International Women’s Day 2019

This year on International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating Sajja, an activist from Nepal who is working to expand access to reproductive healthcare.

Sajja, YUWA, Nepal

Sajja is the Vice President of YUWA, a Nepali organization working to mobilize young people to expanding access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare through advocacy and action.

Thanks to activists like Sajja, since 2009 Nepal has seen its maternal mortality rate cut by a third and more people have access to contraceptives. The Nepalese government legalized abortion and is working to expand comprehensive reproductive health care. Unfortunately, things aren’t perfect. Thirty percent of Nepalese people have an unmet need for contraception. For many, especially young people, health clinics are hard to reach.

“Youth all over the world should unite, to work so the countries and the youth are really in need in countries like Nepal to have access to safe abortion.”

Through YUWA, Sajj is working to to bring comprehensive sexual health education in the classrooms and advocate for safe abortion access, but Trump’s Global Gag Rule is rolling back progress she and activists alike have made to advocate for reproductive freedom in their country.

The Global Gag Rule has stripped funding from many clinics in Nepal, forcing them to shut down or discontinue services. Now, the Nepalese people have few places to turn for contraception and information about safe abortion services.

“Clinics are being shut down. People are bound to choose unsafe methods of abortion,” Sajja says. “Women’s lives are at stake. And also, they face numerous, numerous challenges in seeking family planning. These clinics are where they go.”

Without reliable access to contraception, young people end up pregnant and afraid with nowhere to go, and unfortunately not many people know that abortion is legal in Nepal. Some attempt to perform abortions themselves — and the consequences are dire.

“The Global Gag Rule is really impacting us,” Sajja told us. “We want it to get stopped.”

This International Women’s Day we stand with women like Sajja who are working to defeat Trump’s Global Gag Rule and uphold reproductive freedom worldwide. Stand with them by sharing Sajja’s story on Facebook now.

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