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December 2013 iYAN Newsletter

December 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

Jamaica and Violence Against Women By Mario, Jamaica Today (November 25, 2013) is as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Earlier on in the year the MINISTER with responsibility for Information Sandrea Falconer says there is an urgent need for a broader national dialogue and engagement to tackle the issue of violence against women. “Violence against women happens too often…I am sure everyone has had a friend or an acquaintance who has been a victim of intimate personal violence and it has to stop,” the minister emphasised, as she addressed the recent launch of the report Violence Against Women in Latin America and the Caribbean at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston. Read more here.

What’s Going on at Advocates for Youth?

Advocates, in partnership with UNESCO and UNFPA, Trains Curriculum Developers and Program Implementers on Sexuality Education in Southern and East Africa Advocates traveled to South Africa and Mozambique in October and November to conduct five-day trainings for a total of 48 participants on the development, integration, and review of sexuality education curricula, based on the UNESCO’s International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education and Doug Kirby’s Reducing Adolescent Sexual Risk framework. The first training took place in South Africa and consisted of a regional training of trainers for 36 participants from 15 countries in Southern and East Africa, including South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Angola, South Sudan, Uganda, and Rwanda. Advocates subsequently conducted a replication of the training at the national level for curriculum developers and program implementers in Mozambique As a result, participants will be implementing action plans, which include a range of efforts, such as replicating the training for additional colleagues in order to build a critical mass of expertise to advance comprehensive sexuality education at the country level; completing logic models that will guide the development or adaptation of curricula such that it is more comprehensive and addresses key risk and protective factors that impact sexual risk behavior among adolescents; and setting up committees to advance the development of curriculum activities and implementation efforts, among others.

My Voice Counts!

Love is Not a Crime! Protect Our Right to Equality – #Repeal377 Jhatkaa is a new campaigning organization committed to building grassroots citizen power across India in effective and innovative ways enabling people to act as the tipping point on an issue. They are hosting a petition in response to India’s recent Supreme Court decision to overrule a lower court ruling striking down a law criminalizing consensual same-sex intercourse. To sign the petition, go here.

Join a Tweet Chat on December 17th to Call Attention the United States Helms Amendment and Why Safe Abortion Care is Important for Young Women Around the World Every year, 47,000 women around the world die from unsafe abortions. Lack of access to safe and legal abortion care disproportionately affects young women. Meanwhile, the Helms Amendment, which is part of the United States’ Foreign Assistance Act, is interpreted as prohibiting the use of US funds for abortion services overseas. In fact, the U.S. has never funded any programs that include abortion services, even in countries where abortion is legal. Tuesday, December 17th is the 40th anniversary of the Helms Amendment. Ipas and Advocates for Youth would like to invite you to a Tweet Chat on December 17th from 12:00-1:00pm EST to discuss how the Helms Amendment harms women around the world. The discussion will take place at the hashtag #HelmsHurts and we invite you to share tweets about why safe abortion care is important for young people. If you are not able to join the chat but want to share a statement, please send your answer to the question, “Why is safe abortion care important to young people?” to Robyn Swirling, Advocates’ Online Organizing & Outreach Coordinator, at robyn@advocatesforyouth.org, by 5PM EST on Monday, December 16.

Register to Attend the Caribbean Domestic Violence and Gender Equality Conference March 26 to 28, 2014 in Montego Bay, Jamaica It’s time for the second Caribbean Conference on Domestic Violence and Gender Equality! This year’s conference theme is “Breaking the Silence.” Delegates can look forward to an exciting opportunity to share work and engage in a dynamic environment of learning. This year’s focus is on the mental and social consequences of the global epidemic of gender inequality. Presenters will share findings from their research and others will provide expertise on treatment and care. The conference is organized by the Global Center for Behavioural Health in conjunction with the Jamaica Red Cross, the University of the West Indies, and other partners. For more information, please visit here.



Submit your papers for the Women’s World Congress 2014 August 17- 22, 2014, Hyderabad, India The University of Hyderabad is organizing the 12th Women’s World Congress, 2014, in Hyderabad, India from August 17- 22, 2014. Women’s World Congress (WWC) is an International Interdisciplinary Congress on Women, held every three years. The focus of the congress is gender research and interdisciplinary scholarship. Submissions for individual papers, panels and workshops that engage with the conference theme of “Gender in a Changing World” are requested. There are various sub-themes to choose from. The deadline to submit papers is January 31, 2014! For more information about the conference and submitting a paper, please click here:

New Applications and Actions Now Open for the 2014 International AIDS Conference! July 20-25, Melbourne, AustraliaWhile still a number of months away, it’s not too early to start getting ready for the International AIDS Conference! New application and actions are now open with quick approaching deadlines.

