RESURJ – Reflections on Our Countries 2021

We are excited to share with you the third edition of Reflections on Our Countries for 2021! In this edition, RESURJ members and accomplices collectively share and reflect on the interlinked issues and challenges affecting sexual and reproductive health, gender, and health care access from the different regions and countries we are from.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to unfold in many parts of the world, it is clearer than ever that we need to rethink and rediscover our approach toward not only how we are addressing structural challenges, but also our approach toward self-preservation while we continue to fight these challenges. The July-August 2021 edition looks at Reflections from Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, India, Palestine, and Zambia, and tries to find such alternatives for these challenges.

From Costa Rica, Laura Valenciano talks about the need for our advocacy to focus on a transition from self-care to collective care as a survival technique. We explore the issue of complete ban on abortion in Dominican Republic and the government’s rejection of the attempts toward its decriminalization. Nana Abuelsoud from Egypt talks about how public conversations around population increase, despite it being “development’s biggest challenge” in the country, systematically overlooks unmarried women. Suman Saurav from India details her conversation with Grace Banu, Dalit trans rights activist and writer from India, on the intersection between caste, gender, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The Israeli occupation has long used a variety of methods to harm and intimidate Palestinians that dare resist their settler-colonial project. Shams Hanieh asserts how State-sanctioned sexual intimidation and assault is being often used as a mode of violence to scare Palestinians into silence. The LGBTQI movement in Zambia has, in recent years, used the public health angle to highlight and address the social and economic justice issues faced by LGBTQI persons as a result of the country’s hostile social, legal and economic context towards LGBTQI persons. Sibusiso Malunga highlights how this has amplified the dilemma for the community of whether to adopt a less politicised public-health approach or a social-justice approach to their advocacy.

SOURCE: RESURJ, July-August 2021