SRI Conversations 2023: The Political Economy of Sexual Rights

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As part of the development of a new ten-year strategy, SRI sought to deepen its analysis of the political economy of sexual rights. Using a participatory approach, SRI convened a series of three conversations that teased out different dimensions of the overarching theme. Each conversation drew in various actors working nationally, regionally, and globally. The first conversation delved into the historical and contemporary impact of colonialism, imperialism, and occupation on sexual and reproductive rights (SRHR). It emphasised the intersectionality of economic domination, neocolonialism, and human rights violations, calling for collective rights and extraterritorial obligations. The example of Israel's pinkwashing highlights the need to address root causes and settler colonialism to advance gender rights.
Conversation two explored the repercussions of coercive economic measures on SRHR at various levels. Normalised in international law, economic coercion disproportionately affects populations, exacerbates inequalities, and undermines cross-movement solidarity. Case studies from Argentina, Sri Lanka, and Egypt illustrated the impact of economic crises, debt distress, and population control policies on marginalised groups, emphasising the interconnectedness of social, economic, political, and sexual rights.
Conversation three focused on global governance under neoliberalism, addressing human rights violations, corporate impunity, and the intertwining of economic and human rights systems. Perspectives from activists across regions underscored the need to challenge corporate capture, advocate for inclusivity, and prioritise human rights and social justice. The overarching message called for reevaluating global governance systems, emphasising a more equitable and rights-based approach.