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IPPF West Africa EDs and YAM Presidents in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire

Côte d'Ivoire

News item

Côte d'Ivoire hosts IPPF Member Associations from West and Central Africa for the launch of the new IPPF sub-office for the sub-region

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Africa regional office gathered from 17 to 22 October in Abidjan, the Executive Directors and Presidents of the Youth Action Movements (YAMs) of its Member Associations in West and Central Africa (Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone) as part of the launch of its new sub-office for West and Central Africa.
The Greats - Anna Zolnierowicz - The Future Is Female
news item

| 05 December 2022

16 days of activism against gender-based violence - FEMICIDE

The term 'Feminicide' was first defined in 1976 by the South African feminist author Diana Elisabeth Hamilton Russel as 'the killing of women by men simply because they are women'. To qualify as a feminicide, the killing of a woman must necessarily be associated with motives related to her identity as a woman.  Thus, a woman killed in a burglary or by a hit-and-run driver cannot de facto be considered a victim of feminicide. The murderer is not necessarily a man. Types of Feminicide The term feminicide refers to two types of crime: intimate feminicide and non-intimate feminicide. The first one is committed by a spouse, ex-spouse or family member. According to a study cited by the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 35% of women killed worldwide are killed by their partners, compared to only 5% of murders involving men.  The second is committed by a stranger. The most frequently cited examples are the hundreds of women killed over many years in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, or the anti-feminist massacre at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989. However, the WHO recognises two (02) other categories of feminicide in addition to these: honour killing and dowry-related feminicide. Honour killings are carried out by a male or female member of the victim's family or clan, when a woman is accused of having transgressed moral laws or traditions - committing adultery, having sexual relations or pregnancy outside marriage, or even having been raped - to protect the family's reputation. Dowry-related femicide is the killing of a woman by her in-laws upon marriage because of an insufficient dowry (practised in India, for example). Feminicide in Africa Overall, there is a lack of data and insufficient analysis on femicide in Africa. Beyond the need for and existence of recent, reliable, comprehensive data and sociological analysis on the issue, experts agree that the available statistics probably underestimate the extent of the phenomenon worldwide, including in Africa. In Côte d'Ivoire, in Bocanda, in April 2021, a farmer living in Abouakro, Mr Paul, is suspected of having taken his wife's life on the night of Thursday 8 April 2021, for alleged infidelity. Recently, on Thursday 10 November 2022, a pregnant woman died after being stabbed by her neighbour in a building in Yopougon, Ananeraie district. The African and American continents are the regions where women are most likely to be killed by an intimate partner or family member. In Africa, the rate was about 3.1 victims per 100,000 women, while it was 1.6 in the Americas, 1.3 in Oceania and 0.9 in Asia. The lowest rate was recorded in Europe, with 0.7 victims per 100,000 women. According to a study by UN Women, in 2019 there were 19,000 cases of women dying in Africa, 10,000 of which were caused by the (intimate) partner. And 69% of the women killed in 2017 were killed by their partner or a family member.  In Zimbabwe, in 1998, three out of five (3/5) murder cases in the Harare High Court involved domestic violence. In Côte d'Ivoire, an unprecedented survey initiated and financed by the organisation Citoyennes pour la Promotion et Défense des Droits des Enfants, Femmes et Minorités (CPDEFM), an NGO founded by lawyer Sylvia Apata, has revealed approximately 416 cases of feminicide in Abidjan between 2019 and 2020, and thousands of cases of gender-based violence. Amnesty International estimates that in South Africa, every six (06) hours on average, a woman is killed by her husband or partner. This alarming figure places the country among the most dangerous for women, with a level of violence comparable to that of a country at war. After South Africa, Senegal is also cited as a country with a high incidence of feminicide. The major factors or causes of feminicide The factors of feminicide are multiple and can be found at several levels: individual, community, societal and structural.  