Disconnected Goals: The BRICS and the reproductive health of the SDGs

Apr 11, 2024 | Young voices |

Alba Teresa González Esteban and Paula Toro Bahamonde

In this research, Alba Teresa González Esteban and Paula Toro Bahamonde review the efforts that the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are making to achieve the 2030 Agenda commitments on women’s sexual and reproductive health. Their work reveals a clear lack of cohesion in their policies, which is confirmed by the disparate results obtained in the indicators studied. These focus on assessing the state of sexuality education policies, contraceptive availability and use, access to legal and safe abortion services, and maternal mortality. This reality contrasts with the intense cooperation that these countries are carrying out in other areas, resulting in a strategic positioning that they jointly show in different forums and summits related to economic and financial development.

A comparison of BRICS narratives in relation to sexual and reproductive health reveals a strong influence of other issues, prioritising strategies with a cultural or demographic focus to the detriment of women’s wellbeing. This represents a clear obstacle to gender development in these countries and could pose a challenge to their plans to position themselves as a leading alternative to global hegemonic power. This study presents important evidence of the large gap between the current state of the data and the targets proposed in the 2030 Agenda.

The authors demonstrate a substantial gap in the alignments that are taking place between BRICS policies as they attempt to confront Western power. What is the real impact of this gap in a world dominated by the institutions of economic governance?


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