Due January 22, 2014

  • Applications for the abstract mentor programme. For more information, go here.

Due February 6, 2014

  • Abstract submissions. For more information, go here.
  • Workshop applications. For more information, go here.
  • Global Village and Youth Programme applications. For more information, go here.

Due February 13, 2014

  • Scholarship applications! For more information, go here.

For more information on the conference, go to: http://www.aids2014.org/ and stay tuned for upcoming information about the YouthForce! You Can Still Act as part of ACT 2015 Ongoing since December, this initiative continues through the end of January to secure a post-2015 development framework that advances the SRHR and HIV response for young people by engaging young people through community dialogues and action. You can get involved here.



Read All About it!

Nelson Mandela Dies Nelson Mandela, the revered icon of the anti-apartheid struggle and one of the towering political figures of the 20th century, has died aged 95. Mandela, who was elected South Africa’s first black president after spending nearly three decades in prison, had been receiving treatment for a lung infection at his Johannesburg home since September, after three months in hospital in a critical state. To read this article, go here.

The Moral Courage of Nelson Mandela by Desmond Tutu Never before in history was one human being so universally acknowledged in his lifetime as the embodiment of magnanimity and reconciliation as Nelson Mandela was. He set aside the bitterness of enduring 27 years in apartheid prisons – and the weight of centuries of colonial division, subjugation and repression – to personify the spirit and practice of ubuntu. He perfectly understood that people are dependent on other people in order for individuals and society to prosper. To read this article, go here.

Nelson Mandela Death: Aids Campaigner Though at first muted in his approach to the issues surrounding HIV/Aids, Nelson Mandela eventually became a dedicated and extremely effective advocate for a more vigorous approach to the disease. When Mr Mandela was released from prison in February 1990, HIV/Aids had yet to make its full impact on South Africa. To read this article, go here.

India Supreme Court Upholds Sodomy Law The top court in the world’s second-largest nation says it’s up to parliament to decide on undoing the law criminalizing same-sex intercourse. This is “a major setback to LGBT rights,” says the legal group that brought the case. After a 12 year legal battle, the Supreme Court of India overruled a lower court ruling striking down a law criminalizing consensual same-sex intercourse on Wednesday morning. To read this article, go here.

More support Needed to Protect 3.7 Million Women and Girls Post-Haiyan One month after Typhoon Haiyan, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, calls on the international community for greater support to meet the needs of 3.7 million women and girls of childbearing age who need special assistance in the aftermath of the disaster. There are at least 900 deliveries per day in the typhoon-hit areas, and the figure is expected to rise. Out of these, almost 140 will experience life-threatening complications. The Capiz provincial hospital reported two maternal deaths because blood transfusion units were not available following the typhoon. To prevent deaths and morbidity, UNFPA is supporting government efforts to rebuild and re-equip birthing facilities that have been damaged or totally destroyed. To read this article, go here.

China Reforms: One-child Policy to be Relaxed China is to relax its policy of restricting most couples to having only a single child, state media say. In future, families will be allowed two children if one parent is an only child, the Xinhua news agency said. The proposal follows this week’s meeting of a key decision-making body of the governing Communist Party. Other reforms include the abolition of “re-education through labour” camps and moves to boost the role of the private sector in the economy. To read this article, go here.  

Tools You Can Use

Briefing Paper: A Technical Guide to Understanding the Legal and Policy Framework on Termination of Pregnancy in Uganda By the Center for Reproductive Rights Abortion is legal in Uganda when done to preserve the life or mental or physical health of the pregnant woman, understood to include cases of sexual violence. However, unclear and often confusing abortion laws and policies mean that many people are not aware that abortions can be legally obtained in these circumstances. As a result, many women turn to unsafe, clandestine abortion with devastating consequences. Twenty six percent of maternal deaths in Uganda are attributed to unsafe abortion.

