcare, and discrimination against women in accessing sexual and reproductive health care, including for survivors of gender-based violence.
The annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices contain a factual description of the state of government respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in nearly 200 countries and territories. Reinstating the coverage of the above topics, which were previously included in the reports, is one way the United States is supporting the empowerment of women and girls and the advancement of gender equality, including promoting their sexual and reproductive health and rights. Moving forward, the Department of State will continue to include coverage of these issues in the reports.
This initiative aligns with the Administration’s broader commitment to the rights and dignity of women and girls, in all their diversity, as unveiled in the White House’s National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality last month, the first-ever United States government strategy underscoring the importance of gender equality in advancing our collective prosperity and security.