Wednesday 11 July 2012

Add your voice to #givegirlspower at today's Family Planning summit

I read a news report yesterday that a group of scientific researchers - serious ones from a Canadian University - have declared that the Earth won't survive the 22nd century. I rolled my eyes and didn't feel at all bothered by this "news". Then I moved on to the next article. 

Feng Jianmei, a 23-year-old woman from China who was in her seventh month of pregnancy, was given a forced abortion because she hadn't filled in an application form to have a second child (which is allowed in farming families if the first child is a girl) and couldn't afford to pay the £4000 fine for not respecting the nation's One Child policy. Having lost a baby at 6 months, I know what that means. It's not a foetus, or a bunch of undeveloped cells. It's a real baby, who looks like it could survive, who you have grown attached to and who you probably already have a name for. I couldn't help myself and clicked through to read a bit more. The poor woman was beaten, blindfolded and dragged from her home by 20 officials who threw her in a van and drove her to hospital, forced her to sign consent forms with the blindfold still on, then injected her baby with lethal chemicals. Two days later, her stillborn daughter was born and the horrific photos showing this poor woman lying next to her dead baby on her hospital bed went viral. A few of the officials have been sacked and China has apologised, but the couple had banners left on their home calling them traitors. The hardest part to read is that this is far from being an isolated incident.

Then, with a heavy heart, I clicked on to the next interesting-looking link in my timeline. It was a message from the lovely Mammasaurus telling us about an evening she spent with Save the Children, hearing stories of young girls barely in their teens forced into marriage and motherhood without having a clue what is going on. You can watch her vlog here. The stories she shares are those of young girls in Africa, but they also reminded me of a girl I had in class a few years ago, who had a miscarriage aged 12. That's one year older than Sophie. I can't even get my head around it !

The message behind Mammasaurus's emtional vlog is that today, David Cameron is hosting a Family Planning Summit. It's the ideal time to make some noise and help get women all over the world access to the education and contraception they need to make informed choices.

All you need to do is tweet the message : "All women should have power to decide when & how many children they have. @number10gov pls #givegirlspower at #fpsummit. Lives depend on it." between 11am and 11.10am today, Wednesday 11th July. 

Save The Children say that there are 222 million women in developing countries who don’t have access to contraceptives.

There is an online petition that you can also add your voice to at

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

1 comment:

  1. It really brings the message home if you have child around the age of 12 when you hear that story doesn't it?
    It's mindblowing.

    Thank you so much for writing about this x


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