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December 2015 iYAN Newsletter


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’ Holiday Staff Sing-a-Long is About “All I Want….is Two Methods” In honor of the holidays, please enjoy this sign-a-long video from some of our Advocates for Youth staff!

Advocates Engages at the AllIn Consultation with Adolescent and Youth Leaders in Zimbabwe.

According to the 2014 WHO report on adolescent health , HIV is the second largest contributor of adolescent mortality globally, and the number one in Africa. In this context and with the adoption of the new Global Sustainable Development Goals, the PACT and the Y+ network, alongside UNAIDS, UNFPA and UNICEF, joined in efforts to advance the AllIn Agenda towards realizing the end of the AIDS epidemic among adolescents.

As part of these efforts, last month Advocates’ staff and Girl Engagement Advisory Board Member, Mai from Egypt, attended the AllIn Conslutation with Adolescent and Youth Leaders, held in Harare, Zimbabwe. The consultation was one within a multiyear country level process led by adolescent and youth leaders in 25 target countries to advance advocacy strategies at the country level related to adolescent targets and indicators in national HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights plans. The Consultation preceded the ICASA Conference, during which a statement outlining adolescents’ needs and priorities to end the epidemic was developed by Consultation participants was shared. here.

My Voice Counts!

Register to Attend the 13th AWID International Forum.
This year’s AWID International Forum will focus on: Feminist Futures: Building Collective Power for Rights and Justice. The Forum will be held in Costa do Sauípe, Bahia, Brazil from May5-8, 2016. 2,000 participants from a broad diversity of movements and sectors will collectively strategize for feminist futures: from women’s rights and feminist movements (including special attention to Brazilian women’s rights activists), to peace, economic justice, environmental, and human rights movements, among others. Early bird registration deadline is January 11! To find out more go here.

Apply to Organize a Regional Caucus at the Women Deliver Conference. Building on successful caucuses at the 2010 and 2013 global conferences, Women Deliver and PATH will support the organization of up to nine regional caucuses during the main program at the 2016 Women Deliver conference. Regional caucuses will bring together diverse stakeholders to discuss major priorities and strategies for strengthening political and financial commitments to girls’ and women’s health and well-being in their region and countries. Emphasis will be on improving reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health and gender equality in SDG implementation and accountability efforts.

PATH is seeking applications from partner organizations to lead the development and execution of the regional caucus convening for their designated region, for a total of up to nine partners in each of the nine regions listed in the attached Request for Applications (RFA). Applicant organizations must be registered and/or incorporated as a nongovernmental organization or nonprofit organization in a country that is part of the region for which they are applying. In-country offices or affiliates of international nongovernmental organizations or international nonprofit organizations located in the selected regions are welcome to apply.

PATH will award up to $15,000 to one organization per region. Funding will expire May 31, 2016. Applications are now being accepted on a rolling basis, and are due no later than 11:59pm ET on January 17, 2016.

The Women Deliver 4th Global Conference will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark from 16–19 May 2016, The conference is a critical platform to engage participants to advocate to political leaders and influencers to support policy and resource recommendations emerging from the conference both during the event and upon their return. The focus of the conference will be on how to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) so they matter most for girls and women, with a specific focus on health—in particular maternal, sexual, and reproductive health and rights—gender equality, education, environment, and economic empowerment.

To access the application, go here:

Please direct any questions about this opportunity to womendelivercaucus@path.org.

Coming up

Warmest Wishes to You and Your Loved Ones from Advocates for Youth! Now that it will soon be 2016 and that the new Sustainable Development Goals have been launched, we hope that you will take a moment to look back and celebrate all of the amazing work that you have been doing around the world to advance young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights locally and globally. While it may seem at times that the challenges are enormous, we know that they are not unsurmountable and that we can make a difference. It is possible to shift programming to better serve all young people. It is possible to shift social norms to be less harmful and more supportive of a gender-equitable society. It is possible to increase investments for youth. And it is possible to improve policies to better support young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. Together, we can realize a world where all young people are valued, respected, treated with dignity, and can thrive; sexuality is accepted as a healthy part of being human; and youth sexual development is recognized as normal.

