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August 2013 iYAN Newsletter

August 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.

Sharing Our Passion: Blogs from Advocates’ Youth Activist Website, Amplifyyourvoice.org.

Sign up to receive the Amplify Roundup, a weekly selection of great blogs from Amplify!

My body my right! By Shristi, Nepal MyBodyMyRight Sad to say this but I think our society is very “’Rapist-friendly”’. Instead of punishing the rapist, it focuses more on making a victim’s life more miserable. Why are always women BLAMED and their character QUESTIONED and they have to face social denunciation throughout her life for being raped? And the rapist ( if convicted that is), faces a few years jail term and comes back to lead a normal life? Why always follow only the concept of keeping women under control to prevent rape? Should men not take some control measures too? Just because he is a man does not give him the right to a woman\’s body! Read More  

World Population Day By Seye, Nigeria The World Population Day round table discussion took place on the 11th of July at the Rock View Royale hotel. It was a programme organized by the National Population Council (NPC) in collaboration with the United Nations population fund (UNFPA) with the theme “adolescent pregnancy”. Attending the program helped me have a proper understanding of adolescent pregnancy. Read More

Defending your dignity By Nishchhalkharal, Nepal On 10th June 2012, YALC team organized a 1st workshop for young girl students aged 13 -16 at Suryodaya English Secondary School, Dilibazar. The major aim of the workshop was to provide participant with a strong knowledge regarding Sexual and Reproductive Health and Right. Workshop objective was also to involve them in generating new ideas to compete against the existing SRH and Gender Violence in our society. The workshop was divided into 3 major categories. Read More

What’s Going on at Advocates for Youth?

Advocates’ Staff Trains Curriculum Developers on Sexuality Education in Burundi

Advocates’ staff and co-facilitators with conference participants The International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education

Advocates’ staff traveled to Burundi for two weeks in June, serving as a consultant to UNFPA, to prepare and conduct a five-day training for 30 curriculum developers in collaboration with two local co-facilitators. This training also served as a model and was subsequently replicated twice by the local co-facilitators for an additional 90 participants. The trainings were sponsored by the government, specifically the Ministère de l’Enseignement de Base et Secondaire, de l’Enseignement des Métiers, de la Formation Professionnelle et de l’Alphabétisation, in collaboration with UNFPA, UNESCO. The Ministry is in the process of reforming Burundi’s primary and secondary school education, which includes integration of sexuality education. The training focused on familiarizing participants with the International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education, developed by UNESCO in partnership with UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO, and building capacity to develop and apply a logic model for guiding curriculum development focused on reducing sexual risk, developed by the late renowned researcher, Douglas Kirby.

Participants were extremely committed to integrating sexuality education within their primary and secondary school curricula, appreciated the new tools and methodology shared during the training, and are anxious to move forward. In addition, Advocates also conducted an analysis of the existing curriculum for students ages 10-11 and provided recommendations with regard to sexuality education content areas that have yet to be integrated. Advocates’ staff will be following up with colleagues in Burundi to identify next steps for curriculum development based on the logic models created during the training. Advocates Speaks on International LGBTQ Youth Issues on Panel Hosted by IREX

Advocates’ staff and other speakers on IREX panel

IREX, an international nonprofit development organization that supports educators, journalists, and community leaders in over 120 countries, hosted a panel discussion this past June in Washington, DC, on how the international development community could best work with LGBT populations globally. Advocates’ staff spoke on the panel and shared perspectives on the importance of partnering with local LGBTQ organizations working in the global south. The panel was an important opportunity to discuss considerations for funders and people working in development. Advocates highlighted lessons learned from the field, which included the importance of centering the experience of LGBTQ youth-led organizations and providing opportunities for capacity building and leadership.

Read All About it!

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka appointed as new UN Women Executive Director UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka from South Africa as the new Executive Director of UN Women, the organization leading UN’s work on advancing gender equality and women’s rights. The announcement was made through the Spokesperson of the UN Secretary-General at today’s news briefing. The statement says: “Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka brings to this position, a wealth of experience in advocating for women’s issues with a combination of strategic leadership, consensus building and hands-on management experience. She was the first woman to hold the position of Deputy President of South Africa from 2005 to 2008. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka initially became a Member of Parliament in 1994 chairing the Public Service Portfolio Committee. She was Deputy Minister in the Department of Trade and Industry (1996-1999), Minister of Minerals and Energy (1999-2005) and briefly served as acting Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology in 2004. To read this article, click here.

