Power, Politics and Knowledge Claims: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the SDG Era

The selection of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) , targets and indicators for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) can only be understood in the light of struggles to advance these rights amid a context of the growing reliance on indicators to measure progress. If the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) de‐politicized inherently polemical issues in SRHR, the (re)production of knowledge of rights in the SDGs poses a subtler, but just as serious, threat. Although rights, and SRHR in particular, are apparently taken into account, the apparent neutrality of these metrics obscures politics and ideology. There is a danger that over‐reliance on quantitative indicators obscures the structural challenges facing the advancement of SRHR, and therefore indicators should be coupled with qualitative information derived in context.