Each year the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers highlights sixteen women, men and organizations that standout in the fight against gender violence. Representing December 9th, is:
Polish Federation for Women and Family Planning; Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (ASTRA)
Polish advocate for women’s reproductive rights
Wanda (Nowicka) co-founded both the Federation for Women and Family Planning in Poland (FEDERA) and the Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. “I advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights, especially for the right to legal and safe abortion, modern and accessible contraception and comprehensive sexuality education at the national and international level”.
Wanda (Nowicka) works through her organizations to monitor the implementation of governmental commitments to sexual and reproductive rights and health. She helps raise awareness about these issues by submitting reports to the Polish government and international institutions such as the UN Human Rights Council and organizing public hearings, such as a hearing on sexual and reproductive rights and health held at the European Parliament.
She joins her network in providing legal support to women, including filing a Polish case in the European Court for Human Rights, in order to influence legislation and policies.
Nowicka is listed in the Polish Wikipedia HERE.
As a legal advocate Nowicka has worked in reproductive health and sexual rights since 1992.
[…The Roman-Catholic Church, which is very influential in Poland, continues to teach strongly against contraceptive methods other than natural ones.
As a result, family planning methods are hardly used in the Polish society. Since accurate numbers of contraceptive prevalence are not known (official statistics are not done with this respect), estimates indicate that over 40% of the population has never used any form of birth control and that no more than 8% use modern family planning methods….]
8% is an unreasonable and unfathomable figure for a country like Poland.
Anti-abortion laws combined with essentially non-existent family planning services, place women in a the old precarious position of “backroom and coat hanger abortions”.
Reports from ASTRA reveal that because 27 countries comprise Central and Eastern Europe, the economies are often in flux. With very different cultural identities, border crossings, migration and legal restrictions to abortion increase the possibility of sexually transmitted diseases and predict poor heath and reproductive results for women.
ASTRA members include:
* Family Planning Association of Albania
* Women’s Rights Center of Armenia
* Women’s Independent Democratic Movement of Belarus
* Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation
* B.a.b.e (Be Active, Be Emancipated) of Croatia
* Family Planning and Sexual Health Association of Lithuania
* Latvia’s Association for Family Planning And Sexual Health
* Federation for Women and Family Planning, Poland
* Eastern European Institute for Reproductive Health, Romania
* AnA: Romanian Society for Feminist Analysis
* Institute of State and Law, Russian Academy of Sciences
I Own My Vote, PUMA, The Denver Group, Just Say No Deal