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January 2016 iYAN Newsletter

January 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 seeks a local partner organization for community mobilization and sexuality education initiative in Western or Nyanza Province, Kenya!

Advocates is pleased to announce an exciting opportunity for youth-serving and/or youth-led organizations based in either Western or Nyanza Province of Kenya to apply to partner with Advocates to implement a community-mobilization program for school-based sexuality education. To qualify, the organization must be locally-based and interested in programming to advance adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights. Ultimately, only one organization will be selected.

Advocates’ work is grounded in a philosophy that it calls the 3 R’s of Rights. Respect.Responsibility. ® whereby young people have the right to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information and services; young people deserve to be treated with respect; and society has a responsibility to ensure an environment in which young people can make healthy decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. Advocates has extensive experience equipping partners with training, tools and resources to support sexuality education.

Advocates welcomes applicants that share this philosophy and that:

  • are well-known at the community level;
  • come with someexpertise in community mobilization/-driven programming and adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • have existing links to schools, such as through teachers, curriculum developers, parent-teacher association members, and/or other education stakeholders ; and
  • are interested in building organizational capacity to support sexuality education through community mobilization, lesson plan peer review and adaptation, and teacher training.
  • For background information about sexuality education research and related International Technical Guidance used to guide this programming, go here.

For more information about Advocates for Youth’s International programming, go here.

To access the call for applications, go here.

The deadline to submit your application is Friday, February 12, midnight GMT.

My Voice Counts!

Participate in the Girl Power in Play: Call to Action. As noted by the organizers of this important call to action, “Girls and women have the right to participate in sport, physical activity, and recreation—a right that is clearly enshrined in several international charters and conventions. Yet sport has traditionally been regarded as a male domain, and discrimination against girls and women remains widespread. In some places access to sport is entirely prohibited. In many other contexts girls and women are actively discouraged from participating, and universally there are fewer structures, institutions, and facilities that enable girls’ and women’s participation.”

If you care about girls’ empowerment, their right to participate in sports and recreation, the need to counter gender stereotypes that stifle girls’ creativity, talent and power, then sign this call to action. The call includes asks to UN agencies and member states, governments, donors, the media, NGOs, researchers, and the private sector.

To access the Girl Power in Play Call to Action, go here.

Attention Women Activists and Groups Working in Rural Communities: Call for Nominations. WWSF Women’s World Summit Foundation, an international, non-profit, humanitarian NGO, is seeking nominations for the Prize (US$ 1,000 per laureate), which honors women and women’s groups around the world exhibiting exceptional creativity, courage and commitment for the improvement of the quality of life in rural communities.

The Prize aims to draw international attention to laureates’ contributions to sustainable development, food security and peace, thus generating recognition and support for their initiatives and projects. While rural women are vital in providing examples of sound practices in their communities, they still do not have full access to tools needed for development, such as education, credit, land rights and participation in decision making. By highlighting and awarding creative development leaders and their work, innovations and experiences enhancing the quality of rural life, WWSF participates in empowering rural women in their contribution to end rural poverty, improve gender equality, and advance women’s rights to peace and well-being.

Prize laureates are selected by an international jury composed of WWSF Board of Directors, are announced officially in October, and are celebrated in their countries on October 15th – International Day of Rural Women. WWSF has a commitment to award annually between 5-10 creative rural women and women’s groups around the world. The deadline is April 30, 2016.

For more information, go here www.woman.ch
To download the nomination form, go here.

Participate in the 2nd Commonwealth Conference on Youth Work (CCYW), Pretoria, South Africa, March 9-10, 2016. The Commonwealth Secretariat in partnership with the Republic of South Africa, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) of South Africa and the University of South Africa (UNISA) is pleased to announce the Second Commonwealth Conference on Youth Work. The conference theme is, “Engaging Young People in Nation Building: The Youth Worker’s Role.”

The objectives of the conference are to:

  1. Encourage the creation and sharing of knowledge around youth work theory and practice;
  2. Accelerate the recognition of, and investment in, youth work as a profession;
  3. Profile the youth worker’s role in mobilizing young people as change agents and contributors to nation building; and
  4. Facilitate the establishment of a Commonwealth Alliance of Youth Worker Associations.

