Thanks to the dedication and passion of our supporters, IWHC helped secure a number of victories for sexual and reproductive health and rights in 2013.
Here are our top 10 highlights:
Montevideo Consensus Offers a Bold and Progressive Vision for Women and Youth
Signed by 38 countries, the Montevideo Consensus is the most forward-looking document on sexual and reproductive health and rights ever agreed to at any diplomatic negotiation. IWHC, together with DAWN and RESURJ, supported 35 young activists from the region to advocate with their governments to secure this groundbreaking agreement.
Pro-Choice Movement Gains Momentum in Peru
IWHC supported feminist groups in Peru to launch a national campaign to challenge the country’s harsh anti-abortion laws. In its first year, the campaign has already been endorsed by nearly 100,000 people in 13 regions of the country, sparking a much-needed public dialogue on sexual violence and reproductive rights.
Women’s Rights Activists Welcome UN Agreements on Ending Violence Against Women
After two weeks of fierce negotiations at the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women, on March 15, 2013, more than 130 governments committed to ending violence against women and girls and reached strong agreements to promote gender equality and ensure access to sexual and reproductive health services for survivors of rape.
Activists Defeat Attempt to Roll Back Reproductive Rights in Uruguay
A conservative campaign to repeal Uruguay’s law legalizing abortion failed to garner enough support among voters. IWHC supported Mujer y Salud en Uruguay to advocate for the law and fight opposition to reproductive rights.
Violence Against Women Act Passage is a Victory for Women and Girls Worldwide
After being stalled in the U.S. Congress for over a year, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was reauthorized on February 28, 2013. Thanks to advocacy by IWHC and our partners, VAWA included for the first time ever a mandate for the U.S. government to develop a strategy to end child marriage worldwide. President Obama signed the VAWA reauthorization into law on March 7, 2013 (pictured above).
IWHC Partner in Pakistan Wins Human Rights Award
Our longtime partner organization Aahung received the prestigious Human Rights Tulip award on December 11, 2013, from the government of the Netherlands. Aahung was recognized for its efforts to promote the reproductive health and rights of young people in Pakistan through its sexuality education programs, now in place in over 200 schools, and its training of health personnel.
UN Resolution Calls on Governments to Provide Sexual and Reproductive Health Services to Migrants
Governments at the UN Commission on Population and Development agreed to respect the rights and meet the needs of migrant women and girls. The resolution includes commitments to provide sexual and reproductive health services such as emergency contraception and safe abortion.
Women and Youth Point the Way Forward for Asia and Pacific
IWHC helped prepare young activists from Asian and Pacific countries to demand a progressive agenda on population policies in the region. Thanks to this advocacy, 38 governments declared that gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights are indispensable to sustainable development, and that laws that punish women who have undergone abortion should be reviewed.
UN Resolution Recognizes Child Marriage as a Human Rights Violation
On September 25, 2013, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the first-ever UN resolution against child marriage. A diverse group of 107 countries affirmed that the choice to marry is an adult decision that should be informed and made freely without fear, coercion, or undue pressure.
Activists Put Advocacy into Practice in Ethiopia
IWHC held its 13th Advocacy in Practice training in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with young feminists from six African countries. The training marked the beginning of an ongoing collaboration between activists from across the continent to ensure that governments advance sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equality.
We have accomplished a great deal in 2013, but much more work needs to be done. Please continue to support IWHC and our local partners in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. We can’t afford to lose momentum now.
Please donate now to support our work in 2014.