Advocates’ International Youth Activist Network (iYAN) consists of youth activists and adult allies from low and middle-income countries who are working to influence policies and programs in their countries and internationally to support improved youth reproductive and sexual health. Members of the iYAN connect to share information about their work; are provided information about scholarships and networking opportunities; get up-to-date information on downloadable advocacy materials and tool kits; and receive a monthly newsletter with information on advocacy, youth activism, and mobilization on important issues like sex education, access to contraception, and prevention of adolescent maternal mortality and HIV.
Sharing Our Passion: Blogs from Advocates’ international youth bloggers and other Amplify posts!
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Empower Women and Young People as Partners in Development By Leovlauzon, the Philippines In the post-2015 development agenda, we must focus on reducing inequality, which has widened both within and between countries. Thus, it is important that we must also accelerate the social, political, and economic inclusion of marginalized groups, especially women and girls and young people – whom United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave a nod to the importance of women, who “hold up half the sky,” and of young people, “the very face of our future.” Read More
People with Disabilities Have Rights Too by Nosaj_8, Jamaica After being engaged in on online consultation last week under the theme “The world we Want 2015,” I had to pause and reflect on the Jamaican society that we are now living in and ask the question, is this really the type of society that I want to live in? While I had difficulty responding to this question, the truth is I wish to live nowhere else. However, I strongly believe that young people such as me may not be motivated to want to live here for more reason that one. Read More
Jamaica Government Launches Gender Equality Public Education Campaign By Marioapalmer, Jamaica Again the Government of Jamaica is making strides in promoting equality for “all” , on March 8th the government launched a six-month public education campaign, aimed at promoting gender equality. Entitled ‘The Way Out’, the $7.5 million campaign, which also seeks to promote women’s empowerment, is designed to support the implementation of the island’s National Policy for Gender Equality. Read More
Gender Barriers By Radical, Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan has on the occasion of the International Women’s Day (IWD) assured to build on his achievements and do all within his power to curb violence against women. In a statement titled A promise is a promise; time for action to end violence against women, chosen by the United Nations for this year’s IWD, Jonathan reassured Nigerian women, that having already taken very significant step to fulfill his promise of affirmative action to further empower Nigerian women, his administration will continue to build on its achievements in this regard and do all within its powers to curb violence against women. Read More
What’s Going on at Advocates for Youth?
Youth Activists Leadership Council (YALC) in Nepal Recruited, Trained, and Ready for Action As part of the International Youth Speak Out Project, YUWA, Advocates’ partner NGO in Nepal, has recruited its new national Youth Activists Leadership Council (YALC), which includes 13 young leaders, including 7 young women and 6 young men, ages 18-24. YUWA also hosted its annual youth advocacy training, which was held in March in Dhulikhel, Nepal. The training focused on improving participant’s knowledge of sexual and reproductive health and rights issues and policies that affect young people, advocacy, and action planning. The council’s policy priorities for this year include: 1. To build understanding about issues relate to sexual and reproductive health and rights among young girls and women and 2. To strengthen the capacity of youth to advocate for ending sexual violence. The action plan developed by participants for their council consists of regular visits with stakeholders at the national level as well as with UN officials; media outreach efforts, including blogging, using facebook, and tweeting; community awareness raising events that include using puppetry, songs, drama, and flashmobs; organizing discussion programs and self-defense workshops; awareness campaigns, including blogging, using facebook, and tweeting; community awareness raising events that include using puppetry, songs, drama, and flashmobs; organizing discussion programs and self-defense workshops; implementing an awareness-raising campaign to end sexual violence, and producing and disseminating information briefs and podcasts. Read more about it here. Advocates Celebrates National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day in the United States
Every single day abortion providers stand with young people, women, and their families to ensure access to safe medical care – care that in 1 in 3 women in the United States will need in her lifetime. Unfortunately, many abortion providers continue to face significant risks, including harassment, stalking, threats to family members, and even violence. Despite these risks, they continue to stand with us and provide care. In 1996, March 10th was declared National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day in the United States, to honor and celebrate the people who risk so much to ensure access to safe reproductive health care. Advocates for Youth was proud to stand with these brave and caring professionals by facilitating ways to show appreciation for their courage and care. Advocates partnered with artist Megan Smith, founder of the Repeal Hyde Art Project, to create a series of graphics with messages of support and appreciation that people could share on social media and submit pictures of themselves holding to declare their personal support of abortion providers. Advocates also featured the voices of two abortion providers on why they continue to do this work. As a result of this action, individuals and groups submitted 86 pictures. About 8,000 people visited Amplify and saw the images, in addition to images shared by colleague organizations, resulting in as many as 10,000 views of messages expressing appreciation to providers.
