- - -

Benin

Articles by Benin

Association Béninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille

The Association Béninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille (ABPF) has been operating for 38 years. ABPF offers family planning, ante-natal and post-abortion care, infertility treatment, screening of cancers of the reproductive system, and management of sexually transmitted infections (including HIV and AIDS). Its service points include permanent and mobile clinics.

ABPF is focused on reaching marginalized groups such as prisoners, sex workers, refugees and internally displaced persons. The majority of clients are estimated to be poor, marginalized, socially excluded and/or under-served.

To reduce the national maternal mortality rate, ABPF operates an effective community-based obstetric and antenatal care service in 16 villages, using traditional birth attendants and volunteer health workers. ABPF also runs a locally-based service for young people which involves hundreds of community-based distributors (CBDs) and peer educators providing young people with sexual and reproductive health information, condoms and counselling services.

In acknowledgment of ABPF’s expertise and accomplishments, the Government of Benin invited the organization to become a member of the technical committee (in the Ministry of Planning) that drafts reproductive health policies: the Population Policy, the Family Health Policy, HIV and AIDS policies and the National Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy.

Whilst ABPF has recorded major advances in sexual and reproductive health, there are still very significant challenges as the figures for lifetime risk of maternal death, child mortality rate and unmet need for contraception of illustrate.

Driving the work of ABPF is a large and dedicated team of hundreds of volunteers. There’s a Youth Action Movement which draws on the skills of young people. ABPF works in partnership with a range of government organisations, including parliament, the Ministère de la Famille, the Ministère de la Jeunesse, and the Ministère du Plan. Funders include USAID. Non-goverrnmental organizations working with ABPF include the Country Co-ordinating Mechanism for health and sexual and reproductive health.   

Contacts

Website: http://www.abpf.org/nouv/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ABPF.IPPF/

Benin news
25 October 2021

Historic Moment for Benin as New Law Legalizing Abortion Adopted

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) welcomes the news of abortion law reform in Benin.  On 20 October 2021, the Benin National Assembly voted to significantly widen the conditions under which women and gender non-confirming people can legally access abortion care. The new law will now allow women and gender non-conforming people to end their pregnancy within the first three months if it is likely to "aggravate or cause material, educational, professional or moral distress, incompatible with the woman or the unborn child's interest.” Under Benin’s previous abortion law, it was only permissible to seek abortion care if the pregnancy ‘threatened the life of the mother’, was ‘the result of a rape or incest’ or when ‘the unborn child has a particularly severe affection’. In a country where an estimated that 200 women die annually from unsafe abortion, the new law will undoubtedly save lives.  IPPF is proud that its Member Association in the country, Association Beninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille (ABPF), was directly involved in advocating for change in the abortion law. The organization’s involvement began years ago, when it intensified its advocacy activities with key stakeholders, most notably the Network of Parliamentarians for Population and Development, made up of several Members of Parliament (MPs) committed to championing sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all. Among its activities, ABPF organized capacity building and advocacy sessions with parliamentarians. It also proposed an extension of the law on abortion in a code on sexual and reproductive health, which was developed and presented to the MPs.  Mr. Christian Agbozo, Executive Director of ABPF says that it was this close collaboration with lawmakers and other key stakeholders, both in the private and public sector that led to this success.   "The new law is a step forward for the rights of Beninese women. ABPF’s involvement in advocating for abortion liberalization was necessary not only to ensure women's right to decide, but to also allow ABPF service providers to provide comprehensive abortion care services without being subjected to prosecution in the future. The new law will help more women receive safe abortion care and exercise their reproductive rights and freedoms. It is a proud moment for us all,” he says. IPPF Africa Regional Director Mrs. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry acknowledged Benin’s progressive step in voting for the legalization of abortion.   “As an institution that believes in the unreserved upholding of the human rights of all people, we affirm that this is indeed a great win not only for the women and girls of Benin, but for women and girls across the region. Following in the footsteps of two other countries in the continent, South Africa and Cape Verde, Benin has demonstrated its commitment to women’s reproductive freedom, and we hope that other African countries will follow” she said.   Mrs. Petrus-Barry further reiterated IPPF’s commitment to advocating for the repeal of retrogressive laws and policies that infringe on their reproductive autonomy, and development of those that allow them to exercise their sexual reproductive health and rights.   Her sentiments were echoed by IPPF’s Director General, Dr. Alvaro Bermejo.  “We are extremely pleased to see the long-awaited expansion of abortion provision in Benin and applaud the National Assembly for recognising the dignity, humanity and sexual and reproductive rights of Beninese people seeking abortion care. We are also proud of our Member Association, ABPF, for its continued hope and advocacy in Benin.”  Dr. Bermejo acknowledged the dedicated efforts by African countries to push back against colonial and archaic abortion laws that hold their communities back. “IPPF is honored to be a part of that movement and will never stop fighting for safe and legal abortion care for all those who need it.” For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