In keeping with the Commonwealth’s strategic focus of supporting the professionalization of the youth work sector, the CCYW caters to practicing youth workers including representatives of youth work associations, youth work managers, policy makers focusing on youth development and empowerment, academics teaching in the area of youth work practice, and young people active as peer youth workers.

As the Commonwealth is also striving to find avenues where youth work intersects with other non-youth-focused sectors, practitioners and academics in other disciplines whose work engages or benefits youth, and has youth work elements, are also welcome.

To find out more, go here.

Attend the Women Deliver Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark May 16-19, 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.

Registration is still open but deadlines are ongoing so please check the website at http://wd2016.org/

For a one-pager on the conference in English, French or Spanish, go here:

English | French | Spanish

Don’t Miss the International AIDS Conference, Durban, South Africa July 18-22, 2016. The AIDS 2016 conference will be held at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) from 18 to 22 July 2016. The conference is the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policy makers, persons living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic. It is a chance to assess where we are, evaluate recent scientific developments and lessons learnt, and collectively chart a course forward.

The AIDS 2016 programme will present new scientific knowledge and offer many opportunities for structured dialogue on the major issues facing the global response to HIV. A variety of session types – from abstract-driven presentations to symposia, bridging and plenary sessions – will meet the needs of various participants. Other related activities, including the Global Village, satellite meetings, exhibitions and affiliated independent events, will contribute to an exceptional opportunity for professional development and networking.

Apply for a scholarship!The conference organizers are committed to doubling the number of scholarships for AIDS 2016 to make the conference even more accessible to people from resource-limited settings, researchers, young people, community activists and civil society representatives. Your application must be completed by 12 February 2016 23:59 CET Go here to apply.

Submit to share your work!The conference is a space to share information, research findings, challenges and lessons learned in a variety of ways from a diversity of perspectives.

The deadline for submissions is February 4th!

Tools You Can Use

Global Estimates of the Prevalence and Incidence of Four Curable Sexually Transmitted Infections in 2012 Based on Systematic Review and Global Reporting
By Newman, L. et al. in PLOS ONE, December 8, 2015

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have a profound impact on sexual and reproductive health worldwide, constituting a major burden of disease. Global estimates published in this issue of the journal PLOS ONE suggest that more than 1 million sexually transmitted infections are acquired every day. A large proportion of new STIs occur among adolescents and young adults who may not be aware that they are infected, which can negatively impact their future sexual and reproductive health.

Rights in Action: Access to HIV Services among Men Who Have Sex with Men

This is thefirst of a series of technical briefs highlighting the main findings from MSMGF’s 2014 Global Men’s Health and Rights (GMHR) Survey. This brief is dedicated to understanding perceived access to HIV services among MSM and the role of consumer confidence in shaping demand for services.

The GMHR was launched by the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) in 2010 as a biennial effort to assess the current state of health and human rights among MSM on a global scale. The multilingual online survey focuses specifically on access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and care services, including the impact of barriers and facilitators that affect access to each category of service.

For the first time since the GMHR’s inauguration, the 2014 survey includes a longitudinal component that allows for changes to be tracked over time. The 2014 survey also includes questions specifically designed for transgender men who have sex with men, providing a rare global perspective into the health and human rights of this demographic.

To access the brief, go here.

Launch of the Lancet’s Ending Preventable Stillbirth Series. The Lancet has launched the Ending Preventable Stillbirths (EPS) series, a set of 5 papers, 4 comments and 2 articles written by a collaboration of 216 authors and advisors from over 40 countries and representing over 100 organizations. The series lays out the rates and risk factors for stillbirths, the economic and psychosocial consequences of stillbirth, and actions that can be taken to turn the tide and end preventable stillbirths together with newborn and maternal deaths.

To access the series, go here: HNN Stillbirth Series event page

MyBody.MyLife.MyChoice: Challenging Forced Marriage, FRIDA Special Impact Report
By the Young Feminist Fund.

As part of a new ongoing series, this report discusses the achievementsof five of the Young Feminist Fund’s grantees work to eliminate the practice of forced marriage.

From theater in Romania to radio in Nepal, these groups have helped young women and girls break a silence in their communities to share their feelings, concerns, and dreams about their own life choices. Meanwhile in Burkina Faso, Malawi, and Pakistan, groups are supporting married girls to remain or return to school, while working with local leaders to enact fines and support advocacy on ending forced and early marriage.

