Moldova – diaspora group receive UN award for promoting reproductive rights of women with disabilities

6 December 20190000

Chisinau, 6 December 2019 – Andreea Lefter is a member of Moldovan Diaspora, living in Italy for several years now. He’s an active advocate of human rights, and over the past years, he has invested efforts into a unique project called ‘Standing Together for Women and Girls with Locomotor Disabilities.’

Alongside other colleagues from the diaspora, he initiated a fundraising campaign to purchase gynecological examination chairs accessible for all women, including those with locomotor disabilities. 

This is a personal challenge for me to stand in solidarity with women in Moldova who have a disability and to raise funds to purchase five adapted gynecological couches for the health centers that are attended by greater numbers of women. I call on you to help these women win back their natural right to be mothers, to be protected from getting cervical cancer, to grant these women the right to a normal life,’ said Andreea Lefter.

Andreea and his colleagues responded in this way to a communication campaign launched by UNFPA Moldova regarding the unmet need for reproductive health services of women and girls with disabilities. 

The fundraising campaign was initiated on several online crowdfunding platforms. 

Statistics show that half of the women in Moldova experience physical barriers in health facilities and that one in three women have had to deal with an unfriendly attitude of the health staff. There is also a negative perception that women with disabilities cannot form families and give birth to children. As a result, these women rarely, or even never, see a gynecologist, having limited access to health services. 

Having become aware of this, Andreea Lefter, alongside other members of the social diaspora, decided to make a change and raise funds to purchase adapted gynecological couches.

In addition to the online crowdfunding campaign, Andreea Lefter also participated in the long-distance walk Tour du Mont Blanc, which goes across three countries: Italy, France, and Switzerland and covers 170 km. Carrying a 30kg backpack, Andreea managed to do the tour and promote his cause by raising the necessary funds in just eight days.

Andreea Lefter made the Mont Blanc Tour to promote his cause.

Many other efforts went into purchasing the couches, identifying the health facilities, and delivering the equipment to Moldova.

For these efforts and remarkable achievements in the field of reproductive health and rights in 2019, Andreea Lefter and his colleagues from the diaspora recieved the 2019 UN Human Rights Award. 

Andreea’s sister recieved the Award on his behalf at the UN Human Rights Gala 2019.

These awards are granted every year at the Human Rights Gala to celebrate significant human rights actions. This year, the prize for reproductive health and rights coincided with the 25th anniversary of the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).

‘I’d like to thank all of you. We’ll always stand ready to fight for human rights,’ Andreea Lefter reassured at the Human Rights Awarding Gala, which took place on the 6th of December 2019 in Chisinau.

The adapted gynecological couches arrived in the Republic of Moldova at the end of December, and they will be donated to the five health centers at the beginning of 2020. Women and girls with disabilities in the Republic of Moldova will have access to quality health services in conditions of safety and dignity.

Accesible gynecological chairs are adapted to the needs of women and girls with locomotor disability.

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