Women Say Biggest Warzone is the Womb
In the US, there's no denying that maternal health and reproductive rights are under siege. In the first three months of 2012 alone, 944 provisions were introduced that target everything from women's health services to access to contraception and abortion. Even comprehensive sex education is on the chopping block.
But we are not alone. Every day, we hear from women across the world who are facing the deadly consequences of governments who fail to prioritize maternal and reproductive rights. Their stories are hair-raising, heart-wrenching, and brutally honest. They give us a glimpse into the world we may face if efforts to curtail our rights succeed. But these women, our global sisters, also foretell solutions and innovations.
In support of universal health rights for women, we invite you to read the stories of five women from five countries who are on the front lines of calling for an end to a globalized war on women.
We would do well to listen to their messages and mobilize alongside them.
ARGENTINA: 500,000 Reasons to Legalize Abortion
"I am tired of hearing the cliché 'children are the future.' Mothers are the present."
As women's reproductive rights come under threat in the US, activist and devoted single mom Nasreenamina reminds us that the right to choose is a universal issue with dire consequences for many.
ZAMBIA: Only I Remain
"I was now the only surviving member of a family of five."
Despite efforts to educate the public and prevent transmission, Zambia's HIV-infection rate hovers at 14%. Having lost her family to the pandemic, Chinemu has vowed to be an agent of healing and change.
UGANDA: Creating a Healthier Future for Our Youth
"We've got no time to lose."
As early marriages, pregnancies, botched illegal abortions, and sexually transmitted diseases threaten to end childhood for Uganda's girls, Ikirimat Grace Odeke fights for their missing futures.
KENYA: Losing a Life to Give a Life
"No woman should die while giving life."
As a nurse, Okeny-Lucia has insider knowledge on the state of maternal health in her homeland. She has dedicated her life to rallying for increased access to health care for pregnant women and their children.
ETHIOPIA: Tragedy We Can Prevent
"Seeing the blood pour from my mother left a scar in my heart."
Having lost her mother to a complicated pregnancy, Hudda Ibrahim advises her country to take action against skyrocketing maternal mortality rates in her Ethiopian village.