When we improve the lives of women and girls, we all benefit

When we improve the lives of women and girls, we all benefit

Rachel Pulfer
Special to The Globe and Mail
June 6, 2019

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced this week that Canada would invest $14-billion over 10 years – $1.4-billion a year – to improve global health for women and girls. Couched in that announcement: a commitment of $700-million for sexual and reproductive-health rights.

The funding puts Canada in a leadership position on women’s and girls’ health outcomes globally. It is grounded in bipartisan values, building on the Harper Conservatives’ focus on maternal health. It’s good, solid, evidence-based policy. And yet it’s being attacked as one more example of the Liberals’ myopic focus on gender over all else, election-year posturing, or too little, too late.

Continued: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-when-we-improve-the-lives-of-women-and-girls-we-all-benefit/

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My Experience As A Safe Abortion Advocate In Pakistan

My Experience As A Safe Abortion Advocate In Pakistan | #AbortionMeraHaq

By Asia Safe Abortion Partnership
May 14, 2019
Posted by Neelam Saleem Punjani

Working with women on some of the most stigmatised topics like women’s right to safe abortion is not a challenge that many people would welcome. It is sometimes difficult, often frustrating, and at times confrontational. But if you ask me, advocating for women’s right to safe abortion is simply the best job in the world!

I was motivated to work with women by my own experience of growing up in a patriarchal society, where speaking about women’s right has always been considered a taboo.

continued: https://feminisminindia.com/2019/05/14/abortion-advocate-pakistan/

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European Parliament endorses strong position on family planning, sexual and reproductive health and rights

EUROPEAN UNION MULTI-ANNUAL FINANCIAL FRAMEWORK – EP endorses strong position on family planning, sexual and reproductive health and rights

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
April 19, 2019

The European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF) reports that a sizable majority of Members of the European Parliament voted to support sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equality, and the empowerment of women as key aspects of the European Union’s next seven-year budget plan for external relations. This position was adopted by 420 to 145 votes on the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument, which determines the EU’s funding priorities for its development cooperation between 2021-2027.

The final report, drafted by MEPs Pier Antonio Panzeri, Cristian Dan Preda, Frank Engel and Charles Goerens was adopted in plenary session by the European Parliament. The MEPs want the EU to promote SRHR as part of a rights-based approach to its development assistance. They call for EU support to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information and sexuality education, and the promotion of research into new and improved tools for sexual and reproductive healthcare and family planning.

The MEPs are therefore asking for €93.154 billion in current prices to be allocated to the 2021-2027 Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument. Speaking after the vote, MEP Heidi Hautala and MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld, co-chairs of MEPs for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (SRR) highlighted:

“Universal and comprehensive access to SRHR will save lives, help realise human rights, achieve gender equality and contribute to sustainable development. The EU has committed in its European Consensus on Development to proactively promote the realisation of SRHR. This includes the right of every individual to have full control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexual and reproductive health, free from discrimination, coercion and violence,” said MEP Heidi Hautala.“The European Parliament has given a strong signal today that we are determined to make the EU live up to its international and European commitments and obligations on sexual and reproductive health and rights. We hope that EU member states will not dilute this position in the upcoming trialogue negotiations. Together, we need to take up global leadership on this issue,” stressed MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld.

Source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/european-union-multi-annual-financial-framework-ep-endorses-strong-position-on-family-planning-srhr/

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Population dynamics central to Africa’s quest for sustainable development

Population dynamics central to Africa’s quest for sustainable development

Apr 17, 2019
Economic Commission for Africa - United Nations

Marrakesh, Morocco, April 17, 2019 (ECA) - Addressing inequalities across all sectors in Africa necessitates that the continent eliminates disparities in access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the attendant consequences of lack of access - unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortion, maternal deaths - and gender-based violence, including female genital mutilation.

This was said by Robert T. Chakanda, Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister of Planning and Economy in a discussion on the Centrality of Population Dynamics to Sustainable Development held in the margins of the 5th Africa Regional Forum for Sustainable Development (ARFSD) Wednesday.

Continued: https://www.modernghana.com/news/927508/population-dynamics-central-to-africas-quest-for-sustainabl.html

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NGOs call on Canada to renew foreign funding for women and children before it runs out in 2020

NGOs call on Canada to renew foreign funding for women and children before it runs out in 2020

Michelle Zilio, Parliamentary affairs reporter
April 12, 2019

Dozens of non-governmental organizations are urging the Trudeau government to make renewed, long-term investments in the health and rights of women and children around the world before Canadian foreign-aid funding for the sector runs out next year.

