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Guinea: Act now to ensure greater support and assistance for survivors of sexual violence

27 September 2022

New report calls on Guinean authorities to improve prevention from rape and care for survivors Authorities must introduce new law on gender-based violence   Over 400 complaints for rape were registered in 2021, most of survivors were minors
Guinea Report
media center

| 27 September 2022

Guinea: Act now to ensure greater support and assistance for survivors of sexual violence

New report calls on Guinean authorities to improve prevention from rape and care for survivors Authorities must introduce new law on gender-based violence   Over 400 complaints for rape were registered in 2021, most of survivors were minors Amnesty and IPPFAR denounce barriers to justice for victims leading to impunity Victims of sexual violence in Guinea face social stigmatization, a lack of accessible medical care and serious barriers to justice, said Amnesty International and the International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) today in a new report ‘Shame must change sides, ensuring rights and justice for victims of sexual violence in Guinea’. Based on interviews with survivors of rape, administrative, judicial, traditional, and religious authorities, health care professionals, diplomats, civil society representatives, the report analyses the numerous obstacles to effective care for victims of rape, forensic examination, psychological support, and access to justice in Guinea. For many survivors, justice remains unattainable.  "Victims and their families have repeatedly told us that the horrendous sexual violence they experienced is compounded by societal judgement, but silence is starting to break on rape cases and civil society is moving to denounce sexual violence,” said Samira Daoud, Amnesty International's Regional Director for West and Central Africa. “Despite recent efforts by the authorities to tackle the issue of sexual violence, many remains to be done in terms of information, prevention, access to care and justice to respect Guinea's obligations under international and regional human rights laws.” In 2021, the Office for the Protection of Gender, Children and Morals (Oprogem) and the Special Brigade for the Protection of Vulnerable Persons (BSPPV) - specialized units within the police and the gendarmerie- dealt with more than 400 cases of rape, and most of the victims were minors, some of whom are under 13.  This report shows that the real figures of rape cases are undoubtedly higher, considering notably the practice of extrajudicial settlement and the higher number of cases treated in medical centres. Social stigmatization Victims of sexual violence and their families often face intense judgement in their communities amid widespread social stigmatization. The mother of a girl who said she was raped told Amnesty International about the stigma her child experienced: “[…] When we went to the hospital, one of the doctors said: ‘This is the little girl who was raped’. It hurts. Everywhere she goes, people point at her. She is always locked up in the house. She doesn't go out; she hardly communicates with people. She wants to go back to school but it's not possible." More efforts should be done by the authorities to develop awareness and education campaigns to address the underlying social and cultural attitudes that discriminate against women and facilitate and perpetuate violence against them. These campaigns should promote zero tolerance for violence against women, debunk harmful gender stereotypes and myths associated with rape, eliminate the stigma associated with women victims of violence, and encourage victims to seek redress. Urgent need to improve access to care, sexual and reproductive rights and psychological support Guinea lacks an effective toll-free number enabling victims to report sexual violence and to receive medical and legal advice. And despite some initiatives like the creation of one-stop centres offering care and legal support, the availability, quality, and accessibility of the health system must be strengthened for victims, often of modest economic status. Many survivors are unable to access effective medical and psychological care or realise their right to sexual and reproductive health. Most medical specialist practice in the capital city Conakry and the cost of care can sometimes prevent victims from seeking treatment. A doctor said to Amnesty International: “We can provide free consultations and reports. But if people have complications that require surgery, or infectious complications that require medication, we can't do that for free.” “The social stigma associated with rape in Guinea, which often leads to not reporting the crime and not filing complaints, leaves survivors of these atrocities without access to medical care and psychosocial support as well as legal aid to access justice and redress”, said Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, IPPFAR Regional Director. “Gender based violence in all its forms is recognised as a human rights violation by the international human rights framework and jurisprudence. Gender inequality, power imbalance and lack of respect for human rights are often the root causes of such heinous acts and prevents survivors from accessing and enjoying their full sexual and reproductive health and rights. As human rights defenders, we must all take a stand and put a stop to these inexcusable acts”, added Petrus-Barry. Accessing justice is an obstacle course for victims Despite achieving real progress by adjusting legal frameworks in recent years and developing specialized police and gendarmerie units to respond to sexual violence cases, gaining access to justice in Guinea remains a challenging obstacle course for victims of sexual violence, while perpetrators often enjoy impunity. Customary authorities have been able to push for out of court settlements leading to prosecutions being dropped, which is against the law and against the rights of the survivors. Although there is lack of forensic specialists and the presentation of a medico-legal certificate is not a legal condition for filing a complaint, in practice it is often required. And even when this document is not required by the police or the gendarmerie, its absence becomes a major obstacle to a possible conviction in court. Judicial investigations are often hampered by a lack of resources and training in addressing and investigating sexual violence, which negatively impacts victims’ quest for justice. In the absence of effective free legal assistance for those unable to afford a lawyer, only NGOs are able to provide legal support. Similarly, Guinea’s justice system also lacks resources. The majority of judges, most of whom are men, work in poor conditions. The report of rapes survivors highlights that some of them perpetuate patriarchal stereotypes while handling sexual violence cases. Furthermore, the fact that the survivors of the 28 September 2009 massacre had to wait 13 years to finally hope for justice and reparation was a powerful symbol of impunity; while the defence and security forces killed more than 150 demonstrators and committed sexual crimes against more than 100 women in a stadium in Conakry that day.   To strengthen their response to sexual violence, the Guinean authorities must urgently pass a comprehensive law on gender-based violence, among other recommendations highlighted in the report to strengthen the capacity of the judiciary, police and other law enforcement authorities, and social and health workers, to ensure full implementation of legal provisions aimed at addressing violence against women.   “Guinean authorities promised that they would fight gender-based violence and rape.  We urge them to take concrete steps to strengthen state efforts to prevent sexual violence, and guarantee care and justice for survivors,” said Samira Daoud. For further information or to request an interview, please contact: -Ousmane DRABO, Media Manager at Amnesty International’s West and Central Africa region office- email: [email protected] / Mob: +221 776234040 or [email protected] -Mahmoud GARGA, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] / Tel: +254 704 626 920   ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organization in Africa, and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent’s growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high quality, youth focused and gender sensitive services. We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, United Nations bodies among others to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

Guinea Report
media_center

| 29 September 2022

Guinea: Act now to ensure greater support and assistance for survivors of sexual violence

New report calls on Guinean authorities to improve prevention from rape and care for survivors Authorities must introduce new law on gender-based violence   Over 400 complaints for rape were registered in 2021, most of survivors were minors Amnesty and IPPFAR denounce barriers to justice for victims leading to impunity Victims of sexual violence in Guinea face social stigmatization, a lack of accessible medical care and serious barriers to justice, said Amnesty International and the International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) today in a new report ‘Shame must change sides, ensuring rights and justice for victims of sexual violence in Guinea’. Based on interviews with survivors of rape, administrative, judicial, traditional, and religious authorities, health care professionals, diplomats, civil society representatives, the report analyses the numerous obstacles to effective care for victims of rape, forensic examination, psychological support, and access to justice in Guinea. For many survivors, justice remains unattainable.  "Victims and their families have repeatedly told us that the horrendous sexual violence they experienced is compounded by societal judgement, but silence is starting to break on rape cases and civil society is moving to denounce sexual violence,” said Samira Daoud, Amnesty International's Regional Director for West and Central Africa. “Despite recent efforts by the authorities to tackle the issue of sexual violence, many remains to be done in terms of information, prevention, access to care and justice to respect Guinea's obligations under international and regional human rights laws.” In 2021, the Office for the Protection of Gender, Children and Morals (Oprogem) and the Special Brigade for the Protection of Vulnerable Persons (BSPPV) - specialized units within the police and the gendarmerie- dealt with more than 400 cases of rape, and most of the victims were minors, some of whom are under 13.  This report shows that the real figures of rape cases are undoubtedly higher, considering notably the practice of extrajudicial settlement and the higher number of cases treated in medical centres. Social stigmatization Victims of sexual violence and their families often face intense judgement in their communities amid widespread social stigmatization. The mother of a girl who said she was raped told Amnesty International about the stigma her child experienced: “[…] When we went to the hospital, one of the doctors said: ‘This is the little girl who was raped’. It hurts. Everywhere she goes, people point at her. She is always locked up in the house. She doesn't go out; she hardly communicates with people. She wants to go back to school but it's not possible." More efforts should be done by the authorities to develop awareness and education campaigns to address the underlying social and cultural attitudes that discriminate against women and facilitate and perpetuate violence against them. These campaigns should promote zero tolerance for violence against women, debunk harmful gender stereotypes and myths associated with rape, eliminate the stigma associated with women victims of violence, and encourage victims to seek redress. Urgent need to improve access to care, sexual and reproductive rights and psychological support Guinea lacks an effective toll-free number enabling victims to report sexual violence and to receive medical and legal advice. And despite some initiatives like the creation of one-stop centres offering care and legal support, the availability, quality, and accessibility of the health system must be strengthened for victims, often of modest economic status. Many survivors are unable to access effective medical and psychological care or realise their right to sexual and reproductive health. Most medical specialist practice in the capital city Conakry and the cost of care can sometimes prevent victims from seeking treatment. A doctor said to Amnesty International: “We can provide free consultations and reports. But if people have complications that require surgery, or infectious complications that require medication, we can't do that for free.” “The social stigma associated with rape in Guinea, which often leads to not reporting the crime and not filing complaints, leaves survivors of these atrocities without access to medical care and psychosocial support as well as legal aid to access justice and redress”, said Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, IPPFAR Regional Director. “Gender based violence in all its forms is recognised as a human rights violation by the international human rights framework and jurisprudence. Gender inequality, power imbalance and lack of respect for human rights are often the root causes of such heinous acts and prevents survivors from accessing and enjoying their full sexual and reproductive health and rights. As human rights defenders, we must all take a stand and put a stop to these inexcusable acts”, added Petrus-Barry. Accessing justice is an obstacle course for victims Despite achieving real progress by adjusting legal frameworks in recent years and developing specialized police and gendarmerie units to respond to sexual violence cases, gaining access to justice in Guinea remains a challenging obstacle course for victims of sexual violence, while perpetrators often enjoy impunity. Customary authorities have been able to push for out of court settlements leading to prosecutions being dropped, which is against the law and against the rights of the survivors. Although there is lack of forensic specialists and the presentation of a medico-legal certificate is not a legal condition for filing a complaint, in practice it is often required. And even when this document is not required by the police or the gendarmerie, its absence becomes a major obstacle to a possible conviction in court. Judicial investigations are often hampered by a lack of resources and training in addressing and investigating sexual violence, which negatively impacts victims’ quest for justice. In the absence of effective free legal assistance for those unable to afford a lawyer, only NGOs are able to provide legal support. Similarly, Guinea’s justice system also lacks resources. The majority of judges, most of whom are men, work in poor conditions. The report of rapes survivors highlights that some of them perpetuate patriarchal stereotypes while handling sexual violence cases. Furthermore, the fact that the survivors of the 28 September 2009 massacre had to wait 13 years to finally hope for justice and reparation was a powerful symbol of impunity; while the defence and security forces killed more than 150 demonstrators and committed sexual crimes against more than 100 women in a stadium in Conakry that day.   To strengthen their response to sexual violence, the Guinean authorities must urgently pass a comprehensive law on gender-based violence, among other recommendations highlighted in the report to strengthen the capacity of the judiciary, police and other law enforcement authorities, and social and health workers, to ensure full implementation of legal provisions aimed at addressing violence against women.   “Guinean authorities promised that they would fight gender-based violence and rape.  We urge them to take concrete steps to strengthen state efforts to prevent sexual violence, and guarantee care and justice for survivors,” said Samira Daoud. For further information or to request an interview, please contact: -Ousmane DRABO, Media Manager at Amnesty International’s West and Central Africa region office- email: [email protected] / Mob: +221 776234040 or [email protected] -Mahmoud GARGA, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] / Tel: +254 704 626 920   ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organization in Africa, and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent’s growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high quality, youth focused and gender sensitive services. We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, United Nations bodies among others to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