To access the report, go here.

16 Girls, 16 Stories of Resistance
By the United Nations Population Fund .

This online media project tells the stories of sixteen girls who participate in an adolescent girl empowerment program in Niger. Through photos and excerpts, the girls tell their stories of resisting or escaping child, early, and forced marriage (CEFM) and, often, gender-based violence. This project describes the harmful effects that CEFM can have on a girl’s life, education, and health while highlighting girls’ extraordinary strength, courage, and resolve.

To access the stories, go here.

Girls and the new SDG’s Infographics
By Women Deliver

Women Deliver has released new infographics that describe how investing in the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls impacts the new SDGs. Access them in multiple languages here: English | French | Spanish

Partners and Allies Toolkit for Meaningful Adolescent Girl Engagement
By the Coalition for Adolescent Girls

The goal of this toolkit is to enable institutions, programs, and project teams to strategically and meaningfully engage girls as equal and active participants in the leadership and development of their communities, nations, and the world. The content of the toolkit was developed by advocates, researchers, programmers, and adolescent girls themselves over a year-long period of consultations, forums, and research.

Including Girls with Disabilities in Humanitarian Programs: Principles and Guidelines
By the Women’s Refugee Commission

Adolescent girls with disabilities and girls who live in households with people with disabilities are often overlooked in humanitarian programming. This publication shows how to foster their participation and to strengthen protective assets. When followed properly, these guidelines and principles will help mitigate the risk of violence, abuse, and exploitation for girls with disabilities.

Scaling up sexuality education in Senegal: integrating family life education into the national curriculum
By Katie Chau, Aminata Traoré Seck, Venkatraman Chandra-Mouli & Joar Svanemyr

In Senegal, school-based sexuality education has evolved over 20 years from family life education (FLE) pilot projects into cross-curricular subjects located within the national curriculum of primary and secondary schools. The authors of this report conducted a literature review and semi-structured interviews to gather information regarding the scale and nature of FLE scale-up. Key enabling factors, barriers, and lessons learned from Senegal’s experience are shared in order to inform other efforts to scale-up school-based sexuality education programs in similar settings.

To access the report, go here.

Coming up

Mark Your Calendar: February 6, 2016 is the Day to Speak Out about Female Genital Cutting/Mutilation. Each year, February 6 is a day to raise awareness about female genital cutting/mutilation (FGC/M). Female genital cutting/mutilation of any type has been recognized as a harmful practice is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

Female genital cutting/mutilationrefers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Female genital cutting/mutilation is associated with a series of short and long-term risks to both physical, mental and the sexual health and well-being.

Consequences of FGC/FGM can include:severe bleeding, problems urinating,development of cysts, infections, infertility, complications during childbirth, and increased risk of newborn death.

Female genital cutting/mutilation is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15. More than 125 million girls and women alive today have been cut in the 29 countries in Africa and Middle East where FGC/M is concentrated.

To raise awareness about FGM/C, you can:

  • Find out more about the day here
  • Join Advocates for Youth in blogging about FGM/C on amplifyyourvoice.org! What is your perspective on female genital mutilation/cutting? Have things changed in terms of how it is perceived in your community? What do you think is needed to prevent female genital cutting/mutilation? What would you tell girls, boyfriends, parents, decision-makers? What can governments do or what shouldn’t they do?
  • Talk to your family and friends about this practice and engage in a dialogue about what it is, why it is practiced, and how it is harmful to girls and women.
  • Organize a community or school event to raise awareness about female genital cutting/mutilation and have a dialogue about the harmful consequences of this practice.
  • Meet with decision makers and community leaders to find out about existing policies related to female genital cutting/mutilation and share your recommendations.
  • Get informed! Learn more about female genital cutting/mutilation by checking out these additional resources below:
  • Female Genital Mutilation Fact Sheet, by the World Health Organization
  • Female genital cutting fact sheet by the Orchid Project, Advocates for Youth, CHANGE, ICRW, and Pathfinder International
  • UNFPA’s web page on Ending Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting
  • Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A statistical overview and exploration of the dynamics of change,” which provides the most comprehensive compilation of data on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting to date o The UN resolution on FGC/M here
  • Global Alliance Against Female Genital Mutilation
  • Eliminating female genital mutilation: An interagency statement – OHCHR, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNECA, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIFEM, WHO

Read All About It!

