Wednesday, 22 May 2024
WorldFrance protects the right to abortion as the world commemorates International Women's...

France protects the right to abortion as the world commemorates International Women’s Day

PARIS (AP) — France inscribed the right to abortion in its Constitution on Friday, a powerful message of support for women’s rights on International Women’s Day.

In a historic ceremony open to the public, Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti used a 19th-century printing press to seal the amendment to the Constitution. Applause filled Paris’ Place Vendome as France became the first country to explicitly guarantee the right to abortion in its Magna Carta.

French lawmakers approved the measure by an overwhelming majority earlier in the week and Friday’s act marks its entry into force.

Although abortion is a deeply divisive issue in the United States, it is legal in almost all of Europe and has overwhelming support in France, where it is seen more as a public health issue than a political one. Legislators passed the constitutional amendment on Monday by 780 votes in favor and 72 against, in a proposal supported by many far-right legislators.

The event in Paris was a key event in a day focused on the advancement of women’s rights around the world. Marches, protests and conferences are planned from Jakarta, Indonesia, to Mexico City.

The French amendment has been applauded by women’s rights advocates around the world, including in places where there are difficulties in accessing contraception or maternal health care. The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, noted that the measure was a direct result of the decision made in 2022 by the Supreme Court of the United States that annulled the right to terminate a pregnancy.

The president’s critics questioned the proposal in a country where abortion is not threatened but where women face many other problems, such as a high rate of femicides, problems prosecuting sexual abuse committed by celebrities or other men, and higher salaries and pensions. low, especially in non-white women.

Although some French women see the step as a great victory, others pointed out that in reality not all have access to abortion.

“It’s a smokescreen,” said Arya Meroni, 32, during the “Feminist Night March” held in the capital on Thursday. “The government is destroying our public health system, many family planning centers have closed.” , he claimed

Not everyone considers 8M a holiday and angry protests were held in many countries.

The president of the Danish Trade Union Confederation, which has 1.3 million members, complained about the difference in the treatment of women and men in some areas.

“Unfortunately, we continue to see large pay gaps, single-sex dominated professions, a gender-segregated labor market, cases of harassment primarily affecting women and a wide range of equality issues,” said Morten Skov Christensen.

Elsewhere, in Ireland, voters will decide whether to amend their Constitution to remove passages referring to women’s domestic obligations and expand the definition of family.

At rallies on the streets of Seoul, attendees looked ahead to next month’s parliamentary elections and said they hope parties will prioritize gender equality.

In Russia, where according to the United Nations human rights have deteriorated since the invasion of Ukraine, the president, Vladimir Putin, greeted the Russian women fighting in the war and those waiting at home for loved ones who are on the front. .

In Istanbul, Turkish protesters plan to draw attention to violence against women, and demonstrations are planned in many other cities. Protests are often political, and sometimes violent, and have their origins in the efforts of women workers to improve their rights. This year’s global theme is “Inspire Inclusion.”

In Indonesia, protesters demanded the adoption of International Labor Organization conventions related to gender equality, as well as the elimination of violence and harassment in the workplace. In Thailand, unions marched to government headquarters to demand better working conditions, and police prevented activists protesting violence in the Philippine capital from reaching the presidential palace, leading to brief clashes.

The Indian government lowered the price of cooking gas cylinders by 100 rupees ($1.20) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on social media that the move fulfilled “our commitment to empower women.”

UNICEF, the United Nations children’s agency, said in a report Friday that more than 230 million women and girls around the world have suffered genital mutilation, a figure that has increased by 30 million in the past eight years.

“We also observe a worrying trend: more and more girls are subjected to this practice at younger ages, many before turning five years old. This further reduces the possibility of intervening,” said Catherine Russell, executive director of UNICEF.

Officially recognized by the UN in 1977, International Women’s Day is a national holiday in around twenty countries, including Russia, Ukraine and Afghanistan.

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