An Advocate’s Place is in the Resistance: International Women’s Day 2017

Posted on March 6, 2017

An Advocate’s Place is in the Resistance: International Women’s Day 2017


This March 8 2017, the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) stands in solidarity with the International Women’s Strike, the Women’s March and the wider global feminist movement in commemorating International Women’s Day.

At a time when women[1]’s human rights, and particularly sexual and reproductive rights continue to be systematically violated worldwide, mobilization both within and beyond our communities is needed now more than ever, in order to resist any rollback on our rights and advance sexual and reproductive justice for all.

As we know, the terrain for ensuring the full realization of all people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights has always been arduous. As a result of patriarchal norms, obstructive laws, privileged identity markers, and the persistence of taboos’ surrounding female sexuality, women and girls worldwide continue to be faced with structural conditions that undermine their human rights to autonomy, bodily integrity, and to exercise meaningful decision-making power on all matters related to their sexuality, in many cases thereby placing their health and lives at risk. Challenges include inadequate SRH information and services; stigma and discrimination when attempting to access such services; parental and/or marital consent requirements; and restrictive abortion laws, in some cases completely criminalizing access to safe abortion. Rising conservatisms across the world and regressive geo-political developments such as the recent reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy (Global Gag Rule), will only exacerbate the current context, undermining any progress to date and making the realization of all people’s SRHR even more challenging.

Yet we also know that worldwide, women and girls, advocates and allies, continue to take action every day, to resist these threats and stand up for sexual and reproductive rights for what they are: an indivisible and inalienable part of our human rights.

This International Women’s Day, we at WGNRR celebrate our fierce members, partners, and allies worldwide, and commit to stand together in our ongoing work to:

  • Mobilize locally and globally for sexual and reproductive rights and justice;
  • Increase access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services within a universal, affordable, non-stigmatizing health care system – inclusive of all ages and all communities;
  • Stop any form of forced sterilization, population control, coerced abortion or non-consensual imposition of contraceptives;
  • Ensure universal access to safe and legal abortion, free of marital and/or parental consent requirements;
  • Defend the right to live healthy, dignified lives, free from all forms of gender-based violence;
  • Challenge socially-constructed gender norms and stereotypes that contribute to discrimination, stigma, and gender-based violence;
  • Call on governments and the international community to effectively ensure Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) can do their important work and are free from all forms of intimidation, harassment and violence from both State and non-State actors; and
  • Work at the global level on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda toward systemic policy and programme changes that account for the intersections between climate change, gender equality, social justice and SRHR.

This March 8, we stand with all of our members taking action in ways big and small, to ensure transformative social change and advance the realization of political, economic, environmental, gender, and reproductive justice for all!

 #IWD2017   #DayWithoutAWoman  #IStrikeFor  #Huelga  #NosotrasParamos  #WomensStrike #WhyIStrike

[1] While we use the term ‘woman/women’ we do so with a critical reflexivity that recognizes the nuances and right to people’s unique sexual and gender identities and expressions.  We also recognize that ‘women’ are not a monolithic group and that they have diverse identities that vary due to their social location and the socio-economic, political, and multicultural contexts in which their lives are embedded.