Young people and the Law in Asia and the Pacific: A review of laws and policies affecting young people’s access to SRH and HIV services Commissioned by UNESCO, UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNDP and Youth Lead and authored by John Godwin Over 400 key legal and policy documents from 32 Asia-Pacific countries were analyzed for this report, making it the first systemic review of its kind in the region on policies affecting young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health. In addition to the document analysis, researchers conducted focus group discussions with young people to elicit their views and experiences in accessing SRH and HIV services, including on issues such as age of consent, age and marriage requirements for services, and attitudes of service providers. The report offers recommendations on steps that can be taken to address challenges keeping young people from accessing essential health and information services. These cover legal reforms, changes in law enforcement practices and the greater inclusion of young people’s voices in drafting policy related to SRH and HIV services. To access the report click here. To watch a video that illustrates the issues and findings in the report, click here.

HIV and adolescents: Guidance for HIV testing and counselling and care for adolescents living with HIV By WHO Adolescents (10–19 years) and young people (20–24 years) continue to be vulnerable, both socially and economically, to HIV infection despite efforts to date. This is particularly true for adolescents — especially girls — who live in settings with a generalized HIV epidemic or who are members of key populations at higher risk for HIV acquisition or transmission through sexual transmission and injecting drug use. In 2012, there were approximately 2.1 million adolescents living with HIV. About one-seventh of all new HIV infections occur during adolescence. These guidelines provide specific recommendations and expert suggestions — for national policy-makers and programme managers and their partners and stakeholders— on prioritizing, planning and providing HIV testing, counselling, treatment and care services for adolescents. To access the guidelines, go here.

Positive Connections: Leading Information and Support Groups for Adolescents Living with HIV By FHI 360 This unique guide provides facilitators with background information about the needs of ALHIV, tips for starting an adult-led information and support group, 14 sessions to follow in a group setting, and guidance on tracking a program’s progress. The goal of the guide is to help ALHIV: • Understand their HIV diagnosis and participate in the management of their care and treatment. • Learn that many young people live healthy and productive lives while living with HIV. • Identify strategies for positive living including adhering to their treatment regimen. • Prevent transmitting HIV to others; avoid re-infection; consistently use family planning to prevent unintended pregnancy; and learn how to avoid infecting their babies, if they want to start a family. • Develop life skills such as understanding their emotions, communicating effectively, dealing with stigma and discrimination, making decisions about their future, and improving their quality of life. To access the guide, go here.

Are You on the Right Track? Six Steps to Measure the Effects of Your Programme Activities By STOP AIDS NOW and Rutgers WPF This workbook is a hands-on instruction manual for developing an outcome monitoring and evaluating (M&E) plan that fits an organization’s specific situation. The workbook presents six steps to set up a tailor-made plan. An outcome M&E plan enables an organization to measure the achievements of activities related to sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV prevention. The results will provide insight in the effects of work activities and possible program changes. To view the workbook in English, go here. To view the workbook in French, go here.

Resource Map on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity for Young Sexual and Reproductive Rights Activists By the Youth Coalition (YCSRR) This brief provides a collection of useful resources for advocates and activists alike working to ensure that young LGBTIQ people can claim and exercise their sexual and reproductive rights. It includes an introduction on the importance of LGBTIQ youth advocacy, a list of common abbreviations, and links to key publications and reports. To access the document, go here.

Young Gay Men and HIV/AIDS: A Global Epidemic (Infographic) By TheBody.com In every region of the world, two things are true – gay men are at increased risk for HIV, and so are young people. Due to a confluence of factors, young gay men are often left out of research, policy and programs that are designed for adult gay men, the general pool of youth, or the overall population. What is the current state of the global epidemic among young gay men and how do we address it? Check out TheBody.com’s very own infographic on the matter – adapted from The Global Forum on MSM & HIVs report. To view the full-sized infographic, go here.

Coming Up

It’s 2014–Happy New Year from Advocates for Youth!

We at Advocates for Youth would like to thank you for continuing to be a part of our International Youth Activist Network and all the work that you do to make the world a better place for young people. We admire your passion, leadership, and activism and hope that you will take some time to celebrate your successes of the past year. While there is always much work to be done and sometimes it may seem as though our progress takes a step back, let’s not forget that nothing is impossible and each and every one of us can make a difference. As Nelson Mandela once said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” We look forward to working with you to get things done in 2014!

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