We must take full advantage of this day and every day to summon a much higher level of commitment, action, and resources on an issue which remains critical to the future of our global society: women’s health.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, women – especially the poor and most vulnerable – have suffered disproportionately in terms of the loss of lives and livelihoods as well as essential health care. This includes access to modern methods of contraception, safe abortion care, and other critical reproductive health services along with vaccines to protect against COVID. Because of COVID, there are now even greater inequities and gender inequalities than existed in 2019. Many hundreds of millions of women and girls in low-and middle-income countries lack such basic human rights as the right to life, health, bodily autonomy, equality, and freedom from discrimination and violence. Sexual and reproductive rights are especially vulnerable.
Now is the time to reenergize and expand the fight for these rights through: all media, especially social media; organizing local and national events and marches; lobbying lawmakers, engaging fully civil society, governments, and donors; building broad coalitions at every level; and raising women’s voices so that the world will prioritize the achievement of the fundamental rights of half of our population!