A call to action has been issued for young women across South Australia to join a new online feminist group advocating on key gender equality issues.
YWCA Australia’s Advocacy Manager Claire Tatyzo said the YWCA Cyber Feminists’ (CBF) latest campaign is urging young women to voice their support for new laws to create safe zones around abortion services.
“This is about stopping harassment and intimidation of patients and staff as they try to enter clinics that provide abortion care,” Ms Tatyzo said. “People have the right to access reproductive healthcare safely and with privacy and dignity.”
The South Australian Parliament is expected to resume debate this week (July 22) on the Healthcare (Health Access Zones) Amendment Bill 2019 which was originally introduced to the House last year and passed by the Upper House.
The Bill would make it an offence to intimidate, harass, threaten, obstruct or film a person inside a 150-metre buffer zone around hospitals and other clinics offering abortion services.
Ms Tatyzo said CBF members are taking over social media this week with advocacy messaging and graphics to raise awareness and reaching out to their local MPs urging them to vote ‘YES’.
“CBF works like an online flash mob, mobilising YWCA Australia members, in particular young women members, on critical advocacy issues and elevating their voices online,” she said.
“CBF members share content on social media, then tag their MPs in advocacy posts. They help inform the community about important issues and they amplify intersectional feminist voices through collective online advocacy.
“It’s a powerful way for young women to play a role in leading change that improves their lives as well as those of future generations of women.”
YWCA Australia has been helping women advocate for gender equality for 140 years.
“We are proud to be an evolving intersectional feminist organisation, one that challenges the systems, structures and policies that act as barriers to women, especially young women, achieving their full potential,” Ms Tatyzo said.
She said the new healthcare Bill would bring South Australia in line with the rest of the country, with safe access zones operating in all states and territories, except South Australia and Western Australia.
“No person should have to run a gauntlet of placards or abuse when they go to work or go to see their health care provider,” Ms Tatyzo said.
“YWCA believes it’s time South Australia’s outdated abortion laws, written more than 50 years ago, were brought into the 21st century and achieving safe access zones is the first step towards ensuring women can get the healthcare they need when required.”
Ms Tatyzo said CBF was part of a collective of advocates in South Australia and across the country working who were working to get the Bill over the line, including the South Australian Abortion Action Coalition, Fair Agenda and some very dedicated South Australian MPs.
“We’re asking our CBF members in South Australia to get involved and play their part in creating a future where all people enjoy equal access to health care and human rights,” she said.
Ms Tatyzo urged anyone interested in women’s rights and intersectional feminism to register for CBF at ywca.org.au/CBF/
Find the full media release here