Let’s Talk About Self-Care

Meet these 10 Women Deliver Young Leaders, youth advocates from around the globe active in the programs and policies that affect their daily lives, who believe that self-care is about more than health—it’s about taking #PowerInHerHands. We asked them how the power of self—care could transform sexual and reproductive health and rights in their communities.

…[Self-care] products, when readily accessible, engender bodily autonomy and respect. They render you capable of framing your own future with your own hands.”

— Sumaira Waseem, 21 Global Peace Ambassador Global Peace Chain Pakistan

”I see self-care as a lifesaver. In intense situations, an unprotected relationship can cause sudden panic that leads to bad results for yourself and for society. But an abortion pill can work as a miracle to save lives.”

— Umair Asif, 28 Founder, Kafka Welfare Organization Pakistan

“If [self-care] becomes a reality in my community, then it would be one of the best things to happen, especially for young people, because of all the bias and judgmental attitudes at service delivery centers.”

— Mary Adeoye, 24 Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Advocate Nigeria

“When a female is granted [her right] to take complete ownership of her health, this a triumph for her community. Care of oneself in the most intimate ways promotes peace of mind. Our healthcare system should be rooted in creating peace of mind.”

— Ashley Foster-Estwick, 27 Qualitative Research Coordinator, The George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre Barbados

“My peers are often afraid to access sexual and reproductive health services since laws can serve as deterrents. Giving me the option to access these services on my own gives me autonomy over my body and my human right to access health services and information.”

— Dennis Glasgow, 21 Director, Aspire Youth Network Guyana Guyana

”Accessibility and proper,
basic knowledge about self- administered sexual and reproductive health products play a key role in maintaining
the physical, mental, emotional health of the individual and entire society, by offering a sense of personal freedom, choice and bodily autonomy.”

— Tatiana Biciuc, 28 Young Leader, Women Deliver Republic of Moldova

“Self-care interventions increase the privacy, confidentiality and autonomy of marginalized people in humanitarian settings that lack sufficiently trained health workers, [have] inadequate health infrastructure and [lack] evidence-based sexual and reproductive health policies or practices.”

— Hamza Meghari, 25 Young Fellow, Women Deliver Palestine

”Medical Abortion (MA) is a revolution for women to take sole decision over their sexual and reproductive health (SRH).
In Nepal, where abortion is legal, women are still stigmatized for accessing [it]. Self-administered medical abortion pills allow young women to access service and care without stigma.”

— Shreejana Bajracharya, 31 Asia Safe Abortion Partnership Nepal

“By bringing reproductive health products like HIV and hepatitis
C tests, condoms, lube, [and the] ability to schedule appointments for PrEP directly [to] the community, I am able to educate and equip our communities with the resources that we all deserve!”

— Helena Likaj, 27 Program Manager, Odyssey House USA

Learn more about self-care at “Transforming Health Care through Self Care: Agency and Power in Sexual and Reproductive Health” a Women Deliver side event, on Wednesday, June 5 from 6:30-8:00 a.m. in VCC West, Room 211.

To find out about the growing evidence for self-care, join PATH’s Martha Brady and PSI Malawi’s Chiwawa Nkhoma at the “Self-Care: The Next Frontier in Women’s Health” concurrent session on Wednesday, June 5 at 3:00pm in VCC West, Room 217-219.

This article appears in PSI’s Impact magazine, released in tandem with Women Deliver 2019, as part of an ongoing conversation about putting #PowerInHerHands.

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