We look forward to working with you in 2016 to make a difference in young people’s lives across communities, countries, and regions and to hold governments accountable to the new Sustainable Development Goals and national policies supportive of youth. Everyone can make a difference and collectively, we can make the world a more just, caring, and peaceful place.

Tools You Can Use

Adolescents: Under the Radar in the Asia-Pacific AIDS Response By the Asia-Pacific Inter-Agency Task Team on Young Key Populations . A new report on HIV/AIDS in the Asia-Pacific region reports that the region is facing a ‘hidden epidemic’ of HIV among adolescents. There were an estimated 50,000 new HIV infections among adolescents aged 15-19 in 2014, accounting for 15 per cent of new infections. There are now around 220,000 adolescents living with HIV in the region, with large cities like Bangkok, Hanoi and Jakarta hubs of new infections. To read the report, go here.

What’s Missing in the Fight Against Early and Child Marriage: Insights from India By the American Jewish World Service. This policy brief on ending child marriage was launched at the Washington, DC, Girl Summit. It summarizes the factors causing and contributing to early and child marriage in India. In addition to highlighting relevant research findings, this report draws on the knowledge and experiences of local organizations that AJWS supports in the country—organizations committed to empowering young women and girls and expanding their opportunities and choices. Finally, this report offers policy recommendations to help guide the United States government’s contributions to the worldwide effort to end early and child marriage. To view the report, go here.

The Review of Faith & International Affairs, Volume 13, Issue 3, 2015 By the Institute for Global Engagement.This issue focuses exclusively on child marriage, with articles addressing the impact of child marriage, trends, laws, and cross-cutting issues including religion, gender equality, education, female genital cutting/mutilation, among others, with country and regional analyses. To access this issue, go here.

Sexual and reproductive health and human rights of women living with HIV, Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS) Special Issue By the International AIDS Society . Women living with HIV can achieve safe and satisfying sexual lives, but there is still a long way to go for this to be a reality for the most vulnerable amongst them who face repeated violations of their rights. This special supplement discusses a range of perspectives and topics related to the sexual and reproductive health and human rights of women living with HIV. These perspectives include contributions from researchers, clinicians, programme managers, policy-makers, and women living with HIV. Topics include HIV pregnancy programming and sexual health, safer disclosure of HIV status, mental health, and violence, amongst others. To read this issue, go here.

Safe Magazine Issue III By Together for Girls. This issue of Safe, the only digital magazine focused on the global epidemic of violence against children, highlights the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence champions with an annual list of global heroes.

Guidelines for Integrating Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Action: Reducing risk, promoting resilience and aiding recovery By the Inter-agency Reference Group for the revised Gender-based Violence Guidelines and the World Bank Group.This document is designed to assist humanitarian actors and communities affected by armed conflict, natural disasters and other humanitarian emergencies to coordinate, plan, implement, monitor and evaluate essential actions for the prevention and mitigation of gender-based violence (GBV) across all sectors of humanitarian response. To view the guidelines, go here.

An Analysis of Adolescent Content in South Africa’s Contraception Policy Using a Human Rights Framework By A Hoopes, V Chandra-Mouli, P Steyn, T Shilubane, M Pleaner in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Volume 57, Issue 6, 2015. This journal article provides an analysis of the updated South African national contraception policy and guidelines with a view to whether and to what degree these address the needs of adolescents. To view the article, go here.

Collective Change: The Value of Mobilizing Local Resources for Women’s Rights in the Global South and East By the International Network of Women’s Funds, Mama Cash, and the International Human Rights Funders Group.This report presents case studies of ten funds that invest in women-led projects, ranging from the African Women’s Development Fund (Ghana) and Fondo Mujeres del Sur (Argentina) to the South Asia Women’s Fund (Sri Lanka) and the Ukrainian Women’s Fund. In examining the strategies, successes, challenges, and lessons learned by the funds in their efforts to mobilize local resources, the studies demonstrate that, in addition to awarding direct grants, building grantee capacity, and advocating for policy change, the funds helped raise awareness of the human rights violations women and girls face and helped change internalized attitudes, social and cultural norms, and formal policies. To view the report, go here.

