This General Comment focuses on women’s right to be free from discrimination in the field of healthcare (CEDAW article 12). In particular, the General Comment:
Requires States to eliminate discrimination against women in access to healthcare services throughout the life cycle, particularly in the areas of family planning, pregnancy and confinement and during the post-natal period;
Condemns as discriminatory a State’s refusal to provide legally for the performance of certain reproductive health services for women;
Recommends the enactment and effective enforcement of laws and the formulation of policies, including healthcare protocols and hospital procedures to address violence against women and sexual abuse of girl children;
Recommends the enactment and effective enforcement of laws that prohibit female genital mutilation and marriage of girl children, and;
Condemns any form of coercion, such as non-consensual sterilization, mandatory testing for sexually transmitted diseases, or mandatory pregnancy testing as a condition of employment that violate women’s rights to informed consent and dignity.