Bringing Comprehensive Sexuality Education Online in Benin
24 June 2021

Adapting Family Planning Services in Times of Crisis: Bringing Comprehensive Sexuality Education Online in Benin

The COVID-19 outbreak created the largest disruption of education systems in history. Closures of schools and other learning spaces have impacted 94% of the world’s student population, of which 99% are in low and lower-middle-income countries1. UNESCO estimated in July 2020 that about 24 million learners, from pre-primary to university level, were at risk of not returning to school because of COVID-19 disruptions. The restrictive measures to contain the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus have made it even more difficult for young people to access essential life-saving sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services, including comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) and contraception. This has put them at greater risk of teenage pregnancies, unsafe abortion, gender-based violence (GBV), sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and HIV; making access to out-of-school sexuality education and services even more urgent. 64.4% of Benin’s population is under the age of 25 years. Even though CSE has been included in the secondary school curriculum since 2018, following advocacy efforts by our Member Association in the country, the Association Beninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille (ABPF) and other organizations, CSE education is only delivered in few pilot schools and does not include issues of diversity and sexual fulfilment. In response to the difficult situation presented by COVID-19, ABPF developed online CSE sessions during the pandemic, in a bid to ensure adolescents and young people could continue to access CSE. Download the complete case study here:  Bringing Comprehensive Sexuality Education Online in Benin

Association Béninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille

The Association Béninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille (ABPF) has been operating for 38 years. ABPF offers family planning, ante-natal and post-abortion care, infertility treatment, screening of cancers of the reproductive system, and management of sexually transmitted infections (including HIV and AIDS). Its service points include permanent and mobile clinics.

ABPF is focused on reaching marginalized groups such as prisoners, sex workers, refugees and internally displaced persons. The majority of clients are estimated to be poor, marginalized, socially excluded and/or under-served.

To reduce the national maternal mortality rate, ABPF operates an effective community-based obstetric and antenatal care service in 16 villages, using traditional birth attendants and volunteer health workers. ABPF also runs a locally-based service for young people which involves hundreds of community-based distributors (CBDs) and peer educators providing young people with sexual and reproductive health information, condoms and counselling services.

In acknowledgment of ABPF’s expertise and accomplishments, the Government of Benin invited the organization to become a member of the technical committee (in the Ministry of Planning) that drafts reproductive health policies: the Population Policy, the Family Health Policy, HIV and AIDS policies and the National Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy.

Whilst ABPF has recorded major advances in sexual and reproductive health, there are still very significant challenges as the figures for lifetime risk of maternal death, child mortality rate and unmet need for contraception of illustrate.

Driving the work of ABPF is a large and dedicated team of hundreds of volunteers. There’s a Youth Action Movement which draws on the skills of young people. ABPF works in partnership with a range of government organisations, including parliament, the Ministère de la Famille, the Ministère de la Jeunesse, and the Ministère du Plan. Funders include USAID. Non-goverrnmental organizations working with ABPF include the Country Co-ordinating Mechanism for health and sexual and reproductive health.   