Reproductive Health Rights: ‘Over 70% Adolescents Unaware of ChangesDuringPuberty’. A study launched here on Wednesday stated that only 30 per cent of adolescents knew about puberty before they experienced it, while over 70 per cent remained acutely unaware and were vulnerable to peer pressure, early marriages, HIV transmission and social discrimination.

To read this article, go here.

Wrong Time of the Month: a Rights Gap for Developing Countries’ Girls. The onset of menstruation is a landmark event in the life of a young woman. Yet many complications and challenges accompany such an event. One in 10 adolescent girls miss school and eventually drop out due to menstruation-related issues.

2016 marks the start of the new Sustainable Development Goal’s target 6.2 and provides reason for optimism, recognizing as it does the need to provide “adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all” with “special attention to the needs of women and girls”.

To read this article, go here.

Kenya: For HIV-Positive Teens, Stigma Seen as Greatest Threat, Not Virus. Sometime in February this year, President Uhuru Kenyatta was addressing an anti-HIV gathering in Nairobi when he suddenly deviated from his speech, looked into the crowd and asked one of the HIV-positive teenagers listening to him to rise up and tell him what his government could do to make their lives better.

To read this article, go here.

How Motorcycles Are Reducing Maternal Deaths in Kenya . The road on the slopes of Mount Elgon is steep and rugged. Trucks and tractors drive maize and vegetables down the mountain to sell in the town of Chwele and other parts of Kenya’s Western Province. Motorcycles are the main mode of transportation and are often used as taxis. Every few minutes one whizzes by carrying a passenger, sometimes even carrying three people at a once.

To read this article, go here.

Nigeria: Reducing Maternal Mortality through Family Planning. Aisha Tanko, a 45-year-old woman in Pasu village, had eight children. After her last delivery, the doctor asked to see her alongside her husband. Aisha’s husband could not understand why the doctor wanted to see him since his wife had a safe delivery. But after much persuasion by his wife, he followed her to the hospital. The doctor explained to them that Aisha was hypertensive, and after having eight children, child bearing had become very risky and could take her life. He advised the couple on the various family planning methods and why it had become necessary for Aisha.

To read this article, go here.

Sierra Leone legalizes abortion, will save “countless” lives-activists. Women with unwanted pregnancies in Sierra Leone will no longer have to undergo unsafe abortions after parliament passed a law which activists said on Thursday would save countless lives in the country with the world’s highest maternal death rate.

The Safe Abortion Act, passed on Tuesday, made the procedure legal and replaced an 1861 law that banned abortion in the West African nation except when it was necessary to save the mother’s life.

To read this article, go here.

Malawi: Traditional Leaders for Safe Abortion in MJ. Some traditional leaders and members of the clergy from Mulanje have supported the idea of having a law to legalize safe abortion in the country.

The country’s constitution currently does not allow girls and women to have abortion.

To read this article, go here.

Philippines Axes Contraceptive Budget . The legislature in the mainly Catholic Philippines has axed the government’s budget for contraceptives, despite a law mandating that the state should provide them to the poor. The health secretary, Janette Garin, confirmed on Wednesday that the department’s 2016 budget for contraceptives had been scrapped when it passed through congress.

To read this article, go here.

Will India Open its Temples and Mosques to Menstruating Women? As a girl, Noorjehan Niaz remembers visiting the famous Muslim shrine of Haji Ali and walking down the long causeway off the coastline in south Mumbai, pushing through the throng to the inner chamber of the mosque where the grave of the 15th century saint lies. Here, her parents taught her to press her head against the grave and shower rose petals on to the green silk draping it.

To read this article, go here.

Peru’s Forcibly Sterilized Women Find their Voice “I was forced to get sterilized while giving birth,” says one woman from the district of Zurite in northern Peru.

“The nurses were insistent and telling me to get sterilized, that ‘you have several children already and you’re going to have more because you’re young’, and they sterilized me at the age of 27. That was 18 years ago now, but I [still] don’t have my full strength,” she says down the phone line.

To read this article, go here.

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