Call for Action

In 1987, during a reunion of members of WGNRR in Costa Rica, May 28 was declared as International Day of Action for Women's Health. Since then, May 28 has been internationally renowned and activities are held worldwide by women’s and health groups. In 1999, it was officially recognised by the government of South Africa.

Each year, WGNRR collaborates with its members and partners on a call to action around a pressing SRHR issue. The call for action materials are developed and produced by WGNRR in its three working languages. They are disseminated to all members and partners, some of whom then translate the materials into their working or local languages. These materials are used to raise awareness and to complement campaign activities. The campaign culminates on the commemoration of the International Day of Action for Women’s Health.

For 2010-2015, WGNRR’s Call for Action campaigns will defend international human rights committments, and demand respect for sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice.

WGNRR is commemorating the courageous work of women's human rights defenders around the world and the 2010 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence (25 November - 10 December) with the launch of a multi-year campaign: Recognise Reproductive Rights, Organise for Reproductive Justice!  in collaboration with the Women Human Rights Defenders International CoalitionYou can download regionalised information about this campaign for Africa,  Asia & the Pacific and the Global North

In the year ahead, this campaign will address two specific demands related to the recognition and defense of sexual and reproductive rights as indivisible, universal human rights:

1.       Access to Safe, Legal, Affordable Abortion, free of stigmatisation and criminalisation.

2.       An end to forced sterilisation and abortion programmes, such as those targeted at people living with HIV/AIDS.

If you would like to receive regular updates about the progress of the campaign, email:

Together with women’s rights, health rights, human rights, and social and economic justice movements, we are calling on the UN, international institutions and governments to:

  • Affirm sexual and reproductive rights by upholding UN and regional human rights frameworks, and emerging human rights frameworks;
  • Repeal laws & policies that violate human rights, including sexual & reproductive rights;
  • Withdraw support for coercive sterilisation and abstinence-only programmes;
  • End the criminalisation and stigmatisation of those of us who are trained providers of safe abortion services and/or traditional birth services, those of us who want –or advocate for—the right to access to these services;
  • End the imposition of Poverty Reduction Strategy programmes as well as other forms of debt repayment plans that limit public health and education budgets;
  • Proactively work towards an end to all other violations of reproductive health and justice, including the harmful effects on reproductive well-being caused by environmentally destructive initiatives and policies which restrict access to contraceptives and to abortion.

The Recognise Reproductive Rights, Organise for Reproductive Justice! poster template can be downloaded here.

The Recognise Reproductive Rights, Organise for Reproductive Justice! button template can be downloaded here.

Case studies of WGNRR members and allies organising for Reproductive Justice can be downloaded here. To submit your campaign stories, email us!

Take action! Join the WGNRR 2011 RJMob (Reproductive Justice Mobilisation) Creative Campaign Challenge! Downloaded contest guidelines here.


2011 Call to Action: International Day of Action for Women's Health

Sexual and Reproductive Rights are Human Rights! Defend and Mobilise for Reproductive Justice!

May 28th, the International Day of Action for Women’s Health is fast approaching. Join thousands of people around the world in celebration of this day, to defend reproductive and sexual rights as universal, indivisible human rights and mobilise for reproductive justice. Why take action this year?


•BECAUSE sexual and reproductive rights continue to be denounced within national, regional and international forums.


•BECAUSE abortion, abortion providers and midwives performing homebirths continue to be criminalised.


• BECAUSE health initiatives continue to subject marginalised women - and in particular, those who are living with HIV/AIDS - to coercive contraceptive  ‘counselling sessions’ and sterilisation operations without full consent.


• BECAUSE religious, political and economic extremisms that promote patriarchal, conservative, and exclusionary ideologies, while normalising violations of the rights to bodily autonomy and to freedom from sexual violence, are on the rise.


• BECAUSE there are increasing incidences of femicide and brutal ‘honour killings’ worldwide.


•BECAUSE hope remains alive in the advances made in some national and international contexts.


We hope you will join us on May 28th in a coordinated call to defend sexual and reproductive rights!


For more details about the challenges ahead, victories to celebrate and community mobilisation ideas, check out the 2011 May 28th  Call to Action by the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights: “Sexual and Reproductive Rights are Human Rights!  Defend and Mobilise for Reproductive Justice!” The Call to Action is also availible for download in Spanish, French, and Japanese.


The growing list of events being organised worldwide on May 28th is being posted online at


If you haven’t already contacted WGNRR to let us know the actions your organisation will be taking don’t hesitate to be in touch:

-If you’re in Africa, email: you’re in Asia or the Pacific, email: you’re in Europe, email: you’re in the Americas, email:


For general campaign related questions, email


In Solidarity ~ For Reproductive, Sexual and Gender Justice,


WGNRR Campaigns Team


Days to Mobilise for Reproductive Justice Around the World include:

4 February - African Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Day

8 March - International Women’s Day

28 May -  International Day of Action for Women’s Health

4 September - World Sexual Health Day

26 September - World Day for Universal Access to Contraceptives

28 September - Day of Action to Decriminalise Abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean

29 November - Women’s Human Rights Defenders Day

30 November - South Asian Women’s Day for Human Rights