My Voice Counts!
On February 1, 2013, John Kerry assumed the role of U.S. Secretary of State. For the previous four years, Secretary of State Clinton had been a champion of women and girls within the U.S. government and around the world, ensuring that the rights of women and girls were elevated as a matter of foreign policy and were key concerns of the State Department and White House. Secretary Kerry has stated that he will continue Clinton’s legacy in regards to these issues, but it remains unclear how the State Department and other U.S. agencies will shape foreign policy to advance the rights of women and girls worldwide. Now is the time to demonstrate mass support for policies and programs that will allow women and girls to be healthy, empowered, educated, and safe—no matter where they live. The “50 Days of Action for Women and Girls” Campaign includes a broad spectrum of organizations seeking to advance progress in U.S. foreign policy efforts on the following issues:
- Ending Early and Forced Marriage
- Ensuring Quality Education for Women and Girls
- Preventing Violence against Women and Girls
- Improving the Health of Women and Girls
- Promoting Economic Empowerment of Women and Girls
- Achieving Peace and Security for Women and Girls
- Protecting Human Rights & Promoting Leadership and Participation of Women and Girls
- Putting Women and Girls at the Center of the Post-2015 Global Development Agenda
How can you get involved?
- Join the ThunderClap, a moment when many people flood Twitter with the same tweet, demanding Twitter’s attention!Sign on to the ThunderClap here
- Tweet and retweet using #usa4women and/or #usa4girls – and watch for Tweet Chats and Google Hangouts each week
- Twibbon:Visually show support for the campaign by adding the hashtags to your Facebook or Twitter profile pictures! Go to http://twibbon.com/Support/usa4women and http://twibbon.com/Support/usa4girls.
- If you have a blog or tumblr account, please blog about why you support the 50 Days of Action for Women and Girls Campaign.
- If you have a blog or tumblr account, please blog about why you support the 50 Days of Action for Women and Girls Campaign.
Check out Amplify for weekly updates and sample tweets! Apply Now for a Scholarship to attend the 17th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa, December 7-11, 2013, Cape Town South Africa The organizers of the 17th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) have created an International scholarship program in order to promote the participation of the maximum number of actors in the response to HIV, AIDS and STIs, particularly persons living in resource-limited countries, PLHIV and young scientists in ICASA 2013. More than 800 citizens of developing countries, NGO workers, members of marginalized communities, PLHIV, persons with disabilities, young scientists and other youth will receive financial aid to participate in the 17th ICASA Conference. Anyone can apply to the International Scholarship Program. Priority will be given to those whose participation in the 17th ICASA Conference will enhance their work in their own communities, to those who are able to transfer skills and knowledge acquired at the conference and to those whose abstracts have been selected for presentation at the conference. Every attempt will be made to assist as many Africans as possible to attend the 17th ICASA Conference. However, the number of international scholarships available is limited. Participants are, therefore, strongly encouraged to seek other funding. Click here to apply for a scholarship. Attend the Women Deliver Conference, May 28-30, 2013, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Read All About it!
In India, Heated Debate Over Teens and Sex “Should it be illegal for 16-year-olds to have sex? What if they’re married? That debate was reopened recently in India, as the government prepares a new criminal amendment designed to better protect women and punish sexual offenders. Up for discussion is lowering the age of consent from 18 to 16, which may reverse a law passed last year criminalizing all sex involving those under 18, even if it was consensual.” Read more
Chinese Parents Fight for Gay Children’s Marriage Rights “Of all the ways a son can be disrespectful to his parents”, argued the ancient Chinese philosopher Mencius, “the worst is to have no offspring”. Now, in a bold challenge to this centuries-old tradition, nearly 200 parents of gays and lesbians in China have written an open letter to Chinese lawmakers demanding that their children be allowed to legally marry and have children.” To read this article, go here.
Sex Education in Schools? No Way! “It is unfathomable that the governors of the education system and educators are, seemingly, so misinformed about the purpose of quality education and what it entails. The argument that ‘school is a place for learning and not for sex’ in response to the (revived) debate around access to safe sex information and commodities in schools is evidence of our absurdly uninformed thinking about the purpose of education.” To read this article, go here.
South Africa Fails to Put Sexual Health Policy into Practice “In South Africa, 15% of young women and 5% of young men aged 15 to 24 are HIV positive and 50% of new HIV infections are detected in people under 29. Vuyiseka Dubula, general secretary of Treatment Action Campaign, blames poor access to contraception and HIV testing. She says sex education has been greatly improved in recent years, but schools must go further by making condoms and health advice available on site.” To read this article, go to here.
