Days of Action 2017


6 February – International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation #endfgm

A date created to promote the abandonment of FGM practices around the world, while also addressing the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and girls who suffer from its consequences. RHM Journal papers focusing on the subject can be visited at

12 February – Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day

This day is an opportunity to raise awareness about sexual and reproductive health issues and to educate to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections. Health awareness events create publicity for health issues and aims to improve the condition and help save lives, sometimes these events encourage preventative action against conditions becoming more serious.


3 March – International Sex Worker Rights Day

This day’s history goes back to 2001, when over 25,000 sex workers gathered in India for a festival despite efforts from prohibitionist groups who tried to prevent it taking place by pressuring the government to revoke their permit.  The event was organised by Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, a Calcutta based group that has over 50,000 sex worker members, and members of their communities.  Sex worker groups across the world have subsequently celebrated 3rd March as an annual, international event, as International Sex Workers’ Rights Day.

8 March- International Women’s Day #IWD2016

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. The idea is to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals.

For RHM Journal’s views and perspectives on SRHR and the new sustainable Decelopment Goals visit RHM43.

31 March – International Transgender Day of Visibility #TransgenderVisibility

International Day dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide.


7 April – World Health Day #WorldHealthDay
11 April – International Day for Maternal Health and Rights #IntlMHDay

This day is recognized as the International Day for Maternal Health and Rights to demonstrate the urgency of increasing global action on this issue and an important tool to help the world recommit to achieving MDG 5 and take action on the Manifesto for Maternal Health Post-2015.


May 5 – International Day of the Midwife 

The International Day of the Midwife is an occasion for every individual midwife to think about the many others in the profession, to make new contacts within and outside midwifery, and to widen the knowledge of what midwives do for the world.

May 17 – International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia #IDAHOT

This day represents an annual landmark to draw the attention of decision makers, the media, the public, opinion leaders and local authorities to the alarming situation faced by lesbian, gay, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people and all those who do not conform to majority sexual and gender norms.

May 23 – International Day to End Obstetric Fistula #EndFistula

The global Campaign to End Fistula is a collaborative initiative to prevent fistula and restore the health of those affected by the condition. Obstetric fistula is a hole in the birth canal caused by prolonged labor without prompt medical intervention, such as a Caesarean section. An estimated 2 to 3 million women and girls in developing countries are living with obstetric fistula. 

28 May – International Day of Action for Women’s Health – #May28 #WomensHealthMatters

Governments around the world are currently in the final stages of establishing the Post-2015 Development Agenda, which will include a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will guide international development policies, priorities, and funding over the next 15 years. Throughout this and other recent global review processes, violence against women has rightly received due attention from governments and UN institutions alike as “one of the most prevalent forms of human rights violations worldwide,” constraining women’s empowerment and impeding sustainable development. Yet one form of violence, particularly experienced by women and girls if they are young, unmarried, poor, HIV affected, of diverse sexual orientations or gender identities, living with a disability, or in other vulnerable situations, remains rampant and unaddressed: namely, the institutional violence they experience when they are denied their right to health and are unable to access sexual and reproductive health services. Text taken from May 28.Org


2 June – International Sex Workers Day 2015 #InternationalSexWorkersDay

To mark 2nd June International Sex Worker’s Day, Stop Aids has published this factsheet on Sex Work, HIV and Human Rights.

Read RHM45 paper Speaking of sex workers: how suppression of research has distorted the United States’ domestic HIV response

Read RHM35 paper HIV criminalisation and sex work in Australia

5 June – World Environment Day #WED2015

On World Environment Day why not browse through RHM’s May 2015 issue on ‘Population, Environment and Sustainable Development’.

19 June – International Day of the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

The International Day aims to raise awareness of the need to end conflict-related sexual violence and urge the international community to stand in solidarity with the survivors of sexual violence around the world.

Read past RHM papers on violence and sexual violence in vulnerable groups.

20 June – World Refugee Day #WorldRefugeeDay

This day draws the public’s attention to the millions of refugees and Internally displaced persons worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict and persecution.

The abuse, rape, exploitation and trafficking of women, girls and other vulnerable populations is exacerbated by conflict, flight and displacement, when family and community protections are weakened or destroyed.

Read past RHM papers on violence and sexual violence in vulnerable groups.


11 July – World Population Day #WorldPopulationDay

A day that was recommended on order to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues in the context of overall development plans.

30 July – World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Human trafficking is a crime that exploits women, children and men for numerous purposes including forced labour and sex. The International Labour Organization estimates that 21 million people are victims of forced labour globally. Trafficking women and children for sexual exploitation is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. 


12 August – World Youth Day #YouthDay

The engagement and participation of youth is essential to achieve sustainable human development. Yet often the opportunities for youth to engage politically, economically and socially are low or non-existent.

