Phumzile Van Damme slams WHO’s ‘no booze for women of childbearing age’ proposal

Former MP Phumzile Van Damme has slammed the World Health Organisation’s proposal to ban alcohol consumption for women of childbearing age.  This is one of the proposals contained in the first draft of the organisation’s Global Alcohol Action Plan 2022-2030, released this week.

In the document, the organisation said the harmful use of alcohol resulted in about three million deaths in 2016 and that diseases and injuries attributable to alcohol consumption remain high. The organisation said awareness must be raised to curb incidents of irresponsible alcohol consumption.

“Appropriate attention should be given to the prevention of the initiation of drinking among children and adolescents, prevention of drinking among pregnant women and women of childbearing age, and protection of people from pressures to drink, especially in societies with high levels of alcohol consumption where heavy drinkers are encouraged to drink even more,” said the organisation.

Van Damme questioned what she called the policing of women’s bodies, saying men should also take responsibility for their health.

The organisation said awareness must be raised to teach people about the dangers of alcohol consumption, which it says goes beyond its impact on non-communicable diseases.

“The impact of harmful use of alcohol on health and wellbeing should not be limited to the impact on non-communicable diseases but should be expanded to include other areas of health and development, such as mental health, injuries, violence, infectious diseases, productivity at workplaces, family functioning and a ‘harm to others’ perspective,” it said.

Van Damme is not the only one who thinks the proposal polices women:

 

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