ECUADOR: Forming a coalition to fight for free, legal and safe abortion

In advocacy work for the right to safe abortion, movement building and strong national coalitions are central to ensuring coherence in promoting common goals and agreed messages across sectors. Movement building was a central theme at the Campaign’s International Forum – Developing an Advocacy Agenda for Abortion in the 21st Century and Making Change Happen, 5-7 September 2018. At the end of the meeting, we proposed to provide small grants to a number of Campaign member groups to initiate national coalitions in their countries. In early 2019, we received applications from and provided grants to support national coalition-building meetings in Ecuador, Gabon, The Gambia, Madagascar and Peru. All these meetings shared the overall aim of discussing common strategies and developing opportunities for movement building.

A summary of the Ecuador coalition meeting is below. The full meeting report is available here.

Surkuna organized this meeting on 18 May 2019 in Quito. It was attended by more than 50 women from 18 organisations. The overall objective of the meeting was to develop a two-year national action plan for the “Campaign for free, legal and safe abortion” and specifically to seek to achieve progress in women’s access to safe abortions and shift public opinion towards support for the decriminalization of abortion. The meeting addressed an important division within the abortion rights movement and set out a strategy to build a unified campaign. “Vivas Nos Queremos” Platform, Surkuna and Las Comadres are responsible for promoting the campaign and future priorities includes mapping of organisations and strategies, promotion of local meetings and organisation of a permanent meeting space in Quito for the national abortion Campaign.