Safe abortion course
media center

| 20 September 2022

IPPF launches free online medical abortion course

Training co-created with How To Use Abortion Pill Training endorsed by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Training course complete with quizzes and an option to download a certificate upon successful completion Course comes as World Health Organisation (WHO) issues new guidelines on abortion care and will help put the WHO guidelines into practice globally Over 25 million unsafe abortions occur each year From 2015 to 2019 in Kenya, there were 2,380,000 pregnancies annually. Of these, 1,450,000 pregnancies were unintended and 551,000 ended in abortion Landmark High Court of Kenya ruling in March 2022 affirms abortion care as a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya Nairobi – 20th September 2022 – International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and HowToUseAbortionPill.org have developed a free online medical abortion training course to equip healthcare workers with the necessary skills to provide care for women seeking medical abortion up to 13 weeks’ gestation. The course is aimed at the full range of providers, including physicians, midwives, pharmacists, medical students and community health workers. The course, which has been endorsed by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), is a seven-lesson video series accessible via the link https://elearning.howtouseabortionpill.org. It covers an overview of abortion care; how to support a medical abortion; symptoms, side effects and complications; and aftercare. The training is framed around four principles of care: person-centred care, rights-based care, quality, and privacy and confidentiality. “Abortion care continues to be left off medical training curriculums,” said Mallah Tabot, Lead SRHR Programming at IPPF Africa Region. “This online course will fill a critical gap in the education of many health workers. It has the potential to significantly increase the number of health workers with the skills and knowledge to provide abortion care, especially in low-resource settings, and thereby increase the number of women supported to safely end a pregnancy.” Unsafe abortion remains a serious global threat to women's health and safety, causing an estimated 7 million hospitalizations and up to 13% of all maternal deaths worldwide each year. Medical abortion is a non-invasive method using two pills - mifepristone and misoprostol - or misoprostol alone.  Medical abortion is safe and effective and is recommended by the Word Health Organisation (WHO). Between 2015 and 2019 in Kenya, there were a total of 2,380,000 pregnancies annually. Of these, 1,450,000 pregnancies were unintended and 551,000 ended in abortion. in Nigeria, there were a total of 10,500,000 pregnancies annually with 2,990,000 unintended and 1,430,000 ended in abortion. In both countries, abortion is legal to preserve the pregnant person’s health. However, a majority of abortions are carried out by unqualified practitioners who run unsafe clinics. “Research shows that when women cannot access safe abortion care, they often seek unsafe methods,”  said Rebecca Wilkins, Technical Lead, Abortion at IPPF.  “This training course provides the information and resources necessary for health workers to support women who choose to have a safe abortion with pills in early pregnancy either within or outside a clinical setting.” The course is hosted on a login-based web portal which can be accessed from desktop or mobile and is structured to be an interactive learning experience, complete with quizzes and an option to download a certificate upon successful completion. In March this year, WHO issued new guidelines on abortion care.  The updated guidelines contain more than 50 recommendations covering clinical practice, health service delivery, and policy and legal actions including ensuring access to quality medical abortion pills. The new online training course is aligned to the clinical protocols recommended in the WHO guidelines. A landmark ruling by the High Court of Kenya in Malindi this year affirmed the right to abortion as a fundamental right under the Kenyan Constitution.  The ruling in a case filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK) in 2020 against government officials involved the arrest of a minor and a clinician. It has set a precedent against arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and health care providers for seeking or offering abortion services. Such arrests and prosecutions are now deemed illegal according to the new ruling. ENDs  For further information, download the media kit HERE or contact: PR Consultant Njeri Wangari              Tel: +254 (0)722353657, e-mail: [email protected] IPPF: Mahmoud Garga                     Tel.   +254 (0) 704626920, e-mail: [email protected]    Catherine Kilfedder                                                         e-mail: [email protected]   ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organizations in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women, in sub-Saharan Africa.  Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent's growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-sensitive services.  We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, and United Nations bodies, among others, to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa.  Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Safe abortion course
media_center

| 29 September 2022

IPPF launches free online medical abortion course

Training co-created with How To Use Abortion Pill Training endorsed by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Training course complete with quizzes and an option to download a certificate upon successful completion Course comes as World Health Organisation (WHO) issues new guidelines on abortion care and will help put the WHO guidelines into practice globally Over 25 million unsafe abortions occur each year From 2015 to 2019 in Kenya, there were 2,380,000 pregnancies annually. Of these, 1,450,000 pregnancies were unintended and 551,000 ended in abortion Landmark High Court of Kenya ruling in March 2022 affirms abortion care as a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya Nairobi – 20th September 2022 – International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and HowToUseAbortionPill.org have developed a free online medical abortion training course to equip healthcare workers with the necessary skills to provide care for women seeking medical abortion up to 13 weeks’ gestation. The course is aimed at the full range of providers, including physicians, midwives, pharmacists, medical students and community health workers. The course, which has been endorsed by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), is a seven-lesson video series accessible via the link https://elearning.howtouseabortionpill.org. It covers an overview of abortion care; how to support a medical abortion; symptoms, side effects and complications; and aftercare. The training is framed around four principles of care: person-centred care, rights-based care, quality, and privacy and confidentiality. “Abortion care continues to be left off medical training curriculums,” said Mallah Tabot, Lead SRHR Programming at IPPF Africa Region. “This online course will fill a critical gap in the education of many health workers. It has the potential to significantly increase the number of health workers with the skills and knowledge to provide abortion care, especially in low-resource settings, and thereby increase the number of women supported to safely end a pregnancy.” Unsafe abortion remains a serious global threat to women's health and safety, causing an estimated 7 million hospitalizations and up to 13% of all maternal deaths worldwide each year. Medical abortion is a non-invasive method using two pills - mifepristone and misoprostol - or misoprostol alone.  Medical abortion is safe and effective and is recommended by the Word Health Organisation (WHO). Between 2015 and 2019 in Kenya, there were a total of 2,380,000 pregnancies annually. Of these, 1,450,000 pregnancies were unintended and 551,000 ended in abortion. in Nigeria, there were a total of 10,500,000 pregnancies annually with 2,990,000 unintended and 1,430,000 ended in abortion. In both countries, abortion is legal to preserve the pregnant person’s health. However, a majority of abortions are carried out by unqualified practitioners who run unsafe clinics. “Research shows that when women cannot access safe abortion care, they often seek unsafe methods,”  said Rebecca Wilkins, Technical Lead, Abortion at IPPF.  “This training course provides the information and resources necessary for health workers to support women who choose to have a safe abortion with pills in early pregnancy either within or outside a clinical setting.” The course is hosted on a login-based web portal which can be accessed from desktop or mobile and is structured to be an interactive learning experience, complete with quizzes and an option to download a certificate upon successful completion. In March this year, WHO issued new guidelines on abortion care.  The updated guidelines contain more than 50 recommendations covering clinical practice, health service delivery, and policy and legal actions including ensuring access to quality medical abortion pills. The new online training course is aligned to the clinical protocols recommended in the WHO guidelines. A landmark ruling by the High Court of Kenya in Malindi this year affirmed the right to abortion as a fundamental right under the Kenyan Constitution.  The ruling in a case filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK) in 2020 against government officials involved the arrest of a minor and a clinician. It has set a precedent against arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and health care providers for seeking or offering abortion services. Such arrests and prosecutions are now deemed illegal according to the new ruling. ENDs  For further information, download the media kit HERE or contact: PR Consultant Njeri Wangari              Tel: +254 (0)722353657, e-mail: [email protected] IPPF: Mahmoud Garga                     Tel.   +254 (0) 704626920, e-mail: [email protected]    Catherine Kilfedder                                                         e-mail: [email protected]   ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organizations in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women, in sub-Saharan Africa.  Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent's growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-sensitive services.  We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, and United Nations bodies, among others, to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa.  Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Treasure your pleasure
media center