Chilean president praises raped girl, 11, for going through with pregnancy Chile’s president has praised an 11-year-old girl after she said in a TV interview that she wants to give birth to the baby who was conceived when she was raped by her mother’s partner. President Sebastián Pinera’s remark that her decision showed “depth and maturity” caused anger on social media in a case that has ignited a heated national debate over abortion in one of Latin America’s most socially conservative nations. Abortion, even for medical reasons and in the case of rape, has been illegal since General Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship. Pinera’s government has opposed any easing of the ban. To read this article, click here.

Violence against women causes “global health epidemic”, says WHO report (Reuters) – More than a third of all women worldwide are victims of physical or sexual violence, posing a global health problem of epidemic proportions, a World Health Organization report said on Thursday. The vast majority of women are attacked or abused by their husbands or boyfriends, and common health problems they suffer include broken bones, bruises, pregnancy complications, depression and other mental illnesses, the report said. “This is an everyday reality for many, many women,” Charlotte Watts, a health policy expert at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and one of the report’s authors, told Reuters in an interview. She said she was shocked by pictures this week showing celebrity chef Nigella Lawson being grabbed by the throat by her art collector husband Charles Saatchi. He has since been cautioned by police for assaulting her. To read this article, click here.

It’s Homelessness, NOT Rowdy Gays! There was an ostentatious celebration when the police removed some young men – about 16 of them – who have nowhere to sleep from a property in Millsborough last week. The delight was palpable. If we had enough drums and vuvuzelas, we would probably be worse than the “rowdy gays” as we celebrated the demolition of a perfect(?) house that could have been donated to the Women’s Crisis Centre. It’s a shame there wasn’t a proclamation for a national holiday to extol our uncaring and intolerant attitudes towards the poorest and most vulnerable Jamaicans. The callous way in which we address this vexing issue of homelessness is beyond disturbing. We evict people from abandoned buildings/lots and pretend the issue is somehow resolved. What does eviction leave the homeless to do except find another of the many abandoned buildings across the corporate area as their new home? You might recall, a few months ago, these same young men were the scorn of the Golden Triangle and New Kingston communities until they migrated to Millsborough to find another (safe) place to sleep. To read this article, click here.

Ghana official calls for higher marriage age The legal age for marriage in Ghana should be raised from 18 to 23, chief government statistician Philomena Nyarko has said. This would make women better prepared, physically and mentally to have children, she said. It could also slow population growth in Ghana by 15% to 20%, Ms Nyarko added. Her proposal comes as MPs in Nigeria are debating whether to scrap the 18-year age restriction for marriage so that people can wed earlier. Some Muslim MPs argue that the restriction violates Islamic law, which allows marriage at the age of puberty. To read this article, click here.

My Voice Counts!

International Family Planning Conference: Seeking a Youth Speaker The organisers of the 2013 International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) are seeking youth aged 18-25 years old to serve as speakers and/or moderators on youth focused and other sessions at the conference. Young people who are selected will have conference registration and travel costs covered, and will play an essential role in providing a youth perspective to the programme.

This year in the spirit of using new technology to spread the word about family planning, the 2013 ICFP will be accepting applications for youth speakers through video submissions. All youth must complete their own video submission, but may seek assistance from local organisations or other resources. At least one professional reference should be provided in support of the candidate’s qualifications. The applicant must have experience in the field of family planning, and/or sexual and reproductive health, or adolescent health to serve as moderators and/or speakers at youth focused sessions. It is encouraged that the applicant talk about family planning in relation to the conference theme – Full Access, Full Choice – or make a creative video related to the theme. Deadline for applications: August 12, 2013 English: Download Youth Speaker Application Rules and Guidelines_EN Download Youth Speaker Flyer_EN Français : Règles et Instructions Flyer Jeunes Intervenants  

Call for Interest in Global Alliance on Media and Gender If your organization is involved in gender and media related activities or gender equality issues, whether online or off line, then this call is relevant to you! To get involved in the alliance and stand together for real change click on this link, We Agree to Stand for Change! The deadline to complete this brief questionnaire is August 15, 2013. A series of global online debates will be launched in August to explore the what, how, who, when, where and why of the proposed alliance. For more information, click here.

