Women have fought long and hard to secure access to family planning and abortion, and reduce maternal mortality. A modern timeline of that struggle tells a story full of highs and lows

Women have been joining forces to agitate for their right to a better life for centuries, but some of the most significant changes have occurred over the past four decades.

It has been a journey of big leaps, small steps and setbacks. Four international women’s conferences, a bunch of UN resolutions and two sets of global goals have all played their part.

Sexual health and reproductive rights remain the most contentious issue, with many women unable to control when and if they have children, or how many. Great strides have been made to reduce maternal and child deaths, increase access to family planning, and improve healthcare. But it has, and continues to be, a battle to hold firm the ground gained.

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Families, fertility and feminism: landmarks in women’s rights

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