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April 2017 iYAN

Advocates for Youth Newsletter


april 2017 iYAN

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.


What’s Going on at Advocates for Youth?

Advocates is Translating its 3R’s Sexuality Education Curriculum into Spanish and Assessing Adaptability for the Latin America Region

Early this year, Advocates for Youth launched a new project focused on translating its 3 R’s sexuality education curriculum from English to Spanish and exploring its adaptability for the Latin America region. Advocates is partnering with Maná de Vida, based in Escuintla, Guatemala, as well as a translator to carry out the translations of the entire k-12 curriculum. Advocates and Maná de Vida are also working together to conduct a small pilot test of the Spanish version of the curriculum in Guatemala for grades K-8 in order to assess its adaptability. Last month, Advocates’ staff conducted three virtual sessions with Mana de Vida teachers to provide training on sexuality education and orientation for the piloting process.

Advocates is currently exploring partnerships for piloting grades 9-12, also in the Central America Region. If you are based in Central America and might be interested in partnering with Advocates for Youth to pilot test the curriculum in your school this calendar year, please contact Nicole at nicole@advocatesforyouth.org.

Advocates Joins Girls Learn International at Commission on Status of Women Event

Advocates’ staff and International Youth Leadership Council Member, Emily, had the honor of presenting on a panel called “Teaching Human Rights” organized by Girls Learn International. at the Commission on the Status of Women. Emily discussed her experience serving on the International Youth Leadership Council and how she has educated US policy makers and her peers about how US foreign policy impacts abortion access abroad as well as the importance of US investments in global HIV/AIDS.

Advocates’ staff also shared information about AMAZE, an initiative of Advocates for Youth, YouthTech Health and Answer, which provides sexuality education to very young adolescents in the United States through short animated films hosted through Youtube and available on the AMAZE YouTube channel or website. During the panel presentation, Advocates showed the AMAZE video called Top Signs Girls Are In Puberty. AMAZE is currently working with partners to adapt an initial set of the videos for Latin America and East and Southern Africa as well as directly translate videos and website content in up to 30 languages.

My Voice Counts!

Attention Feminists–Check Out the Mama Cash’s New Funding Opportunity

Mama Cash is open to receiving new grant requests from feminist groups–this year, Mama Cash hopes to support up to 15 new feminist groups led by women, girls and trans people. The deadline is May 15th 2017, 11:59 pm CEST.

For information about criteria and priorities, go here.

Information and an online application are available in multiple languages at the links below: English | Français | Español | Русский (Russian)

For general information, go here.

Tools You Can Use

Addressing HIV Adolescent Risk in Adolescent Girls and Young Women
By the Center for Strategic and International Studies

This report discusses HIV risk among adolescent girls and young women the urgency to go beyond biomedical interventions to address the social and economic factors driving HIV risk for adolescent girls and young women. To access the report, go here.

Ensuring Adolescent Girls’ Wellbeing: A Holistic Approach
By the Coalition on Adolescent Girls

Members of the Coalition for Adolescent Girls created this resource to inform practitioners, policy-makers, advocates, researchers, donors, and governments about the diverse and multi-faceted needs of adolescent girls. This document consolidates information related to adolescent girls’ wellbeing and illustrates entry points for holistic, multi-sectoral initiatives that can help girls achieve wellbeing. This resource is outcome-focused related to girls’ education, health, economic empowerment, hygiene, experience of gender-based violence, and experience in conflict, emergency, or humanitarian settings. It illustrates connections across sectors that make the case that the holistic needs of girls must be taken into consideration regardless of in which sector the program or policy originates. To access this document here.

University Leadership for Change in Sexual and Reproductive Health in Niger
By E2A

From March 2014–June 2016, E2A implemented the University Leadership for Change (ULC) project in Niger to promote youth leadership for driving social change and health systems strengthening with the aim of reducing unintended pregnancies and maternal mortality, and increasing gender equality. This report presents the project outcomes and documents the strategies and approaches that led to the results achieved. The report also highlights considerations for scaling up the approach in different contexts. To read the report in English, go here or in French, go here.

Punitive laws, key population size estimates, and Global AIDS Response Progress Reports: an ecological study of 154 countries
By Sara LM Davis, William C Goedel, John Emerson, and Brooke Skartvedt Guven in the Journal of the International AIDS Society

This study explores associations between legal status, key population size estimates, and HIV service coverage for 193 countries from 2007 to 2014. The study found that a greater proportion of countries that criminalize same-sex sexual behaviour reported low or no size estimates for MSM. To access the article, go here.

