There is a worrying rise of anti-democratic leaders and populism in the United States–and globally–and direct attacks on sexual and reproductive rights, women’s rights, and gender equality. This is not a coincidence. The high-profile overturning of the right to abortion in the United States represents years of chipping away of the institutions designed to uphold women’s rights and is not unique to the United States.
The advancement in women’s civil rights and democracy go hand-in-hand. Women’s rights activism and political participation is a precondition for genuine democratic and egalitarian progress while authoritarian and populist movements are centered around the ideal of progress for only those who are included in their community, as opposed to progress for all. Creating so-called “culture-wars” around hot-button topics, like abortion, is an effective way to cover the larger agenda of authoritarian or anti-democratic leaders and helps raise money and support across the globe.
The work of feminist and human rights organizations cannot be seen as separate from strengthening democracy and human rights. The fight for sexual and reproductive rights is part of a larger human rights and democratic movement that must be funded and supported to push-back against the rising autocratic movements that attempt to divide communities and to move us toward a more equal vision of our future based on the realization of human rights for all people, not just some.
Read Action Canada's full report on the linkage between sexual and reproductive rights and democracy to learn more.