SOUTH KOREA – South Korean women campaigned hard for abortion law reform: and they got it!!!!

Since 6 April, some 60 pro-choice activist groups have been rallying in central Seoul, as have some 40 anti-abortion groups. Although a large majority in a recent survey of 10,000 people supported legalising abortion, not everyone agreed. In 2017, a high school student told a rally in Seoul she had been forced to end her education after having an abortion. “My teacher told me if I don’t leave school, he’d report me to the legal … Continued

RWANDA – All 367 women in prison related to abortion/infanticide pardoned and released, but more is called for

On 4 April 2019, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda pardoned 367 people who were in prison for having or assisting in the offences of abortion or infanticide, a move that was welcomed by women’s rights activists. The women were all released on 5 April. This is the second such pardon, but this time it includes everyone in prison for these crimes, according to advocates. The first pardon, on 9 December 2016, released 62 girls and … Continued

AUSTRALIA – Good news and bad news

On 10 April, the Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) reports, in a landmark decision, the High Court confirmed that women have the right to safely and privately access reproductive healthcare without being accosted and intimidated. Four years ago, they played a central role in establishing safe access zone laws in Victoria to end the abuse and harassment that women and health clinic staff had endured for decades. Their progress in Victoria helped establish similar laws in Queensland, New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory. Anti-abortion activists challenged these laws in the High Court. Together with an expert pro bono legal team, HRLC intervened in the case to defend safe access zones and won the case.

UN COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN – Reports on the 63rd annual CSW meeting

Sexuality Policy Watch wrote: “Since the mid-2000s, as anti-feminist forces began attending its sessions in increasingly larger numbers, the UN Commission on the Status of Women became a battlefield. Tensions and deadlocks intensified in recent years as de-democratizing trends mushroomed worldwide. The aim of the 63rd Session was to reach consensus in regard to “Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls”, a goal not … Continued

52ND COMMISSION ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT – Oral statement delivered by Asian Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW)

Universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equality are foundational to the full implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Asia Pacific region. ARROW and the undersigned 77 organisations who endorse this statement welcome the adoption of the political declaration at the 52nd Commission on Population and Development to reaffirm the ICPD Programme of Action during the … Continued

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