As Long as They Stay Away: Exploring Lebanese attitudes towards sexualities and gender identities By the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center (GSRC) at the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality.This two-year nationwide study is the first of its kind to provide nationwide attitudinal data on sexuality, alternative sexualities and gender identities, and is the largest of its type, scope and subject in the MENA region. It was designed to fill a serious information gap in advocacy work relating to sexual and gender rights in Lebanon by providing critical and previously unavailable information by measuring and qualifying attitudes towards sexual and gender rights in Lebanon. To view the report, go here.

Check it out if you haven’t already before the end of 2015—tool kits and other resources for the new Global Goals for Sustainable Development! World leaders unanimously adopted a historic set of global goals on eliminating poverty, achieving gender equality, and securing health and well-being for all people, at the opening of the three-day Sustainable Development Summit, which took place at United Nations Headquarters in New York September 25-27.

The new Sustainable Development Goals, or Global Goals, include 17 goals and 169 targetsthat aimto transform the world over the next 15 years by addressing poverty, hunger, gender inequality, preventable deaths and environmental degradation.

Read the actual resolution, Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, that was adopted here.

Access tool kits and other supporting resources for organizations, educators, media, faith leaders, parents, and others here: http://www.globalgoals.org/resource-centre/ For lesson plans on the Sustainable Development Goals, or Global Goals, go here.

Read All About It!

Govt should include bill on sexual violence in legislative program: NGO (Indonesia). The National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) urged the government and the House of Representatives on Tuesday to include the draft bill on sexual violence in the 2015-2019 National Legislative Program (Prolegnas).

The commission, which has been conducting a study related to the bill for the last five years, stated that by approving the bill, the authorities would show that they were taking concrete steps to guarantee that sexual violence in Indonesia could be stopped. To read this article, go here.

Vietnam passes first law to protect transgender rights. Vietnam on Tuesday (Nov 24) passed a landmark law enshrining rights for transgender people in a move advocacy groups say paves the way for gender reassignment surgery in the nation.

Such operations are currently illegal, forcing people to travel to nearby Thailand for the surgery. To read this article, go here.

Almost 16 million on HIV treatment as AIDS pandemic tide turns. Some 15.8 million people are now on HIV treatment and a five-year strategy to end the threat of a never-ending AIDS pandemic is starting to show results, the United Natio

Estimates show new HIV infections have fallen by 35 percent since the peak of the three-decade-old pandemic in 2000, and AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 42 percent since a peak in 2004, UNAIDS said in a report timed for release before World Aids Day on Dec. 1. To read this article, go here.

Curbing the surge in MENA. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is home to the lowest percentage of people living with HIV/AIDS in the world—just 0.1%. But the region is also seeing a surge in deaths that has been attributed, in part, to very low coverage of antiretroviral drugs, writes Hany Hassan Ziady, professor of public health at Alexandria University, Egypt. To read this article, go here.

Stigma against gay people an obstacle in HIV/AIDS prevention in China. HIV/AIDS prevention advocates have identified the stigma against gay men as one of the main hindrances to effectively fighting against the autoimmune disease.

“Many gay people in China are forced to have more risky and haphazard relationships as stigma prevents them from keeping long-term partners,” said Zhang Jinxiong, an AIDS prevention activist. “To curb the spread of HIV, China needs to stem discrimination against gay people.”To read this article, go here.

South Sudan: women and girls raped as ‘wages’ for government-allied fighters. The testimony from dozens of people working in Bentiu, the capital of South Sudan’s Unity state, points to the systematic abduction and abuse of women as a form of wages for forces allied to the government. The worst atrocities have led more than 110,000 people to seek safety at a UN base in the town. To read this article, go here.


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