Female Condoms: A Tool to Exercise Human Rights

Originally posted on Huffington Post, November 13, 2012

In an HIV prevention focus group in Malawi, a woman raised her hand. She asked the facilitator if he would be able to go to the condom company and ask them to make a condom for women. That way, she and the other women in her community would have options to protect themselves from HIV, and plan their families. They wouldn’t have to rely on their partners to initiate condom use. They could have the opportunity to protect their own health.

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Rights-Based Maternity Care Must Become a Global Priority

Written with Bergen Cooper, Senior Policy Research Associate, Center for Health and Gender Equity. Original post in RH Reality Check, April 10, 2015

It has become all too clear lately that to be pregnant, to be in labor, or to birth a child is to put oneself at the mercy of larger powers—powers that sometimes seem unconvinced of women’s humanity. Anti-choice politicians are often the most egregious in leaving out any trace of women’s agency from their rhetoric around pregnancy and abortion. But now we are increasingly seeing evidence that some health-care providers, both in the United States and globally, tend to also reproduce the persistent narrative that girls and women relinquish their human rights when they conceive. Beginning last year, advocates launched the International Day for Maternal Health and Rights on April 11 to ensure that women’s rights in pregnancy, labor, and childbirth become an international priority, including among health providers and politicians.

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