Anti-gender movements have been on the rise in Europe and beyond, outright questioning gender equality, opposing sexual and reproductive rights of women, sexual minorities and young people’s access to information and education about their sexuality. The current Covid-19 response has provided these professionally organised groups with new opportunities to reinforce their agendas.
Early October Inspire, the European Partnership for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) convened European and international SRHR advocates in the ancient city of Athens. The conference focused on the upcoming 25th anniversary of the International Conference for Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo (1994) and collected best practices as well as European input for the ICPD Nairobi Summit. Participants were invited to share successes by the SRHR community, and to reflect on the ongoing push-backs to SRHR from conservative and populist movements.
Late March the American association ‘International Organisation for the Family’ (IOF) and anti-choice associations ProVita and CitizenGo co-organised the 5th World Congress of Families in the Italian city of Verona.
The congress allows anti-choice associations to meet associations who are against freedom of choice with regard to relations, sexuality and family planning.
The Trump administration has proposed to cut all support for international family planning and reproductive health in its budget proposal for 2018. This amounts to a budget of $607.5 million. The budget cut is unprecedented.
“It is proving increasingly difficult to discuss sexual and reproductive health and rights in UN texts. Sexual orientation, gender identity and sexuality education are also particularly hard to address. These concepts are seen as a threat to so-called ‘traditional family values’, Senator and Prof. Dr. Petra De Sutter explained. “Family is understood as a unit with a male breadwinner and the woman in the role of house wife”.