May 28 International Day of Action for Women’s Health

Nearly 30 years ago, May 28th the International Day of Action for Women’s Health was launched by women’s rights activists to speak out on sexual and reproductive health issues faced by women and girls all over the world. Back then, women demanded abandon the top-down population control programs, increase access to universal health care, reassess the increasing medicalisation of women’s bodies, ensure access to safe and legal abortion, guarantee access to safe contraceptives. Over the years some of these issues have evolved, others have stayed the same, and new issues developed. Yet one thing has persisted: a limited understanding of women’s health, and the actual needs of all women in their diversities. The Millennium Development Goals contributed to this limited understanding by omitting any mention of sexual and reproductive rights, and narrowly focusing on maternal health. As we all know, however, women are not just mothers – they are girls, young women or elderly women; women with children or without; women who are single, or women with male or female partners; women who are HIV positive; women who are able-bodied or differently abled; women who are cis-gendered or transgendered. Regardless of who they are, all women make choices in relation to their sexuality, reproductive health and overall wellbeing. But many women will not have access to the services to realise these choices or have other people who make choices for them. Imagine, you are a young differently abled woman, inquiring about safer sex methods, and you are turned away and told that someone in your “condition” should not be sexually active. Or you opt to carry a surrogate pregnancy to increase the family income. When it becomes clear that the child you carry has serious health problems the intended parents back out from the deal. Or imagine you are pregnant and your doctor fits your birth in his schedule by convincing you to have a Cesarean delivery against your preference for a natural birth. Or imagine you are an HIV positive woman sterilized against your will, or that you have to cross the border to a neighboring country to access safe and legal abortion. Or that you are a poor woman whose only choice of contraceptives is a long-term acting method that makes you feel miserable. Imagine, imagine, imagine… When it comes to health of women and girls, why is it always someone else who is deciding what matters and doesn’t matter, rather than the woman herself? This May 28th, as the world gears up towards 2015 and a new set of development goals, join us in calling for a holistic, women-centric and rights-based approach to women’s health. Let’s show the world that women’s health IS important and central to development. Support ALL women and girls as they make sexual and reproductive choices for themselves throughout their whole lives. This is what you can do: visit and learn more about the campaign and learn what you can do in your community. Hold your government accountable for women’s health. Tell us what concerns YOU and share the actions YOU take. Get loud on social media! Your contributions will help inform your government’s understanding of women’s health issues, and influence the high-level discussions at the United Nations in the following months. Join us on May 28th, the International Day of Action for Women’s Health. Mobilise, Demand, Assert Empowered and respected choices! Recognized needs and realized rights!

5 Replies to “May 28 International Day of Action for Women’s Health”

  1. Desde  España  compartimos objetivos y trabajaremos para comprometer a las organizaciones y las instituciones con esta mision.

  2. "Men die earlier but women's health gets FOUR TIMES MORE FUNDING"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *