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28th September is International Safe Abortion Day – the annual day of action to support the right to safe abortion. We owe it to anyone who can get pregnant.
The day was first celebrated as a day of action for the decriminalization of abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean in 1990 by the Campaña 28 September. In 2011, the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) declared 28 September as an international day.
My post is not based on moral discussions about abortions. My intention in writing this is to create an awareness of abortion and start a discussion on how the laws are affecting the lives of millions of women.
As per the International Conference on Population and Development 1994, “Every individual has the right to decide freely and responsibly–without discrimination, coercion and violence–the number, spacing and timing of their children, and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health.”
Although abortion is a common experience around the world, it is still largely stigmatised. Negative attitudes and religious beliefs about abortion prevent people from accessing safe services and make it difficult for people to share their experiences with others.
Let me share some numbers; I found them shocking and unbelievable!
Not permitting abortion or having restrictive laws against them does not help women. They cause more harm, and push women to turn towards illegal and unsafe abortion methods–like the procedure being carried out by an untrained person or in a medically inappropriate environment.
According to WHO, women with unintended pregnancies rely on abortion even in settings where abortion is restricted. Generally speaking, abortion rates are similar in countries where abortion is broadly legal and in those where it is restricted (40 per 1 000 women and 36 per 1 000 women, respectively).
Keeping aside the moral aspects of the subject, shouldn’t every woman or girl, (including those who identify as transgender, genderqueer, nonbinary, and other gender – nonconforming people who can get pregnant) be free to decide whether she wishes to continue with the pregnancy?
Isn’t it time we redefine these archaic laws and give the power to decide to the women who stand to gain or lose out of this?
This International Safe Abortion Day let’s do our bit.
Published here first.
Image source: YouTube
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
As long as teachers are competent in their job, and adhere to the workplace code of conduct, how does it matter what they do in their personal lives?
A 30 year old Associate Professor at a well-known University, according to an FIR filed by her, was forced to resign because the father of one of her students complained that he found his son looking at photographs of her, which according to him were “objectionable” and “bordering on nudity”.
There are two aspects to this case, which are equally disturbing, and which together make me question where we are heading as a society.
When the father of an 18 year old finds his son looking at photographs of a lady in a swimsuit, he can do many things. What this parent allegedly did was to dash off a letter to the University which states: