Enough of the ‘Snake Oil’: Applying a Business and Human Rights Lens to the Sexual and Reproductive Wellness Industry

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Abstract

The female sexual and reproductive wellness industry is flourishing, valued at around US$4.5trn globally. Heavily focused on the female reproductive life cycle, products are marketed to women and girls from puberty through to the menopausal years, with medically unsubstantiated claims that can fail to deliver on promises made and leave damaging physical and psychological side-effects. In this article we ask: do the harms caused by the sexual and reproductive wellness industry fall within the boundaries of business and human rights (BHR) scholarship? We establish the landscape of the industry, identify human rights relating to sexual and reproductive healthcare and education, and use BHR literature to make the case that the industry should be placed on the BHR research agenda so that the various tools used in BHR such as the law, corporate governance, and the weight of public consciousness, can be applied to encourage appropriate regulation of this industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-28
JournalBusiness and Human Rights Journal
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2022

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