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October 2011 iYAN Newsletter

October 2011

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

Featured blogs from International Year of Youth journalists

Promoting Condom Use in Christian Spaces by Jaevion (Jamaica)

It is important for Christians and other people of faith to learn about their sexual and reproductive health and rights. This is especially important, given the dominant role institutions of faith, such as the Church, play in many countries (even where the Church is said to be separated from the State). After all HIV does not exclude an individual based on their socio-economic status, location or religious belief.

On August 15-21, 2011, I was in Madrid, Spain with a group of other activists from several countries, including Ireland and Poland where the Catholic Church has a great deal of influence. Every four years, Catholic young people from every Diocese across the world meet for what is called “World Youth Day.” This time it was in Spain (one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited). We were there (as a coalition) to bring the message that “Good Catholics Use Condoms” and “Condoms Save Lives” as well as to thank the Pope for acknowledging that condoms are effective in preventing the spread of HIV.It was an interesting, fun and tiring week to say the least; but it was also very instructive for my own work in Jamaica. To read more, click here.

International Youth Day: are you happy? by Nana (Ghana)

Around the world, young people are responding to policies which affect their future. In Egypt there is a revolution; in London, a rampage we all haven’t yet forgotten about; and in the United States, the “Occupy Wall Street” movement has spread to cities around the country. All these events tells us one thing; we do not need a high level UN confab for the world to know that paying lip service to issues of youth development spells nothing but trouble for our already stressed planet.As the world continues to feel the impact of the economic crisis, youth respond by looking for solutions. Young people who believe in non-violence are more than those who do not. Inclusion and full participation of youth is key to a sustainable existence as this year’s theme spells “sustainability, our challenge, our future.”

Sexual health and reproductive rights often de-emphasized remains a major concern among young people. A healthy and just global sexual climate energizers young people to face up to other changes; we will not be able to tackle our economic challenges if we do not, as stated in the African youth charter, “secure the full involvement of youth in indentifying their reproductive and health needs and designing programs that respond to these needs with special attention to vulnerable and disadvantaged youth.” To read more, click here.

Youth Voices Count!

Watch a video from Indian youth activist Rishita by Leo (Philippines)

Rishita Rao Nandagiri, a young person and speaker during the Opening Session of the 10th ICAAP in an interview emphasized the need of young people to be involved in all levels of decision-making and policy-making process and for their sexual and reproductive health and rights to be recognized and for the government to provide them with access to sexual and reproductive health services. Rishita is working as a Program Officer of Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Health which is based in Manila, Philippines. To watch the video, click here.

What’s New at Advocates for Youth?

Over 130 activists convene for Advocates’ annual Urban Retreat!

From September 8 to 12, 2011, 130 U.S. and international youth activists joined Advocates for Youth staff in Washington, DC for the annual 2011 Urban Retreat.

The Urban Retreat is a three-day training and lobby day where young people from across Advocates’ programs come together to build skills and knowledge related to their respective programs, ending with lobby visits to legislators on Capitol Hill. Ranging in age from 14-24, from over 20different states, 4 countries, and a variety of backgrounds, these amazing young people:

  • shared their expertise with one another and Advocates for Youth staff;
  • learned about the latest research and policies related to young people’s reproductive health;
  • participated in trainings on topics that included HIV prevention, sexual and reproductive health and rights, social justice, working with the media, peer education counseling, movement building, advocacy, videography, public speaking, international agreements, blogging, and other forms of online activism; and
  • demonstrated incredible commitment to improving young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States and around the world.
  • educated members of Congress regarding the need for funding comprehensive sex education domestically and the need for funding international family planning programs and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) programs internationally.

In addition, activists from Jamaica, Nigeria, Namibia and Nepal along with U.S. activists, also met with U.S. administration staff after the Urban Retreat. During these meetings, they advocated for greater prioritization of comprehensive programming for young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights within various U.S. foreign assistance initiatives, including the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Global Health Initiative. These youth leaders met with staff from the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, the State Department, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Check out photos of the youth activists in action!

