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November 2012 iYAN 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.

Sharing Our Passion: Blogs from Advocates’ international youth bloggers and other Amplify posts!

The “Right” of the State To Forbid Whatever It Wants: by Danik, Kyrgystan This week I was impatiently waiting for the event, which could advocate for LGBT rights, bring finally the issues of gay muslims into the sphere of public discussions. However, unfortunately it turned completely other way round. Chris Belloni, director/producer of the film ‘I AM GAY AND MUSLIM’, a documentary on five gay Moroccan young men who speak about their exploration of the religious and sexual identities, was invited to the Bir Duino Human Rights Film festival in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. However, the movie screening of this documentary was cancelled, because of the decision of the court, which forbade screening, storing and dissemination of the movie in Kyrgyzstan since the movie was considered to be extremist by the expert committee. Read more: http://amplifyyourvoice.org/u/danik/2012/9/28/inhuman-right-of-the-state-to-forbid-whatever-it-wants-still-the-country-of-human-rights

HIV+ women face uphill battle, by PragunMhr, Nepal It was not the fault of Sarmila BK that she became infected with HIV, but because of her HIV positive status she had to leave her home. An inhabitant of Godawari, Kailali, Sarmila was ousted from her home when her husband died of AIDS after four years of marriage. She was infected with HIV by her husband. Once her husband’s family discovered that she was living with HIV, they accused her of committing a number of offences and made her leave the family home. Since then, Sarmila has been living in Dhangadi Read more: http://amplifyyourvoice.org/u/pragunmhr/2012/9/30/some-truth-stories-hiv-women-face-uphill-battle-in-nepal

What’s Going on at Advocates for Youth?

Advocates for Youth hosts its annual Urban Retreat! Advocates for Youth hosted its annual Youth Activist Institute, the Urban Retreat from September 27ththru Oct 1, 2012. At this year’s Urban Retreat, 130 young people from across the United States, as well as from Jamaica, Uganda, Nepal, and Nigeria attended to learn more about adolescent sexual health and rights and build skills to strengthen their programming and advocacy efforts. International youth leaders attending the Urban Retreat learned about issues such as global trends on youth sexual and reproductive health and rights; GLBTQ international health and rights issues; United States foreign policy that relates to the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people in the global south; and the intersections of climate change and sexual and reproductive health and rights. They also had the opportunity to speak and highlight their experiences and in-country work at the following events during the Urban Retreat:

  • Opening Session of the Urban Retreat: Rights.Respect.Responsibility: Changing the World through Activism
  • Conference style sessions: A Panel on Youth Led Advocacy in the Global South
  • Youth led workshops: Chaupadi-A Tale of Traditional Malpractices in Nepal
  • International evening activity: Perspectives and Dialogue on International GLBTQ Realities and Developments

In addition, the international youth leaders stayed in Washington, DC, an extra few days in order to meet with Congressional staff, Administration officials, and local students. They covered a lot of ground, meeting with key Congressional staff engaged in foreign affairs issues on Capitol Hill; Administration staff from the Department of State (including the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, and the Office of Global Youth Issues); as well as officials from the US Agency for International Development. The international youth leaders also spoke at two campus events held for students at the George Washington University, which focused on child marriage with particular attention to Nepal and Nigeria and LGBT youth rights issues in Uganda.

My Voice Counts!

Sign our petition about child marriage to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton! Child marriage is a human rights violation yet every three seconds, a girl under the age of 18 becomes a child bride somewhere in the world. Globally, around one in three young women aged 20-24 years were first married before they reached age 18 and one third of them entered into marriage before they turned 15. Child marriage denies a girl of her childhood, disrupts her education, limits her opportunities, increases her risk to be a victim of violence and abuse, and jeopardizes her health. Child marriage results in early and unwanted pregnancies, posing life-threatening risks for girls. Join us in asking Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to use her power to increase political and financial investments from the US government so we can reach vulnerable girls to end child marriage and support those who have already been married. Secretary Clinton is already a champion for young women’s health and reproductive rights, but we can ask her to do more! To sign the petition, go here: http://amplifyyourvoice.org/childmarriage

