Each year IWHC issues a publication highlighting the “Top Ten Wins for Women’s Health and Rights” for that year. This week on Akimbo, we’ll be unveiling our latest picks for the top ten wins for women’s health and rights of 2009. Click here to view the list from last year.
In January, 61% of Bolivians approved a new Constitution, which for the first time dedicates a chapter to women’s rights. The new Constitution specifically entitles men and women to sexual and reproductive rights, and states that life is not defined as “starting at conception,” which would have outlawed abortion in the country. Additionally, the strong language of the document enforces the right of women to live free from discrimination, violence, sexual coercion, and emotional abuse. IWHC partner Catholics for the Right to Decide has been at the forefront of the advocacy efforts to revise the Constitution, and affirm and protect the health and rights of women and girls.
What’s next: Women’s advocates continue to be targeted by conservative groups, and were the targets of threats, insults, and physical aggression during formal sessions that discussed the right to life. Bolivians are advocating for the sexual and reproductive rights of women and young people, putting pressure on the Bolivian Government and Congress to implement policies for SRRH. Other countries in Latin America may follow Bolivia’s lead: Uruguay, for example, has recently elected a pro-choice president, inspiring hope that Uruguayan women will gain more widespread access to comprehensive healthcare in the coming years.
Find out more: Read a blog entry by Teresa Lanza, Executive Director of Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir in Bolivia, for more information on what the new constitution will mean for girls and women in Bolivia.