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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?

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...

After the Summit: Down to Earth

By: Tewodros Melesse, International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF); Originally posted on RH Reality Check

On the day of the London Summit on Family Planning, I left the hall a little late. The seats were already stacked away, the stage was bare, the screens had gone, most of the delegates had departed, and the cleaners were sweeping up discarded order papers and agendas. It might have never happened. Read more...

United Nations Adopts Landmark Resolution on Adolescents and Youth

Late Friday, 27 April 2012, at the 45th Session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development (CPD), member states issued a bold resolution in support of young people’s sexual and reproductive health and human rights.

This victory comes on the heels of a UNICEF report released this week highlighting the challenges that the largest-ever generation of young people face—including HIV/AIDS, violence, and unintended pregnancy—and reaffirms long-standing international agreements including the 1994 United Nations International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Skillz Street Changes the Game for Girls in South Africa

By: Elise Braunschweig; Grassroot Soccer is a winner of the Women Deliver 50

SkillzStreet_Soccer.jpgSouth Africa is enduring one of the world‘s most severe HIV epidemics with an adult prevalence rate of 16.9%. Research shows that three inter-related risk factors—harmful gender norms and gender-based violence, multiple partners, and age-disparate sex—are driving the epidemic and that HIV is disproportionately concentrated among women and girls. Read more...

TedxChange asks “How Have Contraceptives Changed Your Life?”

By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

Today, TedxChange and Melinda Gates launched the No Controversy website, in the hopes that people around the world will share their stories, read about the experiences of others, and become educated on the importance of contraception and family planning. The launch, which is available on Livestream, comes three months ahead of the July 11 Family Planning Summit that will take place in London. The Summit, supported by the Department for International Development (DFID), The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other partners, seeks to generate political commitment and greater resources to meet the family planning needs of women in some of the least wealthy countries by 2020. Read more...

Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly Debates First Resolution on Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health

The 126th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly took place in Kampala, Uganda from March 31 to April 5. This meeting was the first time the IPU has debated a resolution on maternal, newborn and child health. The resolution was drafted in September by the governments of Canada, India, and Uganda, and is known as ‘Access to Health as a Basic Right: The Role of Parliaments in Addressing Key Challenges to Securing the Health of Women and Children.’ The IPU Assembly, which meets every year as a focal point for worldwide parliamentary dialogue, drew over 600 members of parliament from more than 120 countries to Kampala, Uganda. Read more...

Journalist Threatened for Reporting on Female Genital Mutilation

By: Joanna Hoffman, Woman Deliver

Pulitzer-Center grantee Mae Azango has gone into hiding after receiving death threats in response to an article she published last Thursday in FrontPage Africa.  Azango bravely reported on female genital mutilation (FGM) in rural Liberia, and the devastating, and sometimes deadly, aftereffects it can produce. 

Ten out of Liberia’s 16 tribes practice FGM, accounting for up to 85% of the country’s population.  Often, cutting takes place in an unsanitary environment with unsterilized tools, which can lead to infection, tetanus, and HIV transmission.  If fresh tissue is cut and not stitched up, excessive bleeding can lead to shock and death.  Read more...

Updates from Women Deliver: Next Steps in Advocating for Girls and Women Worldwide

JanuaryUpdate.jpg2012 is already shaping up to be a year of progress and forward-thinking, particularly as we begin to construct a new development framework. Convening global and regional experts, engaging young people and revolutionizing funding for projects focusing on girls and women will be critical steps forward. With this in mind, the Women Deliver team has been hard at work planning for the 2012 Regional Consultations and the next global conference in 2013 in Kuala Lumpur; developing a funding platform; planning for the Commission on Population and Development; and continuing to advocate for the health and well-being of girls and women worldwide. We’re excited 2012 is already shaping up to be a year of progress and forward-thinking, particularly as we begin to construct a new development framework. Read more...

 

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