| 03 September 2022

IPPF endorses pleasure-inclusive sexual health via the Pleasure Principles

IPPF is publicly committing to pleasure-inclusive sexual health and rights ahead of World Sexual Health Day by endorsing The Pleasure Project's Pleasure Principles Ahead of World Sexual Health Day on 4 September 2022, the theme of which is Let's talk pleasure, the world's largest sexual and reproductive healthcare organization, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), is publicly committing to pleasure-inclusive sexual health and rights (SRHR) by endorsing The Pleasure Project's Pleasure Principles. The seven principles, which include putting rights first, embracing learning, and loving yourself, promote a sex-positive, pleasure-based approach to sex and sexual health as opposed to standard prevention framing, which focuses only on avoiding pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). The Pleasure Principles are backed by new research with the World Health Organization, which shows that including sexual pleasure in sexual health education improves condom use compared to those that don't and increases knowledge and positive attitudes about sex, ultimately leading to better, safer sex and saving lives in the process. IPPF is adjusting to the shifting landscape of sexual health needs with seven pleasure-filled commitments, including incorporating staff training on pleasure-based sexual health and working with The Pleasure Project to integrate pleasure into more of its sexual and reproductive health programmes. The organization will also ensure that pleasure is a guiding principle in its upcoming 2023-2028 organizational strategy. Marie-Evelyne-Petrus-Barry, Regional Director for IPPF Africa Region, said: "IPPF has always believed that pleasure is fundamental to well-being and that comprehensive sexual education globally must be drastically improved, stepping away from fear-based framing and stepping into one rooted in understanding sexual and reproductive health more holistically. "We also must be honest that most people, especially young people, do not just have sex for reproductive reasons, but have sex for pleasure. We must do more to help people understand the spectrum of pleasure so they can better understand their own needs and wants, and we hope, have a better, safer and healthier sex life." IPPF Africa Region has stepped up to the mark with the Treasure Your Pleasure digital campaign for young people, which has already sparked a conversation on sexual pleasure, sexual health and sexual rights on social media. More than 8 million people have viewed the content, which includes information about pleasure-based sex and relationships, sexual safety and consent, and more than 30,000 new people have followed the region on social media to learn more about their sexual health and wellbeing. IPPF plans to implement learnings from the campaign across other regions.   Anne Philpott, Founder of the Pleasure Project, said: "The Pleasure Project is delighted that IPPF has endorsed the Pleasure Principles. As the largest global provider of sexual and reproductive health services, it shines a light on this long stigmatized blind-spot in sexual health.  "Pleasure, love and desire are key reasons people have sex and relationships. Yet health services have been focused on stopping disease or preventing pregnancy for too long, limiting their appeal and impact. Our recent evidence review with the World Health Organization demonstrates that pleasure-inclusive sexual health improves sexual health and ultimately saves lives. "This commitment is not only critical in ensuring the more than 200 million essential services they provide every year are honest, sex-positive and effective but also that the people they serve are respected as wanting to live fulfilling lives. "We are excited to partner with IPPF to put their commitment into action with staff training, implementation of pleasure-based sexual health and learning lessons on how to best deliver this new evidence and pleasure-filled best practice." *** For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey at [email protected] or Amina Khan on [email protected]   About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF, through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what. Notes to Editors World Sexual Health 2022 has the theme 'Let's talk pleasure' - find assets here   The full list of Pleasure Principles can be found on www.thepleasureproject.org and include: Love Yourself Embrace Learning Talk Sexy Be Flexible Think Universal Rights First Be Positive  A pleasure-based approach celebrates sex, sexuality and the joy and wellbeing derived from these and creates a vision of good sex built on sexual rights. It focuses on sensory, mental, physical and sensual pleasure to enable individuals to understand, consent to, and control their bodies and multi-faceted desires. Well-being, safety, pleasure, desire and joy are the objectives of a programme with a pleasure-based approach. This approach measures empowerment, agency, and self-efficacy by whether or not an individual has been enabled to know what they want and can ask for it and request this of others in relation to their sexuality, desires and pleasure. [ The Pleasure Project, 2019]   The full list of IPPF's commitments includes: At least two Member Associations commit to testing elements of the Pleasure Principles in their work Incorporate training of staff across the Federation on Pleasure Based Sexual Health and the evidence that supports it Look to expand the Treasure Your Pleasure Campaign by the Africa Regional Office to other regions and use the learnings to inform Pleasure based-content across all regions A specific module on advocacy for pleasure in the IPPF internal training modules To work with the Pleasure Project to better understand how to incorporate Pleasure into our programmes with a focus on youth To work with at least thee sex positive, pleasure-based influencers on social media content Continue to ensure Pleasure is a principal guiding the new IPPF Strategy 2023-2028  

Treasure your pleasure
media_center

| 29 September 2022

IPPF endorses pleasure-inclusive sexual health via the Pleasure Principles

IPPF is publicly committing to pleasure-inclusive sexual health and rights ahead of World Sexual Health Day by endorsing The Pleasure Project's Pleasure Principles Ahead of World Sexual Health Day on 4 September 2022, the theme of which is Let's talk pleasure, the world's largest sexual and reproductive healthcare organization, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), is publicly committing to pleasure-inclusive sexual health and rights (SRHR) by endorsing The Pleasure Project's Pleasure Principles. The seven principles, which include putting rights first, embracing learning, and loving yourself, promote a sex-positive, pleasure-based approach to sex and sexual health as opposed to standard prevention framing, which focuses only on avoiding pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). The Pleasure Principles are backed by new research with the World Health Organization, which shows that including sexual pleasure in sexual health education improves condom use compared to those that don't and increases knowledge and positive attitudes about sex, ultimately leading to better, safer sex and saving lives in the process. IPPF is adjusting to the shifting landscape of sexual health needs with seven pleasure-filled commitments, including incorporating staff training on pleasure-based sexual health and working with The Pleasure Project to integrate pleasure into more of its sexual and reproductive health programmes. The organization will also ensure that pleasure is a guiding principle in its upcoming 2023-2028 organizational strategy. Marie-Evelyne-Petrus-Barry, Regional Director for IPPF Africa Region, said: "IPPF has always believed that pleasure is fundamental to well-being and that comprehensive sexual education globally must be drastically improved, stepping away from fear-based framing and stepping into one rooted in understanding sexual and reproductive health more holistically. "We also must be honest that most people, especially young people, do not just have sex for reproductive reasons, but have sex for pleasure. We must do more to help people understand the spectrum of pleasure so they can better understand their own needs and wants, and we hope, have a better, safer and healthier sex life." IPPF Africa Region has stepped up to the mark with the Treasure Your Pleasure digital campaign for young people, which has already sparked a conversation on sexual pleasure, sexual health and sexual rights on social media. More than 8 million people have viewed the content, which includes information about pleasure-based sex and relationships, sexual safety and consent, and more than 30,000 new people have followed the region on social media to learn more about their sexual health and wellbeing. IPPF plans to implement learnings from the campaign across other regions.   Anne Philpott, Founder of the Pleasure Project, said: "The Pleasure Project is delighted that IPPF has endorsed the Pleasure Principles. As the largest global provider of sexual and reproductive health services, it shines a light on this long stigmatized blind-spot in sexual health.  "Pleasure, love and desire are key reasons people have sex and relationships. Yet health services have been focused on stopping disease or preventing pregnancy for too long, limiting their appeal and impact. Our recent evidence review with the World Health Organization demonstrates that pleasure-inclusive sexual health improves sexual health and ultimately saves lives. "This commitment is not only critical in ensuring the more than 200 million essential services they provide every year are honest, sex-positive and effective but also that the people they serve are respected as wanting to live fulfilling lives. "We are excited to partner with IPPF to put their commitment into action with staff training, implementation of pleasure-based sexual health and learning lessons on how to best deliver this new evidence and pleasure-filled best practice." *** For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey at [email protected] or Amina Khan on [email protected]   About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF, through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what. Notes to Editors World Sexual Health 2022 has the theme 'Let's talk pleasure' - find assets here   The full list of Pleasure Principles can be found on www.thepleasureproject.org and include: Love Yourself Embrace Learning Talk Sexy Be Flexible Think Universal Rights First Be Positive  A pleasure-based approach celebrates sex, sexuality and the joy and wellbeing derived from these and creates a vision of good sex built on sexual rights. It focuses on sensory, mental, physical and sensual pleasure to enable individuals to understand, consent to, and control their bodies and multi-faceted desires. Well-being, safety, pleasure, desire and joy are the objectives of a programme with a pleasure-based approach. This approach measures empowerment, agency, and self-efficacy by whether or not an individual has been enabled to know what they want and can ask for it and request this of others in relation to their sexuality, desires and pleasure. [ The Pleasure Project, 2019]   The full list of IPPF's commitments includes: At least two Member Associations commit to testing elements of the Pleasure Principles in their work Incorporate training of staff across the Federation on Pleasure Based Sexual Health and the evidence that supports it Look to expand the Treasure Your Pleasure Campaign by the Africa Regional Office to other regions and use the learnings to inform Pleasure based-content across all regions A specific module on advocacy for pleasure in the IPPF internal training modules To work with the Pleasure Project to better understand how to incorporate Pleasure into our programmes with a focus on youth To work with at least thee sex positive, pleasure-based influencers on social media content Continue to ensure Pleasure is a principal guiding the new IPPF Strategy 2023-2028  

Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG)
media center

| 18 August 2022

Ugandan LGBTIQ+ Organisation Banned by Government

Nairobi – 18 August 2022 – On 3 August 2022, the Ugandan National Bureau for Non-Governmental Organizations unfairly halted the activities of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) - a prominent lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTIQ+) rights organization - for failing to meet the bureau's registration requirements. SMUG has provided sexuality education and advocated for LGBTIQ+ healthcare since 2004 and is well-known for providing services and guidance to the LGBTIQ+ community in Uganda. The organization also contributes to Uganda's health goals, including the country's HIV/AIDS strategy, which includes the provision of healthcare to vulnerable and marginalized populations. Although SMUG applied to the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) in 2012, the URSB  declined the organization's request on the grounds that SMUG was "operating illegally", a position the organization petitioned with no positive response. In a clear case of harassment and restrictions against Ugandan rights groups working on LGBTQI+ rights, the URSB further asserted that registering SMUG's name would be difficult, calling it "undesirable and un-registrable". In response to the ban, Marie-Evelynne Petrus Barry, Africa Regional Director for the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), urged the Ugandan Government to review its decision to suspend SMUG and to work towards accommodating the organization's mandate of advancing the rights of the LGBTIQ+ community in Uganda. She said: "As a global human rights organization and the world's largest sexual and reproductive healthcare provider, the International Planned Parenthood Federation upholds the rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. "The Ugandan Government's ban of SMUG has created huge anxiety among health service providers, human rights defenders, and members of the LGBTIQ+ community, who risk their lives daily so that LGBTQI+ people can access healthcare and information just as any other person would. "We ask the Ugandan Government to urgently reconsider its decision to suspend SMUG and to put an end to laws and policies that criminalize, target and endanger members of the LGBTIQ+ community and the organizations that advocate for their rights." Petrus-Barry added: "IPPF works to ensure that people with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) – including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex people have access to the full set of human rights enshrined in international human rights laws. IPPF is willing to work with the Ugandan Government and other stakeholders to ensure that all Ugandan people can access these rights without restraint." ENDs Media Contacts: Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] -Phone +254 704 626 920 ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organizations in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women, in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent's growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-sensitive services. We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, and United Nations bodies, among others, to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  

Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG)
media_center

| 18 August 2022

Ugandan LGBTIQ+ Organisation Banned by Government

Nairobi – 18 August 2022 – On 3 August 2022, the Ugandan National Bureau for Non-Governmental Organizations unfairly halted the activities of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) - a prominent lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTIQ+) rights organization - for failing to meet the bureau's registration requirements. SMUG has provided sexuality education and advocated for LGBTIQ+ healthcare since 2004 and is well-known for providing services and guidance to the LGBTIQ+ community in Uganda. The organization also contributes to Uganda's health goals, including the country's HIV/AIDS strategy, which includes the provision of healthcare to vulnerable and marginalized populations. Although SMUG applied to the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) in 2012, the URSB  declined the organization's request on the grounds that SMUG was "operating illegally", a position the organization petitioned with no positive response. In a clear case of harassment and restrictions against Ugandan rights groups working on LGBTQI+ rights, the URSB further asserted that registering SMUG's name would be difficult, calling it "undesirable and un-registrable". In response to the ban, Marie-Evelynne Petrus Barry, Africa Regional Director for the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), urged the Ugandan Government to review its decision to suspend SMUG and to work towards accommodating the organization's mandate of advancing the rights of the LGBTIQ+ community in Uganda. She said: "As a global human rights organization and the world's largest sexual and reproductive healthcare provider, the International Planned Parenthood Federation upholds the rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. "The Ugandan Government's ban of SMUG has created huge anxiety among health service providers, human rights defenders, and members of the LGBTIQ+ community, who risk their lives daily so that LGBTQI+ people can access healthcare and information just as any other person would. "We ask the Ugandan Government to urgently reconsider its decision to suspend SMUG and to put an end to laws and policies that criminalize, target and endanger members of the LGBTIQ+ community and the organizations that advocate for their rights." Petrus-Barry added: "IPPF works to ensure that people with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) – including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex people have access to the full set of human rights enshrined in international human rights laws. IPPF is willing to work with the Ugandan Government and other stakeholders to ensure that all Ugandan people can access these rights without restraint." ENDs Media Contacts: Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] -Phone +254 704 626 920 ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organizations in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women, in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent's growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-sensitive services. We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, and United Nations bodies, among others, to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  

Benin_Abortion Stigma Packard
media center

| 28 July 2022

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.

Benin_Abortion Stigma Packard
media_center

| 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.

LGTIQ Botswana
media center

| 28 July 2022

A Huge Victory for LGBTIQ+ Equality in Botswana: Court Upholds Ruling Decriminalizing Same-Sex Relationships

Nairobi, 30 November 2021 - The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the Botswana Family Welfare Association (BOFWA) celebrate and welcome Botswana’s Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold a 2019 ruling that decriminalized same-sex relationships. On Monday 29 November 2021, five judges from the Court of Appeal unanimously ruled that criminalising same-sex relationships was a violation of the constitutional rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ+) individuals to dignity, liberty, privacy and equality. The offending sections of the Penal Code have been removed accordingly, as they were found to violate liberty, privacy and dignity and cause undue discrimination to the LGBTIQ+ community. This decision has affirmed Botswana’s commitment to uphold the democratic rights of all its citizens, including their full and complete sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This appeal was the third to be heard by the full bench of the court of Appeal concerning constitutionality of the state actors, or sections of statutes challenged as breaching the fundamental rights of members of the LGBTIQ+ community. BOFWA, a member association of IPPF, plays a leading role in providing and championing access to high-quality and integrated SRHR for all those who are marginalised, underserved and in particular those groups who are often left behind. These communities include vulnerable and key populations such as the LGBTIQ+ communities and sex workers. In Partnership with SRHR and LGBTIQ+ activists, BOFWA advocates for the SRHR of all people of Botswana, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or status in society. Over the years, BOFWA has argued that criminalization of same-sex relations and associated stigma and discrimination gravely reduces access to SRHR services, including HIV interventions and other sexually transmitted infections. A distinguished leader in the SRHR sector, BOFWA was the first non-governmental organization in the country to provide antiretroviral treatment to key populations. Ms. Una Ngwenya, BOFWA’s Executive Director, expressed jubilation at the Court of Appeal’s decision. “The ruling will go a long way in addressing issues of stigma and discrimination against members of the same-sex community in Botswana. We believe that this decision will inspire members of this community to freely seek SRHR services and go on with their lives like everyone else; they don’t need labels but rather targeted and differentiated services! Still, we will not sit on our laurels, it is not over yet, members of the same-sex community face various challenges beyond the law; attitudes of service providers, moralizing sex and sexuality and complexities surrounding sexual and gender-based violence among communities remain critical. While we welcome the Court of Appeal’s judgement, we urge the Government to put in place stringent measures across the country’s health care system that will address the barriers and disparities preventing the LGBTIQ+ community’s access to sexual and reproductive health services. Equally, we call for the guaranteed safety and protection of our fellow civil society movements that continue to fight barriers and disparities that hinder this community’s access to sexual reproductive health services,” she says. Ms. Ngwenya adds that BOFWA and IPPF will not relent in their quest to advocate for SRHR-related issues, including laws that provide access to safe abortion and decriminalize sex work.   “IPPF welcomes Botswana’s ruling in favour of LGBTIQ+ equality and encourages other African countries to follow it. We reiterate our commitment to building the capacities of all our Member Associations, their partners and stakeholders, in ensuring that the sexual reproductive health and rights of all citizens across the world are upheld, unreservedly,” said Marie-Evelyne-Petrus-Barry, IPPF Africa Regional Director. END Media Contacts: -Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] -Phone +254 704 626 920 Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Office, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: [email protected] – Phone: +254 707 952 990   ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading providers of quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in Africa, and a strong and resolute sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region, committed to gender equality and to ensuring that women, girls and young people realize their rights and have control over their own bodies, their lives and their futures. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to integrated SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men, and women in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent’s growing SRHR challenges through a committed network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by supporting and empowering the MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-transformative services. We work with governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, United Nations bodies among others to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

LGTIQ Botswana
media_center

| 30 November 2021

A Huge Victory for LGBTIQ+ Equality in Botswana: Court Upholds Ruling Decriminalizing Same-Sex Relationships

Nairobi, 30 November 2021 - The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the Botswana Family Welfare Association (BOFWA) celebrate and welcome Botswana’s Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold a 2019 ruling that decriminalized same-sex relationships. On Monday 29 November 2021, five judges from the Court of Appeal unanimously ruled that criminalising same-sex relationships was a violation of the constitutional rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ+) individuals to dignity, liberty, privacy and equality. The offending sections of the Penal Code have been removed accordingly, as they were found to violate liberty, privacy and dignity and cause undue discrimination to the LGBTIQ+ community. This decision has affirmed Botswana’s commitment to uphold the democratic rights of all its citizens, including their full and complete sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This appeal was the third to be heard by the full bench of the court of Appeal concerning constitutionality of the state actors, or sections of statutes challenged as breaching the fundamental rights of members of the LGBTIQ+ community. BOFWA, a member association of IPPF, plays a leading role in providing and championing access to high-quality and integrated SRHR for all those who are marginalised, underserved and in particular those groups who are often left behind. These communities include vulnerable and key populations such as the LGBTIQ+ communities and sex workers. In Partnership with SRHR and LGBTIQ+ activists, BOFWA advocates for the SRHR of all people of Botswana, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or status in society. Over the years, BOFWA has argued that criminalization of same-sex relations and associated stigma and discrimination gravely reduces access to SRHR services, including HIV interventions and other sexually transmitted infections. A distinguished leader in the SRHR sector, BOFWA was the first non-governmental organization in the country to provide antiretroviral treatment to key populations. Ms. Una Ngwenya, BOFWA’s Executive Director, expressed jubilation at the Court of Appeal’s decision. “The ruling will go a long way in addressing issues of stigma and discrimination against members of the same-sex community in Botswana. We believe that this decision will inspire members of this community to freely seek SRHR services and go on with their lives like everyone else; they don’t need labels but rather targeted and differentiated services! Still, we will not sit on our laurels, it is not over yet, members of the same-sex community face various challenges beyond the law; attitudes of service providers, moralizing sex and sexuality and complexities surrounding sexual and gender-based violence among communities remain critical. While we welcome the Court of Appeal’s judgement, we urge the Government to put in place stringent measures across the country’s health care system that will address the barriers and disparities preventing the LGBTIQ+ community’s access to sexual and reproductive health services. Equally, we call for the guaranteed safety and protection of our fellow civil society movements that continue to fight barriers and disparities that hinder this community’s access to sexual reproductive health services,” she says. Ms. Ngwenya adds that BOFWA and IPPF will not relent in their quest to advocate for SRHR-related issues, including laws that provide access to safe abortion and decriminalize sex work.   “IPPF welcomes Botswana’s ruling in favour of LGBTIQ+ equality and encourages other African countries to follow it. We reiterate our commitment to building the capacities of all our Member Associations, their partners and stakeholders, in ensuring that the sexual reproductive health and rights of all citizens across the world are upheld, unreservedly,” said Marie-Evelyne-Petrus-Barry, IPPF Africa Regional Director. END Media Contacts: -Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] -Phone +254 704 626 920 Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Office, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: [email protected] – Phone: +254 707 952 990   ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading providers of quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in Africa, and a strong and resolute sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region, committed to gender equality and to ensuring that women, girls and young people realize their rights and have control over their own bodies, their lives and their futures. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to integrated SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men, and women in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent’s growing SRHR challenges through a committed network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by supporting and empowering the MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-transformative services. We work with governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, United Nations bodies among others to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

