International Women's Day 2010

8 March 2010 : Women’s Day – Sexual and Reproductive Rights are key to gender equality

Posted in 2010 03 08, Global, Statements Press Releases by womeninlondon on 18 March 2010

On International Women’s Day, EPHA member the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN) welcomes the political momentum to advance gender equality and women’s sexual and reproductive rights.

IPPF EN congratulates the Spanish Presidency of the European Union for firmly putting women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights at the top of the national and EU agenda. On 24 February, the Spanish Senate approved a new progressive law which finally decriminalizes abortion and reflects a comprehensive national strategy on sexual and reproductive health and rights. In a recent speech to celebrate Women’s Day, Ms. Bibiana Aido, Spanish Minister of Equality emphasized that “gender equality cannot be achieved without guaranteeing women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.” By putting gender equality and the fight against gender-based violence at the top of the political agenda, the EU Presidency of Spain has shown what it means to act to guarantee women’s rights in practice.

We also celebrate the European Parliament’s Resolution on gender equality in the EU which clearly states that women must have control over their sexual and reproductive rights. The European Parliament recognizes that the full physical and sexual autonomy of women is a precondition for any successful sexual and reproductive health rights policy.

This means, for example that girls and boys should be equally allowed to enjoy sex and love, without fear of violence, forced marriage or any form of body mutilation. Contraception should not only be perceived as a ‘girl’s issue’ ; boys should feel equally responsible. This also means that women who choose to have children should not be discriminated in their future career.

IPPF EN calls on the EU to address all issues of gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights as human rights and to push for greater access to sexuality education as a means to combat all forms of gender stereotypes.

We encourage the new European Commission to strengthen its commitment towards a new EU strategy for gender equality and to include sexual and reproductive health and rights. IPPF’s “Sexual Rights : an IPPF Declaration” could offer a useful framework.

For further information go to the International Planned Parenthood Federation website


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