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SHE DECIDES

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Advocating against the pushback laws against SRHR in Mexico

3rd June 2020

Location: Nuevo Len, Mexico

As is happening around the world, many congresspersons are using the COVID-19 pandemic to push conservative agendas affecting the recognition and access to SRHR for women, youth and adolescents. Comprehensive sexuality education is recognised as part of the right to education in the Mexican Constitution since the last year. Despite this, recently in Nuevo LeÃn, Mexico (my city), a local Congressperson tried to pass a law to block access of comprehensive sexuality education for youth and adolescents in public schools - by creating a "pin parental", a tool to give parents the possibility to block educative content about gender and sexuality in schools. So, we mobilised online, and used our collective voice to stop the Bill from passing.

In Mexico we are still in quarantine so it's not possible to protest physically or take to the streets. Instead, many activists and collectives are organizing people online. We've been sending messages and calling to congresspersons to vote against the initiative, creating and promoting educative information to explain to people about what is happening and what the initiative means (because not all of the population know about the initiative). We have also been working to block misinformation. We have created infographics, posters, used the press and written blogs, hosted online conversations and lobbied congresspersons. As a result we were successful in achieving the rejection of the initiative on the Congress. This could looks like just a little win, but in the context of one of the most conservative cities in Mexico and with many conservative congresspersons, it was a really significant achievement for civil society. Especially youth and adolescent people who took leadership to mobilize the population online.

We're facing a global pandemic creating a new normal for everyone. But it doesn't mean what we were facing before has gone. We can't let the pandemic be used to increase the push backs against sexual and reproductive health and rights, because sexual and reproductive health and rights have always been essential, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. We can stand up and speak out online to keep our fight for SRHR, working on and telling our leaders that we keep watching them during this time.

SheDecides day event photo