Guinea Report
media center

| 27 September 2022

Guinea: Act now to ensure greater support and assistance for survivors of sexual violence

New report calls on Guinean authorities to improve prevention from rape and care for survivors Authorities must introduce new law on gender-based violence   Over 400 complaints for rape were registered in 2021, most of survivors were minors Amnesty and IPPFAR denounce barriers to justice for victims leading to impunity Victims of sexual violence in Guinea face social stigmatization, a lack of accessible medical care and serious barriers to justice, said Amnesty International and the International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) today in a new report ‘Shame must change sides, ensuring rights and justice for victims of sexual violence in Guinea’. Based on interviews with survivors of rape, administrative, judicial, traditional, and religious authorities, health care professionals, diplomats, civil society representatives, the report analyses the numerous obstacles to effective care for victims of rape, forensic examination, psychological support, and access to justice in Guinea. For many survivors, justice remains unattainable.  "Victims and their families have repeatedly told us that the horrendous sexual violence they experienced is compounded by societal judgement, but silence is starting to break on rape cases and civil society is moving to denounce sexual violence,” said Samira Daoud, Amnesty International's Regional Director for West and Central Africa. “Despite recent efforts by the authorities to tackle the issue of sexual violence, many remains to be done in terms of information, prevention, access to care and justice to respect Guinea's obligations under international and regional human rights laws.” In 2021, the Office for the Protection of Gender, Children and Morals (Oprogem) and the Special Brigade for the Protection of Vulnerable Persons (BSPPV) - specialized units within the police and the gendarmerie- dealt with more than 400 cases of rape, and most of the victims were minors, some of whom are under 13.  This report shows that the real figures of rape cases are undoubtedly higher, considering notably the practice of extrajudicial settlement and the higher number of cases treated in medical centres. Social stigmatization Victims of sexual violence and their families often face intense judgement in their communities amid widespread social stigmatization. The mother of a girl who said she was raped told Amnesty International about the stigma her child experienced: “[…] When we went to the hospital, one of the doctors said: ‘This is the little girl who was raped’. It hurts. Everywhere she goes, people point at her. She is always locked up in the house. She doesn't go out; she hardly communicates with people. She wants to go back to school but it's not possible." More efforts should be done by the authorities to develop awareness and education campaigns to address the underlying social and cultural attitudes that discriminate against women and facilitate and perpetuate violence against them. These campaigns should promote zero tolerance for violence against women, debunk harmful gender stereotypes and myths associated with rape, eliminate the stigma associated with women victims of violence, and encourage victims to seek redress. Urgent need to improve access to care, sexual and reproductive rights and psychological support Guinea lacks an effective toll-free number enabling victims to report sexual violence and to receive medical and legal advice. And despite some initiatives like the creation of one-stop centres offering care and legal support, the availability, quality, and accessibility of the health system must be strengthened for victims, often of modest economic status. Many survivors are unable to access effective medical and psychological care or realise their right to sexual and reproductive health. Most medical specialist practice in the capital city Conakry and the cost of care can sometimes prevent victims from seeking treatment. A doctor said to Amnesty International: “We can provide free consultations and reports. But if people have complications that require surgery, or infectious complications that require medication, we can't do that for free.” “The social stigma associated with rape in Guinea, which often leads to not reporting the crime and not filing complaints, leaves survivors of these atrocities without access to medical care and psychosocial support as well as legal aid to access justice and redress”, said Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, IPPFAR Regional Director. “Gender based violence in all its forms is recognised as a human rights violation by the international human rights framework and jurisprudence. Gender inequality, power imbalance and lack of respect for human rights are often the root causes of such heinous acts and prevents survivors from accessing and enjoying their full sexual and reproductive health and rights. As human rights defenders, we must all take a stand and put a stop to these inexcusable acts”, added Petrus-Barry. Accessing justice is an obstacle course for victims Despite achieving real progress by adjusting legal frameworks in recent years and developing specialized police and gendarmerie units to respond to sexual violence cases, gaining access to justice in Guinea remains a challenging obstacle course for victims of sexual violence, while perpetrators often enjoy impunity. Customary authorities have been able to push for out of court settlements leading to prosecutions being dropped, which is against the law and against the rights of the survivors. Although there is lack of forensic specialists and the presentation of a medico-legal certificate is not a legal condition for filing a complaint, in practice it is often required. And even when this document is not required by the police or the gendarmerie, its absence becomes a major obstacle to a possible conviction in court. Judicial investigations are often hampered by a lack of resources and training in addressing and investigating sexual violence, which negatively impacts victims’ quest for justice. In the absence of effective free legal assistance for those unable to afford a lawyer, only NGOs are able to provide legal support. Similarly, Guinea’s justice system also lacks resources. The majority of judges, most of whom are men, work in poor conditions. The report of rapes survivors highlights that some of them perpetuate patriarchal stereotypes while handling sexual violence cases. Furthermore, the fact that the survivors of the 28 September 2009 massacre had to wait 13 years to finally hope for justice and reparation was a powerful symbol of impunity; while the defence and security forces killed more than 150 demonstrators and committed sexual crimes against more than 100 women in a stadium in Conakry that day.   To strengthen their response to sexual violence, the Guinean authorities must urgently pass a comprehensive law on gender-based violence, among other recommendations highlighted in the report to strengthen the capacity of the judiciary, police and other law enforcement authorities, and social and health workers, to ensure full implementation of legal provisions aimed at addressing violence against women.   “Guinean authorities promised that they would fight gender-based violence and rape.  We urge them to take concrete steps to strengthen state efforts to prevent sexual violence, and guarantee care and justice for survivors,” said Samira Daoud. For further information or to request an interview, please contact: -Ousmane DRABO, Media Manager at Amnesty International’s West and Central Africa region office- email: [email protected] / Mob: +221 776234040 or [email protected] -Mahmoud GARGA, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] / Tel: +254 704 626 920   ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organization in Africa, and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent’s growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high quality, youth focused and gender sensitive services. We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, United Nations bodies among others to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

Guinea Report
media_center

| 29 September 2022

Guinea: Act now to ensure greater support and assistance for survivors of sexual violence

New report calls on Guinean authorities to improve prevention from rape and care for survivors Authorities must introduce new law on gender-based violence   Over 400 complaints for rape were registered in 2021, most of survivors were minors Amnesty and IPPFAR denounce barriers to justice for victims leading to impunity Victims of sexual violence in Guinea face social stigmatization, a lack of accessible medical care and serious barriers to justice, said Amnesty International and the International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) today in a new report ‘Shame must change sides, ensuring rights and justice for victims of sexual violence in Guinea’. Based on interviews with survivors of rape, administrative, judicial, traditional, and religious authorities, health care professionals, diplomats, civil society representatives, the report analyses the numerous obstacles to effective care for victims of rape, forensic examination, psychological support, and access to justice in Guinea. For many survivors, justice remains unattainable.  "Victims and their families have repeatedly told us that the horrendous sexual violence they experienced is compounded by societal judgement, but silence is starting to break on rape cases and civil society is moving to denounce sexual violence,” said Samira Daoud, Amnesty International's Regional Director for West and Central Africa. “Despite recent efforts by the authorities to tackle the issue of sexual violence, many remains to be done in terms of information, prevention, access to care and justice to respect Guinea's obligations under international and regional human rights laws.” In 2021, the Office for the Protection of Gender, Children and Morals (Oprogem) and the Special Brigade for the Protection of Vulnerable Persons (BSPPV) - specialized units within the police and the gendarmerie- dealt with more than 400 cases of rape, and most of the victims were minors, some of whom are under 13.  This report shows that the real figures of rape cases are undoubtedly higher, considering notably the practice of extrajudicial settlement and the higher number of cases treated in medical centres. Social stigmatization Victims of sexual violence and their families often face intense judgement in their communities amid widespread social stigmatization. The mother of a girl who said she was raped told Amnesty International about the stigma her child experienced: “[…] When we went to the hospital, one of the doctors said: ‘This is the little girl who was raped’. It hurts. Everywhere she goes, people point at her. She is always locked up in the house. She doesn't go out; she hardly communicates with people. She wants to go back to school but it's not possible." More efforts should be done by the authorities to develop awareness and education campaigns to address the underlying social and cultural attitudes that discriminate against women and facilitate and perpetuate violence against them. These campaigns should promote zero tolerance for violence against women, debunk harmful gender stereotypes and myths associated with rape, eliminate the stigma associated with women victims of violence, and encourage victims to seek redress. Urgent need to improve access to care, sexual and reproductive rights and psychological support Guinea lacks an effective toll-free number enabling victims to report sexual violence and to receive medical and legal advice. And despite some initiatives like the creation of one-stop centres offering care and legal support, the availability, quality, and accessibility of the health system must be strengthened for victims, often of modest economic status. Many survivors are unable to access effective medical and psychological care or realise their right to sexual and reproductive health. Most medical specialist practice in the capital city Conakry and the cost of care can sometimes prevent victims from seeking treatment. A doctor said to Amnesty International: “We can provide free consultations and reports. But if people have complications that require surgery, or infectious complications that require medication, we can't do that for free.” “The social stigma associated with rape in Guinea, which often leads to not reporting the crime and not filing complaints, leaves survivors of these atrocities without access to medical care and psychosocial support as well as legal aid to access justice and redress”, said Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, IPPFAR Regional Director. “Gender based violence in all its forms is recognised as a human rights violation by the international human rights framework and jurisprudence. Gender inequality, power imbalance and lack of respect for human rights are often the root causes of such heinous acts and prevents survivors from accessing and enjoying their full sexual and reproductive health and rights. As human rights defenders, we must all take a stand and put a stop to these inexcusable acts”, added Petrus-Barry. Accessing justice is an obstacle course for victims Despite achieving real progress by adjusting legal frameworks in recent years and developing specialized police and gendarmerie units to respond to sexual violence cases, gaining access to justice in Guinea remains a challenging obstacle course for victims of sexual violence, while perpetrators often enjoy impunity. Customary authorities have been able to push for out of court settlements leading to prosecutions being dropped, which is against the law and against the rights of the survivors. Although there is lack of forensic specialists and the presentation of a medico-legal certificate is not a legal condition for filing a complaint, in practice it is often required. And even when this document is not required by the police or the gendarmerie, its absence becomes a major obstacle to a possible conviction in court. Judicial investigations are often hampered by a lack of resources and training in addressing and investigating sexual violence, which negatively impacts victims’ quest for justice. In the absence of effective free legal assistance for those unable to afford a lawyer, only NGOs are able to provide legal support. Similarly, Guinea’s justice system also lacks resources. The majority of judges, most of whom are men, work in poor conditions. The report of rapes survivors highlights that some of them perpetuate patriarchal stereotypes while handling sexual violence cases. Furthermore, the fact that the survivors of the 28 September 2009 massacre had to wait 13 years to finally hope for justice and reparation was a powerful symbol of impunity; while the defence and security forces killed more than 150 demonstrators and committed sexual crimes against more than 100 women in a stadium in Conakry that day.   To strengthen their response to sexual violence, the Guinean authorities must urgently pass a comprehensive law on gender-based violence, among other recommendations highlighted in the report to strengthen the capacity of the judiciary, police and other law enforcement authorities, and social and health workers, to ensure full implementation of legal provisions aimed at addressing violence against women.   “Guinean authorities promised that they would fight gender-based violence and rape.  We urge them to take concrete steps to strengthen state efforts to prevent sexual violence, and guarantee care and justice for survivors,” said Samira Daoud. For further information or to request an interview, please contact: -Ousmane DRABO, Media Manager at Amnesty International’s West and Central Africa region office- email: [email protected] / Mob: +221 776234040 or [email protected] -Mahmoud GARGA, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] / Tel: +254 704 626 920   ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organization in Africa, and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent’s growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high quality, youth focused and gender sensitive services. We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, United Nations bodies among others to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

