International Women's Day 2001

Statement

For International Women's Day 2001, Socialist International Women wishes to draw attention to such a central and vital theme in human life as that of health, being understood not simply as an absence of illness, but as the complete wellbeing of the person. Personal and collective health depend not only on individual or strictly biological factors, but is determined by economic, cultural and social conditions which, as highlighted in UNDP reports, express clearly the social differences between North and South, such as a clear discrimination in relation to women.

The health of any community is therefore a reflection of the health policies of a country, of the priorities of each government, and of their penetration by the market system as the only value, ignoring the first fundamental human right, which is that of a dignified life free from discrimination.

All questions relating to gender or the reproductive capacity of women are particularly sensitive matters in debates on women's rights and equality between women and men. Not in vain are such themes as the right to abortion, to birth control and to control over one's own body so controversial in international fora and always indicate differences between the most reactionary positions and those which most clearly defend women's rights understood as indivisible from human rights.

SIW must support those NGOs and organisations which undertake community and participative projects such as those that exist in different parts of the world, particularly in Latin America and Africa. These involve women in joint projects designing new health policies and have created health networks throughout the world and an interchange of gender-oriented scientific experiments.

SIW demands that every country has a Public Health System in which health care is not dependent on individual economic situation, thus tending to discriminate against women.

SIW demands that important efforts are made not only to promote different scientific studies on women's health but also to construct systems of care and prevention based on their specific needs.

SIW considers that any advance in the arena of equal opportunities for women and men, of equal rights, of the promotion of personal liberty, all of which can never be given up, implies a new focus on gender in the prevention, treatment and investigation in the field of women's health.

 

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