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Twenty Years After ICPD, Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Still a Challenge

Originally posted by Pathfinder International

As the founder of Big Steps Outreach Network, an organization in Cameroon providing young people with skills, tools, and opportunities, 26-year-old Victor Abongwa pays close attention to the sexual health needs of his peers.

“Sexual and reproductive health sets young people in the right direction,” he said as a panelist at the Dec. 15 launch event for the Journal of Adolescent Health’s special supplement. “It gives them the right frame of mind so they can be in good health to do the things they want to do.” Read more...

Call for Proposals on SRHR Research

Originally posted by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO-WOTRO)

This week, NWO-WOTRO launched the first call for proposals for the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) research programme. This research programme aims to generate insights in and a better understanding of processes that determine and strengthen the sexual and reproductive health of people, as well as their ability to claim their sexual and reproductive rights. The call has been developed in close collaboration with the Knowledge Platform Share-Net International and solicits proposals for research to be carried out in Bangladesh or Burundi. The deadline to submit a Letter of Intent is 5 January 2015. Read more...

Pick Up the Pace and Mind the Gap

By: Katja Iversen and Whitney Sogol, Women Deliver; Originally posted by The Huffington Post

With the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) new release of the 9th edition of the Global Gender Gap Index, the world has more hard data than ever before to support the claim that investing in girls and women is a win for everyone. The Global Gender Gap Index analyzes whether women have the same opportunities as men in the arenas of health, education, economic participation and political empowerment, and discusses the implications of disparities for global development. Evidence from this year’s report is both reassuring and disconcerting. Read more...

New Resource on Maternal Health, HIV and Family Planning Now Available

Women Deliver is excited to announce a new dual-sided fact sheet on maternal health, HIV and family planning developed with partners with Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Family Care International, Maternal Health Task Force and The White Ribbon Alliance. This fact sheet includes evidence demonstrating the significance of promoting rights-based maternity care in order to improve girls’ and women’s sexual and reproductive health. Read more...

Youth Coalition Launches “The Post-2015 Development Agenda and Young People”

Originally posted by the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights

The Post-2015 Development Agenda process has become an important platform to advocate for human rights. While a vast body of literature is available on the linkages between sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the YCSRR recognizes a lack of resources that capture the linkages between youth sexual and reproductive rights and Post-2015 specifically. Read more...

UN Delegation of Religious Leaders Call for Action on SRHR

On September 19, religious leaders from around the world gathered at the United Nations to issue a powerful call for action on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This statement was issued in advance of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly, which featured a Special Session on the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Beyond 2014. Read more...

Invest in New Media for Better Health of Young People

By Rehema Namukose, Women Deliver

How can we connect for good, connect for all, and build a better world by 2030? To answer this question, global leaders and advocates from around the world convened at the 2014 Social Good Summit this week and to discuss key social issues shaping the future of our world today, like climate change, peace, gender inequality, and health crises like Ebola. Held in conjunction with the 69th Session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the summit was an opportunity for young people to not only take part in the conversation, but to lead them.

With conversations conducted in 42 languages from 150 countries, the summit – held on Sunday and Monday – amplified the voice of young people and the future of new media technologies. Many shared stories about how new media technologies like mobile phones are changing the lives of many in the developing world. Through the use of technologies like short message service (SMS), mobile phones, text messaging and social media, young people are accessing information like sexual and reproductive health education and services in ways never that were never before possible. Read more...

New Fund For Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights to Support Women, Girls and Marginalized

On Monday, the Danish government, the Dutch government, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation launched a new fund that will help grassroots organizations working to change policies that improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women, girls and other marginalized individuals. AmplifyChange – initially a two-year, $19.4million fund – aims to secure universal recognition of SRHR as a human right, enabling women, men and young people to realize their full potential. Read more...

Advancing Access to Youth-Friendly SRH Services and Information

These seed grants were funded by Johnson & Johnson and WomanCare Global via the Women Deliver C Exchange Youth Initiative.

By: Martin Wanzala, Allied Youth Initiative (Uganda)

I personally believe that a country’s youth population is one of its greatest assets. However, to harness our young people’s vibrant ideas and potential, we must give them opportunities to leave a lasting impact on our communities and nations.

Young people under the age of 30 account for more than half of the world’s 7 billion people. In Uganda – the second youngest population in the world – more than 78 percent of the population is under the age of 30. The time is now for Uganda to increase investments in its young people.

One of the best ways to ensure that young people can lead healthy and productive lives is improve access to sexual and reproductive health information and services. Although the government of Uganda and its development partners support sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) programs and policies, there are still not enough services to support widespread need. Read more...

UNSG Report Highlights SRHR Worldwide

Last week, the United Nations Secretary-General's report on key issues emerging from the 2014 Commission on Population and Development (CPD) was made available online. The report, Recurrent themes and key elements identified during the sessions of the Commission on Population and Development, draws from statements delivered during CPD and provides a comprehensive overview on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) worldwide. The report also highlights remaining challenges in promoting SRHR to help guide future action. Read more...

Girls and Women Need Access to Education and #SRHR to Become Fully Empowered

New impact evaluation (IE) briefs released by the World Bank Group (WBG) highlight the best global strategies to empower girls and women in the world today. Published on August 11th in anticipation of International Youth Day on August 12th, the briefs shed light on interventions tackling current social issues young people, especially girls and young women, face, and showcase what works best to empower them.

The IEs support WBG’s twin corporate goals that aim to educate, empower and employ today’s generation of young people, the largest ever in decades. The briefs, also accessible through enGENDER IMPACT,   echo multiple approaches and strategies in addressing three critical social issues: ensuring access to education, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and ending child marriages.

