The campaign reveals names of victims and urges governments to act.
On International Women’s Day, March 8th, Medecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) launched its “Names Not Numbers” campaign to raise people’s awareness on women’s reproductive rights with an installation called “Machine of Death” at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Each minute, the device prints on a postcard a name of a woman who died during childbirth or abortion. Bystanders have 60 seconds to claim the card before it is dropped into a bin.
Along with the name, the card details solutions to the tragedy: universal access to contraception methods, decriminalization of abortion at proper medical institutions, and universal access to quality health care for women and their children.
A card is pre-addressed so that it can be sent, right after it is signed, to local politicians to urge them to take appropriate measures. In France, more than 1,000 people participated in the campaign and sent postcards to the Minister of Women’s Rights Najat Vallaud-Belkacem who promoted the campaign on SNS.
Instead of focusing on daunting statistics, Doctors of the World set out to evoke emotional response by giving names to the 300,000 women who died from pregnancy-related complications or unsafe abortions.
Visitors to www.names-not-number.org may experience a digital version of the campaign. After watching a short video clip about the machine, visitors are given a minute to click on the ‘CLAIM THE CARD’ button. By clicking on the ‘SIGN THE CARD’ button, they may sign and send the card to the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Kimoon, and share it via Twitter and Facebook.
The campaign will be held in major cities in Europe until September when women’s rights will be discussed during a special meeting of the UN.