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January 2018 iYAN Newsletter

Advocates for Youth Newsletter


January 2018 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 Lanza su Currículo de Educación Sexual en Español!/ Advocates Launches its 3 R’s Sexuality Education Curriculum in Spanish!

El currículo integral para la educación sexual de Advocates for Youth está actualmente disponible en español. Igual que los planes de clase en inglés de Derecho, Respeto, Responsabilidad, los planes de clase en español son gratis. Además, el currículo cumple con la totalidad de las normas nacionales de educación sexual de los Estados Unidos [National Sexuality Education Standards] y cubre todas las temáticas recomendadas por los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)] como componentes esenciales de educación sexual. ¡Descargue los planes de clase e información complementaria aquí!

Advocates’ comprehensive sexuality education curriculum is now available in Spanish, Derechos, Respeto, Responsabilidad: Un currículo de educación sexual para K-12. Like the English version, the 3Rs lessons in Spanish are free. The 3Rs curriculum meets the National Sexuality Education Standards of the United States and covers all 16 topics recommended by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as essential components of sexual health education. To access the curriculum go here.

Marie Stopes South Africa Launches AMAZE in Partnership with the AMAZE Initiative, a collaboration of Advocates for Youth, YouthTech Health and Answer

AMAZE is an initiative of Advocates for Youth, YouthTech Health, and ANSWER, which produces and disseminates funny, informative, and animated sexuality education videos for very young adolescents in the United States, ages 10-14. Recently AMAZE launched its first international website in South Africa, in collaboration with MSI South Africa, ultimately featuring eleven AMAZE videos that have been adapted to the South African context and that are available in English, Xhosa, and Afrikaans. You can view the videos on YouTube and the South Africa AMAZE website.

The videos help very young adolescents better understand puberty and the various changes that they are going through. They cover a range of topics, such as girls’ puberty, boys’ puberty, preganancy and reproduction, HIV and STIs, sexual orientation, healthy relationships, and personal safety.

To view the full inventory of AMAZE videos produced for the United States, go to YouTube or to Amaze.org. If you are interested in translating or adapting AMAZE videos for your country, reach out to Nicole (nicole@advocatesforyouth.org).

My Voice Counts!

Participate in the International AIDS Conference, July 23-27

The International AIDS Conference is the largest gathering on any global health issue in the world. It has been a key focal point to intensify political, scientific and financial commitments that has been at the center of some of the most groundbreaking milestones in history. This year’s conference takes place in Amsterdam, bringing together more than 15,000 global leaders, policy makers, researchers and advocates from more than 160 countries to present and discuss the year’s breaking science and most pressing health challenges, with a focus on tangible actions to move forward.

You can now apply for a scholarship! Conference organizers commit to make the AIDS 2018 conference accessible to people from resource-limited settings, researchers, young people, key and vulnerable populations and community representatives. The deadline is February 5th. For more information about scholarship opportunities, go here.

You can also apply to submit an activity to the Global Village and Youth Programme. The Global Village is a diverse and vibrant space where communities from all over the world gather to meet, share and learn from each other. It intersects the main conference programme, blending scientific sessions with cultural activities, live performances, networking zones, NGO booths, marketplace booths, and art exhibits. The Global Village is open to the general public and conference delegates, and admission is free. All proposals submitted for the Global Village and Youth Programme are reviewed by a team of nominated reviewers who score applications based on a blind scoring system. The Global Village and Youth Programme Working Group makes the final selections of activities and submissions are also due February 5th. To apply, go here.

Lastly abstract submissions for the main conference are now being received and are also due on February 5th. For more information go here. For registration and lodign information, consult the registration and accommodation options offered through www.aids2018.org.

Tools You Can Use

The State of the World’s Children 2017: Children in a digital world

1 in 3 internet users worldwide is a child. This report examines the different ways digital technology is affecting children’s lives and life chances, identifying dangers as well as opportunities. To access the report, go here.

Integrating Gender in the Monitoring and Evaluation of Health Programs: A Toolkit
By the Measure Project

This toolkit aims to help international health programs integrate a gender perspective in their monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activities, measures, and reporting. It is designed for use by health program staff working in various health sectors (such as HIV; malaria; reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health; and tuberculosis), and for various health agencies and initiatives. To access the toolkit, go here.

Recomendaciones sobre prácticas seleccionadas para el uso de anticonceptivos
Por la Organización Mundial de la Salud

Este documento ahora esta disponible en español y proporciona orientación sobre cómo usar los métodos anticonceptivos de manera segura y eficaz una vez que se los considera adecuados desde el punto de vista médico. Se trata de uno de dos pilares basados en la evidencia que forman parte de la iniciativa de la Organización Mundial de la Salud para elaborar e implementar guías de planificación familiar destinadas a programas de alcance nacional. El otro pilar consiste en los Criterios médicos de elegibilidad para el uso de anticonceptivos. Descargar el documento aquí.

