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Australia: Fulfill Pledges on Women’s Health

(Sydney, July 10, 2017) – The Australian authorities ought to meet its monetary commitments for sexual and reproductive health on the Family Planning 2020 Summit in London on July 11, 2017, Human Rights Watch stated in a letter to Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. At the summit, greater than 36 governments will assessment progress on the objective to allow 120 million extra women worldwide to entry a contemporary type of contraception by 2020.

In 2012 Australia pledged to double funding for household planning providers to A$53 million (US$40 million) a yr, however as an alternative its help declined to A$24 million (US$18 million) in FY2016. Using the worldwide methodology agreed on the 2012 London Family Planning Summit, Bishop has repeatedly expressed Australia’s dedication to women’s rights, and a aim that 80 % of Australia’s help finances handle “gender equality and women’s issues and their empowerment.”

“Foreign Minister Bishop wants to make women’s rights part of her legacy, but instead Australia has fallen far short of the commitments it made to women,” stated Elaine Pearson, Australia director at Human Rights Watch. “The London summit is an opportunity for Australia to live up to promises made on women’s rights and assert its leadership on women’s sexual and reproductive health.”

Australia’s ambassador for women and women, Sharman Stone, will characterize Australia on the summit, which is being hosted by the United Kingdom, the United Nations Population Fund, and the Gates Foundation.

Newly launched estimates present that 214 million women in creating nations who want to keep away from being pregnant have an unmet want for contemporary contraception. Complications from being pregnant and childbirth are the second leading cause of death for adolescents ages 15 to 19 globally and trigger greater than 800 women and girls to die every day. The World Health Organization estimates that at the very least 22,000 women die from abortion-related problems annually.

Australia has lengthy proven a dedication to sexual and reproductive health, notably in humanitarian settings, which will probably be a precedence matter on the summit. Humanitarian interventions have typically ignored entry to sexual and reproductive health providers, although that is typically when women and women want these providers probably the most.

The international aim to extend entry to household planning could also be undermined by new funding restrictions within the United States. In January, US President Donald Trump reinstated and dramatically expanded the Mexico City Policy or “Global Gag Rule.” The rule strips overseas nongovernmental organizations of all US health funding in the event that they use funds from any supply to supply details about abortions, present abortions, or advocate to liberalize abortion legal guidelines. 

This coverage will prohibit US$eight.eight billion of US health help. Some of the organizations affected by the police will lose funds and certain have to chop providers and employees, contributing to extra unplanned pregnancies, extra unsafe abortions, and preventable maternal deaths.

“Family planning saves lives,” Pearson stated. “Australia ought to honor its pledge to assist help 

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