Here's What You Need to Know About International Day of Action for Women’s Health

The fight for women’s reproductive health and rights continues

May 28 is the International Day of Action for Women’s Health, which for over 30 years, women’s rights advocates and allies in the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) movements worldwide have commemorated in diverse ways. Year after year, women, girls, advocates and allies have continued to take action and stand up for sexual and reproductive rights for what they are: an indivisible and inalienable part of our human rights.

What Is It About?

In 1987, during a reunion of members of WGNRR in Costa Rica, May 28 was declared as International Day of Action for Women’s Health. Since then, May 28 has been internationally renowned and activities are held worldwide by women’s and health groups. In 1999, it was officially recognised by the government of South Africa, as stated in Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) site.

This day is a commemoration of the struggle and activism of women around the world in the fight for women’s reproductive health and rights. Not only are women’s rights and anatomy overlooked but a lot of women have suffered and died at the hands of the carelessness of caregivers due to the limited understanding of maternal health. The aim of this day is to drive through the importance of respecting sexual and reproductive rights.

According to WGNRR, the following are to be results of the activism brought on for women’s anatomy:

  • Sexual and reproductive rights are respected as universal and indivisible human rights;
  • We all have the social, political and economic power and resources to make autonomous decisions about our gender, sexuality and when, whether and how many children we have;
  • Everyone is able to enjoy a safe and pleasurable sex life with their partner of choice free from violence and coercion;
  • The rights to safe, legal abortion services and post-abortion care are provided with full, sustained government support so that services are accessible, affordable and available in all our communities, regardless of age or marital status;
  • There is an end to the stigmatisation and criminalisation of those of us who choose to access safe abortion services, who offer safe abortion services, and who defend rights to safe, legal abortion;
  • There is an end to coerced sterilisation, forced abortion and abstinence-only programming;
  • We all have access to universal sexual and reproductive health care services and generic medical supplies;
  • Formal and informal education programmes in all of our communities which offers comprehensive sexuality education, not subjected to obstruction or stigmatisation by other institutions or influential persons.

This campaign seeks to mobilize and collaborate with women globally in ensuring universal access to contraceptives and safe and legal abortion, as well as comprehensive sexuality education for young people, among other critical issues.

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