Tuesday, September 25, 2018 | ePaper

Educating and empowering women

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Life Desk  :
International Day of Action For Women's Health which falls on the 28th May every year strives for women's rights, especially in the area of their sexual and reproductive health.
Sexual and reproductive health and rights of women are an inalienable part of our human rights, that sadly continue to be violated globally.
The first International Women's Health Day campaign was launched on 28th May 1987, at the 4th International Women's Health Meeting in Costa Rica, it was proposed and decided to that 28th May will be as the International Day of Action For Women's Health to educate and empower women to make free choices regarding their sexual and reproductive health rights. Women's health, particularly their sexual and reproductive health, and rights has been a grossly neglected area despite claims to the contrary and talks of women empowerment.
The Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) is spearheading the re-launch of the 28th May campaign following 30 years of struggle and activism, with several issues still remaining unaddressed and a spurt in crime against women. The WGNRR network comprises more than 1000 individual as well as organizational members in 105 countries. Currently, there are over 450 organizational members in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean and Oceania
'It is time to speak out - Exercise your right to choose on sexual and reproductive health issues.'
In collaboration with over 20 international, regional and national organizations, they plan to mobilize the support and encourage women worldwide to demand that their sexual and reproductive health rights be made an integral part of development agendas of governments all over the world.
Key campaign areas of the WGNRR
The WGNRR campaigns for sexual and reproductive rights of women, which include the following:
Access to safe and legal abortion
Access to contraception
Sexual and reproductive health rights of youth
Women's sexual and reproductive health rights
Sexual rights for all people and education about sexually transmitted infections (STDs)
Protection of sexual minorities against violence and enabling them to lead a dignified life
It is unfortunate that women still undergo forced sterilizations, continue unwanted pregnancies with no access or refusal of contraception, denied basic obstetric care and postpartum care. Young women are less likely than men to use condoms when having sex putting them at risk of venereal diseases.
Sexual minorities are often ostracized by their families and shunned by society leading them to turn to sex work for a living and exposing them to STDs.
Although women have made huge strides and make valuable contributions both at home and to society their rights, particularly sexual and reproductive health rights continue to be systemically violated and events such as International Day of Action for Women's Health crusade for the rights of women and aim to educate and empower women to make informed choices regarding their sexual and reproductive health issues. Governments across the world should recognize and ensure the sexual and reproductive health of its women.
Some Ways We Can Help to Promote Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
Download campaign materials available online at and share widely on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Share inspiring stories of women who have overcome stigma and bias to make a mark for themselves.
Organize programs in the community through short skits to educate women about their rights.
Organizing seminars and talks in educational institutions to sensitize adolescents and youth about gender equality and women's rights.
Airing programs on television and other media to educate the general public about myths and misconceptions regarding sexual and reproductive health.
Hospitals can offer free well-women check-ups on the 28th May.
Organize fundraising event in the community and donate the proceeds to a local organization working for women empowerment.
In conclusion, changing the way women are perceived, stereotyping them in certain roles, myths and misconceptions about their abilities have to start from a young age. Parents should teach boys to treat girls with respect and as equals. At the same time, girls should be encouraged to reach for the stars and achieve their dreams and potential. Values and lessons taught at home will percolate into the society and go a long way in ensuring women's rights and freedom to make choices in life.

Source: Medindia

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