12 Women’s Rights Wins To Celebrate This International Women’s Day

From Mexico to Japan, countries around the world have made bold moves to advance women’s rights in the past year.

12 Women’s Rights Wins To Celebrate This International Women’s Day

This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating the progress the world has made in the fight for gender equality.

From Mexico to Japan, countries around the world have made bold moves to advance women’s rights in the past year.

1. Mexico decriminalized abortion

Mexico’s Supreme Court has decriminalized abortion, becoming the latest country to do so in Latin America.

12 out of 32 states in Mexico have decriminalized abortion, but the Supreme Court decriminalized it across the whole country on Sep. 6.

In its ruling, the high court found that Mexico’s laws making abortion a crime are unconstitutional because they violate the rights of women and girls.

It ordered abortion be removed from the penal code, meaning that federal public health institutions will be required to offer abortion to anyone who requests it.

The move comes two years after the Supreme Court voted in 2021 to strike down a law in the northern state of Coahuila that criminalized abortion, finding it unconstitutional.

2. Malta eased its abortion laws so people can get an abortion when their life is in danger

In a small step for women’s rights, Malta has eased its abortion law to allow the procedure when the woman’s life is in danger.

Abortion had been illegal in Malta under all circumstances, even in cases of rape, incest or fetal abnormalities.

Having an abortion or helping someone to get an abortion could result in three years in prison.

On Wednesday June 18, Malta’s parliament unanimously approved a law to allow abortions when the woman’s life is at “immediate risk”.

The law was introduced in June 2022 after an American tourist nearly died in Malta from pregnancy complications when doctors refused to perform an abortion.

Japan has finally raised the country’s age of sexual consent from 13 to 16 as part of a wider reform of the country’s laws on sex crimes.

The law was proposed after the acquittal of several accused rapists in 2019, which sparked public outrage.

In one case, a court acquitted a father who had repeatedly raped his teenage daughter even after it recognized the girl had not consented.

The court said there was no definitive proof that the girl was unable to resist psychologically – as in she could have if she wanted to.The acquittal was later overturned by a higher court.

Under Japan’s previous law, victims needed to prove that there was violence and intimidation and that they had been unable to physically resist in order to secure a conviction.

The new law, which was passed unanimously on Friday June 16, now expands the definition of rape from “forcible sexual intercourse” to “non-consensual sexual intercourse”.

4. The Netherlands passed a “Only Yes Means Yes” law

The Netherlands has passed a “only yes means yes” bill that clearly defines rape as sex without consent.

Previously, the law required proof that there was violence, threats or coercion in order for it to count as rape.

But the new law expands the definition of rape to sex without consent.

This would make the Netherlands the 17th country in Europe to adopt a law that recognizes non-consensual sex as rape.

5. All the women jailed for having an abortion due to a medical emergency in El Salvador have been freed

A 28-year-old Salvadoran woman who was jailed for 30 years for having an abortion has been freed, making her the last woman to be jailed for an abortion due to a medical emergency to be freed.

The woman, identified as Lilian, had been sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2015 after she gave birth in a hospital and the baby died 72 hours later due to complications.

The hospital then accused Lilian, who was 20 at the time, of not taking care of the fetus during her pregnancy.

Abortion is illegal in all circumstances in El Salvador, with no exceptions even for rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger.

There are no more women jailed for having an abortion for medical emergencies, but there are still at least 10 active abortion cases waiting for a sentence, according to abortion rights groups.

Abortion is illegal in all circumstances in El Salvador, with no exceptions even for rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger.

Abortion rights group Agrupación Ciudadana para la Despenalización del Aborto took on Lilian’s case, along with 17 other women sentenced to up to 50 years for having abortions for medical emergencies, under the campaign “We Miss The 17” (Nos Faltan Las 17).

6. Japan finally approved the abortion pill

Japan has finally approved the abortion pill.

Surgical abortions up to 22 weeks of a pregnancy are legal in Japan but have always required partner consent, unless certain circumstances were met, such as unidentifiable partner, death of partner, rape or when the mother’s life is in danger.

If women underwent abortion procedures without a partner’s consent or faked their signature, they could face up to one year in prison.

Now, the government has approved a pill that can help terminate pregnancies up to nine weeks.

7. In Honduras, the morning-after pill is no longer banned

Honduras’ woman president, Xiomara Castro, lifted a longtime ban on the morning-after pill.She signed an executive order on March 8 2023, International Women’s Day, to overturn the ban that was instituted in 2009.

Honduras, which is largely Catholic, had been the only country in the world that banned all emergency contraception pills.

Abortion remains illegal in Honduras, which has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in Latin America, as well as high rates of sexual violence, according to rights groups.

8. Women in Argentina can now get the pill without a doctor’s prescription

Argentina will now allow women to get the morning-after pill without a prescription.

This means women will no longer need to see a doctor and can buy the emergency contraception over the counter at pharmacies.

All health workers will also be able to provide the pills at hospitals, making them easier to access.

The government said this will help people to avoid unintentional pregnancies as they can buy the pill and have it at home just in case.

9. There are now more women than men in Scotland’s government

After being sworn in as Scotland’s first Muslim and person of color leader, Humza Yousaf, has named a new woman majority government.

For the first time ever, six out of nine cabinet members in Scotland are now women, and half of the members are aged below 40.

Women now lead the ministries of finance; education and skills; net zero and just transition; rural affairs, land reform and islands; social justice, justice and home affairs.

10. Women voted at a major meeting of the bishops for the first time

Pope Francis has changed the Catholic Church’s rules so that women can vote at a major meeting of the bishops.

Until now, only men could vote at the meeting of Bishops, called a synod, while women could only attend as observers.

The synod in October focused on the future of the church, including women’s and LGBTQ rights and how it can be more inclusive.

Under the new changes, five religious sisters became voting representatives alongside five priests at the meeting in October.

The pope has also decided to appoint an additional 70 non-bishop members to join the meeting and vote.

He has asked that half of them are women and young people are included.

This will bring the proportion of total women voters to just over 10 percent.

11. France became the first country in the world to make abortion a constitutional right

France has become the first country in the world to make abortion a constitutional right.

In a joint session on Monday March 4, lawmakers from both houses of parliament overwhelmingly voted to approve the change.

Abortion has been legal in France since 1975, but now it is a “guaranteed freedom” under the constitution.

This means that future governments will not be able to “drastically modify” the law, which allows women to have abortions up to 14 weeks of a pregnancy.

12. And finally, Spain’s s region started providing free reusable period products for everyone

A pharmacist shows to Helena Herranz a menstrual cup which is distributed, along with other reusable menstrual products including menstrual underwear and reusable pads, free of charge in Catalonia region, at a chemist in Barcelona, Spain, March 4, 2024. (REUTERS/Albert Gea)

More Like This

10 Human Rights Wins To Celebrate In 2023
In A Blow To Italy’s Far-Right Prime Minister, Sardinia Has Elected Its First Woman And Left-Wing President

Subscribe To The Almost Newsletter For More