To address the current obstacles to Mexican women’s exercise of their rights, civil society organizations and activists have come together to create the Observatory on Gender and Covid-19. The Observatory will serve as a watchdog over the State while highlighting civil society’s contribution to a future where gender equality and justice are the new normal.
The platform seeks to raise awareness on specific issues that, given the inequality that prevails in Mexico, affect various groups of women in distinct ways, due to structural failures, social distancing, working from home and spending longer periods of time in violent environments, among others.
The current context makes evident the urgent need to monitor, evaluate and disseminate information regarding the socio-economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the importance of taking specific measures to deal with possible human rights violations resulting from State policies or their absence.
Although the pandemic presents great challenges for the defense of human rights, the collaborating organizations will work together to ensure that the Observatory contributes to the creation of new contexts that allow women to make decisions freely and define their own life projects.
To learn about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic – from a gender, human rights, multicultural and intersectional perspective: on issues and populations such as safe abortion, access to contraceptives, care work, maternal mortality and obstetric violence, women with disabilities, women with HIV, women in situations of homelessness, indigenous and Afro-Mexican women, migrant women, women deprived of liberty, LGBTIQA+ people, domestic workers, and family violence and shelters – visit the Observatory website.
In regard to safe abortion, the Observatory reports that the Mexican government has carried out the following actions:
- Published a Guideline for the prevention and mitigation of COVID-19 in the care of pregnancy, childbirth, the puerperium and the newborn by the National Center for Gender Equity and Reproductive Health (CNEGSR), which includes safe abortion as an essential service that must be guaranteed within the framework provided by law.
- Strengthened measures and preserved legal abortion services in specialized clinics of the Pregnancy Termination Program in Mexico City
Civil society has taken the following actions to support access to safe abortion:
- Accompaniment of safe abortion by the MARIA Fund;
- Network of women and young leaders for sexual and reproductive rights in Mexico (DDESER)
- Creating conversations, blogs and videos about abortion as an essential service in the days of Covid-19.
The Observatory’s recommendations to the State include:
- Present telemedicine as a way in which the State can guarantee access to safe abortion, medications and reliable information, avoiding overloading the health services.
- Promote the adoption and implementation of amnesty laws at the local level that benefit women who have been criminalized by abortion or obstetric emergencies.
- Guarantee effective access to abortion under the assumptions allowed by law, as well as carry out an adequate registry of abortions provided by health institutions.
- Decriminalize abortion throughout Mexico to eliminate geographic and access barriers that have increased due to the pandemic associated with Covid-19 and response measures by the State.
SOURCE: Safe Abortion, Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida (GIRE), E-mail from Rebeca Ramos: 1 July 2020