Young women leaders take note: check out the Global Change Leaders Program! Hosted by the Coady International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University based in Canada, the Global Change Leaders program invites applications for the 2013 program from women from the global south who have demonstrated leadership in a development sector for at least two years but would still be considered an emerging leader. Global Change Leaders is a professional education program that brings together a diverse group of emerging women leaders who are drivers and innovators across development sectors. Through this certificate program, a new generation of women will strengthen their leadership capacities to ignite unparalleled change at the community, national and international levels Women who have held leadership roles for a number of years should not apply for this certificate, but may be eligible for other Coady Education programs. Please see this link for our other programs: http://coady.stfx.ca/education/Applicants to the Global Change Leaders program should meet the following requirements:

  • Female
  • From the global south
  • A practitioner in civil society organizations including community based organizations and not for profits, or active in public or private institutions, donor/philanthropic agencies, social movements or in a social enterprise / business
  • At least two years of demonstrated leadership in a social or economic development endeavour in sectors such as livelihoods or inclusive economic development, food security, environment, access to education and health care, governance, and the rights of girls and women
  • A University degree or combination of post-secondary education and experience
  • Competence in English

Applications for the Global Change Leaders 2013 Program are open. Application deadline is December 3, 2012. The program will run for seven weeks from March 24 to May 10, 2013. Please read the Frequently Asked Questions before completing your application. If your question is not answered in our FAQs list, please e-mail your inquiry to coadyadmit@stfx.ca Do you take great pictures? Submit your work to the 8th Annual 2012 Photoshare Photo Contest! The Photoshare Photo Contest is a popular international event mobilizing amateur and professional photographers to share their photos for charitable and educational use.

The 2012 Photoshare Photo Contest is brought to you by the Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project, a USAID funded project at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (JHU∙CCP), in partnership with FHI360 and Management Sciences for Health (MSH). Sponsorship is provided by HIFA2015 (Healthcare Information For All by 2015), a global campaign administered by the Global Healthcare Information Network. To read about the contest, click here: http://www.photoshare.org/2012-photoshare-photo-contest

This year, the organizers are continuing their partnership with HIFA2015 (Healthcare Information For All by 2015) through the featured category, Healthcare Providers. This partnership spotlights the critical role of health professionals working to improve the availability and use of healthcare information in developing countries. In addition to cash prizes awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners, participants submitting entries to the featured Healthcare Providers category, are also eligible for an additional cash prize, the HIFA2015 Photography Award. Contest categories for photos include:

  • Health Care Providers (*Featured Category: HIFA2015 Photography Award)
  • Family Planning and Reproductive Health
  • Malaria
  • Environment
  • Agricultural and Economic Development
  • Democracy & Governance
  • Humanitarian Assistance
  • Global Health (open subject)
  • Human Interest (open subject)

The deadline for submitting photos is December, 17th 2012. Entries are accepted through Photoshare’s Upload Photos submission form, which you can access here: http://www.photoshare.org/user/register?rcup=anonymous

Read All About it!

On World’s First International Day of the Girl Child, UN Calls for End to Child Marriage The United Nations today marked the first International Day of the Girl Child by calling for an end to child marriage, and stressing education as one of the best strategies for protecting girls against this harmful practice. “Education for girls is one of the best strategies for protecting girls against child marriage,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day. “When they are able to stay in school and avoid being married early, girls can build a foundation for a better life for themselves and their families.” To read this article, go to: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=43259&Cr=girls&Cr1=#.UHhl1YbnfTo

Malala Yousafzai: Portrait of the girl blogger Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai first came to public attention in 2009 when she wrote a BBC diary about life under the Taliban. Now recovering from surgery after being shot by the militants, the campaigner for girls’ rights is in the spotlight again. Malala was 11 when she began writing a diary for BBC Urdu. Her blogs described life under Taliban rule from her home town of Mingora, in the northwest region of Pakistan she affectionately calls “My Swat”. To read this article, go to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19899540

The Philippines: Watered-down RH bill OK, say some backers A “watered-down” reproductive health (RH) bill would be acceptable to some of its supporters as long as it achieves its purpose of swaying opponents and ambivalent lawmakers into backing the controversial measure, according to a representative To read this article, go to: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/293742/pro-rh-bill-lawmakers-open-to-compromises-as-long-as-bills-essence-remains

Guam: Abortion bill passes 11-4: Legislation would require ‘informed consent’ The abortion-related bill passed by Guam lawmakers this week, which requires a 24-hour waiting period and “informed consent” before a woman can get an abortion, is similar to bills passed in other states that have faced legal challenges. Senators passed Bill 52, which was introduced at the request of Gov. Eddie Calvo, by a vote of 11-4 Wednesday, during a special session called by Calvo to address the measure. To read this article, go to: http://www.guampdn.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012210260303

