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June 2016 iYAN

June 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 and Partners Launch First Primary Inter-School Sexuality Education Competition in Léo, Burkina Faso

Last month, Advocates’ partner organizations in Burkina Faso, Mwangaza Action and the Association des Jeunes du Département de Léo, completed their first ever inter-school sexuality education competition in the town of Léo. Launched in April, a total of 60 students ages 10-12 made it to the final rounds of the competition, including 34 girls and 26 boys from across 10 primary schools. The final competition culminated in a day of excellence in sexual and reproductive health with the 20 best students winning prizes, including school supplies. The competition was inspired by a teacher whom Advocates and its partners trained last January on sexuality education along with 29 others from across 10 primary schools. Prior to the training, Advocates worked closely with its partners who engaged teachers and curriculum developers, to develop a set of 18 sexuality education lesson plans. These efforts emerged from existing programming for out-of-school youth whereby teachers in Leo approached partners and requested that we provide support in order to reach in-school youth with sexuality education.

Advocates Recruits New Members for its International Youth Leadership Council

Advocates recruited new members for its 2016-1017 International Youth Leadership Council. The International Youth Leadership Council is a group of undergraduate college students based in the Washington, DC area in the United States. As council members, they work to educate and mobilize peers and advocate for improved United States foreign policy and global policy to support and advance young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in the global south.

Advocates welcomes the following three new members to the council:

  • Carolina at Georgetown University, majoring in Culture & Politics

  • Emily at the George Washington University, majoring in International Affairs

  • Abby at George Mason University, majoring in Social Work

They will be joining our existing council members, who include:

  • Allison at Georgetown University, majoring in Regional & Comparative Studies

  • Lili at American University, majoring in Public Health

  • Kalpana at George Washington, majoring in Public Health

  • Morgan at George Washington, majoring in Anthropology

We look forward to working with you this upcoming school year!

Advocates Partners on Sessions at the Women Deliver Conference

This spring, Advocates partnered with organizations to prepare a number of events for the Women Deliver Conference held last month, including organizing two concurrent sessions with IPPF on comprehensive sexuality education and youth-adult partnerships; a side event on United States foreign policy with coalition partners CHANGE and the International Women’s Health Coalition; and supporting Youth Pre-Conference efforts. Ursula, formerly with Advocates’ International Youth Speak Out project in Nepal, served as a discussant in the concurrent session on comprehensive sexuality education. She shared her experiences advocating for comprehensive sexuality education as a member of the project’s youth council, hosted by Advocates’ partner organization YUWA. The council specifically advocated for more content on contraception, abortion, and sexual diversity within the national curriculum, which they ultimately secured, through coalition work, campaigns, organizing, and many meetings with stakeholders, especially curriculum development officials.

Advocates’ Attends and Speaks on Diversity at the European Youth Event (EYE 2016)

Last month, Advocates participated in the European Youth Event held at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. The event brought together 7,500 young people to exchange ideas with Members of European Parliament (MEPs) under the motto ‘Together we can make a change’. Advocates’ staff spoke on the panel “Discrimination divides, diversity connects” and provided a U.S. perspective on intersectionality. Over 100 youth attended the panel discussion. Two members of the European Parliament, Ulrike Lunacek, Vice President of the European Parliament (Greens, Austria) and Julie Ward (Socialists & Democrats, UK) were also on the panel.

My Voice Counts!

Join the Deliver for Good Campaign!

The Deliver for Good campaign was launched at the Women Deliver Conference last month. The bottom line message of the campaign is that when you invest in girls and women, everybody wins. Deliver for Good is mobilizing multi-sector allies to redefine the narrative around girls and women—from the most vulnerable, to agents of change and critical drivers of progress. The campaign seeks to build a movement to fuel concrete action and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals at the global and country levels. Deliver for Good also focuses on the whole girl and the whole woman—not just her health needs, her educational needs, or her rights. Deliver for Good sets to connect the issues that affect girls and women’s lives through an integrated.

To find out more about the campaign, here.
To view campaign policy briefs, go here.
To view campaign infographics, go here.

Tools You Can Use

New! Advocates for Youth’s Updated Global HIV Fact Sheet
By Advocates for Youth

This fact sheet provides the latest information on HIV/AIDS among adolescents and young people globally, including regional data and information on drivers of the epidemic and examples of programs that are making a difference. Globally, 4 million young people ages 15-24 are living with HIV and between 2005 and 2012, adolescents ages 10-19 were the only age group for which AIDS-related deaths did not decline. To access the findings, go here.

What Works for Women and Girls: Evidence for HIV/AIDS Web Site
By What Works Association

This website has new important updates, including the latest evidence for HIV prevention and services for adolescents and young people, providing overviews of current issues and the most up-to-date evidence for What Works and Promising interventions, along with critical gaps, across two main areas: Mitigating Risk and Increasing Access to Services. The new evidence can inform policymakers and program implementers with successful and promising interventions that work specifically for adolescent girls and young women.

To access the website, go here.
To access a PDF verison of the update, go here.

The HIV PEP Guidance Database

The AIDSFree PEP Guidance Database provides national post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) guidelines from many priority countries around the world. Included in this database are criteria for starting PEP, evaluation of risk, recommended prophylaxis, and follow-up screening recommendations for populations such as healthcare workers and sexual violence survivors. To access the database, go here.

