What's Missing? A Human Rights Approach to Reproductive Health Policies in Jordan
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This aim of this thesis is to evaluate the extent to which Jordan’s National Reproductive Health/Family Planning Strategy 2013-2017 (NFPS) incorporates the reproductive rights principles established in the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). I trace the global history of family planning programs to identify the two main models: the population control framework and reproductive rights framework. Next, I examine the context and development of Jordan’s NFPS, before analyzing it through the lens of the reproductive rights based framework. I conduct an in-depth analysis of Jordan’s NFPS using the principles laid out in the ICPD, and a qualitative literature review to assess the impact of Jordan’s NFPS and related policies on women’s reproductive health and reproductive rights. Specifically, I evaluate whether or not the NFPS met the ICPD standards of high-quality, accessible, available and acceptable reproductive health services and whether it increases the ability of Jordanians to make full, free and informed decisions. My key finding is that the Jordanian government has pursued a single-minded goal of fertility limitation, without paying sufficient attention to the rights of family planning clients, who are in this case, its citizens. This narrow focus has led to potentially coercive policies and an ineffective family planning program that fails to meet the rights principles internationally agreed upon in the ICPD. I conclude by formulating recommendations and an action plan to promote the realization of women’s reproductive rights within the Jordanian culture and policy environment.