Safe abortion course
media center

| 20 September 2022

IPPF launches free online medical abortion course

Training co-created with How To Use Abortion Pill Training endorsed by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Training course complete with quizzes and an option to download a certificate upon successful completion Course comes as World Health Organisation (WHO) issues new guidelines on abortion care and will help put the WHO guidelines into practice globally Over 25 million unsafe abortions occur each year From 2015 to 2019 in Kenya, there were 2,380,000 pregnancies annually. Of these, 1,450,000 pregnancies were unintended and 551,000 ended in abortion Landmark High Court of Kenya ruling in March 2022 affirms abortion care as a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya Nairobi – 20th September 2022 – International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and HowToUseAbortionPill.org have developed a free online medical abortion training course to equip healthcare workers with the necessary skills to provide care for women seeking medical abortion up to 13 weeks’ gestation. The course is aimed at the full range of providers, including physicians, midwives, pharmacists, medical students and community health workers. The course, which has been endorsed by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), is a seven-lesson video series accessible via the link https://elearning.howtouseabortionpill.org. It covers an overview of abortion care; how to support a medical abortion; symptoms, side effects and complications; and aftercare. The training is framed around four principles of care: person-centred care, rights-based care, quality, and privacy and confidentiality. “Abortion care continues to be left off medical training curriculums,” said Mallah Tabot, Lead SRHR Programming at IPPF Africa Region. “This online course will fill a critical gap in the education of many health workers. It has the potential to significantly increase the number of health workers with the skills and knowledge to provide abortion care, especially in low-resource settings, and thereby increase the number of women supported to safely end a pregnancy.” Unsafe abortion remains a serious global threat to women's health and safety, causing an estimated 7 million hospitalizations and up to 13% of all maternal deaths worldwide each year. Medical abortion is a non-invasive method using two pills - mifepristone and misoprostol - or misoprostol alone.  Medical abortion is safe and effective and is recommended by the Word Health Organisation (WHO). Between 2015 and 2019 in Kenya, there were a total of 2,380,000 pregnancies annually. Of these, 1,450,000 pregnancies were unintended and 551,000 ended in abortion. in Nigeria, there were a total of 10,500,000 pregnancies annually with 2,990,000 unintended and 1,430,000 ended in abortion. In both countries, abortion is legal to preserve the pregnant person’s health. However, a majority of abortions are carried out by unqualified practitioners who run unsafe clinics. “Research shows that when women cannot access safe abortion care, they often seek unsafe methods,”  said Rebecca Wilkins, Technical Lead, Abortion at IPPF.  “This training course provides the information and resources necessary for health workers to support women who choose to have a safe abortion with pills in early pregnancy either within or outside a clinical setting.” The course is hosted on a login-based web portal which can be accessed from desktop or mobile and is structured to be an interactive learning experience, complete with quizzes and an option to download a certificate upon successful completion. In March this year, WHO issued new guidelines on abortion care.  The updated guidelines contain more than 50 recommendations covering clinical practice, health service delivery, and policy and legal actions including ensuring access to quality medical abortion pills. The new online training course is aligned to the clinical protocols recommended in the WHO guidelines. A landmark ruling by the High Court of Kenya in Malindi this year affirmed the right to abortion as a fundamental right under the Kenyan Constitution.  The ruling in a case filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK) in 2020 against government officials involved the arrest of a minor and a clinician. It has set a precedent against arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and health care providers for seeking or offering abortion services. Such arrests and prosecutions are now deemed illegal according to the new ruling. ENDs  For further information, download the media kit HERE or contact: PR Consultant Njeri Wangari              Tel: +254 (0)722353657, e-mail: [email protected] IPPF: Mahmoud Garga                     Tel.   +254 (0) 704626920, e-mail: [email protected]    Catherine Kilfedder                                                         e-mail: [email protected]   ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organizations in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women, in sub-Saharan Africa.  Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent's growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-sensitive services.  We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, and United Nations bodies, among others, to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa.  Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Safe abortion course
media_center

| 29 September 2022

IPPF launches free online medical abortion course

Training co-created with How To Use Abortion Pill Training endorsed by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Training course complete with quizzes and an option to download a certificate upon successful completion Course comes as World Health Organisation (WHO) issues new guidelines on abortion care and will help put the WHO guidelines into practice globally Over 25 million unsafe abortions occur each year From 2015 to 2019 in Kenya, there were 2,380,000 pregnancies annually. Of these, 1,450,000 pregnancies were unintended and 551,000 ended in abortion Landmark High Court of Kenya ruling in March 2022 affirms abortion care as a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya Nairobi – 20th September 2022 – International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and HowToUseAbortionPill.org have developed a free online medical abortion training course to equip healthcare workers with the necessary skills to provide care for women seeking medical abortion up to 13 weeks’ gestation. The course is aimed at the full range of providers, including physicians, midwives, pharmacists, medical students and community health workers. The course, which has been endorsed by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), is a seven-lesson video series accessible via the link https://elearning.howtouseabortionpill.org. It covers an overview of abortion care; how to support a medical abortion; symptoms, side effects and complications; and aftercare. The training is framed around four principles of care: person-centred care, rights-based care, quality, and privacy and confidentiality. “Abortion care continues to be left off medical training curriculums,” said Mallah Tabot, Lead SRHR Programming at IPPF Africa Region. “This online course will fill a critical gap in the education of many health workers. It has the potential to significantly increase the number of health workers with the skills and knowledge to provide abortion care, especially in low-resource settings, and thereby increase the number of women supported to safely end a pregnancy.” Unsafe abortion remains a serious global threat to women's health and safety, causing an estimated 7 million hospitalizations and up to 13% of all maternal deaths worldwide each year. Medical abortion is a non-invasive method using two pills - mifepristone and misoprostol - or misoprostol alone.  Medical abortion is safe and effective and is recommended by the Word Health Organisation (WHO). Between 2015 and 2019 in Kenya, there were a total of 2,380,000 pregnancies annually. Of these, 1,450,000 pregnancies were unintended and 551,000 ended in abortion. in Nigeria, there were a total of 10,500,000 pregnancies annually with 2,990,000 unintended and 1,430,000 ended in abortion. In both countries, abortion is legal to preserve the pregnant person’s health. However, a majority of abortions are carried out by unqualified practitioners who run unsafe clinics. “Research shows that when women cannot access safe abortion care, they often seek unsafe methods,”  said Rebecca Wilkins, Technical Lead, Abortion at IPPF.  “This training course provides the information and resources necessary for health workers to support women who choose to have a safe abortion with pills in early pregnancy either within or outside a clinical setting.” The course is hosted on a login-based web portal which can be accessed from desktop or mobile and is structured to be an interactive learning experience, complete with quizzes and an option to download a certificate upon successful completion. In March this year, WHO issued new guidelines on abortion care.  The updated guidelines contain more than 50 recommendations covering clinical practice, health service delivery, and policy and legal actions including ensuring access to quality medical abortion pills. The new online training course is aligned to the clinical protocols recommended in the WHO guidelines. A landmark ruling by the High Court of Kenya in Malindi this year affirmed the right to abortion as a fundamental right under the Kenyan Constitution.  The ruling in a case filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK) in 2020 against government officials involved the arrest of a minor and a clinician. It has set a precedent against arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and health care providers for seeking or offering abortion services. Such arrests and prosecutions are now deemed illegal according to the new ruling. ENDs  For further information, download the media kit HERE or contact: PR Consultant Njeri Wangari              Tel: +254 (0)722353657, e-mail: [email protected] IPPF: Mahmoud Garga                     Tel.   +254 (0) 704626920, e-mail: [email protected]    Catherine Kilfedder                                                         e-mail: [email protected]   ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organizations in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women, in sub-Saharan Africa.  Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent's growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-sensitive services.  We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, and United Nations bodies, among others, to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa.  Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Treasure your pleasure
media center