According to the WBG, the IEs take a deeper independent analysis of each of these social issues, giving recommendations on what works best in all the intervention areas. Below are excerpts from the IEs: Read more...

Why Do Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Matter for Young People in the Post-2015 Agenda?

These seed grants were funded by Johnson & Johnson and WomanCare Global via the Women Deliver C Exchange Youth Initiative.

By: Chukwudera Bridget Okeke, Concern Women International Development Initiative (Nigeria)

Today, adolescents constitute about half of the world’s population – more than ever before. Worldwide, the number of adolescents is estimated at 1.1 billion, with 85% of them living in developing countries. Half of these young people will have sexual intercourse by the time they reach the age of 16 and most of them by the time they are 20.

There is a high incidence of unwanted pregnancies in many developing countries. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that out of the 200 million pregnancies that occur each year, about 80 million are unwanted. It has been estimated that about 10% of all pregnancies each year occur among teenagers. Most of these pregnancies are either unwanted or unintended. Often times, adolescents are forced to resort to clandestine, and usually unsafe, abortion methods to terminate these pregnancies. Read more...

SRHR Beyond 2015: A Good Step Forward, But Still Some Way To Go

By: Katja Iversen, CEO of Women Deliver

Last week proved to be an intense week of negotiations in the last of 13 meetings of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. Civil society organizations and countries who support sexual and reproductive health and rights, adolescent and youth issues, and gender equality fought long and hard to get targets included into the final report for the Secretary-General.

The good news is that we succeeded – somewhat – in getting these important issues included in the report that will serve as part of the foundation for the new global development framework for the next 15 years. Read more...

IPPF Launches a Global #SRHR Campaign

Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) launched a sexual and reproductive health and rights campaign to end stigma and promote people’s  rights to make key choices regarding their bodies and relationships.  Titled I decide, the campaign aims to get one million signatures to present to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in the summer of 2015 to push for action from global leaders.

The campaign will hold events with over 50 IPPF Member Associations worldwide in partnership with politicians, media, civil society and youth groups to highlight the situation of people who are not able to exercise their sexual and reproductive health and rights due to stigma, discrimination, or abuse. Events include a radio talk show in Liberia and an event featuring theatre sketches and documentary films in Palestine. Read more...

DSW Executive Director Calls for “SRHR for All” at the CPD

By: Renate Baehr, Executive Director, DSW; Member, High-level Task Force for ICPD; Originally posted by DSW

The 47th Session of the Commission on Population and Development is currently underway in New York (April 7th to 11th). The aim of the session is the assessment of the status of the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action that resulted from the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo. Read more...

Groundbreaking Report on ICPD by UN Secretary-General

In addition to the release of the ICPD Beyond 2014 Global Report, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also authored a timely and progressive report assessing progress made under the ICPD Programme of Action. In the report, Framework of Actions for the follow up to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Beyond 2014, the Secretary-General notes that the ICPD review:

…overwhelmingly supports the ICPD consensus that respect, protection, promotion and fulfilment of human rights are necessary preconditions to improving the development, dignity and well-being of all people; and that sexual and reproductive health and rights, and an understanding of the implications of population dynamics are critical foundations for sustainable development. Read more...

An Open Letter to Africa’s Leaders

By: Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique; Originally posted on The Africa Report

H. E. Joaquim Chissano is the former President of Mozambique and current co-chair of the High-Level Task Force for the ICPD (International Conference on Population and Development)

This is a transformative moment for Africa – and indeed, for the world. Decision-makers from across the continent, under the able leadership of Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, are finalising a crucial document outlining a common position for Africa on the development agenda that will replace the Millennium Development Goals after 2015. Since the 1990s, Africa has gained considerable strength in international negotiations by sticking together and forging consensus on important issues. It is a strategy that has empowered us in many ways. And it means that our voices will be heard when the framework that will guide governments, donors and development partners for years to come is negotiated. So we need to be careful what we ask for. Read more...

Press Release: Imagining a better future for all

EuroNGOs Conference sets the focus for SRHR in the Post-2015 Agenda

October 25th 2013, Berlin: Yesterday, representatives from 75 of the world’s leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) organisations convened with UN agencies and international decision-makers at the DSW hosted EuroNGOs conference in Berlin with their gaze firmly fixed on advancing SRHR in the post-2015 development agenda. Almost a month after the 68th UN General Assembly’ MDG Special Event, where member states came together to agree on a roadmap for a post-2015 agenda, the conference titled, “Next Steps: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights on the Post-2015 Agenda”, called for a forward-looking development framework that promotes SRHR, gender equality, and the empowerment of women, adolescents, and youth. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Empower Young People, Improve Our World

By: Janna Oberdorf, Women Deliver; Originally posted on Huffington Post

Today, on International Youth Day 2013, there are more than 3 billion people under the age of 30—that's half of the world's population. While this number may seem overwhelming, we know that young people play an indispensable role in efforts to achieve international development goals. Each of these young women and men represents a solution—so today, we're celebrating 3 billion solutions that are just waiting to be harnessed. Read more...

Partnering with Youth for International Youth Day 2012

August 12th marks the 4th anniversary of International Youth Day, an event organized and adopted by the United Nations. Recognizing the growing role and importance of young people as stakeholders in global development, this year’s theme, “Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth,” is a call to action for organizations and individuals to develop partnerships and involve youth, especially in the areas of education, including sexual and reproductive health; political inclusion; employment; and protection of rights. Read more...

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