Opinion: India’s government must prioritize women’s needs — including SRHR

Opinion: India's government must prioritize women's needs — including SRHR

By Vinoj Manning
24 July 2019

The 2019 general elections in India saw a record turnout of women — equal to the percentage of male voters — and indicating that women expect the majority government of the day to prioritize and address their needs.

One of their primary expectations is improved access to women’s sexual reproductive health and rights services.

Continued: https://www.devex.com/news/opinion-india-s-government-must-prioritize-women-s-needs-including-srhr-95264

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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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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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Addressing stigma while moving a national campaign: Spotlight on Malaw

Addressing stigma while moving a national campaign: Spotlight on Malawi

Posted June 4, 2019
by inroads Comms, with Andrew Mdala, Boniface Mbewe, Francis Makiya and Mackson Harawa

In this Spotlight, Mackson Harawa, Francis Makiya, Boniface Mbewe and Andrew Mdala, four inroads members, tell us more about the barriers or stigma that still need to be addressed in addition to fighting for legal reform in Malawi.

Although some liberal religious clerics and communities have given a nod to the need for a reform of the abortion law in Malawi, what are the many other socio-cultural obstacles that are yet to be combatted?

Boniface Mbewe (Chipembere Community Development Organization– CCDO): In Malawi there are still many socio-cultural obstacles hindering access to safe abortion services in health facilities. These obstacles include: condemnation emanating from cultural and religious beliefs as the person undergoing the abortion is perceived as sinner. For instance, some believe that abortion is an act carried out by non-believers, sex workers and promiscuous girls in the society; attitude, stigma and discrimination among health service providers towards the people seeking abortion or post-abortion care services also prevent women from seeking services; the legal implications associated with current laws around safe abortion do not necessitate the availability and accessibility of the services to those in need of them. The cost of abortion services and distance to get them (pre-and post-abortion services) are some of the challenge women are facing in Malawi.

Continued: http://makeinroads.org/making-inroads/2019/June/addressing-stigma-while-moving-a-national-campaign-spotlight-on-malawi

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LANCET: We must all support women in the fight for abortion

We must all support women in the fight for abortion

The Lancet
Editorial| Volume 393, ISSUE 10186, P2099, May 25, 2019
https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31182-1

On May 15, 2019, the Alabama State Senate passed a bill that restricts the right to abortion by criminalising doctors who do the procedure. This was followed the next day by the Missouri State Senate passing a law forbidding abortions after 8 weeks of pregnancy. These two bills are the latest in a rapidly escalating attack on a woman's constitutionally protected right to an abortion. Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Ohio have all already successfully passed legislation banning abortion after 6 weeks of pregnancy this year.

We reported, in 2017, on the start of the race to deny women their reproductive rights as Texas, Kentucky, and Utah introduced bills fundamentally undermining abortion access. The 2 years since have seen these laws increasing in number and scale to the point where the right to access abortion is now an empty construct in some states in the USA.

Continued: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(19)31182-1/fulltext

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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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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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Rwanda – Sexual and reproductive health and rights are fundamental human rights

Sexual and reproductive health and rights are fundamental human rights

By Jenny Ohlsson
Published : December 10, 2018

On Human Rights Day 2018, I would like to put the spotlight on the many women that die every year because some of their most fundamental human rights are not respected.

I would also like to convey my sympathies to the many daughters, sons, mothers, fathers and siblings that has lost, and will lose, a loved one. But also to our societies that will continue to lose so many brilliant minds and changemakers – all in vain – unless we implement the necessary reforms. Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are not only human rights, but a matter of life and death.

Continued: https://www.newtimes.co.rw/opinions/sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-rights-are-fundamental-human-rights

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