The Center for the Promotion and Defense of Sexual and Reproductive Rights (PROMSEX) starts its operations on February, 2005. The organization’s activities are centered on issues considered key within the sexual and reproductive rights spectrum, such as access to legal abortion and emergency contraception for women who live in poverty conditions, as well as non-discrimination of sexual orientation and gender identity. PROMSEX also works intensely to make the medical and law guilds and the human rights organizations get hold of these issues and make the agenda their own.
"PROMSEX has been a great ally for the Obstetrics College in Arequipa. With its support we’ve restructured our work plan, emphasizing sexual and reproductive rights and gender equality.” —Yda Luz Velásquez Villanueva, Dean, Obstetrics Regional College, IV Arequipa, Peru
Susana Chavez, the director of PROMSEX, became an Advisor to the Vice-Minister of Health in Peru after President Ollanta Humala took office in July 2011. PROMSEX will continue under the leadership of Rossina Guerrero and George Liendo.
In the below video Susana Chavez answers the question, "What does a just and healthy life for women and girls mean to you?"
Support for L.C.’s case
- Background: L.C. is a teenager who was raped. After learning she was pregnant, L.C. attempted to commit suicide, which left her permanently disabled. Doctors refused to operate on her because of her pregnancy and L.C. was denied the right to therapeutic abortion.
- Actions: With the victim’s active participation, her case was made public. Represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights along with PROMSEX, L.C. filed a petition before the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Committee against the Peruvian government because, as L.C. states, she wants to help other women to never go through an experience such as hers. The petition was accepted by the CEDAW Committee.
Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Gender Equality: Promotion of measures for Their Enforcement
- Background: Two years ago, the Peruvian Congress passed a law that penalizes sexual relations with children under 18 years of age, defining them as rape. This decision has brought serious consequences because it does not recognize consensual sex and denies teenagers the access to reproductive health services, since their sexual practices are considered a crime.
- Actions: PROMSEX has joined forces with the Manuela Ramos Movement, also an IWHC partner, to influence the modification of this law. The topic is being widely debated both at public and institutional levels. Given the strong pressure and complaints, the Judges Board has stated that this legislation is inadmissible and agreed not to enforce it. This, however, is not enough to overturn the law.
- Ruling by the Constitutional Court on emergency contraception. After four years of struggle, the Court ruled that the State must provide emergency contraception to poor women. PROMSEX members had filed this petition. In the past year, the Court has spoken again and ordered the State not to restrict women’s right to emergency contraception.
- Increased provision of therapeutic abortion in Peruvian public hospitals. Even though there still isn't a national protocol, working with the medical community has yielded some results. In the past year, more than 80 therapeutic abortions have been performed, compared with only three in 2003.
To learn more about PROMSEX:
- Visit their website
- Be their fan on Facebook
- Watch videos on their YouTube channel
- Check out this blog entry featuring the
story of an activist that began working with PROMSEX after someone
close to him suffered a preventable maternal death due to unsafe