Women's Link Worldwide

Jovana Rios, Executive Director

"As an Afro-Indigenous descent woman helming a Global South-led transnational organization that centers its work on feminist partnerships, being a SheDecides Champion represents a great opportunity. It contributes towards our mission to ensure women, girls, and gender-diverse people whose intersecting identities lead to their marginalization can make decisions about their bodies, enjoy a healthy and prosperous life, and live free from any kind of violence."

How is Women's Link working towards a world where SheDecides?

Women’s Link Worldwide uses a combination of legal, alliance and communications strategies to promote social change that advances the sexual and reproductive rights of women, girls, and gender diverse people by applying a feminist decolonial framework and intersectional analysis to human rights law. We go beyond the courtroom to build robust partnerships, create public debate, and contribute to social movements that can transform society and guarantee these rights.

Ensuring real access to abortion in Colombia

In the wake of the Causa Justa ruling in 2022 that decriminalized abortion up to 24 weeks, we are defending the decision from attacks of anti-rights groups that want to reverse it as well as ensuring Colombia's Ministry of Health enacts guidelines for safe and timely abortion.

We work with our local partners to identify barriers and find creative means to ensure access to abortion. Our creative lawyering's intersectional approach acknowledges the unique position of Venezuelan migrants, whose status means they do not have access to sexual and reproductive rights.

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Digital Rights as Sexual & Reproductive Rights

As telemedicine becomes a popular form of interaction between service providers and users, it is integral that people have access to and information to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights.

For this reason, we partnered with Women on Web, which offers information on sexual and reproductive rights and access to safe abortion via telemedicine and online services, in a lawsuit against the Spanish government after it blocked their site.

The Supreme Court of Spain ordered the unblocking of the website in October . Having created an important new legal standard on the intersection of reproductive rights and digital rights, we are now looking at how to set this standard elsewhere, sharing with other activists what we learned and the strategies we used.

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Improving guidelines so that there is information on how to access abortion in East Africa

In Kenya, by harnessing powerful litigation and a creative social media campaign as part of an SRHR coalition, we work to make information on how to access a safe abortion accessible. In Uganda, we partnered with Women’s Probono Initiative to get the government to reinstate abortion standards and guidelines that were withdrawn in 2017.

Despite abortion being permitted under certain circumstances in both countries, there are legal ambiguities that discourage people from seeking abortion services for fear of criminalization. The reinstatement of safe abortion access guidelines highlights how essential access to information is as part of reproductive justice.

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Challenging the Dominican Republic’s complete ban on abortion

For nearly a decade, Women's Link Worldwide has accompanied Rosa Hernández in her quest for justice after the Dominican Republic's total abortion ban led to her daughter's death. The case could be precedent-setting across the region as it has gone before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Going beyond legal representation with regards to her daughter's passing, we have supported the efforts of Rosa, other affected mothers and family members, and the local feminist movement who seek a new Criminal Code that includes the possibility for women to have access to abortion under three circumstances.

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