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July 2017 iYAN Newsletter

Advocates for Youth Newsletter



JULY 2017 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, the Queer African Youth Initiative and UHAI host the First Youth Pre-Conference at Changing Faces Changing Spaces Conference

Advocates for Youth in collaboration with UHAI–the East African Sexual Health and Rights Initiative, and the African Queer Youth Initiative (AQYI) organized the first ever youth pre-conference at fifth Changing Faces Changing Spaces conference.

Approximately 50 youth attended the pre-conference to discuss challenges and strategies within the pan African LGBTI youth movement. At the conclusion of the pre-conference, attendees had crafted a youth statement, which was presented at the opening plenary of the main conference.

Young people at the pre-conference identified areas that stakeholders can address to fill the existing gaps in the LGBTIQ youth movement. Issues around leadership development, access to resources and decision making bodies and developing the movement within an African context were prominent. Youth referenced issues around capacity building and support for youth-led organizations; networking opportunities among young LGBTIQ people to learn and share best practices that already exist in the African context; funding for LGBTIQ youth-led organizations and individuals; contextualized documentation and research; mentorship of youth-led organizations; and LGBTIQ youth representation and involvement in decision making processes and healthy, productive and sustainable youth-adult partnerships.

AQYI will move forward with continued support of the above mentioned agenda in building an LGBTIQ African movement that is both inclusive, representative and supportive. With young people representing the largest contingent at the conference, it was great to see targeted programming to support youth in the movement.

My Voice Counts!

Inspire Others on Climate Change –Enter the UNFCCC’s Youth Video Competition

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is holding its youth video competition. If you are between the ages of 18 and 30, the UNFCCC wants to hear about the inspiring actions you are taking to combat climate change in a compelling and concise video that is no more than three minutes long. This is a chance to showcase a project or a campaign that you are involved in, which relate to one of this year’s two competition categories:

  • Category 1: Climate friendly and resilient cities

  • Category 2: Oceans and climate change

Prizes include:

  • A round trip to COP23 in Bonn, Germany this November 2017

  • A position as a youth reporter at COP23, where you will assist the UNFCCC Newsroom team with videos, articles and social media posts

All entries will be showcased on a global map that will be exhibited on the UNFCCC web page. The deadline to submit a video is August 18, 2017. For details, click here.

Get Your Organization Featured on FP2020’s New Adolescent and Youth Microsite

FF2020 is inviting youth led organizations and networks to be featured on their soon to be launched adolescent and youth microsite. Information gathered will be posted in the form of a google map. FP2020 expects the microsite to be live in time for the London Summit (July 11) and fully launched on International Youth Day (Aug. 12). If you would like to be featured on the map, please complete the details in this Survey (English) or Enquête (French)– (10 mins to complete). FP2020 will be adding information to the site on a regular basis but if you wish for your organization to be featured in time for the London Summit or International Youth Day, please submit your details by July 5.

FP2020 is an outcome of the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning where more than 20 governments made commitments to address the policy, financing, delivery and socio-cultural barriers to women accessing contraceptive information, services and supplies and donors pledged an additional US$2.6 billion in funding. Led by an 18-member Reference Group, operated daily by a Secretariat, and hosted by the United Nations Foundation, FP2020 is based on the principle that all women, no matter where they live should have access to lifesaving contraceptives.

Tools You Can Use

Consolidated guideline on sexual and reproductive health and rights of women living with HIV
By the World Health Organization

This document provides guidance on comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights-related services and support, starting when a woman is first diagnosed with HIV. It places particular emphasis on the creation of an enabling environment to support more effective health interventions and better health outcomes.

The document is meant to help countries to more effectively and efficiently plan, develop and monitor programmes and services that promote gender equality and human rights and hence are more acceptable and appropriate for women living with HIV, taking into account the national and local epidemiological context. It discusses implementation issues that health interventions and service delivery must address to achieve gender equality and support human rights. To access the document, go here.

A Systematic Review of Positive Youth Development Programs in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
By YouthPower Learning

This review presents the results of a rigorous analysis of existing evidence of positive youth development programming in low- and middle-income countries. It expands the knowledge base on the impacts and measurement of positive youth development programs and provides valuable insights for international implementing organizations, researchers, and donors. To access the review, go here.

What explains childhood violence? Micro correlates from VACS surveys
Ravi, S. and Ahluwalia, R. in Journal of Psychology, Health and Medicine, February 8, 2018

This special issue of the Journal of Psychology, Health and Medicine features 15 papers addressing a range of topics on emotional, physical, sexual and community violence, including an analysis of factors explaining childhood violence from the Violence Against Children Survey data.

The health status of adolescents in Ecuador and the country’s response to the need for differentiated healthcare for adolescents
By Svanemyr, J., Guijarro, S., Riveros, B., and Chandra-Mouli, V. in Reproductive Health 2017; 14: 29

This article reports on a study conducted to assess the health needs of adolescents in Ecuador and to draw lessons from how the country has responded to their particular needs for differentiated health care. The study methods included a literature review and consultations with stakeholders and results suggest that there is a need for institutionalizing differentiated health care for adolescents. To access the article, go here.

