“There can be no gender equality without bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights. But there can be no bodily autonomy and SRHR without gender equality,” said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
At the recent Generation Equality Forum (GEF) Summit in Paris, we heard from government officials, civil society representatives, advocates, and youth leaders speak to the importance of ensuring every person has the right to bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health.
With sessions on improving women’s and girls’ access to healthcare, building stronger health systems following the COVID-19 pandemic, advancing accountability for gender equality, and co-creating a better future for women and girls, it was clear—listening to women and girls and prioritizing their needs is long overdue.
We at WOW Self Care School couldn’t agree more.
The Forum may be over, but ensuring women and girls have both a seat at the decision-making table and the ability to access to the healthcare solutions of their choice continues to be timely and relevant in the face of the global pandemic that has exacerbated existing inequalities between women and men in almost all areas of life.
Scaling up Self Care is a solution leaders can use to make healthcare more equitable and just and maximize access to services—all transformative for gender equality. But more than that, Self Care represents an opportunity for women and girls to manage and control their own sexual health and fertility—translating to greater bodily autonomy and increased power over their lives.
We believe in the potential of Self Care in advancing gender equality by putting power and control in the hands of women and girls to manage their sexual and reproductive health.
Self Care Commitments:
Commitment Maker: Global Menstrual Collective
Commitment Maker: White Ribbon Alliance
WRA will mobilize 2,000,000+ women and girls—in all their diversity, including trans, intersex and non-binary people—about information they want and need to make autonomous decisions about their health, bodies, and well-being.
Further, WRA will engage 500,000+ mobilized participants in on-going, direct action to influence sexual, reproductive, maternal, and newborn health practices, policies, and programs—public and private—that help realize wants and enable informed choice free of violence, discrimination, and coercion in 10+ countries.
Participants and community allies will also engage in a joint initiative to build confidence and skills to seek and distil information, ask questions, practice self-care, and negotiate safely in their everyday lives.
A 25,000-person subset, including men and boys, service providers, and policymakers, will serve as campaign ambassadors, championing historically excluded people reaching for—and gaining—knowledge and power both personally and politically.