Youth activists Jhanelle and Jermaine from Jamaica and Stephen from Nigeria

Members of the International Youth Leadership Council, International Youth Speak Out project and iGLBT programs

Check out blogs from activists attending the Urban Retreat:

“Fabulous UR 2011” “Thank you for Inspiring Us” “Urban Retreat 2011: my ah-ha moment” Advocates partners with Catholics for Choice to support the Condoms4Life Campaign at the World Youth Day Conference in Madrid Advocates’ youth activists and staff attended the World Youth Day Conference that was held in Spain in August of 2011. This conference brings together young Catholics from around the world and is an opportunity to celebrate their faith. Advocates for Youth collaborated with Catholics for Choice and other youth-led organizations, including International Planned Parenthood and YouAct, to mobilize youth leaders and promote the Condoms4Life Campaign—a campaign developed by Catholics for Choice to normalize condom use within the Catholic community. Catholics for Choice’s long-running Condoms4Life program has been instrumental in challenging the Vatican’s ban on condom use for Catholics and non-Catholics around the globe. The hierarchy’s conservative lobby and the ban on condoms have had dire effects in countries least equipped to deal with HIV and AIDS both economically and medically.

This year, the campaign supported the Pope’s recent recognition that condoms are effective in HIV/AIDS prevention (a first from the Vatican) and demanded further action to support condom use. Although authorities in Madrid banned campaign ads and billboards, thousands of Condoms4Life stickers and posters were distributed. Check out the design here. Night-time projections were also displayed in downtown Madrid—check them out here. Prior to the Conference, Advocates participated in a communications training conducted by Catholics for Choice. Advocates staff also facilitated a youth caucus where approximately 25 youth activists supportive of the campaign, known as the World Youth Day 4 All Coalition, gathered to strategize on ways to promote the campaign during the conference by creating small working groups and identifying roles and responsibilities for carrying out these efforts. In addition, Advocates’ International Youth Leadership Council member, Richael, spoke at a press conference held by Catholics for Choice, where she shared her perspective on the importance of access to condoms as a young Catholic and student at a Catholic University.

Lastly, Advocates’ International Year of Youth Journalist, Jaevion, reported daily from the conference, offering his perspective on debates related to the Catholic Church and the use of condoms as a non-Catholic from Jamaica. His blogs were posted on Advocates’ youth activist website, amplifyyourvoice.org and can be viewed here: “Is there a place for sex in the Catholic church?” “Catholics put Lives at Risk in the Name of God” “Stop for a Moment to Think” “Condom4Life: Youth Views on Condoms for Catholics.”

During the conference, the World Youth Day 4 All Coalition and campaign activities were covered by multiple media channels. The campaign reached faith-based leaders attending the World Youth Day Conference and its messages were influential in creating awareness of the effectiveness of condoms and the need for the Catholic Church to play a positive and influential role in the global response to HIV/AIDS. For a full list of the international news coverage, go here. For an article covered by Religion News Stories, “Intrepid young activists push condoms at World Youth Day’,” click here.

To view photos, blogs and more information about the coalition’s activities, check out the site.

Advocates leverages new media to raise youth voices at the International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific For the first time, Advocates participated in the International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP), the largest HIV/AIDS meeting in the region. Approximately 2,000 people attended the meeting, which was held from August 26-30, 2011 in Busan, South Korea. Staff accompanied Leo, an International Year of Youth journalist, from the Philippines, who attended and reported from the conference. To read Leo’s blogs and view interviews that he conducted at the conference, click here: Welcome to the 10th ICAAP!

Youth Voices Count!

Human Rights Abuse at ICAAP 10 Interview with Rep. Teodoro Casino, MP from the Philippines To read more about ICAAP, visit www.icaap10.org Advocates continues to push online campaign, The Time is Now, for climate change and youth sexual and reproductive health and rights! Many of you may have already read about the Time Is Now Campaign, located here. If you have not had a chance to review the petition currently being hosted by the campaign, please take a moment to review it and to circulate it to your friends. Click here to see the petition.