Kenya Condom Advert Pulled after Religious Complaints “A TV advertisement promoting condom use in Kenya has been withdrawn after an outcry by religious leaders”, health official Peter Cherutich has said. Christian and Muslim clerics said the advert “encouraged infidelity, rather than safe sex to curb HIV/Aids”. To read this article, go to here.
Tools You Can Use
The Social and Economic Benefits of Women’s Ability to Determine Whether and When to Have Children By the Guttmacher Institute A new study by the Guttmacher Institute shares conclusions based on a review of 66 studies on the social and economic benefits of women’s ability to plan whether and when to have children through obtaining and using effective contraception. The report concludes that contraceptive use leads to: educational attainment; workforce participation and economic stability; union formation and stability; mental health and happiness; and the well-being of children. The report also notes that not all women have shared equally in the social and economic benefits of contraception and that this inequity underscores the need for more efforts to advance contraceptive access for all women. You can access the report here.
Facts for Family Planning By USAID Facts for Family Planning contains ten easy-to-read chapters on important family planning topics such as delaying first pregnancy, spacing pregnancies, understanding fertility, and family planning methods, with special chapters focused on unmarried youth and HIV/AIDS. Each chapter has an introduction that highlights important points, key facts to share on the topic, and supporting information for each key fact. Designed to complement A Global Handbook, a resource first published in 2007 by the World Heatlh Organization, this resource is designed to help family planning providers assist clients in choosing a family planning method, supporting effective use, and solving clients’ problems. Printed copies of A Global Handbook are available free of charge for developing countries in English, French and Spanish; Facts for Family Planning is available in English also free of charge for developing countries. To request either of the publications, go here.
Promoting Partner Reduction: Helping Young People Understand and Avoid HIV Risks from Multiple Partnerships By FHI 360, on behalf of USAID’s Interagency Youth Working Group (IYWG), and the late Dr. Doug Kirby of ETR AssociatesThis resource provides a set of evidence-based activities to help young people:
- Learn why HIV spreads at different rates in monogamous, sequential, and concurrent sexual partnerships
- Analyze the reasons why young people engage in multiple partnerships
- Develop the intention to reduce their number of sexual partners
- Practice skills to refuse engaging with concurrent partners
To access this document, go here. Youth in India: Situation and Needs Policy Briefs By Population Council This series of 34 briefs addresses numerous aspects of young people’s lives in India, including participation in civil society, early marriage, sexuality education, gender-based violence, and many others. To access the briefs, go here.
International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO), May 17The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policy makers, opinion leaders, social movements, public opinion, the media etc. to this issue and to promote a world of tolerance, respect and freedom, diversity and acceptance regardless of people’s sexual orientation and gender identity. As much as it is a day against violence and oppression, it is a day of freedom, diversity and acceptance. The day of May 17 was chosen to commemorate the decision taken by the World Health Organization in 1990 to take hThe last report on State Sponsored Homophobia that the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association (ILGA) released in 2012, confirms the total number of countries in the world with a legislation persecuting people on the basis of their sexual orientation at 78. Furthermore, according to Preliminary findings of the ILGA report on mapping the legal situation of transgender people worldwide (February 2012) “the main finding is that in the majority of countries the procedure for gender recognition for transgender individuals is unclear or does not exist. Transgender people are left to seek gender recognition through expensive court procedures or invasive medical procedures conducted often by individuals who have little knowledge about transgender people’s experiences.” The idea behind IDAHO is to create a global understanding for the rights to express gender freedom and to engage in same-sex relationships without one specific form of expression or even one central policy agenda. The IDAHO is about unity in spirit and diversity in expressions. The Day creates an opportunity for all to:
- Draw media attention to the issue of homophobia and transphobia
- To organize events which mobilize public opinion
- To engage in lobbying activities
- To organize joint campaigning actions
- To network with like-minded organizations
- To develop new partnerships
- To address new constituencies
Want to get involved? To find out more about the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, click here. To like IDAHO on Facebook, click here. To read more about LGBT rights in the Caribbean, click here: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/component/content/article/1762-overlooked-and-at-risk To check out Advocate for Youth’s pamphlet series for youth, “I think I Might Be..,” click on the links below: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/storage/advfy/documents/gay.pdf http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/storage/advfy/documents/lesbian.pdf http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/storage/advfy/documents/bisexual.pdf http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/storage/advfy/documents/transgender.pdf
Please spread the word about the iYAN! Send this link to your friends so they can sign-up too! http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/iyan
They can also check out the iYAN Facebook page by going here: www.facebook.com/AdvocatesforYouthiYAN