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’ international youth bloggers and other Amplify posts!
Poverty has a Woman’s Face by Udoka, Nigeria It’s sad when you hear saying like the title of my article. You may even feel incensed, outraged that a young woman like me would write that. But what if I showed you, what if I proved to you that it’s true. The Human Development Report in 1995 made that statement after a research done that showed that out of the 1.3 million people living in poverty, 70% of that population comprised of women. Talk about cornering the market on being poor. Not something one should aspire to, not that they did. Read More
Acts of War: Sexual Violence in Conflict by Richael, United States Beginning yesterday and extending through tomorrow, there is a symposium entitled “Missing Peace: Sexual Violence in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings” taking place at the United States Institute of Peace in DC. As we discuss and take action around sexual violence for Valentine’s Day, and with the one billion rising campaign, it is important to have serious discussions about the impact sexual violence has on women, girls, boys and men worldwide. This symposium brings together NGOs, activists, and UN and government officials to discuss how to best persecute sexual violence and, more importantly, how to prevent sexual violence in conflict zones. Read More
Education: Environmental Sustainability and Reproductive… By Danik, Kyrgyzstan Academic curricula, training plans and sessions on reproductive health or on environmental sustainability should incorporate both of these topics and show their interrelatedness. Awareness building in the mainstream public is important for reaching better conditions of reproduuctive health and rights and of environment. This can decrease the level of risks and dangers and increase the level of responsibility of individuals. Read More
What’s Going on at Advocates for Youth?
Advocates’ One in Three Campaign Gets Some Attention As part of Advocates’ 1 in 3 Campaign and in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the United States court case Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the United States in 1973, Advocates launched a book called, 1 in 3: These Are Our Stories. The book is a collection of 40 stories told by young and older women about their experiences with abortion. 1 in 3 women in the United States will have an abortion in her lifetime. The 1 in 3 Campaign is about ending the cultural stigma and shame women are made to feel around abortion by sharing stories and encouraging all supporters of abortion access to publicly take a stand. Advocates’ received great coverage in the media upon releasing the book of stories. Check out the ABC News story, Ebony Magazine, The Washington Times, The WV Gazette, and the Kentucky Kernel. You can also listen to a podcast recorded by Advocates’ Executive Director, Debra Hauser, with Amanda Marcotte, a well-known American feminist blogger. But don’t stop there—no matter who you are or where you are, you too can become a part of the 1 in 3 Campaign by sharing your story! Young women all over the world are faced with stigma associated with having an abortion. Let your voices be heard, too, so that we can stop the silence! To add your story, either written or via video, go here: http://www.1in3campaign.org/?page_id=8. Visit the 1 in 3 Campaign
My Voice Counts!
Engage in the Post 2015 Development Agenda! The United Nations is organizing series of thematic, regional, and 50+ National Consultations to solicit input from citizens and organizations at a country level as part of the preparations for advancing a post 2015 development agenda—that is, developing priorities for what comes after the Millennium Development Goals that expire in 2015. It’s critical that we make our voices heard to ensure that young people and sexual and reproductive health and rights are part of this new agenda. The consultations will inform the report of the High Level Panel on Post 2015 as well as the subsequent UN Secretary Generals official report to the 2013 UN General Assembly, which is likely to hold a special session on Post 2015. How can you engage in this process? For starters, you can cast your vote as part of the MY World global survey, hosted by the United Nations. The survey simply asks you to choose from a list of priorities that you think are important for a better world. The organizers note that the results will be shared with world leaders in setting the next global development agenda. Please check it out here. You can also find out about what is going on in your country to inform the post-2015 development agenda. To date, 50 countries will receive financial support to host national consultations, which you can view here by region: http://www.beyond2015.org/news/un-releases-details-its-process-create-post-2015-development-framework. Even where there are no national-level consultations, all countries are invited to get engaged in the process. To do so, you can reach out to the UN Resident Coordinators to ask about ways to engage in the dialogue at the national level. Find their emails here. In addition, you can also join the conversation on social media and other important post-2015 gateways:
- Follow @worldwewant2015 on Twitter
- Follow the conversation using these hashtags:
View a calendar of thematic consultations, including online consultations Attention Activists in China, Brazil, India, and Russia: Apply to be a Cargill Global Scholar Cargill, working with the Institute of International Education (IIE), has launched a new scholarship program to help build future potential leaders. The Cargill Global Scholars program will provide financial support, leadership development and enrichment opportunities to nearly 200 talented and high-performing undergraduate students in five countries. The selected individuals will be chosen based on their demonstrated high level of academic performance and leadership potential. Students who are selected as Cargill Global Scholars will receive scholarship funds of up to US$2,500 per year for up to three years and will be invited to take part in a series of leadership and enrichment activities designed to enhance their critical thinking skills and equip them with the tools necessary for becoming leaders and decision makers in their chosen fields. Deadlines vary depending on the country but are as early as March of 2013. For more information on eligibility requirements and participating universities, please visit www.cargillglobalscholars.com. Apply Now! 2012 Global Development Awards and Medals Competition The 2012 Global Development Awards and Medals Competition is accepting submissions in three categories. Winners will have a chance to present at the 14th Annual Global Development Conference in Manila, the Philippines, in June of 2013 and win grants of up to US$30,000. The submission deadline is March 11, 2013. Categories include most innovative development project, outstanding research and development, and research and development. Themes include: inequality, social protection and social policies, and inclusive growth. View eligibility criteria for the different awards and get more information
Read All About it!
Pakistan’s First Provincial (Punjab) Youth Policy: Is It Mission Accomplished? In 2009, Pakistan approved its first national youth policy. While the implementation of the national youth policy was in the process of being implemented, Pakistan’s Parliament passed the historic 18th amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan. As a result, on April 8th, 2010, the Federal Youth Ministry was dissolved. Following the devolution process, all the provinces and territories have initiated the formulation of provincial youth policies through wide-scale consultations. Announced in collaboration with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), policy formulation has been initiated in the four provinces (Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Kybher Pakhtunkhwa) and the two territories (Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir). Read the article
UN Hails Drop in Female Genital Mutilation Figures that reveal that fewer girls in Africa and the Middle East are being subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) show it is possible to end the practice, the UN has said. FGM, which typically involves removing the clitoris, can lead to bleeding, infections and childbirth problems. Read the article
Dubai Declaration’ on Maternal, Child Health Launched Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, yesterday attended the launch of the Dubai Declaration, ‘Saving lives, Rising to the Challenge’, which details seven key concrete actions to be taken by all countries in the region to enable more women and children to access the health services they need. The launch was announced at a United Nations-convened high-level meeting on saving the lives of mothers and children in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Read the article
The declaration consistently references the health of mothers, adolescents, and children. Read it here.
India Dramatically Tightens Laws on Sexual Assault, Trafficking after Gang Rape India dramatically tightened its laws on sexual assault and trafficking Sunday, with a far-reaching package of measures rushed through to satisfy public opinion in the wake of a horrific gang rape of a young woman in the capital in December. Women’s groups complained that the government had not gone far enough, particularly because it neither outlawed marital rape nor dealt with the legal impunity enjoyed by members of the country’s armed forces. But other activists said the new measures, which imposed much stricter penalties for a range of crimes, marked one of the most significant changes to laws protecting India’s women. Read the article
Living Proudly in Face of Uganda’s Anti-gay Bill For Uganda’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community, 2013 strengthens us with fresh resolve. But a new year also torments us with old anxieties. Uganda is my home, but every day I must fight tooth and nail to remain. I inhabit a land and a paradox where my right to have a consensual relationship with an African woman is illegal — “un-African”– and where my daily work is a life and death matter. Since 2009, my community has faced the potential passage of an anti-homosexuality bill that threatens Ugandans in same-sex relationships with life imprisonment (there are conflicting reports on whether the original death penalty provision remain). This year, many Anglican Church officials and other leaders have declared the legislation’s speedy passage as their New Year’s resolutions, with the bill scheduled for discussion when Uganda’s parliament reconvenes in February. As a transgender man, I am not safe. Read the article
Tools You Can Use
Adolescent HIV Care and Treatment: A Training Curriculum for Health Worker By ICAP, Columbia University This innovative training package aims to empower multidisciplinary health workers to have the confidence and skills to provide comprehensive, youth-friendly HIV services that support adolescents’ healthy development, psychosocial well-being, retention, adherence, sexual and reproductive health, and eventual transition to adult HIV services. Get the publication
