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August 2016 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 Participates in the International AIDS Conference, July 18-22, 2016

Last month, Advocates joined over 12,000 delegates from 180 countries around the world, in Durban, South Africa for the 2016 International AIDS Conference (IAC). This year’s conference theme was “Access Equity Rights – Now,” and it was the second time that South Africa hosts the event (the last time was in 2000).

Advocates was actively engaged throughout the conference and also participated in the youth pre-conference. Over the two day pre-conference, youth delegates drafted the Durban Youth Call to Action, calling for access to comprehensive sexuality education in formal and non-formal settings; the integration of human rights based principles throughout all laws, policies and programs; and for governments to recognize and emphasize the right of young people to meaningfully participate in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the 2030 Agenda.

Advocates was proud to partner with Pathfinder International, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Youth & Health Rights Coalition for “Policy Barriers to HIV/AIDS and SRHR Access for Youth: Perspectives and Solutions from Young Leaders.” The panel, which included Daniel Driffin, Co-founder at THRIVE S.S. Inc. and former Advocates’ YouthResource Alumni, addressed the myriad of policy barriers that still prevent young people living with, at risk for, and most affected by HIV/AIDS from their full sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Advocates, Pathfinder International, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Women Deliver were also pleased to bring together a group of young people for a dialogue with Congresswomen Barbara Lee (D-CA), who attended the conference as part of the United States Congressional Delegation. Young people had a robust discussion with Congresswomen Lee and shared their experience with in-country PEPFAR programs and expectations around the DREAMS Innovation Challenge, two mechanisms through which the United States provides development assistance for HIV/AIDS.

Advocates was pleased to have worked in partnership with other civil society organizations to advocate for bold commitments in support of adolescents and young people’s health and rights at the conference, including: engagement of young people and programming that includes comprehensive sexuality education and access to HIV and sexual and reproductive health services (including condoms); and addressing laws and policies that hamper adolescents and young people’s access to prevention and treatment, commodities, and services, such as criminalization of same-sex conduct and policies regarding age of consent, spousal consent, and parental consent laws.

Advocates Shares Perspectives on Child Marriage, Unintended Pregnancy and Sexuality Education on Voice of America

Last month, Advocates was invited to discuss adolescent and young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights on a Voice of America radio program, Le Magazine au FEMININ, which broadcasts to Francophone Africa. The specific topic for discussion was child marriage within the context of a recent age of marriage law passed in the United States in the state of Virginia. During another recent program, Advocates was asked to discuss unintended pregnancy and sexuality education programming with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa as well as its global efforts to empower and advance the rights of adolescent girls.

To listen to the radio programs (in French), Child marriage, July 2016 – go here.

Sexuality education, unintended pregnancy, girls’ empowerment, May 2016 – go here.

To listen to other episodes of le Magazine au FEMININ, go here.

My Voice Counts!

Request for Proposals: 2016-2018 inroads Partnership Fund Grants

Inroads, the International Network for the Reduction of Abortion Discrimination and Stigma, is a global network of advocates, scholars, health providers, and donors interested in program design, research, and advocacy to address abortion stigma and its negative outcomes. The inroads team is delighted to announce a second round of inroads Partnership Fund grants to run from 2016 to 2018. The inroads Partnership Fund Grants can fund work up to a maximum of USD $25,000. There is a total pool of $150,000 available to measure stigma or develop stigma measurement and innovations in 2016. A total of 6-10 projects will be funded, ranging in budget from USD $10,000 to $25,000 for up to 16 months. Applications are due September 8th and will be reviewed by a panel of inroads members in addition to inroads staff and steering committee.

Detailed background information is available in the full Request for Proposal. For more information, go here.

Innovation Fund: Call for Proposals to Increase Access to Maternal Health Supplies

The Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition seeks proposals to implement one or more market shaping recommendations from the report Increasing Access to Essential Maternal Health Supplies. Proposals should focus on work in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and / or Nigeria.

The deadline for proposal submissions is Monday, September 12th, 2016 at 5pm EST .

Applicants are strongly encouraged to reach out to the Maternal Health Supplies Caucus for guidance and feedback, and to discuss their project ideas prior to final proposal submission. Please send all communications, including queries and final submissions, to Milka Dinev at mdinev@rhshpplies.org.

