women's health

93 petitions

Update posted 4 weeks ago

Petition to Charlie Baker, Robert A. DeLeo, Harriette L. Chandler, Karen E. Spilka

Ban Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in Massachusetts

Our names are Aisha Yusuf, Hanna Stern, and Mariya Taher, and we each are pleading to the Massachusetts State Legislature to pass a law making it illegal for someone to carry out Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting/Circumcision (FGM/C) on young girls. FGM/C involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue on girls, and can cause physical harm including pain, bleeding, shock, tetanus, genital sores, and cause long-lasting psychological harm including sexual disorders, fear of sexual intimacy, nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder. Mariya - I was born in the United States and now live in Massachusetts, but at the age of seven, I was subjected to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in India. Friends and relatives of mine also living in the United States have undergone FGM/C both here in the United States or in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Australia, and many other countries in the world. Aisha- I got my circumcision when I was five. I know many women who also got it done. Personally, I know people in my community who talk about it as if it’s normal. I was aware of people practicing it behind closed doors but I also know that some people are looking for ways to keep the practice alive here in the States even though it might mean legal action is taken against them. I didn't know my home state, Massachusetts, had no laws against FGM/C until I met Mariya who works with many communities to protect girls against FGM/C. Hanna - I literally stumbled on the subject of female genital mutilation searching for a global health research topic online for a school project. I knew nothing about it and was concerned that others would find it uncomfortable and unrelatable. My teacher told me that was all the more reason to focus on FGM/C. It’s not a cultural issue; it’s not a third-world problem. FGM/C happens all over the world; it is happening in Massachusetts! Regardless of culture and tradition, and despite a lack of intent to cause injury, the end result is girls in MA are being violated and need our protection to safeguard them from FGM/C. Massachusetts is known for its progressive policies in terms of reproductive rights, anti-discrimination laws, and equality issues, yet our state still is in the minority of states that do not ban female genital mutilation or cutting. As FGM/C is nearly always carried out on minors, is a violation of the rights of children, and reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes that constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women, we must protect girls from undergoing FGM/C. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that over half a million girls and women in the United States are at risk. Massachusetts ranks 12th in the nation for at-risk populations with an estimated 14,591 women and girls.  Since 2012, the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association has over and over again tried to advocate for a state law criminalizing FGM/C. Yet, still to this day, no law has been put into place. The current bills, S.788, and H.2333, have been sent to committee for study and most likely will not move forward either. All three of us believe in the importance of education and community engagement to help create social change within communities and amongst groups where FGM/C might be happening. To that end, we each have organized and participated in community events to educate our friends and family members about the harms of FGM/C and why it should be abandoned. Yet, despite our efforts, FGM/C continues, often being touted as a religious or cultural practice that is needed to control women’s sexuality. In April 2017, a doctor in Michigan was charged with performing FGM/C on minor girls, highlighting yet again that FGM/C does affect women and girls living in the United States. The doctor claimed FGM/C was a religious requirement and that there were no harmful effects. We three believe that culture and religion should not be an excuse used to sanction harm to girls. We need a bill in Massachusetts that unequivocally reiterates that female genital mutilation/cutting is a form of violence. There are laws against domestic violence and sexual assault. We need a law against FGM/C as well. We three believe our state can do a better job of protecting girls in the Commonwealth by banning FGM/C. You can support us too by signing our petition demanding that legislators make passing a bill banning FGM/C high on their list of priorities. Let’s work together to take a stance against Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting!  ~ Aisha Yusuf, Hanna Stern, and Mariya Taher  