Contacts

Website: http://www.abpf.org/nouv/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ABPF.IPPF/

Benin news
25 October 2021

Historic Moment for Benin as New Law Legalizing Abortion Adopted

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) welcomes the news of abortion law reform in Benin.  On 20 October 2021, the Benin National Assembly voted to significantly widen the conditions under which women and gender non-confirming people can legally access abortion care. The new law will now allow women and gender non-conforming people to end their pregnancy within the first three months if it is likely to "aggravate or cause material, educational, professional or moral distress, incompatible with the woman or the unborn child's interest.” Under Benin’s previous abortion law, it was only permissible to seek abortion care if the pregnancy ‘threatened the life of the mother’, was ‘the result of a rape or incest’ or when ‘the unborn child has a particularly severe affection’. In a country where an estimated that 200 women die annually from unsafe abortion, the new law will undoubtedly save lives.  IPPF is proud that its Member Association in the country, Association Beninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille (ABPF), was directly involved in advocating for change in the abortion law. The organization’s involvement began years ago, when it intensified its advocacy activities with key stakeholders, most notably the Network of Parliamentarians for Population and Development, made up of several Members of Parliament (MPs) committed to championing sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all. Among its activities, ABPF organized capacity building and advocacy sessions with parliamentarians. It also proposed an extension of the law on abortion in a code on sexual and reproductive health, which was developed and presented to the MPs.  Mr. Christian Agbozo, Executive Director of ABPF says that it was this close collaboration with lawmakers and other key stakeholders, both in the private and public sector that led to this success.   "The new law is a step forward for the rights of Beninese women. ABPF’s involvement in advocating for abortion liberalization was necessary not only to ensure women's right to decide, but to also allow ABPF service providers to provide comprehensive abortion care services without being subjected to prosecution in the future. The new law will help more women receive safe abortion care and exercise their reproductive rights and freedoms. It is a proud moment for us all,” he says. IPPF Africa Regional Director Mrs. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry acknowledged Benin’s progressive step in voting for the legalization of abortion.   “As an institution that believes in the unreserved upholding of the human rights of all people, we affirm that this is indeed a great win not only for the women and girls of Benin, but for women and girls across the region. Following in the footsteps of two other countries in the continent, South Africa and Cape Verde, Benin has demonstrated its commitment to women’s reproductive freedom, and we hope that other African countries will follow” she said.   Mrs. Petrus-Barry further reiterated IPPF’s commitment to advocating for the repeal of retrogressive laws and policies that infringe on their reproductive autonomy, and development of those that allow them to exercise their sexual reproductive health and rights.   Her sentiments were echoed by IPPF’s Director General, Dr. Alvaro Bermejo.  “We are extremely pleased to see the long-awaited expansion of abortion provision in Benin and applaud the National Assembly for recognising the dignity, humanity and sexual and reproductive rights of Beninese people seeking abortion care. We are also proud of our Member Association, ABPF, for its continued hope and advocacy in Benin.”  Dr. Bermejo acknowledged the dedicated efforts by African countries to push back against colonial and archaic abortion laws that hold their communities back. “IPPF is honored to be a part of that movement and will never stop fighting for safe and legal abortion care for all those who need it.” For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

Bringing Comprehensive Sexuality Education Online in Benin
24 June 2021

Adapting Family Planning Services in Times of Crisis: Bringing Comprehensive Sexuality Education Online in Benin

The COVID-19 outbreak created the largest disruption of education systems in history. Closures of schools and other learning spaces have impacted 94% of the world’s student population, of which 99% are in low and lower-middle-income countries1. UNESCO estimated in July 2020 that about 24 million learners, from pre-primary to university level, were at risk of not returning to school because of COVID-19 disruptions. The restrictive measures to contain the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus have made it even more difficult for young people to access essential life-saving sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services, including comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) and contraception. This has put them at greater risk of teenage pregnancies, unsafe abortion, gender-based violence (GBV), sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and HIV; making access to out-of-school sexuality education and services even more urgent. 64.4% of Benin’s population is under the age of 25 years. Even though CSE has been included in the secondary school curriculum since 2018, following advocacy efforts by our Member Association in the country, the Association Beninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille (ABPF) and other organizations, CSE education is only delivered in few pilot schools and does not include issues of diversity and sexual fulfilment. In response to the difficult situation presented by COVID-19, ABPF developed online CSE sessions during the pandemic, in a bid to ensure adolescents and young people could continue to access CSE. Download the complete case study here:  Bringing Comprehensive Sexuality Education Online in Benin