Achieving Sexual and Reproductive Health Equity in the Arab Region: A New Role for the Health Sector

Author's Department

Social Research Center (SRC)

All Authors

Hoda Rashad, Sherine Shawky, Zeinab Khadr, Shible Sahbani, Mohamed Afifi

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Springer, Cham

Publication Date

Summer 7-25-2019



The sexual and reproductive health landscape in the Arab region is a manifestation of the success of the development discourse and the international consensus in impacting positive change. This chapter demonstrates how the strategy and performance of the health sector in the Arab region have positively changed and contributed to the improved reproductive health of women. The chapter also discusses a number of shortfalls in the progress achieved. In particular, we highlight the inequity shortfall and argue that addressing this shortfall requires departure from “business as usual” approach. Such a departure demands a significant paradigm shift as well as knowledge and action shifts. The nature of the departure needed was articulated by the Commission of Social Determinants of Health, but has not received the attention it deserves in the Arab region. The positive achievements on the reproductive health front provide an opportunity to address the reproductive health challenge to ensure leaving no one behind and can serve as a gateway of reform of health policies. The health sector particularly should spearhead a major policy reform movement.

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