The ICPD Beyond 2014 International Conference on Human Rights The ICPD Beyond 2014 International Conference on Human Rights took place in The Netherlands from July 7-10, 2013. This Conference was the second of three thematic conferences, following the ICPD Beyond 2014 Global Youth Forum, which was held in Bali, Indonesia, in December of 2012. The Conference on Human Rights brought together over 300 representatives from government, UN agencies, and civil society. Conference participants identified concrete ways to bridge gaps and examine intersections between human rights, population, development, equality and accountability. As a key follow-up to the Conference, participants developed The Hague Civil Society Call to Action on Human Rights and ICPD Beyond 2014, which is available as a petition here. Signatures will be collected till August 31, 2013and the final petition will be shared with signatories to send to governments.

Tools You Can Use

Girls on the move: Adolescent Girls & Migration in the Developing World

By Population Council Girls on the Move is the first report of its kind to examine the social and economic drivers of internal migration for adolescent girls in developing countries, and the links between migration, risk, and opportunity. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the report finds that rural-to-urban migration can—provided necessary safety nets and resources are in place—be largely a positive experience for girls, and present them with new opportunities unavailable in their hometowns. To read the report, please click here.

Transforming gender norms and reproductive health outcomes through the GREAT Toolkit By Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health, Save the Children, and Pathfinder International Developed in Northern Uganda, this toolkit provides interactive games and materials targeting adolescents that promote dialogue and reflection about gender roles, reproductive health, gender-based violence, and positive actions to make families, schools and communities supportive of young people. To learn more about the toolkit, click here.The toolkit is available in English and two local languages (Acholi and Lango).

Understanding and challenging HIV stigma in the MENA region: toolkit for action

By the International HIV/AIDS Alliance Adapted for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, this toolkit is a training resource containing participatory exercises to understand and challenge stigma facing Men who have Sex with Men (MSM). The messages, information, and activities provided in the toolkit can also be adapted and used for addressing stigma affecting other key populations.




Coming Up

August 12 is International Youth Day!

Nearly half the world’s population—more than 3 billion people—are under the age of 25. Together, young people can work together to raise our voices on programs and policies that affect our sexual and reproductive health and rights. We can make a difference! Here are some of the issues that we can speak out on to make sure that our policy makers acknowledge the challenges we face and invest in programs and policies that will improve young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. Globally: – Worldwide, approximately 16 million women and girls ages 15 to 19 give birth each year, accounting for approximately 11 percent of all births worldwide. – Pregnancy-related complications are the leading cause of death for young women ages 15 through 19. -Almost 14 percent of all unsafe abortions in developing countries are among women under 20 years of age. – At the same time, forty-one percent of new HIV infections occur in young people aged 15-24 -More than 125 million girls and women alive today have been subjected to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East in which it is concentrated, and 30 million girls are at risk of being cut within the next decade. -Girls who marry before 18 are more likely to experience domestic violence than their peers who marry later.If present trends continue, 142 million girls will marry over the next decade. That’s 38,000 girls married every day for the next 10 years. – Young women are more vulnerable to the HIV epidemic than are men – young women comprise 64 percent of all young people with HIV. – Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) youth are also particularly vulnerable to HIV infection and sitgma and discrimination that limits their access to sexual and reproductive health information and services. What can you do?

  • Host a community event to raise awareness about the importance of young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • Engage with coalitions or organizations working in your community to advance young people’s rights and well-being.
  • Identify and request a meeting with community leaders and/or decision-makers to inform them about the importance of investing in young people and ensuring that they have the information and services to lead healthy lives.
  • Blog on Advocates’ youth activist website, amplifyyourvoice.org, and write about why you think International Youth Day is important, how you and your peers are making a difference in your community, or what you think policy makers and leaders need to be doing to support young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in your country.

And don’t miss checking out these publications that talk about these important issues: To learn about, “Youth and Unsafe Abortion,” click here: English, French. To learn about “Gender Inequality and Violence Against Women and Girls Around the World,” click here: English, Spanish. To learn about “Youth and the Global HIV Pandemic,” click here: English. To learn about “Young People Living with HIV around the World,” click here: English, French. To learn about, “Overlooked and At Risk: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Youth in the Caribbean,” click here: English.  

Please spread the word about the iYAN! Send this link to your friends so they can sign-up too! https://www.advocatesforyouth.org/iyan

They can also check out the iYAN Facebook page by going here: www.facebook.com/AdvocatesforYouthiYAN

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