What is Pratigya?
The deep rooted patriarchal values of the Indian society deny many women her sexual and reproductive rights. Woman’s sexual and reproductive behaviour is controlled through gender discrimination and violence. The falling sex ratios and the continuing high maternal mortality and morbidity are reflective of the abridgment of the right of women to a life free of denial, discrimination and disease.
With the realization that there is a need to address the programmatic issues as well as the socio- cultural factors that push women to go for gender biased sex selection as well as limit, stigmatize and criminalize their abortion seeking behavior, Pratigya is a campaign for ‘Gender Equality and Safe Abortion’, launched in January 2013. The Campaign is committed to promoting women’s rights and access to safe abortion in India.
The campaign advocates for more effective action on both – enabling women’s access to safe abortion as well as in dealing with gender inequities in society that underlie sex selection. The campaign recognizes that the issue of sex selection gets conflated with abortion access but we believe that these are both mutually exclusive concerns that are equally important to address: firstly that access to safe abortion is a right and second that sex selection must be curtailed as it represents a cultural issue emerging from the subordinate status of women in a patriarchal society.
The campaign advocates are individuals and organizations that have been working with government at the national and state level on issues of women’s empowerment and enabling women’s access to healthcare services.
This Campaign envisions creating a platform to promote gender equality, place the issue of sex selection within this paradigm, while at the same time speaking up for women’s right to access safe abortion.
In the current phase, the campaign activities will be focused at the national level and in two states Rajasthan and Maharashtra where the access to safe abortion services have been regulated by the State government’s action to impose PCPNDT in a rigorous manner by:
- Developing Strategic communication regarding distinction between the MTP and PCPNDT Act’s
- Engaging with key Government Officials working on implementation of MTP and PCPNDT Acts and Sex Selection Groups
- Media Outreach in order to address the deep-rooted gender-based violence and discrimination in the country and placing abortion as a reproductive health issue.
To ensure a smooth process of decision making, reviewing the situation, and the role of the campaign, a Campaign Advisory Group has been constituted that will advise and guide the campaign activities.