Apply for the Empowering Girls in Emergency Settings Challenge Prize

In partnership with Every Woman Every Child, Positive Action for Girls & Women is pleased to announce the launch of the Empowering Girls in Emergency Settings (EmGEmS) Challenge Prize to address the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs of adolescent girls in emergency settings.

Emergency settings girls are particularly vulnerable to violence, rape, lack of privacy and often forego education as well as access to health services. The EmGEmS Challenge Prize is seeking innovations (either conceptual or proven) that help girls meet their sexual and reproductive rights and health. This could entail technological, service or activity-based innovations.

The EmGEmS Challenge Prize will award a prize of $100,000 to a program that supports adolescent girls in being empowered and educated when it comes to their sexual and reproductive health needs and rights by building self-esteem and confidence through technological, service or activity-based innovations.

To participate, please register and submit your prize response here.

To find out more about Every Woman Every Child, go here.


Tools You Can Use

Child, early and forced marriage legislation in 37 Asia-Pacific countries
By the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the World Health Organiztion

Child, early and forced marriage remain an obstacle to the full achievement of better health for children and adolescents in the region. This study paper provides an overview of how the laws of 37 countries in the Asia-Pacific region address the issue of child, early and forced marriage, highlighting contradictions between different legislative tools in each country, with the ultimate aim of identifying key elements of legislation to fight CEFM. The report aims to assist parliamentarians in their efforts to end child, early and forced marriage through legislation, and to improve the health of children and young girls in their countries. To access the report, go here.

A State of the Art Synthesis on FGM: What Do We Know?
By the Population Council

This report can inform policymakers and program managers about where to focus attention and how best to implement and strengthen current efforts for abandoning FGM/C. The report provides data points to “hot spot” geographic areas, identifies populations that may be more amenable to change, and highlights drivers, rationales, and patterns of influence related to the practice that should be acknowledged and addressed within policy and programmatic strategies. This synthesis also highlights how FGM/C data collection, analysis, and interpretation could be improved to fill some key gaps in our understanding of FGM/C. To access the report, go here.

Adolescents in Bangladesh: Programmatic Approaches to Sexual and Reproductive Health Education and Services
By the Evidence Project/Population Council

This report seeks to answer the research question, “What are the most effective ways to meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents in Bangladesh?” This brief summarizes findings and recommendations from a situational analysis of adolescent sexual and reproductive health programs in Bangladesh. To view the report, go here.

Managing Menstrual Hygiene
By the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 Project

This brief provides a one-page snapshot of menstrual hygiene management indicators from the 2015 PMA2020 survey in Kaduna State, Nigeria. The survey looks at how menstrual hygiene is managed across age groups and across wealth categories, including the types of materials used to collect menstrual blood, the main environments where menstrual hygiene management is practiced, and the safety, privacy, and cleanliness of these environments. To view the brief, go here.

Understanding the Social and Cultural Context of Gender Dynamics, Sexual Relationships, and Method Choice
By the International Center for Research on Women

This report explores the social and cultural context of gender dynamics, sexual relationships and contraceptive method choice in Zambia and Malawi, in an effort to increase use of effective, modern contraceptive methods in these countries. The methods covered in this research study are the SILCS diaphragm and the Woman’s Condom, both developed by PATH. Both the Woman’s Condom and the SILCS diaphragm are woman-initiated non-hormonal barrier methods, though the condom has dual functionality as a family planning method as well as a form of protection against STIs, including HIV. To view the report, go here.

New e-Learning Platform for Health Professionals Serving Gay and Bisexual Men
By the Global Forum on MSM & HIV

This new e-learning hub offers continuing education opportunities for all health professionals including healthcare providers, community and government clinic workers, NGOs and CBOs, policy makers and other health sector stakeholders to ensure that sexual health programs for gay and bisexual men are aligned with WHO-endorsed global standards for services. This includes a major focus on interventions across the full HIV services continuum, including prevention, treatment, care and support. Material is provided through free Youtube videos and downloadable e-books. To access the platform by clicking here.

We Are Real
By the Astrea Foundation

Available online in English, Spanish, Russian, and forthcoming in Chinese, this report seeks to share and promote relevant knowledge and understanding of intersex issues and activism to people across the world––particularly funders and other actors committed to human rights. It includes terminology, common questions, human rights and legal issues, and demands of the intersex movement. It also highlights strategies for change and presents recommendations to funders. To read a PDF verison of the report, available in English, go here.