Most of Canada’s international funding for maternal, newborn and child health, and sexual and reproductive rights, is set to expire in 2020. Health and rights groups worry a massive global funding gap left by the Trump administration’s crackdown on international abortion funding will deepen if Canada and other countries do not renew and increase their investments in the field.

Continued: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-ngos-call-on-canada-to-renew-foreign-funding-for-women-and-children/

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Irish ban on funding abortion services in developing world to be lifted

Irish ban on funding abortion services in developing world to be lifted
Restrictions on use of aid money to be set aside following abortion reform in Ireland

Mar 3, 2019
Pat Leahy

A ban on the use of Irish government aid money to fund abortion services in developing countries is likely to be set aside as a consequence of the changes to the legalisation on abortion in Ireland.

The Department of Foreign Affairs says it will launch a new initiative on “sexual and reproductive health and rights” in the developing world as part of the work of Irish Aid, the development aid programme of the government.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/irish-ban-on-funding-abortion-services-in-developing-world-to-be-lifted-1.3813020

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Right to abortion: Minister to take Brussels Declaration to UN

Right to abortion: Minister to take Brussels Declaration to UN

Friday, 15 February 2019

The Minister-President of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Rudy Demotte, is due from 10 to 14 March to go to New York.

The trip is with a view to taking the Brussels Declaration, which in particular is calling for legalizing abortion (in French-speaking Belgium called IVG), at the 63rd UN Commission on the Status of Women, said his department on Thursday.

Continued: http://www.brusselstimes.com/belgium/14096/right-to-abortion-demotte-will-take-brussels-declaration-to-un-at-beginning-of-march

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Forging A New Path Toward Universal Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Forging A New Path Toward Universal Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

January 31, 2019
By Sarah Barnes & Elizabeth Wang

"The Guttmacher-Lancet Commission could not come at a better time,” said Patricia Da Silva, Associate Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation United Nations Liaison Office. “It is indeed the call to action that is required; showing us that comprehensive sexual and reproductive rights must be ensured for all.” She spoke at a recent Wilson Center event on the work of the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). The Commission, an international collaboration of 16 SRHR experts from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America, recently published a report, Accelerate Progress—Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All, which makes concrete recommendations for countries to address SRHR gaps and inequalities.

Continued: https://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2019/01/forging-path-universal-sexual-reproductive-health-rights/

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Nigeria’s restrictive laws and women’s sexual reproductive rights

Nigeria’s restrictive laws and women’s sexual reproductive rights

By PER SECOND NEWS
Jan 23, 2019

Reproductive rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. They also include the right of all to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence.
– The World Health Organization, WHO.

Hauwa Isah* (name changed to protect identity) was 16 when she got married to a 25-year-old man her family chose for her. Living in a rural village Ibeto, Magama Local government area of Niger state doesn’t come with a lot of prospects for anyone, much more females, she said. “Here, as a woman you are expected to grow up, get married and have babies. Anything other than that is travesty,” she said in Hausa.

Continued: https://www.newsghana.com.gh/nigerias-restrictive-laws-and-womens-sexual-reproductive-rights/

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Peoples Health Movement – Statement on access to safe, quality and legal abortion

Statement on access to safe, quality and legal abortion

January 21, 2019
by Anneleen
Peoples Health Movement (PHM)

Following on the fourth People’s Health Assembly (PHA) of the global People’s Health Movement (PHM) concluded in Savar, Bangladesh on 19 November 2019, the PHM reiterates girls’ and women’s rights to health and life, to equality, and sexual and reproductive autonomy. The PHM stands in solidarity with the struggles in countries around the world where the right to abortion is banned, restricted or access to safe and quality abortion care, inaccessible.

As of 2017, 26 countries, including Iraq, Egypt, Philippines, Nicaragua ban abortion altogether, regardless of the consequences to the woman’s health, and even if it is a result of rape or incest; 37 other countries, including Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, Indonesia, UAE, permit abortion only if it is perceived as necessary to save the life of the woman. Thirty six and twenty four countries allow abortion only if it is necessary to protect the woman’s physical and mental health respectively (Singh S et al 2017).

Continued: https://phmovement.org/statement-on-access-to-safe-quality-and-legal-abortion/

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