EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT – Statement: Call on Ursula von der Leyen to strongly support and defend gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)

Call on Ursula von der Leyen to strongly support and defend gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)

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

As Members of the European Parliament and representatives of MEPs for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and the pro-choice network ALL of US, we call on the newly elected President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen to protect and further strengthen gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights in the work programme for the European Commission 2019-2024.

… Gender equality is enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and the EU is further promoting gender equality outside of its borders. Attacks on women’s rights and gender equality are attacks on fundamental rights and values, including democracy and the rule of law. Conversely, everybody benefits from the positive effects of gender equality policies – socially, politically and economically. The value of gender equality is also close to the hearts of European citizens – according to a 2017 Eurobarometer survey, 91% of Europeans believe that promoting it is important to ensuring a fair and democratic society.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/european-parliament-statement-call-on-ursula-von-der-leyen-to-strongly-support-and-defend-gender-equality-and-sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-rights-srhr/

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How Trump’s latest efforts to stop abortion increasingly undermine global health

How Trump's latest efforts to stop abortion increasingly undermine global health
Canada recently committed a record amount toward safe abortion services. Will that be enough to combat the impacts of the US' revised ‘global gag rule’?

By: Urooba Jamal
July 16, 2019

The dilemma for a health organization is hard to fathom.

In 2018, two young women died at the hands of knitting needles and other everyday objects in Kenya, where seven women die each day in an attempt to induce an abortion on their own, bereft of safer options.

Even two years earlier, their deaths might have been prevented. But a local organization that would have previously referred them to abortion provision services was forced to choose between giving sexual and reproductive healthcare advice or signing a “global gag rule” and stopping that program, in order to continue to provide HIV services to its 10,000 clients.

Continued: https://www.opencanada.org/features/how-trumps-efforts-to-stop-abortion-are-undermining-global-health-programs/

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India – Sexual health largely neglected, reproductive health not a priority in policy discourse

Sexual health largely neglected, reproductive health not a priority in policy discourse

The story highlights harsh truths on sexual and reproductive rights, which are mostly not protected and thus practically non-existent.
Kalpana Apte
27th Jun 2019

Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR) is a concept that Indians, and South Asians are largely ignorant and aloof about. The taboo around topics like sex and sexuality is the root cause for the many issues people, especially women, face daily. According to a 2019 report by the Family Planning Association (FPA), India, 14 per cent of pregnancies amongst women aged under 20 are unplanned. It posits further that over 34 per cent of adolescent married girls admitted to being physically, emotionally, or sexually assaulted. Fifty per cent of maternal deaths among girls from 15-19 years of age occur due to unsafe abortion practices. All this in a scenario where sexual and reproductive health is not even a category that has its own laws and medical courses.

Continued: https://yourstory.com/socialstory/2019/06/sexual-health-reproductive-health-policy-discourse

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Behind Vancouver’s massive and mysterious Women Deliver conference

Behind Vancouver's massive and mysterious Women Deliver conference

Penney Kome
June 18, 2019

Hardly anyone local was prepared when a New York-based organization named Women Deliver swept into Vancouver in early June to discuss gender equality with 8,000 political leaders, advocates, academics and journalists from 165 countries -- and another 100,000 people globally participating online -- and then swept out again. Wait! Who was that masked stranger?

What made the conference (and the organization) really daring though, was the subject: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). If a Women Deliver conference was held in an anti-abortion jurisdiction -- say, the state of Alabama -- the whole state might implode in frustration.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/other-hand/2019/06/behind-vancouvers-massive-and-mysterious-women-deliver-conference

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Behind Vancouver’s massive and mysterious Women Deliver conference

Behind Vancouver's massive and mysterious Women Deliver conference

Penney Kome
June 18, 2019

Hardly anyone local was prepared when a New York-based organization named Women Deliver swept into Vancouver in early June to discuss gender equality with 8,000 political leaders, advocates, academics and journalists from 165 countries -- and another 100,000 people globally participating online -- and then swept out again. Wait! Who was that masked stranger?

What made the conference (and the organization) really daring though, was the subject: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). If a Women Deliver conference was held in an anti-abortion jurisdiction -- say, the state of Alabama -- the whole state might implode in frustration.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/other-hand/2019/06/behind-vancouvers-massive-and-mysterious-women-deliver-conference

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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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