Creating a Culture of Evidence Use: Using an Innovative Knowledge Translation Platform to Inform HIV/AIDS Programming for Women and Girls
By Jill Gay, Melanie Croce-Galis, Karen Hardee, and Amelia Peltz

This paper documents how the key components of the What Works for Women: Evidence for HIV/AIDS Interventions knowledge platform resulted in demonstrable change in National Strategic HIV plans and Global Fund Concept Notes and demonstrable change in HIV programming for women and girls. To read the paper, go here.

Sexual Rights of Women with Psychosocial Disabilities: Insights from India
By ARROW and Anjali Mental Health Rights Organization

This thematic paper looks at a new paradigm shift in thinking – and talking – about mental illness and psychosocial disability, shifting the focus away from the entrenched “bio-medical psychiatry” that puts emphasis on the pathology at the individual level, and instead into a discourse that puts principles of autonomy, dignity and equality into the limelight, in the context of India. The paper presents the differences between the “expert-centric” approach of the current model and the “experience-centric” of the new, and it also explores the challenges in bringing about such a change in a country where structural exclusions and institutional biases are deeply embedded in its rule of law. To read the paper, go here.

No Choice but to Deny Who I Am: Violence and Discrimination against LGBT People in Ghana
By Human Rights Watch

This report documents how retention of section 104(1)(b) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960, prohibiting and punishing “unnatural carnal knowledge,” and failure to actively address violence and discrimination, relegate LGBT Ghanaians to effective second-class citizenship. Police officials and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) have taken some steps to protect LGBT people, but they are still frequent victims of physical violence and psychological abuse, extortion, and discrimination in many aspects of their daily life. To view the report, go here.

Read All About It!

Indonesia court rejects petition to bar consensual sex outside marriage. Indonesia’s constitutional court narrowly rejected a petition by a conservative group to make extramarital sex illegal, but rights activists braced for a renewal of the battle in parliament and other state institutions. To read this article, go here.

In push to end child marriage in Guatemala, young women are on the front line. In this remote village perched high in the hills of eastern Guatemala, a spunky 21-year-old in high-tops and skinny black jeans is holding court in a former coffee-processing plant.In front of Patricia Rossibel Cortéz Jiménez are dozens of girls, ages 8 to 18, who whisper and swing their feet beneath plastic chairs as she opens a weekly training with a question: “What is gender?” To read this article, go here.

Mexico confronts surge in violence against women. Gabriela Molina Herrera says she lives in fear. Less than a month ago, her younger sister was sexually assaulted and murdered. Her sister’s body was found on the side of a road. “Because of the way my sister’s body was found, at first sight it was deemed a femicide, and as the newspapers reported, she had been strangled,” Molina Herrera told Al Jazeera. To read this article, go here.

Tanzania pardons two child rapists and calls for arrest of pregnant schoolgirls. Activists accused Tanzania’s leaders of “promoting a culture of human rights violations”, as the release of two high-profile child rapists this week coincided with calls for pregnant schoolgirls to be arrested. John Magufuli, the Tanzanian president, pardoned the two men, who were convicted of the rape of 10 primary school children aged between six and eight, along with thousands of other prisoners, in his independence day speech on Saturday. To read this article, go here.

Could Somaliland eradicate FGM? Somaliland is a country which doesn’t officially exist. It broke away from the rest of Somalia after a bitter civil war in 1991, a conflict which plunged the rest of Somalia into violent conflict and instability and a war with the extremist al-Shabaab terrorist organisation. To read this article, go here.

No evidence of FGM, India government tells court, appalling activists. Indian officials have told the Supreme Court there is no data to show female genital mutilation (FGM) exists in the country, angering activists fighting to end the centuries-old custom in a minority Muslim community. FGM is secretly carried out by the close-knit Dawoodi Bohra community, a Shi’ite Muslim sect thought to number up to 2 million worldwide, that considers the practice a religious obligation although it is not mentioned in the Koran. To read this article, go here.

Despite Progress, Gay & Abortion Rights Face Threats in Latin America. Cancun, Mexico, of white sand beaches and spring break-style nightlife, was, this past June, the unusual backdrop for a regional gathering on human rights and democracy. Tour buses accustomed to ferrying sandal-shod tourists to Mayan ruins, instead, transported well-heeled activists and government representatives from their hotels to the Centro de Convenciones. To read this article, go here.


Mark Your Calendar: February 6, 2017 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). FGC/M of any type has been recognized as a harmful practice is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

FGC/M refers 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. FGC/M 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.

More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in the 30 countries in Africa and Middle East where FGC/M is concentrated. FGC/M is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15.

To raise awareness about FGM/C, you can:

  • Find out more about the day here: www.un.org/endfgm

  • Talk to your family and friends about the 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:

o Female Genital Mutilation Fact Sheet, by the World Health Organization

o The latest facts from UNICEF’s Female Genital Cutting/Mutilation: A Global Concern, by UNICEF

o Female genital cutting fact sheet by the Orchid Project, Advocates for Youth, CHANGE, ICRW, and Pathfinder International

o The UN resolution on FGC/M

o UNFPA’s web page on Ending Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting

o Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A statistical overview and exploration of the dynamics of change (2013),” which provides a comprehensive compilation of data on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting

o Sustainable Development Goal 5 on Gender Equality, which calls for an end to female genital mutilation by 2030 in target 5.3 (eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation).


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