While it did see its fair share of doozies, 2010 wasn’t all bad for women. The International Women’s Health Coalition has chronicled its “Top Ten Wins for Women’s Health and Rights” of 2010“, and the list reveals some real progress made in 2010. View the full list after the jump, or download as Word or PDF. Click on the title of any item to learn more.
10. Gay Marriage Legalized In Argentina And Mexico
On March 12, 2010, Mexico City legalized same-sex marriage, as well as adoption by same-sex couples; in July, advocates received more good news when Argentina legalized same-sex marriage.
9. Maternal Deaths Decline Across The Globe
This September, new data found that the number of women dying due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth has decreased by one third since 1990.
8. United Nations Secretary General Releases Global Strategy On Women’s And Children’s Health
The UN Secretary General’s Global Strategy on Women’s and Children’s Health promotes comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, not just maternity care; takes a country-up perspective; and recommends utilizing existing health resources more efficiently and effectively.
7. UN Provides Governments a Woman-Centered Plan to Prevent HIV Infections
The UNAIDS Agenda for Women and Girls contains possible actions for AIDS programs to choose from that protect women’s human rights within the context of HIV/AIDS, invest HIV/AIDS funds nationally in integrated sexual and reproductive health services, and provide comprehensive sexuality education, among others.
6. The United States Secretary Of State And Congress Stand Up For Girls And Women
In January, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made a renewed U.S. commitment to making access to reproductive health care a “basic right.” And in Congress, Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY) introduced the Global Sexual and Reproductive Health Act to ensure a more comprehensive U.S. approach to addressing the range of the sexual and reproductive health needs of individuals.
5. Activists, Policymakers In U.S. And Nigeria Lead Efforts To Prevent Child Marriage
Though the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act failed to garner the “super majority” it needed to pass Congress, some progress was made on this issue abroad. In April, a coalition of Nigerian activists and academics signed and delivered a petition to the national Senate calling for an investigation into the marriage of Senator Yerima, who allegedly paid $100,000 to marry the 13-year- old daughter of his Egyptian driver.
4. Empowering Young People During the Year of Youth
Summer 2010 marked the beginning of the United Nations Year of Youth, and fittingly, feminist organizations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America scaled up comprehensive sexuality education programs to provide young people with vital information about their bodies, their rights, and their responsibilities.
3. United Nations creates New Body On Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality, Appoints New Director to Head UNFPA
In July, the United Nations consolidated the four existing UN bodies on women (UNIFEM, DAW, INSTRAW and OSAGI) into one new organization-UN Women- and appointed Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet as its head. And in yet another victory for women and girls, the United Nations Secretary General appointed Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, a longstanding advocate for women’s sexual and reproductive rights and health, as the new Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
2. European Court Of Human Rights Rejects Irish Ban On Abortion
In December, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Ireland’s constitutional ban on abortion violates the rights of pregnant women to receive proper medical care in life-threatening cases.
1. Woman-Initiated Prevention Methods Offer New Hope Against HIV
In July, results from a clinical trial in South Africa found a new gel to be nearly 40 percent effective in protecting women against HIV during intercourse.