Read All About It!

Use of contraceptive declines by three percentage points in last 10 years: Survey (India). The overall use of contraceptive has declined by three percentage points in last 10 years, raising concerns around the government’s family planning programme, the latest health survey conducted by the government across the country shows. However, the decrease in contraceptive prevalence does not corroborate with other indicators in the space like the decline in total fertility rate and increased awareness about use of contraceptive. The data also show an increasing trend in use of pills and condoms. To read the article, go here.

Sudan: the condom divide in Sudan. Islamists and secularists are virtually at war in Sudan over a recent newspaper article on the condom usage and the concept of the faithfulness among couples. And the author of the article, Ms Shamail Alnour, is in deep trouble. Radical Islamists, led by cleric Mohamed Ali Al-Gizoli, want her charged with apostasy. The crime is punishable by a death sentence in Sudan. To read this article, go here.

India busts taboos with new sex ed manual. It’s okay for a boy to have feelings for another boy. In fact, it’s natural, says India’s Health Ministry. It’s a groundbreaking and taboo-busting piece of official advice for teens in India, a country which in 2013 reinforced a law which makes homosexual intercourse illegal. To read this article, go here.

As H.I.V. soars in Philippines, conservatives kill school condom plan .Jhay-ar Tumala remembers sitting in a pew in Manila’s Quiapo Church, holding a sealed envelope with his HIV test results, and praying. He was 19 and had been having sex since he was 15. “I didn’t know anything about H.I.V. or AIDS,” Mr. Tumala, 23, said last week. He does not remember reading about it in the papers or learning about it in school. And he had used condoms only intermittently. To read this article, go here.

Women’s empowerment meets male resistance, sexual exploitation in Nigeria camps. The camps for displaced people scattered across northeast Nigeria are supposed to provide safety from Boko Haram violence. But for many women the threat is no longer the jihadists: The danger is inside the camps, and stems from the attitudes of men in general. To read this article, go here.

Menstruation 101 For Boys: A Comic Book Is Their Guide (Indonesia). A comic book about menstruation … aimed at boys? That’s what Indonesia has created. It started when a UNICEF team there looked at what happens when a girl gets her period. In a survey of over 1,100 girls, the team found lots of concerns about the cruel remarks boys would make. They’d point at a girl’s stained skirt and say, “Hey, it’s leaking. To read this article, go here.

Coming Up!

April 22nd is International Mother Earth Day!

The proclamation of 22 April as International Mother Earth Day is an acknowledgement that the Earth and its ecosystems provide its inhabitants with life and sustenance. It also recognizes a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity.

In December 2015, the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21/CMP1) convened in Paris, France, and adopted the Paris Agreement, a universal agreement to keep a global temperature rise for this century below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Increases in global temperature, sea level rise, ocean acidification and other climate change impacts are seriously affecting coastal areas and low-lying coastal countries, including many least developed countries and Small Island developing States. Women and girls are also disproportionately impacted by climate change. Meanwhile, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development also commits to protecting the planet. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 aims to “take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact.”

You can use this day to honor the earth and to urge others to take actions that support the environment and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Low and middle income countries are most affected by climate change, with women as one of the most vulnerable populations. Women are often responsible for gathering water and fuel, which climate change renders increasingly scarce. Climate change also impacts women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health, which in turn impacts their ability to adapt and contribute to mitigating climate change. There are 222 million women around the world with an unmet need for contraception and in some regions, young women ages 15-19 are twice as likely to have an unmet need for contraception than women over twenty. When women have power over if, when and how many children to have, communities are better equipped to adapt to climate change and contribute to a more sustainable environment.

What can you do?

Host a community event to raise awareness about the importance of protecting our environment and ensuring that everyone can exercise their right to sexual and reproductive health information and services.

Engage with coalitions or organizations working in your community to advance environmental sustainability and/or sexual and reproductive health and rights

Identify and request a meeting with community leaders and/or decision-makers to inform them about the connections between climate change, the importance of ensuring that young people can access sexual and reproductive health education and services, and how these fit into the New Sustainable Development Goals.

• Read up on related resources here.

For background information about this day, you can go here.

For more information about SDG 13, go here.

Check out these related policy briefs from Women Deliver on Accelerating Access to Resources – Land, Clean Energy, Water, and Sanitation and Invest in Women to Tackle Climate Change and Conserve the Environment

Browse the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) web site.

Read the World Meteorological Association’s Statement of the Global Climate


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