Coming up

September 28 is Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion!

Young people ages 10-24 account for 27 percent of the world’s population totaling at 1.7 billion. Worldwide, approximately 16 million women and girls ages 15 to 19 give birth each year, accounting for approximately 11 percent of all births worldwide. For these young women, complications from pregnancy and childbirth are a leading cause of death, and unsafe abortion is a major contributor to this mortality. Adolescents are at particular risk of having an unsafe abortion–almost 14 percent of all unsafe abortions in developing countries are among women under 20 years of age.

To mobilize for access to safe and legal abortion for all, join the September 28 Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion. For over 20 years, the campaign has been a regional campaign for the decriminalization of abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2011, the campaign was globalized by the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) and taken on by sexual and reproductive health and rights activists from all over the world. This year, Advocates for Youth is partnering with WGNRR by sharing one of its US-based abortion stories from Advocates’ 1 in 3 Campaign, as part of efforts to counter stigma associated with abortion worldwide on this day of action.

    • To find out more about the campaign, go here.

    • This year’s 28 September campaigning themes and hashtags are here.

    • Suggestions for activities can be found here.

    • To access and disseminate cool campaign materials, like the infographic below, available in multiple languages, go here.

And don’t forget to check out these additional, great resources:

    • Advocates for Youth’s fact sheet, Youth and Unsafe Abortion, available in: English | French

    • The Center for Reproductive Rights World Abortion Laws Map for 2015, go here.

    • Guttmacher Institute’s recent global brief on induced abortion, located here.

Read All About It!

Panama is fighting to save teen lives through sex ed. Panama’s schools have often been described as the worst in the world, with students graduating without the basic skills needed for entry-level jobs. University of Panama education expert Elizabeth Petrovich de Molina told Reuters that fights between unions and government often bring any attempts at reform to a grinding halt. To read this article, go here.

Myanmar to Offer Women Free Birth Control. At around 200 deaths per 100,000 live births, Myanmar has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the region. As part of its plan to bring down those numbers, the government is giving women long-term contraception for free. To read this article, go here.

Why Healthy Teens Are Taking A Daily Anti-AIDS Pill (South Africa). Every night at 8 p.m., 18-year-old Catherine Msimango takes a pill. It’s the same pill that people with HIV take to fight the virus. Only she doesn’t have HIV. Msimango says the pill gives her power against the virus. She can take it even without her boyfriend knowing. To read this article, go here.

Ugandan Police Storm Gay Pride Event, Arrest More than a Dozen People. Armed police stormed a gay pride event in Uganda, arresting more than a dozen people during what was described as a violent and abusive raid, activists said Friday. Uganda is one of 36 countries in Africa where homosexuality is illegal. Anyone found to have had a same-sex relationship can be sentenced to up to seven years in prison. To read this article, go here.

Students to get sex education (Thailand). Teachers and school administrators are gearing up to launch a nationwide programme to better educate young students on sexual health as part of efforts to bring down the high number of teenage mothers. The move follows the Prevention and Solution of the Adolescent Pregnancy Problem Act coming into force last month. To read this article, go here.

Philippines’ HIV dilemma: too young for a test but old enough for sex. When Rey* first got an HIV test, his mother went with him. He was 17 and her consent was required by law. “My mum and I are pretty close. She has no issues about me being gay and is really supportive. But I know a lot of my friends wouldn’t dare bring their mums with them to get an HIV test,” says Rey, from Palawan. To read this article, go here.

Sierra Leone urged to ban FGM after death of teenage girl. The death of a teenage girl in Sierra Leone during a female genital mutilation (FGM) procedure performed by a women-run secret society should spur the West African nation to ban the practice, anti-FGM campaigners said on Thursday. Fatmata Turay, 19, died earlier this week after undergoing FGM as part of her initiation rites for entry to the Bondo, a powerful society that carries out the practice and wields significant political clout, according to several campaigners. To read this article, go here.

Gay and Transgender Egyptians, Harassed and Entrapped, Are Driven Underground. The last days of the government of Hosni Mubarak and the turbulent revolution that followed were tense, occasionally gut-wrenching times for many in Egypt. But for gay and transgender Egyptians, it was also a period of unaccustomed freedom. To read this article, go here.


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