DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / May 20, 2011) – Advocates of the Reproductive Health Bill said they will hold more various activities and provide free health services to women in the southern Philippines as part of en effort to educate the public on the importance of the proposed law.
Part list group Gabriela and the Reproductive Health Network will lead a Women’s Health Fair in Davao City in commemoration of the International Day of Action for Women’s Health and to further highlight the urgent need to pass the proposed Reproductive Health law’
Lyda Canson, convenor of RH Network Davao and Gabriela chairperson, said: “Since the start of the month, the network of more than 60 government agencies, nongovernmental and peoples’ organizations, and various institutions have been holding various activities with regards to women’s health including information-education campaigns, counseling and health services.”
“On May 27, we will be organizing a Women’s Health Fair where everyone is welcome to attend and avail of the services that will be sponsored by various organizations. Organizations and agencies such as the City Health Office, IWAG Davao, Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, and Gabriela, will be putting up booths during the Health Fair,” Canson said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.
Every May 28, women’s organizations across the globe celebrate the International Day of Action for Women’s Health to create awareness on various health issues that affect women. It started in 1987 during the Fifth International Women’s Health Meeting in Costa Rica, wherein members of Women Global Network for Reproductive health decided to start a campaign on women’s health issues and May 28 was declared the International Day of Action for Women’s Health.
Canson said various women and health groups commemorate the event by providing services to women and by intensifying education campaigns regarding women’s health rights. This year’s theme “Women’s Rights: From Womb to Tomb,” highlights the issue of women’s reproductive rights does not end after the babies are born but until mothers reach the menopausal stage.
“Everyone should understand that reproductive health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity in all matters relating to the reproductive system and its functions and processes,” Canson said.
“Reproductive rights embrace particular human rights that are already recognized in national laws, international human rights documents and other relevant UN consensus documents. These rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly 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.”
“They also include the right of all to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence. With this we strongly believe that the Reproductive Health Bill should be passed immediately. The RH Bill will comprehensively address women’s reproductive rights which are also her human right,” she added.