Boys Now Enter Puberty Younger, Study Suggests, but It’s Unclear Why A large study released by the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that boys are entering puberty earlier now than several decades ago—or at least earlier than the time frame doctors have historically used as a benchmark. The study, widely considered the most reliable attempt to measure puberty in American boys, estimates that boys are showing signs of puberty six months to two years earlier than was reported in previous research, which historically taught that 11 ½ was the general age puberty began in boys. To read this article, go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/20/health/puberty-starting-earlier-in-boys-new-study-suggests.html?_r=2&ref=health&

Tools You Can Use

Youth and the Global HIV Pandemic: Reaching Key Affected Populations and Empowering a Generation, Advocates for Youth This fact sheet provides an updated summary of the global HIV situation among youth including geographic distribution, higher risk populations, drivers of the infection, and programs and policies. To access the fact sheet, go to: https://www.advocatesforyouth.org/about-us/contact

Girls at the Center: Lessons from Kenya on Investing in a World Free of AIDS, American Jewish World Service “Girls at the Center: Lessons from Kenya on Investing in a World Free of AIDS” is a paper that demonstrates the imperative to prioritize girls’ empowerment as a key pillar of the efforts to respond to global HIV and AIDS. It calls for targeted, girl-centered HIV investments and policy changes based on girls’ human rights and offers concrete lessons from six emblematic organizations in Kenya that are already achieving success. The full report is available here.

Population Council Programs Offer Evidence-based Approaches to Protecting Adolescent Girls at Risk of HIV, Population Council Population Briefs, the Population Council’s research newsletter, is published three times a year. Findings summarized in the newsletter are drawn from peer-reviewed, published research. The September 2012 issue discusses the importance of evidence-based programmatic efforts to reach girls at risk of HIV infection. To access this issue, please go here: http://www.popcouncil.org/pdfs/popbriefs/201209.pdf

Coming Up

World AIDS Day, December 1, 2012 Each year, December 1 marks World AIDS Day, when activists around the world come together to raise awareness of the global HIV epidemic, fight stigma and discrimination, and advocate for increased efforts to support comprehensive HIV education and prevention. Thirty years into the epidemic, while there have been important declines in HIV prevalence among young people in some of the most affected countries, 41 percent of all new HIV infections are still among youth age 15-24. To find out more about World AIDS Day, go to http://www.worldaidscampaign.org/world-aids-day/ To read UNAIDS’ Getting to Zero Strategy, go to: http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/featurestories/2010/december/20101230unaidsin2011/

Join Advocates’ World AIDS Day Blog-a-thon: How do you get to an AIDS Free Generation? From December 1-7, Advocates will host its annual World AIDS Day Blog-a-thon on Amplify. The ongoing theme of “Getting to Zero,” supported by UNAIDS’ multi-year HIV/AIDS strategy for Zero New Infections, Zero AIDS Related Deaths, and Zero Discrimination, is an opportunity for young people to speak out about how you get to an AIDS Free Generation. Young people need to be involved in building the roads that can take get us there – that means engaging in policy dialogue to inform laws and funding on HIV/AIDS; participating in program design, implementation and evaluation; and reaching out to other young people and adult allies to raise awareness about the needs of young people and what works to empower young people to prevent new infections. This World AIDS Day, make YOUR voice heard by blogging on Amplify! What are the best ways to prevent new infections among young people? What constitutes youth-friendly HIV services? What is needed to address the particular needs of young women and girls? Of young people living with HIV? Of young gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth? Of disabled youth? Of ALL young people? What policies are needed to provide an enabling environment in which all young people can access sexual and reproductive health information and services free of discrimination and stigma?

You can speak out by joining Advocates’ World AIDS Day Blog-a-thon! Learn More about global HIV/AIDS by clicking on Advocates for Youth’s fact sheets here: Young People Living with HIV Around the World English: https://www.advocatesforyouth.org/storage/advfy/documents/young2.pdf French: https://www.advocatesforyouth.org/storage/advfy/documents/young_people_living_with_hiv_french.pdf Youth and the Global HIV Pandemic English: https://www.advocatesforyouth.org/storage/advfy/documents/youthhivpandemic.pdf


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