Press Release

Women’s Rights Defenders  around the world are making sure that governments acknowledge that #Women’sHealthMatters



Reference: Irina Otmakhova (

28 May 2015

On May 28, women’s rights defenders and activists from all over the world are mobilizing to observe May 28th International Day of Action for Women’s Health.  Various activities from more than thirty countries have been reported by women’s advocacy groups to be taking place to commemorate the Global Day of Action.

Collectively, activists will call on the governments and the international community for the fullest inclusion of women’s  sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and  respect, protect, and fulfill  women’s right to health, dignity and bodily integrity.

May 28 Campaign was first established in 1987 by women’s rights activists at the IV International Women’s Health Meeting in Costa Rica, as a means to speak out on SRHR issues faced by women and girls all over the world..

This year’s campaign highlights the often forgotten link between SRHR and Institutional Violence, a form of violence against women perpetuated by the State, particularly experienced by women and girls if they are young, unmarried, poor, HIV affected, of diverse sexual orientations or gender identities, living with a disability, or in other vulnerable situations. The campaign focuses on 4 grave cases of Institutional violence: The denial of access to safe and legal abortion services; Forced and coerced sterilizations; Obstetric Violence and the denial of access to contraceptives and emergency contraception. All of these are issues commonly neglected and often normalized and endorsed by States.

“States are accountable for these violations when they condone or perpetuate gender inequality and patriarchal norms, when they uphold archaic and restrictive laws,  and when they sanction negative attitudes and deny access to sexual and reproductive health information and services”, says Kathy Mulville from Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights. “In doing so, States ignore their obligations under international human rights law to respect, protect, and fulfill women’s right to sexual and reproductive health, free from discrimination and violence.”

Currently governments around the world are involved in the process of formulating the next development agenda in which they must address these human rights violations and uphold their existing commitments, by ensuring a comprehensive and rights-based approach to women’s health, and accounting for the full spectrum of women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health issues, needs, and rights.

Feminist and health organizations worldwide are participating in the campaign by organizing a varied set of activities such as reproductive and sexual education workshops for youths, conferences, public actions condemning institutional violence, sending out letters to their national officials asking them to put an end to institutional violence among others.

For more details about the May 28 campaign, local actions in your region and to endorsing the Call for Action, visit


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