Because I am a Girl: Learning for Life By Plan International The sixth report in Plan’s annual State of the World’s Girls series, Learning for Life, takes a critical look at the state of girls’ education. The report argues that behind the success of global parity in primary education enrolment figures lies a crisis in the quality of learning. Enrolment figures measure attendance on one day of the school year, and they are currently the only measure of success. They tell us nothing about real access to education or the quality of what is being taught, or learned. Included in the report are case studies that highlight the relationship between education and youth sexual and reproductive health. Read the report
Transforming Health: International Rights-Based Advocacy for Trans Health By Open Society Foundations Trans people across the world face substantial barriers to adequate health and health care. This report profiles projects from 16 organizations in twelve countries that address these barriers. These projects offered general health services as well as those related to gender transition, trained health care providers to respond to the needs and concerns of trans patients, conducted public education campaigns about discrimination against trans people, advocated for legal and medical policy changes, and organized trans communities to empower themselves. Collecting insights from these projects, Transforming Health makes recommendations to governments, rights advocates, health professionals and public health organizations, and health and rights donors. Read the report
Mark Your Calendar: International Women’s Day is March 8th marks International Women’s Day and this year’s theme is, “The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum.” Putting women and women’s rights on the global agenda is the moving force behind International Women’s Day. The idea of a day for women, celebrated all over the world, began at the beginning of this century in America and Europe. The focus was the movement for women’s rights and achieving universal suffrage for women. International Women’s Day really took hold between 1913 and 1917 when women held rallies either to protest World War I or to express solidarity with their sisters. In December 1977 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace. Since those early years, much progress has been made for women: in many countries, provisions guaranteeing the enjoyment of human rights without discrimination on the basis of sex have been included in constitutions; legal literacy and other measures have been introduced to alert women to their rights and to ensure their access to those rights; the world community has identified violence against women as a clear violation of women’s rights; and incorporating gender perspectives into regular programs and policies has become a priority at the United Nations and in many member states. March 8th provides an opportunity to pay tribute to the achievements of women but also to fight for all that remains to be done to achieve equality. All over the globe, violence and discrimination against women and girls still violates their human rights and severely compromises their sexual and reproductive health. Harmful practices, including female genital cutting/mutilation, femicide, gender-based violence, and early marriage, damage girls’ physical being and self-worth by reinforcing gender-based marginalization and inequality. Gender inequalities and biases pervade cultures worldwide, preventing women and girls from fully realizing their rights to reproductive health and equality. So raise your voices and mobilize on this International Women’s Day to celebrate women, gain momentum, and demand change! How can you get involved?Advocates, in collaboration with the Atlas Corps Fellowship program, will be hosting an online event, “Young People Speak Out For Women’s Empowerment,” where young people from around the world can post a 1-2 minute video answering the following two questions:
- What does women’s empowerment mean to you?
- Why must the empowerment of young women be part of the post-2015 development agenda?
These videos will appear on Advocates’ International Women’s Day page on its youth activist website, www.amplifyyourvoice.org. If you are interested in submitting a video, please send it to Orain no later than March 4th at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, you can join Amplify by signing-up here: http://amplifyyourvoice.org/join. If you are not interested in doing a video, you can also blog in honor of International Women’s Day too! Just go to www.amplifyyourvoice.org once you have signed up and upload your post! Be sure to tag it International Youth Activist Network so that it appears on the international page of amplify. Don’t hesitate to let your voice be heard! Share why women’s empowerment, gender equity, sexual and reproductive health and other issues are important to YOU in the global movement for women’s rights. Also, be sure to check out the International Women’s Day web site for news, information on events, and resources. Download the International Women’s Day logo for your local events To read about issues affecting young women, including gender-based violence, unsafe abortion, and HIV, check out Advocates’ fact sheets here: Youth and Unsafe Abortion: A Global Snapshot English French The Facts: Gender Inequality and Violence Against Women and Girls Around the World English Spanish Youth and the Global HIV Pandemic English Young People Living with HIV around the World English French
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