Marriage: Program Assessment of Conditional Cash Transfers (IMPACCT) Briefs
By the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

These briefs discuss findings from the Impact on Marriage: Program Assessment of Conditional Cash Transfers (IMPACCT) study, providing an evaluation of the impact of the Apni Beti Apna Dhan (Our Daughters Our Wealth) conditional cash transfer program on girls’ lives. The program was among the first of its kind and was designed to increase the value of girls. To access the briefs, go here.

Out in the Open: Education Sector Responses to Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity /Expression

A new global report shows that in some countries, up to 85% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students experience violence, including bullying at school. Further, students who are not LGBT, but are perceived not to conform to gender norms, are also targets. Recommended strategies to ensure the right to quality education for each and every student are included in the report. To access the report in English, go here and in French, go here.

Strategies to Advance Abortion Rights and Access in Restrictive Settings: A Cross-country Analysis.
By Pathfinder International

Globally, many organizations recognize the importance of understanding how best to advance abortion access as an essential element of sexual and reproductive health and rights. Where that right is violated, women’s health and security suffers. Despite this truth, legal restrictions, stigma, and lack of enforcement to uphold abortion rights have ensured that access to safe abortion remains varied, worldwide. This brief reports out on a cross-country stakeholder analysis to identify key characteristics of strategies adopted to advance abortion rights and access, focusing on four countries—Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, and Democratic Republic of the Congo. Findings from this analysis intend to offer lessons for advocates and implementers working in similar contexts to advance abortion rights and access.

Coming up

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…

  • More than 60 million girls are out of school.

  • Too many girls are out of school because they have to work, are married early, or have to care for other family members, which denies them their fundamental right to education. Girls face violence, preventing them from going to school in over 70 countries.

  • 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, may 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: https://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:

  • o Advocates’ fact sheet on adolescent girls, located here.

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

    o UNESCO’s website on girls and women’s’ and girls’ education, go here.

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

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

Read All About It!

Young African Women More Vulnerable to HIV. When Lebogang Brenda Motsumi was 16 years old she fell pregnant, terrified about what her life would look like, she went to a backdoor clinic for an abortion. The abortion failed, and she gave birth to a baby who later passed on. Motsumi knew that she needed to be more careful so she went to a health clinic to get contraception and learn about prevention. To read this article, go here.

India urged to increase budget for family planning. The Population Foundation of India (PFI) on Saturday urged the government to increase its budget for family planning if it wanted to meet its ‘FP2020’ pledge of covering 48 million new users. ‘FP2020’ is an outcome of the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning where more than 20 governments made commitments to address the barriers in access to contraceptives. To read this article, go here.

Nepalese girls take pictures to highlight taboos around periods.. Teenage Nepalese girls from Sindhuli, 130 kilometres southeast from Kathmandu, took photos to document the restrictions girls face during their period as a part of a project by international charity WaterAid to challenge menstrual taboos and call for improved sanitation for women everywhere. To view this article, go here.

Women empowerment: CII’s interpretation of domestic violence bill criticised (Pakistan). Women rights activists and chairpersons of two important bodies working for the rights of women under the umbrella of the provincial government expressed their concerns regarding the role of Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) and its continuous dissatisfaction with K-P domestic violence bill. To read this article, go here.

Death of teenage girl casts doubt on Egypt’s efforts to end FGM. The death of a teenage girl during an operation to illegally perform female genital mutilation (FGM) on her in Egypt raises questions about the north African nation’s efforts to end the practice, anti-FGM campaigners said on Tuesday. To read this article, go here.

East Africa: Easy-to-Swallow Anti-Aids Drug for East Africa’s Children. Children living with HIV/Aids in the region will soon benefit from a new antiretroviral formulation that medical workers say is easier to administer and has a “friendly” taste. Medics also hope the formulation, developed by pharmaceutical company Cipla, in collaboration with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) and was approved for use by WHO in 2015, will address the treatment gaps that currently exist as a result of challenges resulting from the way the current drugs are stored. To read this article, go here.

Sex education lifts off as Nepal launches mission to get message to young people.Which contraceptive protects you against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases?” In a flurry, the group of young people crowded into a room in the Marie Stopes centre in Kathmandu grab cards on which “condom” is written, and shout out their answers. There’ll be a prize for the quickest and the loudest. To read this article, go here.

The ‘Avon ladies’ of Pakistan selling contraception door to door. From 8am to 4pm, 25-year-old Samina Khaskheli travels door-to-door in rural Pakistan handing out free samples of condoms, birth control pills, and intrauterine devices. “I was told ‘This is sinful’,” Samina says about the initial opposition to her selling birth control. To read this article, go here.

New law on safeguarding and protection from domestic violence developed in Kyrgyzstan. New law on safeguarding and protection from domestic violence has been developed in Kyrgyzstan. The document was posted for public discussion on the website of the Parliament. “The global and national experience show that measures of criminal and administrative sanctions in situations of domestic violence are not effective because the perpetrator and the victim are close to each other people and the injured party, as a rule, does not want to use punitive measures. In this regard, we need a special law, which will be aimed at building a system of interaction of different structures for the work with domestic violence problem, including prevention,” background statement says. To read this article, go here.

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