The petition requests that Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, use her position and leadership to: 1) elevate the importance of youth sexual and reproductive health and rights in the fight against climate change and 2) ask member states at the upcoming Climate Change Conference to include and further prioritize sexual and reproductive health rights and family planning programs for women and youth in their National Adaption Plans of Action (NAPAs). The time is counting down to the Climate Change Conference starting at the end of November in Durban so we need as many signatures a possible! Our goal is to get 1,000 signatures in time for the Durban conference and we currently have about 250. So, if you have not signed the petition already and support the request, please do so by clicking here! To learn more about the 2011 Climate Change Conference, to be held in Durban, South Africa, click here.

Are you going to Durban? If so, let us know! Email mimi@advocatesforyouth.org. We will be there too! Find out what’s new from Advocates’ International Program Partner, YUWA in Nepal YUWA undertakes activities to promote comprehensive sex education in Nepal YUWA (meaning “youth” in Nepali), in collaboration with Advocates for Youth’s International Youth Speak Out Project, supports a national youth leadership council that advocates for young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.

The Youth Activist Leadership Council (YALC) consists of ten young people between the ages of 18 and 21 who work to inform national and U.S. foreign policy affecting young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. One of the YALC’s policy objectives is to mandate that the Environment Population and Health (EPH) curriculum be updated to be age appropriate and comprehensive and implemented in all schools across Nepal. To realize this objective, YUWA has been forging partnerships with diverse groups to build support for comprehensive sex education. For example, the YALC recently hosted a panel discussion for teachers responsible for implementing the EPH curriculum from various schools in Kathmandu.

The purpose of the panel was to initiate a dialogue on the importance of comprehensive sex education and steps forward to ensure that young people are provided a more effective EPH curriculum in the schools. This event also provided a unique opportunity for teachers to share teaching methodologies for EPH and how best to communicate effectively about sexuality issues with students. YUWA is also working to build community-level support for sex education and will be carrying out a red ribbon awareness activity to build awareness about the need for and importance of getting sex education in the schools. Check out Amplify’s campaign page on the council’s work in Nepal. For more information about YUWA’s work to promote sex education in Nepal, please email ajay.gyca@gmail.com.

For more information about the International Youth Speak Out Project, please email mimi@advocatesforyouth.org. Tools You Can Use Engaging Communities in Youth Reproductive Health and HIV Projects: A Guide to Participatory Assessments By Family Health International/YouthNet This manual discusses how to conduct participatory assessments with youth and community members for improved youth reproductive health and HIV prevention, drawing on YouthNet’s experience in Namibia, Tanzania, and Ethiopia with youth-led projects using these tools. International Data Center By Guttmacher Institute This Web site allows researchers, advocates, policymakers, journalists and others working on reproductive health issues at the international level to build, download, and print custom tables and maps using the most current information available from a wide range of countries and regions. The International Data Center includes country and regional level data, which the user can compare and customize to meet his or her needs. The available data include:

  • Safe and unsafe abortion rates
  • Intended and unintended pregnancy rates
  • Maternal health care provision
  • Contraceptive use and unmet need for family planning
  • Reproductive health indicators for adolescents

Indicators for Education Sector HIV Response Programmes: A Review of Existing Resources By UNAIDS Interagency Task Team on Education Indicators Working Group This document describes a review of HIV and AIDS indicators conducted by the UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team on Education. The review provides user-friendly guidance to measure the coverage, outcomes, and impact of education programs on HIV and AIDS in low-income countries. Read All About It Women’s Empowerment Improve Access to Family Planning in Brazil “In the largest nation in Latin America—a 191-million-person country where the Roman Catholic Church dominates, abortion is illegal (except in rare cases), and no official government policy has ever promoted birth control—family size has dropped so sharply and so insistently over the past five decades that the fertility rate graph looks like a playground slide. And it’s not simply wealthy and professional women who have stopped bearing multiple children in Brazil. There’s a common perception that the countryside and favelas, as Brazilians call urban slums, are still crowded with women having one baby after another—but it isn’t true. At the demographic center Carvalho helped found, located four hours away in the city of Belo Horizonte, researchers have tracked the decline across every class and region of Brazil.” To read the original article, click here:

Brazil’s Girl Power (National Geographic) Promoting Men’s Support for Reproductive Health/Family Planning in Nigeria The Society for Family Health, or SFH, an affiliate of the international non-profit. PSI, has been trying to promote long-term birth control in Nigeria for six years, such as intrauterine devices or contraceptive implants. It found that women who expressed interest in birth control would go home to tell their husbands about contraception, but they never came back. “That got us thinking, this is tied to the husband,” said Dr. Anthony Nwala, senior manager for health and family planning with SFH. So they launched a mass media campaign. Rather than just have women featured on family planning posters around the community, they included men portrayed as caring and supportive. To learn more, read the original article here:

In Nigeria, Selling Men On Birth Control Is An Uphill Battle (National Public Radio-NPR) Presbyterian Church of Ghana Aims to Convert Gay People to Straight The Presbyterian Church of Ghana, concerned about “the spread” of homosexuality in the nation, is stepping up its promotion of the widely discredited practice of so-called reparative therapy, aimed at converting gay people to straight— a practice that is widely discredited by mental health professionals but still has adherents among the religious right in the U.S. and elsewhere. In making the announcement while addressing ministerial candidates at a recent event, the Ghanian church’s leader, the Right Reverend Professor Emmanuel Martey, expressed concern about the prevalence of homosexuality in the nation and also “called on the government to come out with a clear position on homosexuality in the country, to enable the church to offer the necessary support in helping to reduce the spread of the practice in the society.” To read the original article, click here:

Ghana Church to Establish “Rehabilitation” Centers for Gays (Advocate) Women in India Find Their Own Voice Through Blogging Rashmi Swaroop, who just completed her M.B.A. exams in the small tourist town of Ajmer, Rajasthan, is celebrating on her blog. Over at the popular Bengali-language site Desh-Bidesh, Nasim, a resident of Kolkata in her 60s, shares memories of the city in the years after India achieved independence in 1947. Kalki Subramaniam, an actress and transgender rights advocate, has kicked off a debate on marriage for transgendered people.

As the Internet opens up to different Indian languages, the profile of India’s female bloggers is turning out to be far more complex than many commentators might have suspected. The rise of female bloggers has been sharp in the past two or three years, especially in small-town and rural India. They discuss the joys and trials of more intimate but often more conservative communities, and the challenges of life within the extended family. Politics comes up, but with a focus on local issues usually missing from English-language discussions. To read the original article, click here:

Indian Women Bloggers Find Their Voice, in Their Own Language (New York Times) My Voice Counts Apply for a Grant to Develop Thematic Pages for Open Society Foundations’ Youth Initiative The Open Society Foundations’ Youth Initiative requests proposals for up to $10,000 to develop and curate thematic pages at youthpolicy.org, the new global youth policy portal and community. Organizations seeking funding must be registered nongovernmental organizations – grants will not be made to individuals or for-profit entities. Proposals should not exceed $10,000 or one year in length. All proposals must be submitted in English. There is no deadline, as proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Download the complete guidelines and application form here. Youthpolicy.org aims to consolidate knowledge and information on youth policies across the international sector, ranging from analysis and formulation to implementation and evaluation. Potential themes for website pages include, but are not limited to:

  • Participation and Citizenship
  • Activism and Volunteering
  • Children and Youth Rights
  • Global Drug Policy
  • Community Work
  • Research and Knowledge
  • Informal Learning
  • Environment and Sustainability
  • Multiculturalism and Minorities
  • Justice

