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28 September is International Safe Abortion Day. The day was first celebrated as a day of action for decriminalization of abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean in 1990. In 2011, the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) declared 28 September as an international day. The day’s name was changed to International Safe Abortion Day in 2015. 2016 was the biggest International Safe Abortion Day ever celebrated.
From 5 to 9 November, SADC senior officials and Ministers of Health will meet in Windhoek, Namibia to adopt the revised SADC SRHR Strategy 2019-2030 and its related score card. This takes place against the backdrop of the global #Women’sMarch; #MeToo; #TimesUp and related regional campaigns such as the #IWearWhatILike and #TotalShutdown.
Unwanted pregnancies have a profound effect on the lives of women and girls; their ability and right to make choices about their lives. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), safe abortions are one of the safest and simplest medical procedures in existence. Yet, with abortion mostly illegal and highly frowned upon in most Southern African countries, unsafe abortion accounts for 10% to 13% of maternal mortality in the region. In the Southern African attitudes survey, nearly half (45% women and 44% men) said they agreed or strongly agreed that a woman had a right to terminate her pregnancy within the first trimester. Attitudes towards abortion are changing!
The 2018 SADC Gender Protocol Barometer put a spotlight on the inter-linked gender justice issues of our time including menstrual health, comprehensive sexual education, teenage pregnancies, safe abortion, maternal health, GBV, HIV and Aids, and sexual diversity. In 2018 the Southern African Gender Protocol Alliance is stretching its Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Campaign from 28 September (International Safe Abortion Day) through to the Sixteen Days of Activism that runs from 25 November, International Day of No Violence Against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.
The campaign includes a call for first hand stories. Share yours!
Read about the International Day of the girl child