2003 International Policy Fellowship (





    Fellowship Area: Policy Priorities in Public Health

"Reproductive Rights and Health in Armenia: Key Challenges"


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Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Project Timetable

Project Mentors

Prof. Razmik Abrahamyan

Director of National Program on Reproductive Health

Director of Center of Perinatology, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Adviser to the Minister of Health on  Maternal and Child Health Care


Vahe Gyulkhasyan. M.D.

Docent, Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yerevan State Medical University

Project Officer, UNFPA Project “Improving SRH of Women, Men and Young

People in Armenia”


Gayane Avagyan, M.D.

Docent, Ministry of Health, Chief Specialist

Global Reproductive Health Strategy Development,

WHO Temporary Adviser, Copenhagen


Interim Reports 

Activity Report     
Research Paper 
Policy Paper          


Final Reports

Activity Report
Research Paper
Policy Paper




"We are all, and me especially, are responsible for everything

and for everyone."

Fyodor Dostoevsky



Women have a unique role to play in human reproduction. Meanwhile, the major burden of death and disability relating to sexuality and reproduction falls on women. In developing countries, among women of reproductive age over 36% of healthy years of life are lost due to three conditions related to sex and reproduction: maternal mortality and morbidity, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS (World Bank, World Development Report, 1993: Investing in Health).

Reproductive health is not primarily a medical mater. To avoid preventable deaths and to ensure healthy lives to women and their families is a profound challenge. First, clear understanding should be made as to which aspects are covered by the public health sector and which aspects are components of the human rights.

All persons have reproductive rights, which encompass a broad range of political, economic, social and cultural rights already recognized in national laws, international human rights and consensus documents.  


The major international conferences- 4th World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995), the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD, Cairo, 1994) and the World Conference on Human Rights (Vienna, 1993)- marked a key decade in advancing the provisions in existing human rights treaties and women's reproductive rights.


Yet today, nine years from ICPD, the objectives of the Cairo Programme of Action are a long way from being realized in Armenia. Despite acknowledgement of prioritizing reproductive health, the application of human rights to reproductive health in Armenia is embryonic. The lack of stable reproductive rights strategies, lack of awareness of the rights and lack of appropriate human rights enforcement mechanisms have affected women’s health status, their role and standing in society. 


At this stage there is a need to increase awareness about these issues and to ensure that the specific reality of women's reproductive rights in Armenia receives the highest attention and is treated with adequate priority on national agenda not only on the law-making but also enforcement level.




© Aida Ghazaryan 2003. All rights reserved. 

Last updated: May 30, 2004