ASTRA Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health

Mar 16 2018

The criminalization of sexuality and reproduction around the world is a major barrier to human rights, and denies millions of us our human dignity.

This is why Amnesty International has launched Body Politics: Criminalization of Sexuality and Reproduction, a new series of tools to empower activists worldwide to challenge criminalization and stand up for their rights.

What is criminalization of sexuality and reproduction?

The criminalization of sexuality and reproduction is when consensual sexual and reproductive actions and decisions, or the expression of sexual and gender identities, is restricted or punished.

Sometimes this happens through direct regulation, such as criminal bans on abortion. At other times, a range of laws and policies relating to public order or “morality” are used to indirectly police and punish sexual and reproductive choices or gender expression.

These laws can easily be abused. For example, criminalizing “adultery” violates human rights and can also put women who have been raped at risk of prosecution for sexual activity outside marriage.

Mar 12 2018

Spotlight on rural women and girls during the Commission on the Status of Women will focus on critical issues such as ensuring adequate living standards, food and nutrition security, access to land, technology, education, health, and ending all forms of violence and harmful practices.

It is also needed to mention that no global progress can be reached without gender equality and women’s empowerment in rural areas. These are however impossible without universal access to sexual and reproductive health and recognition, fulfillment and protection of sexual and reproductive rights - especially safe abortion- with particular focus on rural women and young people.

The forum will be an opportunity to provide concrete suggestions on how to empower rural women and girls, making the promise of “leaving no one behind” of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development a reality.

See the press release for CSW62 here and official website here

Follow the online debate via #CSW62, #feministvisions and #timeisnow 

Mar 08 2018

Kvinna till Kvinna launched this week a very interesting report: “Suffocating the movement – shrinking space for women’s rights”. Due to growing nationalism, extremism and traditional values, women’s rights organizations are now facing major setbacks in their ability to work for gender equality and peace.

Through different tactics and methods, state and non-state actors are limiting our rights to act and express ourselves. For women, who normally are excluded from the political arena, the civil society is a key arena to work for change.

Read more about what this is, how women are affected and why it is happening in the report which includes input from our region; Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Poland and more.

Download the report “Suffocating the movement – shrinking space for women’s rights”.

Link to webiste

Mar 01 2018

The 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council is taking place in Geneva from February 26th until March 23rd. See the full programme of work for HRC37 here.

Click here to read the summary of the anticipated sexual rights related resolutionspanels and reportsUPR outcomes, and parallel events taking place during the 37th session put together by the Sexual Rights Initative.

This session also marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 25th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. To mark this occasion a high level panel discussion on what can be done to make human rights popular again in times of increased populism and skepticism will take place on March 6th: Beyond jargon: Reframing our communication on human rights.

The United Nations Human Rights Deputy High Commissioner Kate Gilmore and Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks are among speaker, click here for details. Those who will not be in Geneva in person can watch the panel live on Facebook.

Source: UNHRC

Feb 27 2018

Civil society organisations in the European Union play a crucial role in promoting fundamental rights, but it has become harder for them to do so – due to both legal and practical restrictions. This report looks at the different types and patterns of challenges faced by civil society organisations working on human rights in the EU.

While challenges exist in all EU Member States, their exact nature and extent vary. Data and research on this issue – including comparative research – are generally lacking. The report also highlights promising practices that can counteract these worrying patterns.

Access the report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights HERE

Source: FRA

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