Uganda’s 2016 Demographic Health Survey
By Uganda Bureau of Statistics

Uganda has just released the results of their 2016 Demographic Health Survey. It is the sixth Demographic Health Survey conducted in Uganda for which data was collected between June and December of 2016, with a nationally representative sample of over 20,000 households. The report provides data and analysis on fertility, teenage pregnancy and motherhood, family planning, early childhood mortality, maternal care, anemia prevalence in children and women, HIV/AIDS awareness, knowledge, behavior and testing, sexual violence, and maternal mortality among others. To access the report, go here.


Read All About It!

Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Global Advocate for Women’s Health, Dies at 68. Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, who as head of the United Nations Population Fund promoted public health, especially sexual and reproductive health for women and girls, died on Sunday night at his home in West Harrison, N.Y. He was 68. The population agency confirmed his death, saying it was sudden, but did not give a cause. To read the article, go here.

Break silence on ‘terrifying’ femicides in Dominican Republic – minister. The discovery of a dismembered body of a woman this week in the Dominican Republic has put the spotlight on high levels of femicides in a country where one woman has been killed every two days in June alone. To read this article, go here.

FEATURE-Hotline, ‘gender champions’ tackle violence against girls in drought-hit Kenya. Mariam Mohammed was 15 when her uncle raped her in the family hut in Wajir, northeastern Kenya. “He told me to make the bed, he gripped my throat so I couldn’t scream, and then he hurt me,” she recalled, nervously drawing in the red sand with a twig while cradling a baby boy. To read this article, go here.

Uganda fails to target gay men and sex workers in fast-track HIV initiative. Activists have criticized the Ugandan president for failing to cater for gay men in his new plan to end HIV by 2030. President Yoweri Museveni launched his ambitious initiative last week, but did not specifically mention gay people, sex workers and drug users – who bear a disproportionate share of the HIV burden. To read this article, go here.

‘Global gag rule’ hampers reproductive health actors in rural Colombia. Edna Villa is animated, pacing, as she calls reproductive rights and relationship myths aloud. “Highly educated women can also be exposed to violence in their relationships,” she says, challenging the 15 women sitting in the bleachers of the open-air sports complex to explain whether this statement is true or false, and what it means to them. To read this article, go here.

Nepal court orders rapid compensation and care for acid attack victims. In a landmark ruling, Nepal’s Supreme Court last month ordered the government to fix its laws to ensure that victims of an acid attack receive immediate compensation and critical care. Acid attacks – a vindictive form of violence meant to disfigure and maim a person for life – are on the rise in most developing nations, particularly in South Asia. To read this article, go here.

The Tunisian women who want to be virgins again. Yasmine (not her real name) looks nervous. She’s biting her nails and checks her mobile phone constantly. “I consider this to be deception and I’m really worried,” she says. We’re on the fourth floor of a private clinic in Tunis – the gynaecology service. Around us in the pink waiting room, other women wait patiently to be seen. To read this article, go here.


Malala Day

This July 12, support Malala and many girls like her around the world who want to go to school and get an education but who are denied this basic human right and subjected to discrimination, sexual harassment, violence, and death just because they are a girl.

Did you know…

  • 31 million girls of primary school age are not enrolled in school and 34 million are not enrolled in lower secondary school.

  • Too many girls are out of school because they have to work, are married early, have to care for other family members, are subject to sexual violence, experience lack of sanitary facilities, or aren’t able to attend because of school fees, which denies them their fundamental right to education.

  • The new Sustainable Development Goals commit to free primary and secondary education for every child but the current measure of success for this target, for which governments will be held accountable, does not cover all years of schooling through secondary school.

  • If governments don’t count all the years of schooling (it is 12 years through the end of secondary school) to assess success, girls will miss out and the Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Education (to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all) will fail to truly reflect and mobilize efforts to realize its purpose.

Here are some ways you can commemorate the day:

  • Join and spread the world about Malala’s campaign, Funding 12 Years for All: www.malala.org/12years

  • Hold a screening of the film “He Named Me Malala” to raise awareness and invite others to take action. For more information, go here.

  • Explore the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative, go here.

  • Review information about Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Education, go here.

  • Check out these resources:

1. Advocates’ fact sheet on adolescent girls, located here.

2. UNESCO’s fact sheet on out-of-school children and adolescents, located here.

3. UNESCO’s website on girls and women’s’ and girls’ education, located here.

4. UNESCO’s Guide for Gender Equality in Teacher Education Policy and Practices, located here.

5. The United Nation’s Girls’ Education Initiative Report on What Works in Girls Education: Evidence for the World’s Best Investment, go here.

6. Women Deliver’s Infographics on girls’ education:


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