Our fight


” Never forget that it will only take a political, economic or religious crisis for women’s rights to be challenged. These rights are never carved in stone. You will have to remain vigilant your entire life.” 70 years after the publication of The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir’s warning is striking for its continuing accuracy. Women’s rights are still regularly violated and denied. And each step forward is but a mere fragile victory.

#TimesUp everywhere, TotalShutDown in Spain, “Without us the world stops” in South Africa, “Ni Una Menos” in Latin America, #AllOfUs in Europe, demonstrations for the right to abortion in Ireland or Argentina… Faced with constant attacks from conservative groups, movements for the recognition of women’s rights are increasing in every continent. Women’s voices are amplified to denounce gender-based violence and to demand equality.


Médecins du Monde France (MDM), a medical association for international solidarity, fights for the universal access to healthcare. For more than 40 years, this humanitarian association has been caring for the most vulnerable populations, testifying to the barriers to access to healthcare, promoting sustainable improvements in health policies for all and denouncing violations of human dignity and human rights. In particular, the obstacles to the freedom of women and girls to decide for themselves about their sexuality, their health and their lives, have been at the centre of our/its work.

Médecins du Monde has made health and
women’s rights one of its priorities for action,
a major focus for its interventions in France and abroad.

And yet, women are now able to exercise their rights and influence their own lives, they are more likely to pursue their studies, pursue a professional career, and participate in public life, but also to invest in the health and education of their own daughters. This is why Médecins du Monde has made women’s health and rights one of its priorities for action, a major focus of its interventions in France and abroad.

The sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) that the humanitarian association defends focus on fundamental aspects of a person’s life: their body, their sexuality, their health, their relationships, whether or not they are married, and whether or not they have children. As essential human rights, SRHRs are also an essential component of the progress towards gender equality.


Médecins du Monde acts and campaigns for the right of women to freely control/decide their bodies and to make free and informed decisions about their sexuality, health and life. Whether in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Madagascar, Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda, Palestine or Bulgaria, Médecins du Monde works with communities, civil society actors and public institutions to improve the availability and quality of healthcare services, particularly in sexual and reproductive health. The association supports people in knowing their rights, strengthens their capacity to act and challenges decision-makers to confront their shortcomings and responsibilities.

214 million women who want to delay or avoid
a pregnancy do not have access to
a modern method of contraception.

Médecins du Monde is particularly in favour of access to healthcare for safe abortion. Even today, 214 million women who wish to delay or avoid pregnancy do not have access to modern methods of contraception. More than 80% of unplanned pregnancies are directly related to an unmet need for contraception. And 25 million unsafe abortions are performed each year. However, the means to prevent the many deaths associated with unsafe abortions are available and affordable. Médecins du Monde is also fighting to repeal the laws that provide for punitive measures against women and girls or healthcare workers in the event of pregnancy termination.

Learn more about our fight for women’s rights