Sexual Health Day as a National Day in Portugal


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June 10, 2021

The World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) is proud to announce that the Portuguese Parliament recognized Sexual Health Day as a National Day in Portugal

The vote was unanimous, including conservative parties.

Portugal is now the first country in the world to officially recognize the WSHD as a National Day, which is the culmination of a solid legislative path recognizing sexual health and rights as a priority. The formal vote was presented by Isabel Moreira, from the Socialist Party (following the recommendation of the Portuguese Society of Clinical Sexology, chaired by Patricia Pascoal and the SHD Portugal committee chaired by Marta Crawford) and supported by all the parties of the political spectrum in a historical unanimous decision.

World Sexual Health Day (WSHD) is a WAS initiative that is celebrated annually on September 4th throughout the world, in an effort to raise collective awareness of Sexual Health as a fundamental dimension of health and wellbeing (see WHO definition of Sexual Health) and the recognition of Sexual Rights as Human Rights. WAS played an important role in formulating the WHO working definition of Sexual Health.

Thanks to the original vision of then President Rosemary Coates in 2010, WSHD has been celebrated in over 60 countries with a wide range of activities. Country organizers have taken WSHD activities to schools, media, hospitals, libraries, universities, public squares, art halls, theatre groups, etc. WSHD has also been celebrated by United Nations Agencies, national and local governments, ministries and legislatures, and officially recognized by regional authorities such as the State of Jalisco in Mexico the Province of Chaco in Argentina, and the Province of Valencia in Spain.

In the words of Pedro Nobre, WAS president “This is a historical day for the recognition of the importance of sexual health and rights for all across the world. This initiative, one that has become globally celebrated, is for the first time formally recognized by a country. I am particularly proud that Portugal (my own country) is playing a pioneering role. I hope this is the beginning of a wide movement for the recognition of the fundamental role of sexual health and urge governments around the world and ultimately the United Nations to formally establish September 4th as World Sexual Health Day”.

WAS is an international organization with more than one hundred member organizations across the globe. WAS promotes and advocates for sexual health and sexual rights throughout the lifespan and across the world by advancing sexuality research, comprehensive sexuality education, and clinical care and services for everyone. The 25th WAS Congress for Sexual Health will be held virtually Sept. 9-12, 2021

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