Mariya Taher
294,386 supporters
Started 1 month ago

Petition to U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives

300,000 women die of cervical cancer every year. Congress can help stop it

The petition below comes from Ana Reyes, a cervical cancer survivor and volunteer with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. I was diagnosed with Stage 2 cervical cancer in December of 2015, when I was 36 years old.  At the time I was a single mother to two young children, ages 6 and 8.  To combat my diagnosis, I had multiple surgeries, 6 rounds of chemo, 28 rounds of external radiation and 3 rounds of internal radiation. I had a radical hysterectomy and the option of having more children taken away from me. I had to take a leave of absence from my job for a full year and move back in with my parents. I live with daily side effects, both physical and mental from my cervical cancer treatments.  But I still consider myself lucky.  There is the obvious reason to consider myself lucky … I continue to be alive.  But there are other reasons as well. I am lucky because my cancer was caught at Stage 2, still relatively early.  Often, cervical cancer is caught and treated even earlier than Stage 2. This is due to cancer screenings that are widely available in the U.S. and even covered by health insurance. This isn’t true everywhere in the world. In many parts of the world, cervical cancer often isn’t diagnosed until it’s too late. This doesn’t sit right with me. We have the tools to make my generation the last to ever have to battle cervical cancer. Yet more women are dying from this disease every year. Last year, 312,000 women died from cervical cancer worldwide. Without action, that will increase by 2040 to a staggering 459,000 women projected to die from a disease that is actually preventable. And this shouldn’t sit right with you, either, especially if you have a mother, a sister, a daughter, a wife or a girlfriend. That’s why I’m asking for your signature today to urge your U.S. Senators to support dedicated funding in this year’s global health budget to help eliminate deaths from cervical cancer worldwide. Cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women. But regular screenings and early treatment have changed that. Today, approximately 90% of cervical cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries because the women in these countries don’t have access to these services. This is completely unacceptable. It is our responsibility to take what we know about prevention, screening and treatment to help save the lives of women in other countries. I am lucky because my children will likely never have to face this disease. They have both received the HPV vaccination, which prevents cervical cancer as well as six other types of cancer.  This vaccine was easy for me to get for my children and was fully covered by my insurance. All children everywhere in the world should have this same opportunity. Even though the World Health Organization cites the HPV vaccine as one of the most cost-effective cancer prevention methods out there, most girls living in low- or middle-income countries don’t have access to the vaccine. I got cervical cancer. But I am lucky that I got cervical cancer in the U.S. and that I had health insurance to cover the costs. I am lucky that because of where I live my cervical cancer was found at an early stage. I am lucky that my children have access to the HPV vaccine so that they will never have to fight the cancer I did. With vaccination, screening and treatment, virtually ALL death from cervical cancer worldwide can be eliminated.   Cervical cancer shouldn’t be a death sentence in any country. Please stand with me in urging members of the U.S. Senate to support dedicated funding in this year’s global health budget, and take a bold step toward eliminating cervical cancer once and for all.

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
1,581 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Dave Lewis, Christian Haller, Mike Coupe, Charlotta Szczepanowski, Åsa Domeij, Maria Smith, Press Group, CSR Group, Veronika Pountcheva, Susan Iliefski-janols, Jim Bath, Virginie Helias


ENGLISH | GERMAN | FRENCH | SWEDISH Did you know that several studies found dangerous dioxins in diapers? Or that tampons can release dangerous chemicals into the human body that take years to eliminate? What’s the problem?Many diaper and tampon products sold on supermarket shelves have been bleached with chlorine dioxide. This bleaching process can release dioxins, a group of carcinogenic compounds linked to cancer and other health problems like infertility. Dioxin has been classified by the World Health Organisation as one of the world’s most toxic substances. How serious is it?Recent studies have revealed alarming levels of dioxin in well-known diaper and tampon brands. In January 2019 the French Government released a report confirming that weed-killer and other potentially toxic substances had been found in baby diapers. The producers of these products claim that the levels detected are too low to pose any health risk. So then why has the French Government called on manufacturers and retailers to eliminate these substances? These products are worn or used in the most intimate parts of the human body. Did you know the female vagina can absorb toxic chemicals at much higher levels – 10 to 80 times higher – than if they were ingested by mouth? Or that dioxins in children can affect their liver function, thyroid hormone levels and create impaired learning ability? These dangerous chemicals should not be coming into contact with our skin or tissue. There is a safer alternative – demand it! The good news is that diapers, tampons and other personal hygiene products like napkins and toilet paper do not have to be bleached with chlorine dioxide. There is a far safer bleaching process that is totally chlorine-free and non-toxic. It’s called Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) bleaching. Most manufacturers have yet to adopt TCF, but this will change if more people become aware of the health risks associated with these products and demand non-toxic alternatives. 5 REASONS WHY WE HAVE TO STOP TOXIC HYGIENE PRODUCTS NOW.  Dioxin is very persistent. It takes 7-11 years to just eliminate 50% of the dioxin in your body. The vagina can absorb toxic chemicals 10 to 80 times higher – than if they were ingested by mouth. Dioxin is classified as one of the worlds most dangerous substances and should not come into close contact with sensitive areas such as the vagina or baby skin.  There still remains a lack of evidence on the direct and cumulative exposure of these toxins to intimate body tissues. For almost 30 years there have been better ways of bleaching. – so why are we still exposed to toxic compounds? Therefore we demand manufacturers and supermarkets to take action. We urge international manufacturers of these products like Essity, Procter&Gamble and Kimberly-Clark, to offer chlorine free and non-toxic alternatives to consumers. We also demand some of Europe’s biggest retail chains – Aldi, Lidl, ICA, Axfood, Carrefour, Coop, Tesco, Sainsbury ́s, Metro and several others – to offer customers safer personal hygiene products free from toxins. Sign the petition and call on them to start stocking diapers, tampons, pads, napkins and other paper hygiene products that haven’t been bleached with any chlorine compounds and are toxic free. SIGN THIS PETITION PLEASE SHARE #myclosestenemy This petition is put forward by 'My Closest Enemy'  Find us at -Website @myclosestenemy Facebook @My Closest Enemy

My Closest Enemy
18,149 supporters