CALL TO ACTION – International Day of Action for Women’s Health, 28 May 2024    

This May 28 – International Day of Action for Women’s Health, organizations and activists mobilize, take action, and amplify demands for sexual and reproductive health and rights and justice (SRHRJ) for all through inclusive, accessible, and available SRH information and services! Demand the prioritization of SRHR in all development agendas, human rights conventions and treaties, and electoral agendas! Resist right-wing, populist, anti-rights narratives; resist weaponization of family and cultural values to undermine SRHR; resist despair that such reactionary forces aim to cultivate.

Globally we are seeing forward strides in health, rights, and justice, taking more people closer to sexual and reproductive health that is truly accessible, inclusive, and affordable.… Progressive policies and programs on SRHR, including safe abortion, on the one hand, can greatly advance the quality of these services, contributing to lesser maternal mortalities and long-term health issues, and improved overall well-being. These are important steps toward empowering people to claim and exercise their rights. On the other hand, however, without justice and addressing structural inequalities, access can only be reserved for the rich, able-bodied, and people with other levels of privileges.

Despite abortion being decriminalized and having legal provisions in the cases of Thailand, Japan, India, Uganda, and Mexico, among many more, safe abortion access is often dubbed as healthcare only the rich and able-bodied can afford; legal restrictions across the world have hindered pregnant persons, to fully access safe abortion. The continued discrimination and in some cases outright criminalization of diverse Sexual Orientation, Gender Expression,Identities (SOGIE) have been life-threatening to trans and gender non-conforming individuals as they continue to be denied affirmative care. Stigma, language, urban-rural divide, and access to technology are more systemic challenges that hinder people from accessing the health care they need.

The events of 2023 to 2024 laid bare the authoritarianism, wartime atrocities, natural calamities, climate and other crises that demand our action…. Governments and global organizations are pledging commitments to achieve gender equality, tackle crises, end genocides, torture and conflicts, eradicate poverty, and empower young people, among other goals. In light of these efforts, our actions and demands on May 28 will be strong reminders of the centrality of the SRHR, and bodily autonomy of every women, girl, and gender-diverse person, regardless of sexual orientation, class, caste, marital status, religion, education, or geographical location within every election, development agenda, and action plan.

Speak up! Mobilize and organize… Lobby and advocate… Bust the stigma!… Occupy online spaces… Harness the power of stories… Engage in artivism… Inspire action… Collaborate!


SOURCE: WGNRR Call to Action, 28 May 2024