You can find additional information about these and other potential youthpolicy themes here. Nominate a young LGBTI leader for the David Kato Vision & Voice Award! On 26 January 2011, the world was deeply shocked and saddened by the news of David Kato’s murder. As the Litigation & Advocacy Officer with Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), David campaigned tirelessly for human rights and particularly for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people across Africa. His campaigning work led him to work with a number of organizations around the world. In recognition of his life and courage, and the continued struggle of LGBTI individuals around the world, partners committed to eliminating violence, stigma and discrimination have established the David Kato Vision & Voice Award. This award is to be presented annually to an individual who demonstrates courage and outstanding leadership in advocating for the sexual rights of LGBTI individuals, particularly in environments where they face continued rejection, marginalization, isolation and persecution. Nominations are accepted for any individual whose leadership and life work has directly contributed to addressing the sexual rights of LGBTI people in their community. The award recipient will be announced on Human Rights Day (December 10, 2011). Nominations for the award are now open and can be submitted until November 1, 2011. For further information and to submit a nomination, please visit the award website: www.visionandvoiceaward.com If you have any questions/comments, contact Daniel at dmccartney@ippf.org. The International Museum of Women calls for Submissions on Motherhood The International Museum of Women (IMOW) – an online social change museum that uses art and multimedia technology to connect women across the globe, spark dialogue, and inspire action- is accepting submissions for a global community project “Your Voices: on Motherhood”. IMOW wants to showcase artists, filmmakers, photographers, musicians and writers’ work addressing a topic related to motherhood. Submissions are accepted online through October 31, 2011 with a prize of US$1000 to the Community Choice Award Winner! IMOW wants to showcase the experiences, ideas, joys and challenges of a new global generation on this important issue. What are your fears and hopes as you think about whether to become a mother? How is being a ‘good’ mother defined in your country or culture? How is mothering now different to your mother or grandmother’s generation? Potential topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Motherhood and Identity
  • Pregnancy and Childbirth – including maternal health
  • Work/life Choices
  • Motherhood Myths and Realities
  • Teenage Motherhood
  • Fathers
  • Grandmothers

To get more information about how to apply, click here.

Conferences coming up: Will you be there? 2011 International Conference on Family Planning, November 29-December 2, 2011 in Dakar, Senegal The Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Ministry of Health and Prevention in Senegal will co-host the second International Conference on Family Planning: Research and Best Practices from November 29-December 2, 2011 in Dakar, Senegal. The 2011 Conference is the second of its kind with the first held in 2009 in Kampala, Uganda. As in 2009, the 2011 Conference will bring together participants to share research, best practices, and progress on national strategies to deliver family planning services, with the ultimate goal of universal access to family planning. Registration is open and the Conference welcomes participation from researchers, program managers, clinicians, parliamentarians, policy makers, jurists, and journalists. The Conference is co-sponsored by over 30 international organizations including USAID, UNFPA, WHO, World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Conference program will include an opening plenary, multiple concurrent oral sessions, special panel presentations, poster sessions, luncheon roundtables, and an exhibit area. Journalists will be able to work through a Conference media support center. Organizations can arrange side meetings and skill-building workshops pre- and post-Conference. The Conference’s official languages are English and French. For more information, click here. 16th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA), December 4-8, 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia The 16th ICASA, sponsored by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), UNAIDS, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO), will host the five-day regional conference in Addis Ababa with the theme: “Own, Scale-up and Sustain.” The meeting will aim to:

• Serve as an advocacy platform to mobilize African leaders, partners, and communities to increase ownership, commitment and support to the response to HIV/AIDS.

• Provide a forum for exchange of knowledge, skills and consolidation of experiences and best practices in Africa and around the globe to scale up evidence-based response on HIV/AIDS/STIs, TB and Malaria to achieve the MDGs. • Link and hold political and national leaders, the scientific community, practitioners, communities, civil societies, the private sector and partners accountable to scaling-up and sustaining the HIV/AIDS response.

• Create opportunities to define priorities and set policy and program agenda to enhance mobilization and effective utilization of resources.

For more information, click here. Join the Amplify family! Advocates’ blogosphere for sexual and reproductive health and rights Amplify, a project of Advocates for Youth, is the youth activist website and community blog that is focused on changing society’s negative approach to sexual health and reproductive rights. Amplify is an online community working together for a larger cause—the move that you, as young people, have to lead. When it comes to sexual health, reproductive justice, and making sure that the rights of young people—all young people, everywhere—are respected by those in power…Well, there’s an awful lot of work to do! You can write your own blogs/vlogs and comment on others! Click here:www.amplifyyourvoice.org

Learn more about our campaigns in Ethiopia, Jamaica, Nigeria and soon a page on Nepal. Be a fan of Amplify on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/amplifyyourvoice

Find Amplify on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/AmplifyTweets