| 03 September 2022

IPPF endorses pleasure-inclusive sexual health via the Pleasure Principles

IPPF is publicly committing to pleasure-inclusive sexual health and rights ahead of World Sexual Health Day by endorsing The Pleasure Project's Pleasure Principles Ahead of World Sexual Health Day on 4 September 2022, the theme of which is Let's talk pleasure, the world's largest sexual and reproductive healthcare organization, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), is publicly committing to pleasure-inclusive sexual health and rights (SRHR) by endorsing The Pleasure Project's Pleasure Principles. The seven principles, which include putting rights first, embracing learning, and loving yourself, promote a sex-positive, pleasure-based approach to sex and sexual health as opposed to standard prevention framing, which focuses only on avoiding pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). The Pleasure Principles are backed by new research with the World Health Organization, which shows that including sexual pleasure in sexual health education improves condom use compared to those that don't and increases knowledge and positive attitudes about sex, ultimately leading to better, safer sex and saving lives in the process. IPPF is adjusting to the shifting landscape of sexual health needs with seven pleasure-filled commitments, including incorporating staff training on pleasure-based sexual health and working with The Pleasure Project to integrate pleasure into more of its sexual and reproductive health programmes. The organization will also ensure that pleasure is a guiding principle in its upcoming 2023-2028 organizational strategy. Marie-Evelyne-Petrus-Barry, Regional Director for IPPF Africa Region, said: "IPPF has always believed that pleasure is fundamental to well-being and that comprehensive sexual education globally must be drastically improved, stepping away from fear-based framing and stepping into one rooted in understanding sexual and reproductive health more holistically. "We also must be honest that most people, especially young people, do not just have sex for reproductive reasons, but have sex for pleasure. We must do more to help people understand the spectrum of pleasure so they can better understand their own needs and wants, and we hope, have a better, safer and healthier sex life." IPPF Africa Region has stepped up to the mark with the Treasure Your Pleasure digital campaign for young people, which has already sparked a conversation on sexual pleasure, sexual health and sexual rights on social media. More than 8 million people have viewed the content, which includes information about pleasure-based sex and relationships, sexual safety and consent, and more than 30,000 new people have followed the region on social media to learn more about their sexual health and wellbeing. IPPF plans to implement learnings from the campaign across other regions.   Anne Philpott, Founder of the Pleasure Project, said: "The Pleasure Project is delighted that IPPF has endorsed the Pleasure Principles. As the largest global provider of sexual and reproductive health services, it shines a light on this long stigmatized blind-spot in sexual health.  "Pleasure, love and desire are key reasons people have sex and relationships. Yet health services have been focused on stopping disease or preventing pregnancy for too long, limiting their appeal and impact. Our recent evidence review with the World Health Organization demonstrates that pleasure-inclusive sexual health improves sexual health and ultimately saves lives. "This commitment is not only critical in ensuring the more than 200 million essential services they provide every year are honest, sex-positive and effective but also that the people they serve are respected as wanting to live fulfilling lives. "We are excited to partner with IPPF to put their commitment into action with staff training, implementation of pleasure-based sexual health and learning lessons on how to best deliver this new evidence and pleasure-filled best practice." *** For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey at [email protected] or Amina Khan on [email protected]   About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF, through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what. Notes to Editors World Sexual Health 2022 has the theme 'Let's talk pleasure' - find assets here   The full list of Pleasure Principles can be found on www.thepleasureproject.org and include: Love Yourself Embrace Learning Talk Sexy Be Flexible Think Universal Rights First Be Positive  A pleasure-based approach celebrates sex, sexuality and the joy and wellbeing derived from these and creates a vision of good sex built on sexual rights. It focuses on sensory, mental, physical and sensual pleasure to enable individuals to understand, consent to, and control their bodies and multi-faceted desires. Well-being, safety, pleasure, desire and joy are the objectives of a programme with a pleasure-based approach. This approach measures empowerment, agency, and self-efficacy by whether or not an individual has been enabled to know what they want and can ask for it and request this of others in relation to their sexuality, desires and pleasure. [ The Pleasure Project, 2019]   The full list of IPPF's commitments includes: At least two Member Associations commit to testing elements of the Pleasure Principles in their work Incorporate training of staff across the Federation on Pleasure Based Sexual Health and the evidence that supports it Look to expand the Treasure Your Pleasure Campaign by the Africa Regional Office to other regions and use the learnings to inform Pleasure based-content across all regions A specific module on advocacy for pleasure in the IPPF internal training modules To work with the Pleasure Project to better understand how to incorporate Pleasure into our programmes with a focus on youth To work with at least thee sex positive, pleasure-based influencers on social media content Continue to ensure Pleasure is a principal guiding the new IPPF Strategy 2023-2028  

Treasure your pleasure
media_center

| 29 September 2022

IPPF endorses pleasure-inclusive sexual health via the Pleasure Principles

IPPF is publicly committing to pleasure-inclusive sexual health and rights ahead of World Sexual Health Day by endorsing The Pleasure Project's Pleasure Principles Ahead of World Sexual Health Day on 4 September 2022, the theme of which is Let's talk pleasure, the world's largest sexual and reproductive healthcare organization, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), is publicly committing to pleasure-inclusive sexual health and rights (SRHR) by endorsing The Pleasure Project's Pleasure Principles. The seven principles, which include putting rights first, embracing learning, and loving yourself, promote a sex-positive, pleasure-based approach to sex and sexual health as opposed to standard prevention framing, which focuses only on avoiding pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). The Pleasure Principles are backed by new research with the World Health Organization, which shows that including sexual pleasure in sexual health education improves condom use compared to those that don't and increases knowledge and positive attitudes about sex, ultimately leading to better, safer sex and saving lives in the process. IPPF is adjusting to the shifting landscape of sexual health needs with seven pleasure-filled commitments, including incorporating staff training on pleasure-based sexual health and working with The Pleasure Project to integrate pleasure into more of its sexual and reproductive health programmes. The organization will also ensure that pleasure is a guiding principle in its upcoming 2023-2028 organizational strategy. Marie-Evelyne-Petrus-Barry, Regional Director for IPPF Africa Region, said: "IPPF has always believed that pleasure is fundamental to well-being and that comprehensive sexual education globally must be drastically improved, stepping away from fear-based framing and stepping into one rooted in understanding sexual and reproductive health more holistically. "We also must be honest that most people, especially young people, do not just have sex for reproductive reasons, but have sex for pleasure. We must do more to help people understand the spectrum of pleasure so they can better understand their own needs and wants, and we hope, have a better, safer and healthier sex life." IPPF Africa Region has stepped up to the mark with the Treasure Your Pleasure digital campaign for young people, which has already sparked a conversation on sexual pleasure, sexual health and sexual rights on social media. More than 8 million people have viewed the content, which includes information about pleasure-based sex and relationships, sexual safety and consent, and more than 30,000 new people have followed the region on social media to learn more about their sexual health and wellbeing. IPPF plans to implement learnings from the campaign across other regions.   Anne Philpott, Founder of the Pleasure Project, said: "The Pleasure Project is delighted that IPPF has endorsed the Pleasure Principles. As the largest global provider of sexual and reproductive health services, it shines a light on this long stigmatized blind-spot in sexual health.  "Pleasure, love and desire are key reasons people have sex and relationships. Yet health services have been focused on stopping disease or preventing pregnancy for too long, limiting their appeal and impact. Our recent evidence review with the World Health Organization demonstrates that pleasure-inclusive sexual health improves sexual health and ultimately saves lives. "This commitment is not only critical in ensuring the more than 200 million essential services they provide every year are honest, sex-positive and effective but also that the people they serve are respected as wanting to live fulfilling lives. "We are excited to partner with IPPF to put their commitment into action with staff training, implementation of pleasure-based sexual health and learning lessons on how to best deliver this new evidence and pleasure-filled best practice." *** For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey at [email protected] or Amina Khan on [email protected]   About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF, through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what. Notes to Editors World Sexual Health 2022 has the theme 'Let's talk pleasure' - find assets here   The full list of Pleasure Principles can be found on www.thepleasureproject.org and include: Love Yourself Embrace Learning Talk Sexy Be Flexible Think Universal Rights First Be Positive  A pleasure-based approach celebrates sex, sexuality and the joy and wellbeing derived from these and creates a vision of good sex built on sexual rights. It focuses on sensory, mental, physical and sensual pleasure to enable individuals to understand, consent to, and control their bodies and multi-faceted desires. Well-being, safety, pleasure, desire and joy are the objectives of a programme with a pleasure-based approach. This approach measures empowerment, agency, and self-efficacy by whether or not an individual has been enabled to know what they want and can ask for it and request this of others in relation to their sexuality, desires and pleasure. [ The Pleasure Project, 2019]   The full list of IPPF's commitments includes: At least two Member Associations commit to testing elements of the Pleasure Principles in their work Incorporate training of staff across the Federation on Pleasure Based Sexual Health and the evidence that supports it Look to expand the Treasure Your Pleasure Campaign by the Africa Regional Office to other regions and use the learnings to inform Pleasure based-content across all regions A specific module on advocacy for pleasure in the IPPF internal training modules To work with the Pleasure Project to better understand how to incorporate Pleasure into our programmes with a focus on youth To work with at least thee sex positive, pleasure-based influencers on social media content Continue to ensure Pleasure is a principal guiding the new IPPF Strategy 2023-2028  

Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG)
media center

| 18 August 2022

Ugandan LGBTIQ+ Organisation Banned by Government

Nairobi – 18 August 2022 – On 3 August 2022, the Ugandan National Bureau for Non-Governmental Organizations unfairly halted the activities of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) - a prominent lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTIQ+) rights organization - for failing to meet the bureau's registration requirements. SMUG has provided sexuality education and advocated for LGBTIQ+ healthcare since 2004 and is well-known for providing services and guidance to the LGBTIQ+ community in Uganda. The organization also contributes to Uganda's health goals, including the country's HIV/AIDS strategy, which includes the provision of healthcare to vulnerable and marginalized populations. Although SMUG applied to the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) in 2012, the URSB  declined the organization's request on the grounds that SMUG was "operating illegally", a position the organization petitioned with no positive response. In a clear case of harassment and restrictions against Ugandan rights groups working on LGBTQI+ rights, the URSB further asserted that registering SMUG's name would be difficult, calling it "undesirable and un-registrable". In response to the ban, Marie-Evelynne Petrus Barry, Africa Regional Director for the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), urged the Ugandan Government to review its decision to suspend SMUG and to work towards accommodating the organization's mandate of advancing the rights of the LGBTIQ+ community in Uganda. She said: "As a global human rights organization and the world's largest sexual and reproductive healthcare provider, the International Planned Parenthood Federation upholds the rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. "The Ugandan Government's ban of SMUG has created huge anxiety among health service providers, human rights defenders, and members of the LGBTIQ+ community, who risk their lives daily so that LGBTQI+ people can access healthcare and information just as any other person would. "We ask the Ugandan Government to urgently reconsider its decision to suspend SMUG and to put an end to laws and policies that criminalize, target and endanger members of the LGBTIQ+ community and the organizations that advocate for their rights." Petrus-Barry added: "IPPF works to ensure that people with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) – including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex people have access to the full set of human rights enshrined in international human rights laws. IPPF is willing to work with the Ugandan Government and other stakeholders to ensure that all Ugandan people can access these rights without restraint." ENDs Media Contacts: Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] -Phone +254 704 626 920 ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organizations in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women, in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent's growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-sensitive services. We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, and United Nations bodies, among others, to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  

Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG)
media_center

| 18 August 2022

Ugandan LGBTIQ+ Organisation Banned by Government

Nairobi – 18 August 2022 – On 3 August 2022, the Ugandan National Bureau for Non-Governmental Organizations unfairly halted the activities of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) - a prominent lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTIQ+) rights organization - for failing to meet the bureau's registration requirements. SMUG has provided sexuality education and advocated for LGBTIQ+ healthcare since 2004 and is well-known for providing services and guidance to the LGBTIQ+ community in Uganda. The organization also contributes to Uganda's health goals, including the country's HIV/AIDS strategy, which includes the provision of healthcare to vulnerable and marginalized populations. Although SMUG applied to the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) in 2012, the URSB  declined the organization's request on the grounds that SMUG was "operating illegally", a position the organization petitioned with no positive response. In a clear case of harassment and restrictions against Ugandan rights groups working on LGBTQI+ rights, the URSB further asserted that registering SMUG's name would be difficult, calling it "undesirable and un-registrable". In response to the ban, Marie-Evelynne Petrus Barry, Africa Regional Director for the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), urged the Ugandan Government to review its decision to suspend SMUG and to work towards accommodating the organization's mandate of advancing the rights of the LGBTIQ+ community in Uganda. She said: "As a global human rights organization and the world's largest sexual and reproductive healthcare provider, the International Planned Parenthood Federation upholds the rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. "The Ugandan Government's ban of SMUG has created huge anxiety among health service providers, human rights defenders, and members of the LGBTIQ+ community, who risk their lives daily so that LGBTQI+ people can access healthcare and information just as any other person would. "We ask the Ugandan Government to urgently reconsider its decision to suspend SMUG and to put an end to laws and policies that criminalize, target and endanger members of the LGBTIQ+ community and the organizations that advocate for their rights." Petrus-Barry added: "IPPF works to ensure that people with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) – including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex people have access to the full set of human rights enshrined in international human rights laws. IPPF is willing to work with the Ugandan Government and other stakeholders to ensure that all Ugandan people can access these rights without restraint." ENDs Media Contacts: Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] -Phone +254 704 626 920 ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organizations in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women, in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent's growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-sensitive services. We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, and United Nations bodies, among others, to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  

Benin_Abortion Stigma Packard
media center

| 28 July 2022

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.

Benin_Abortion Stigma Packard
media_center

| 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.

LGTIQ Botswana
media center

| 28 July 2022

A Huge Victory for LGBTIQ+ Equality in Botswana: Court Upholds Ruling Decriminalizing Same-Sex Relationships

Nairobi, 30 November 2021 - The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the Botswana Family Welfare Association (BOFWA) celebrate and welcome Botswana’s Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold a 2019 ruling that decriminalized same-sex relationships. On Monday 29 November 2021, five judges from the Court of Appeal unanimously ruled that criminalising same-sex relationships was a violation of the constitutional rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ+) individuals to dignity, liberty, privacy and equality. The offending sections of the Penal Code have been removed accordingly, as they were found to violate liberty, privacy and dignity and cause undue discrimination to the LGBTIQ+ community. This decision has affirmed Botswana’s commitment to uphold the democratic rights of all its citizens, including their full and complete sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This appeal was the third to be heard by the full bench of the court of Appeal concerning constitutionality of the state actors, or sections of statutes challenged as breaching the fundamental rights of members of the LGBTIQ+ community. BOFWA, a member association of IPPF, plays a leading role in providing and championing access to high-quality and integrated SRHR for all those who are marginalised, underserved and in particular those groups who are often left behind. These communities include vulnerable and key populations such as the LGBTIQ+ communities and sex workers. In Partnership with SRHR and LGBTIQ+ activists, BOFWA advocates for the SRHR of all people of Botswana, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or status in society. Over the years, BOFWA has argued that criminalization of same-sex relations and associated stigma and discrimination gravely reduces access to SRHR services, including HIV interventions and other sexually transmitted infections. A distinguished leader in the SRHR sector, BOFWA was the first non-governmental organization in the country to provide antiretroviral treatment to key populations. Ms. Una Ngwenya, BOFWA’s Executive Director, expressed jubilation at the Court of Appeal’s decision. “The ruling will go a long way in addressing issues of stigma and discrimination against members of the same-sex community in Botswana. We believe that this decision will inspire members of this community to freely seek SRHR services and go on with their lives like everyone else; they don’t need labels but rather targeted and differentiated services! Still, we will not sit on our laurels, it is not over yet, members of the same-sex community face various challenges beyond the law; attitudes of service providers, moralizing sex and sexuality and complexities surrounding sexual and gender-based violence among communities remain critical. While we welcome the Court of Appeal’s judgement, we urge the Government to put in place stringent measures across the country’s health care system that will address the barriers and disparities preventing the LGBTIQ+ community’s access to sexual and reproductive health services. Equally, we call for the guaranteed safety and protection of our fellow civil society movements that continue to fight barriers and disparities that hinder this community’s access to sexual reproductive health services,” she says. Ms. Ngwenya adds that BOFWA and IPPF will not relent in their quest to advocate for SRHR-related issues, including laws that provide access to safe abortion and decriminalize sex work.   “IPPF welcomes Botswana’s ruling in favour of LGBTIQ+ equality and encourages other African countries to follow it. We reiterate our commitment to building the capacities of all our Member Associations, their partners and stakeholders, in ensuring that the sexual reproductive health and rights of all citizens across the world are upheld, unreservedly,” said Marie-Evelyne-Petrus-Barry, IPPF Africa Regional Director. END Media Contacts: -Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] -Phone +254 704 626 920 Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Office, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: [email protected] – Phone: +254 707 952 990   ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading providers of quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in Africa, and a strong and resolute sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region, committed to gender equality and to ensuring that women, girls and young people realize their rights and have control over their own bodies, their lives and their futures. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to integrated SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men, and women in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent’s growing SRHR challenges through a committed network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by supporting and empowering the MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-transformative services. We work with governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, United Nations bodies among others to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

LGTIQ Botswana
media_center

| 30 November 2021

A Huge Victory for LGBTIQ+ Equality in Botswana: Court Upholds Ruling Decriminalizing Same-Sex Relationships

Nairobi, 30 November 2021 - The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the Botswana Family Welfare Association (BOFWA) celebrate and welcome Botswana’s Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold a 2019 ruling that decriminalized same-sex relationships. On Monday 29 November 2021, five judges from the Court of Appeal unanimously ruled that criminalising same-sex relationships was a violation of the constitutional rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ+) individuals to dignity, liberty, privacy and equality. The offending sections of the Penal Code have been removed accordingly, as they were found to violate liberty, privacy and dignity and cause undue discrimination to the LGBTIQ+ community. This decision has affirmed Botswana’s commitment to uphold the democratic rights of all its citizens, including their full and complete sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This appeal was the third to be heard by the full bench of the court of Appeal concerning constitutionality of the state actors, or sections of statutes challenged as breaching the fundamental rights of members of the LGBTIQ+ community. BOFWA, a member association of IPPF, plays a leading role in providing and championing access to high-quality and integrated SRHR for all those who are marginalised, underserved and in particular those groups who are often left behind. These communities include vulnerable and key populations such as the LGBTIQ+ communities and sex workers. In Partnership with SRHR and LGBTIQ+ activists, BOFWA advocates for the SRHR of all people of Botswana, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or status in society. Over the years, BOFWA has argued that criminalization of same-sex relations and associated stigma and discrimination gravely reduces access to SRHR services, including HIV interventions and other sexually transmitted infections. A distinguished leader in the SRHR sector, BOFWA was the first non-governmental organization in the country to provide antiretroviral treatment to key populations. Ms. Una Ngwenya, BOFWA’s Executive Director, expressed jubilation at the Court of Appeal’s decision. “The ruling will go a long way in addressing issues of stigma and discrimination against members of the same-sex community in Botswana. We believe that this decision will inspire members of this community to freely seek SRHR services and go on with their lives like everyone else; they don’t need labels but rather targeted and differentiated services! Still, we will not sit on our laurels, it is not over yet, members of the same-sex community face various challenges beyond the law; attitudes of service providers, moralizing sex and sexuality and complexities surrounding sexual and gender-based violence among communities remain critical. While we welcome the Court of Appeal’s judgement, we urge the Government to put in place stringent measures across the country’s health care system that will address the barriers and disparities preventing the LGBTIQ+ community’s access to sexual and reproductive health services. Equally, we call for the guaranteed safety and protection of our fellow civil society movements that continue to fight barriers and disparities that hinder this community’s access to sexual reproductive health services,” she says. Ms. Ngwenya adds that BOFWA and IPPF will not relent in their quest to advocate for SRHR-related issues, including laws that provide access to safe abortion and decriminalize sex work.   “IPPF welcomes Botswana’s ruling in favour of LGBTIQ+ equality and encourages other African countries to follow it. We reiterate our commitment to building the capacities of all our Member Associations, their partners and stakeholders, in ensuring that the sexual reproductive health and rights of all citizens across the world are upheld, unreservedly,” said Marie-Evelyne-Petrus-Barry, IPPF Africa Regional Director. END Media Contacts: -Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] -Phone +254 704 626 920 Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Office, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: [email protected] – Phone: +254 707 952 990   ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading providers of quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in Africa, and a strong and resolute sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region, committed to gender equality and to ensuring that women, girls and young people realize their rights and have control over their own bodies, their lives and their futures. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to integrated SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men, and women in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent’s growing SRHR challenges through a committed network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by supporting and empowering the MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-transformative services. We work with governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, United Nations bodies among others to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.