Members in Action

Women's Promotion Center (WPC) from Tanzania was created in 2002 with a vision of creating a society that recognizes and respects women's rights and dignity, and upholds equality between women and men. WPC’s mission is to foster and empower women’s groups to build a strong women’s grassroots movement that would bring about positive change in individual behavior and social policy.

WPC focuses its work on two major areas:

1.    Gender discrimination and violenceWPC empowers and supports local communities in raising awareness on gender, its dynamics and effects on women's welfare and the society and in promoting gender equality and behavior change.

2.    Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). WPC focuses on community mobilization to ensure and increase women and girls' access to life saving SRHR information and quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, to promote safe motherhood, to prevent unsafe abortions and to advocate for women and youth’s SRHR.

WPC works intensely on reducing the incidence of unsafe abortion and maternal deaths. To address these issues WPC uses harm reduction strategy that involves the following three components:

1.    Giving information on the correct use of Misoprostol for safe motherhood,

2.    Reducing stigma towards abortion, and

3.    Increasing women’s access to contraceptives and lifesaving commodities.

WPC gives priority to work on grassroots level, as they believe that direct contact with women at community level is key for saving women’s lives and improving community health. A fine example of successful grassroots efforts was Save Mothers’ Lives Initiative implemented in 2009. The goal of the initiative was to raise community awareness using word-of-mouth approach on the potential use of Misoprostol in preventing maternal mortality. The information about the uses of Misoprostol circulated virally among women across local communities and districts, and each woman became “a candle that lit other candles”.
 
In 2010 witnessing continuous suffering and deaths of women from post-partum hemorrhage (PPH), WPC supported the availability of contraception, Misoprostol and other reproductive commodities in local pharmacies to save women’s lives. The uniqueness of this initiative was that WPC is not a health organization; it focuses on women’s rights advocacy, but recognizing health needs in their community WPC took action to save women’s lives.

In 2012, WPC embarked on abortion advocacy with the support from Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR). Together with other 10 organizations, WPC was trained to conduct policy analysis and advocacy using human rights framework and rights-based approach. The organizations formed a coalition and conducted policy analysis producing a report on abortion policies in Tanzania. The findings of this analysis constituted a powerful and inspirational advocacy tool nurturing the debate among partners on the necessity of creating a national SRHR alliance to end maternal mortality and morbidity due to unsafe abortion.
 
In 2013 -2014, WPC SRHR program extended its activities to equip women, men and youth with SRHR information including information on sexuality, contraception, unwanted pregnancies, STIs/HIV, safe motherhood and abortion, and to increase women’s access to SRH commodities through community mobilization and SRH hotline. In March 2014 WPC hosted a hotline training organized together with WGNRR partners in Africa, namely WPC, Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health (TICAH) from Kenya, and Generation Initiative for Women and Youth network (GIYWN) from Nigeria. The aim of the training was to prepare WPC and GWYIN to run a reproductive health hotline that provided reproductive health information including information about misoprostol for safe abortion and prevention of PPH, which are two major causes of maternal mortality in Tanzania and Nigeria. The gathering was also a great linking and learning opportunity on how to increase women’s access to medical abortion commodities through pharmacies.

In its work WPC faces many challenges. Restrictive and contradictory laws and policies, stigma and misinformation and strong opposition make it difficult to advance women’s SRHR.

Despite the challenges WPC can boast with great achievements, including breaking the silence on SRHR issues especially on abortion; enabling urban and rural women to take control over their reproductive choices and increasing access to sexual and reproductive health commodities.

WPC's information, education and communication materials:

WPC Calendar for 2014

WPC info sheet on correct usage of Misoprostol

WPC poster on SRHR

WPC September 28 Campaign poster

WPC HIV/AIDS Index Project

 

 

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Equidad de Género: Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia A.C is a feminist organization founded in June 1996 by feminists from political, academic and social sectors in Mexico. Its mission is to promote gender equality as well as the Rule of Law by advocating for public policies with a gender perspective, and strengthening women’s leadership and civil participation in all areas of political and social life. Its vision is of a democratic society with broad citizen participation where women and men can make decisions about their lives within an environment dictated by the Rule of Law and where institutions have mainstreamed a gender perspective in their internal and external policies.

Current campaigns and/or projects
We are currently working to disseminate information on legal indications for abortion in 12 states in Mexico so that women know their rights and can exercise them. We also monitor the actions of anti-choice groups that try to prevent women from obtaining a legal abortion in clinics in Mexico City. Finally, we monitor sexual and reproductive health services in order to improve access and availability of contraception for adolescents and adult women. More information on the latter project can be obtained at: www.ddeser.org.mx.
 
How is the landscape for SRHR in your country different now from the time you started your organization?
We believe that there is greater interest and reception for our activities: forums, workshops, conferences, etc. however, we are constantly vigilant to setbacks in sexual and reproductive rights in Mexico.
 
What do you think are the biggest challenges for NGOs/CSOs working on SRHR advocacy in your country?
A constant challenge is for institutions and public officials to ensure access to sexual and reproductive rights for women, young people and adolescents. The projects that we mentioned above help us in this advocacy
 
http://www.equidad.org.mx/
 
From your experience, which advocacy and campaign strategies proved very effective in campaigning for SRHR?
Recently we finished a project called “United for Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health” in four states (Chiapas, Guerrero, Hidalgo and Oaxaca) which built synergies for achieving positive changes in the daily lives of indigenous and rural young people as well as recognition for the work carried out in diverse communities in these states, including workshops and materials developed in indigenous languages for outreach on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

 Check out their website here to know more.