If you have any difficulties joining Amplify, just email mimi@advocatesforyouth.org. You mean that I can submit an essay and get a free Advocates for Youth notebook? YOUR voice is an essential part of what makes this newsletter a SUCCESS. Please submit your stories to share with other youth activists from around the world! If you are one of the FIRST 10 iYAN members to submit an essay that follows the guidelines below, you will WIN a blue Advocates for Youth notebook and pen (to write more essays, of course!). Here are the guidelines for writing an essay:

  • Keep your essay to no more than 500 words.
  • Use language that is simple and easy for non-native English speakers to read.
  • Write about sexual and reproductive issues that you care about and/or what you are doing to make a difference. Share your experiences working on sexual and reproductive health issues and policies—tell your story. What’s going on with access to contraception and family planning services for youth, abortion, gender disparities, maternal mortality, traditional harmful practices, HIV/AIDS, stigma and homophobia, etc.? What are the challenges facing young people in your country? What are the challenges for you as an activist? Why did you get involved in this movement to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights for young people? What is working to improve programs and policies and young people’s sexual and reproductive health? Also, please note that:
  • If you have a photo, would like us to include it with your essay, and can send it via email, please do! It’s okay if you do not have a photo, but we would like to bring a face to your words when we have the chance.
  • Advocates for Youth edits all published materials, so we will send you the revised draft for your approval before it is featured in the newsletter. We want to make sure that you are happy with the final product as well!
  • When you submit an essay, it may not appear right away in the next issue but we will be sure to include it in the next possible newsletter.
  • Even if you submitted an essay, you can still send others for upcoming issues of the newsletter.
  • You will receive an email by the next iYAN edition as to whether or not you are one of the first 10 people to submit an essay.

If you have questions on how to submit your essay, please contact Mimi at mimi@advocatesforyouth.org. Do it soon!! You could be one of the first 10!

Coming Up

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, November 25 In 1999, the UN General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Violence against women and girls is a problem of pandemic proportions. At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime — with the abuser usually someone known to her. Up to 70 percent of women experience sexual or physical violence from men in their lifetime. Perhaps the most pervasive human rights violation that we know today, it devastates lives, fractures communities, and stalls development. To find out more about International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, click here or here.

To view Advocates for Youth’s fact sheet on gender inequality and violence against women and girls around the world, click here

To get ideas on how to take action, check out these two campaigns for mobilizing to end violence against women! Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women is a social mobilization platform on ending violence against women and girls, contributing towards UN Secretary General’s system -wide campaign, UNiTE to End Violence against Women. Launched in November 2009 by UN Women, Say NO – UNiTE showcases advocacy efforts and engages people from all walks of life, online and on the ground.

UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman is the Spokesperson of Say NO – UNiTE. Based on country data available, between 15 to 76 per cent of women experience physical or sexual violence from men in their lifetime. It happens everywhere – at home and at work, on the streets and in schools, during peacetime and in conflict. Violence against women and girls has far- reaching consequences, harming families and communities, stunting human development, and undermining economic growth. Everyone has a role to play in combating this global pandemic; the time to act together is NOW. Say NO – UNiTE aims to trigger and highlight actions by individuals, governments and civil society partners. Actions can range from reaching out to students at schools, to volunteering at local shelters, advocating for legislation or donating funds towards programmes that protect women and girls from violence, and more. Every action is counted to symbolize the groundswell of engagement that exists on the issue. To find out more, click here.

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign originating from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991. Over 3,700 organizations in approximately 164 countries have participated in the 16 Days Campaign since 1991! Participants chose the dates November 25- International Day Against Violence Against Women- and December 10- International Human Rights Day- in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights. This 16-day period also highlights other significant dates including November 29, International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, December 1, World AIDS Day, and December 6, which marks the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.

This year’s campaign theme is: From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women. The 16 Days Campaign has been used as an organizing strategy by individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women by:

  • raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, ational, regional and international levels
  • strengthening local work around violence against women
  • establishing a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women
  • providing a forum in which organizers can develop and share new and effective strategies
  • demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world organizing against violence against women
  • creating tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women To get involved in the campaign, click here.

And please don’t forget to spread the word about the iYAN. Advocates for Youth has a form to sign-up for the iYAN on our website. Send this link to your friends so they can sign-up too! www.advocatesforyouth.org\iYAN


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