The very serious health problems suffered by millions of women due to poverty, violence, wars, discrimination and social exclusion led to the fact that in 1987, within the framework of the International Conference on Women’s Health held in Costa Rica, an assembly of women grouped under the name Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network (RSMLAC) proposed to establish May 28 of each year as the International Day of Action for Women’s Health, seeking to make women and girls more visible in regards to everything that concerns their integrity as a universal right.

Heading this movement, RSMLAC assumed responsibility for promoting and coordinating all actions. In 1988 the campaign called Prevention of Maternal Morbidity and Mortality was launched, with the aim of alerting about the number of deaths registered in the world due to lack of health care for pregnant women. In 1996, the World Network of Women for Reproductive Rights began an evaluation process of the Campaign, expanding the analysis to new problems that negatively affect women’s health. Different women’s organizations then decided to promote the Campaign for the Exercise of Sexual and Reproductive Rights in the region, under the coordination of RSMLAC. Currently, Covid-19 aggravates the health conditions of a large number of women. For example, approximately 18 million Latin American and Caribbean women have not had access to contraceptive methods during the pandemic and it is estimated that there will be about 3 million unsafe abortions and more than a thousand additional maternal deaths in the region, according to data from the Health Network of Latin American and Caribbean Women.

But in addition to sexual and reproductive rights, the right to comprehensive health is a human right that women must access without restrictions or exclusions of any kind. The demand of women’s organizations and health professionals is towards governments, with the aim of changing once and for all the quality of life of women in the world. Comprehensive health for women is not merely  a biological fact, it responds to biopsychosocial factors and depends, in most cases, on the place that women occupy in society, as well as on their ability to access material and symbolic resources for living a dignified life, with equal opportunities and free from violence.