The 2017 edition of the Women’s March opened to a packed house, and then some. In the United States alone, 2.9 million women took to the streets making it the biggest one-day protest in the country’s history. And while the planned parenthood debate kept the coffee table cynics fed and happy, around the globe women are rising to the occasion. With snarky signboards in their hands, fire in their eyes and determination in their step, they are claiming back what is rightfully theirs. Here are the important conversations you need to keep up with around the globe:
Russia has decriminalised domestic abuse
A recently passed bill in Russia’s lower Parliament House, Duma, states that if the victim hasn’t suffered ‘serious harm’, (translation: doesn’t require hospital treatment) the abuser is exempted from prosecution and would instead be liable for community service or a fine. This coming from the same country where 40% of all crime is reported to stem from domestic violence. Women’s right activists have since sounded the alarm.
American insurance companies may no longer cover birth control
Not sure why Miley Cyrus accessorised her outfits with a ‘planned parenthood’ sign? Trump’s administration is expected to repeal the Affordable Care Act, 2010. Also popularly known as ‘Obamacare’, it mandates insurers to cover birth control. The proposed repealing of the act inspired 2.9 million people to make their displeasure known with the biggest one-day protest in American history.
New York, however, has defied Trump to protect reproductive rights
In a direct counterstrike, Governor Cuomo has stood firm by the planned parenthood movement, regardless of what decisions are taken at the federal level. “Make no mistake, New York will always stand up – and stand tall – to protect a woman’s right to choose,” he announced. Cuomo has the might of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman behind him, and the regulations will continue to mandate health insurers to provide women with the initial three-month supply of contraception.
India is proposing to make contraceptive pills available over-the-counter
A proposal has been submitted by the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) to make emergency contraceptive pills available over-the-counter. So what does it mean for you? You could now purchase contraceptive pills at chemist stores without a doctor’s prescription. Score one for protection of reproductive rights.
Saudi Arabia is debating women being allowed to drive
Business magnate and Saudi Arabian royal, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has been fighting the good fight on Twitter, advocating women’s rights to drive in the kingdom. “Preventing a woman from driving a car is today an issue of rights similar to the one that forbade her from receiving an education or having an independent identity,” he stated. Throwing the tyrannical laws into sharp relief, Saudi Arabia’s first ever all-female flight crew recently operated a plane from Brunei and touched down in Jeddah. Can we have a moment of silence, please, to appreciate the irony?