Access RHM past papers on young people and SRHR 

19 August – World Humanitarian Day #WorldHumanitarianDay


26 September – World Contraception Day #WCD2016

Launched in 2007, WCD’s mission is to improve awareness of contraception and to enable people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.

28 September – Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion #Sept28

All over the world activists, academics, clinicians, NGOs and community groups will be marking the international day of action for access to safe and legal abortion. Originating in Latin America, this has become a global event, with actions taking place on every continent including: tweetathons; public meetings; radio shows; drama and art pieces; club nights; marches, demonstrations and flashmobs; film showings; publicising of abortion helplines; fundraisers and more.


1 October – International Day of Older Persons

With a growing number of older people in the world, it is time for Reproductive Health Matters to look more closely at the sexual and reproductive health of people in this different stage of life.

This issue of the journal will shine a spotlight on people over 50, inviting research, policy analysis and examples of practical actions that address the effects of ageing on sexuality and sexual and reproductive health. We also welcome contributions that highlight the often ignored health and social challenges faced by older people in meeting their sexual and reproductive health needs and rights, and best practices for overcoming these barriers.

11 October – International Day of the Girl Child #DayoftheGirl

This day recognizes girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.

In 2015, UN agencies, Member States and civil society committed to putting adolescent girls at the centre of sustainable development efforts:

  • Invest in high quality education, skills, training, access to technology and other learning initiatives that prepare girls for life, jobs, and leadership.
  • Invest in health and nutrition suitable to the adolescent years, including puberty education, menstrual hygiene management, and sexual and reproductive health education and services.
  • Promote zero tolerance against physical, mental, and sexual violence.
  • Enact and consistently implement social, economic, and policy mechanisms to combat early marriage and female genital mutilation.
  • Invest in the creation and maintenance of social and public spaces for civic and political engagement, creativity and talent enhancement.
  • Promote gender-responsive legislation and policies across all areas especially for adolescent girls who are disabled, vulnerable and marginalized, and victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation.

To read more on SRHR issues and youth visit RHM’s past papers by topic

22 October – International Day of Action for Trans Depathologisation 

Every October, activist groups worldwide organize activities for trans depathologization to demand the removal of the diagnostic classification of gender transition as a ‘mental disorder’ and to claim state-funded access to a trans health care of the highest attainable quality. Other relevant demands include the removal of the diagnostic classification of gender diversity in childhood, a shift in trans health care from the current assessment model to one based on informed decision making, the legal recognition of name and gender marker without medical requirements, as well as the protection of trans people against discrimination and transphobic violence. Taken from STP2012.

Read RHM46 Making Depatholgisation a Matter of Law

26 October – Intersex Awareness Day

It tells of intersex activism’s pioneering days, and the efforts those first wave intersex activists made to make public what had been denied for decades: it is a public declaration to other intersex people across the globe that they are not alone, there are people who hear you and are willing to reach out a hand of support. Source: a Blog by Leslie Jaye.

Read the Council of Europe paper on Human Rights and Intersex People


16 November – International Day of Tolerance, #ToleranceDay

On the day of its fiftieth anniversary, 16 November 1995, UNESCO’s Member States adopted a Declaration of Principles on Tolerance. Among other things, the Declaration affirms that tolerance is neither indulgence nor indifference. It is respect and appreciation of the rich variety of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. Tolerance recognizes the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. People are naturally diverse; only tolerance can ensure the survival of mixed communities in every region of the globe.

20 November – Transgender Day of Remembrance, #TransgenderDayOfRemembrance

The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was started by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence that year and began an important memorial that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

25 November – International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

From November 25th to Human Rights Day on the 10th December the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.

Read RHM papers on violence and sexual violence


1 December – World AIDS Day

To mark World Aids Day browse through RHM’s HIV/AIDS papers which are all in the Key Topics section, where RHM papers are grouped by topic.

3 December – International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD)

Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been commemorated annually on 3 December around the world. The theme for this year’s International Day is “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want”. This theme notes the recent adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the UN General Assembly, and the role of these goals in building a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities.

Check out our Call For Papers on Disability and SRHR

11 December – Human Rights Day, #HumanRightsDay

Human Rights Day was established in 1948. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was a shout across the world by the leading countries in the world, stating loud and clear that no matter where we live, what we believe, or how we love, we are each individually deserving of the most basic fundaments of human needs. Every year Human Rights Day marks conferences around the world dedicated to ensuring that these ideals are pursued, and that the basic Human Rights of every person is made a priority in the global theater.

12 December – Universal Health Coverage Day

See RHM 43 for more on population, environment and sustainable development

Read:  ‘Universal health coverage: necessary but not sufficient‘, an article from RHM 42

17 December – International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

This day was created in to call attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers all over the globe.