March is Women's History Month with focus on empowering women of all economic, social and political backgrounds. United Nations Women or UN Women is an international organization which raises awareness of gender inequality, health, protection of women's rights, violence against women, community service and sustainable development. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture released a statement on March 10th regarding the abuse of women seeking maternal health care services and restrictive abortion bans or laws. Reproductive rights violations are occurring at an alarming rate around the world as well as by conservative lawmakers in the United States who have no women's reproductive or medical health training.
Many young girls and woman in countries across the globe are subjected to child marriage, sexual violence, virginity testing, banned abortion access even in cases of rape, incest or life threatening circumstances. The UN classifies this as torture. Some women in India are coerced into sterilization because they're being denied effective forms of birth control or safe abortion access. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has called for the decriminalization of abortion for women seeking health care. In the United States where abortion is legal we continue to see mostly male state lawmakers impose scientifically false restrictions on women, women's health care facilities and doctors due to religious prejudice, misinformation or both. Bans, restrictions, forced births and lack of birth control are an international health and economic issue endangering women and violating human rights. Other countries should be looking to the United States for leadership and empowerment in women's health care but instead they are being abandoned by male dominated political systems in which men will never be forced to give birth.
For more program information regarding UN Women check out the link to their website below.