Unveiling the need for a separate and comprehensive law on reproductive healthcare in Kenya
ODHIAMBO, MAGDALENE OWIRA
The progressive realisation of women’s rights is overriding for any nation that seeks to empower its people. Reproductive healthcare is key when discussing women’s rights. It is a fundamental human right as well as human development issue that states must strive to fulfill completely. This right is provided for expressly in Article 43(1) of the 2010 Constitution of Kenya. The conundrum lies in the fact the Constitution of Kenya as well as other pieces of existing legislation such as the Health Act are not specific to the protection of reproductive healthcare rights.
Traditionally, the response to reproductive health was addressed through population control policies. However, the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) shifted the paradigm from population and development to reproductive rights largely in response to the inequity of women's reproductive health experience. Roseman & Reichenbach cite that the ICPD Program of Action was primarily imperative in that it laid out a radically different approach to the population 'problem,' stating that population concerns could not be separated from other economic and social development agendas, particularly the need for women's empowerment.