At the individual level, several elements can be identified. These include a lack of female empowerment, limited financial resources, high unemployment, or delinquency, for example. At the relational or family level, we can list mental health problems of partners who become aggressive, the desire to dominate and control his partner, refusal of the woman's freedom, suspicion of infidelity, paranoia, trauma due to an inability to cope with a break-up, desire for separation, among others. At the community level, there is de facto gender inequality. This means that when some women want to emancipate themselves and take the lead or claim their rights, they are frowned upon and may be murdered for this reason because they are thought to want to "dominate" or "take the place of men", in some communities. Finally, at the societal or structural level, we can point to certain elements that may contribute to the phenomenon, such as the lack of respect for women's rights, the impunity enjoyed by murderers, corruption in the judicial system, the weight of tradition and religion, and the irresponsibility of the authorities, and above all of the State, to make any real pronouncement on the issue. Concrete actions taken against feminicide While many African women continue to be subjected to multiple abuses, community actors, influential women and youth activists are fighting  for the effective implementation of legislation against femicide in Africa. African states that are signatories to international treaties guaranteeing the fight against such violence are struggling to enforce their commitments, despite the adoption of tougher laws. Political authorities are in fact hampered by customary law, which often prevails over modern law, especially in rural areas. This favours a culture of impunity, where out-of-court settlements impede the smooth running of the judicial process. As regards the role of the State, many countries have no legislation on femicide, so no information is collected, which explains the lack of reliable and recent data on the extent of the phenomenon. Even when they do include feminicide in their legislation, several of them struggle to create a favourable climate (for survivors and families to report violence), or have failed to implement adequate collection and publication of local information. It is in the face of this ineffectiveness of institutions that new actors committed to changing attitudes and protecting women's lives have emerged. Where public awareness campaigns fail to convince husbands or men to ban violence against women, religious leaders, traditional authorities and activist movements appear as legitimate intermediaries. Some actions have also been undertaken to eradicate this phenomenon. In Senegal, for example, several religious and community leaders have decided to come out of silence and raise awareness among their followers during Friday prayers. They caution husbands against sexually violating their wives. In the fight against feminicide in Africa, the contribution of organisations in the fight against feminicide is just as remarkable. In 2021, IPPF Africa Region, in consortium with four other international organisations,  launched a project titled: "Feminist Opportunities Now" (FON), which aims to build the capacity of women's movements through grants to local feminist organisations in nine countries - six of which are in Africa, with a particular focus on reaching out to small, often unregistered, local organisations to address and respond to gender-based violence. The project will advance the feminist agenda by addressing gender-based violence in order to promote, protect and fulfil the human rights of all. Despite advances in several African countries to date (including laws, demonstrations and apparent political will), femicide is still rife. Combating this global scourge means acting not only at the educational level but also at the institutional level. With regard to education, it is important to put an end to these violent attitudes, especially among the youngest, through the schools, homes and communities in which they live. It is also imperative that States  implement public policies to combat violence against women, particularly feminicide. BIBLIOGRAPHY :    OMS : Fiche d’information « Comprendre et lutter contre la violence à l’égard des femmes » https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/86253/WHO_RHR_12.38_fre.pdf ONU Femmes : « Etat des lieux de la situation dans le monde »  https://www.onufemmes.fr/nos-actualites/2019/11/25/feminicides-etat-des-lieux-de-la-situation-dans-le-monde Amnesty international « Rapport 21/22 » : https://www.amnestyalgerie.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Rapport-Annuel-Amnesty-International-FR.pdf UNFPA « Journée internationale pour l’élimination des violences faites aux femmes et aux filles » : https://www.unfpa.org/fr/events/journee-internationale-pour-lelimination-des-violences-faites-aux-femmes TV5 Monde « Etat des lieux des violences faites aux femmes en Afrique »  : https://information.tv5monde.com/afrique/etat-des-lieux-des-violences-faites-aux-femmes-en-afrique-433820 L’article « le foyer , l’endroit le plus dangereux pour les femmes » UNODC ( office des nations unies contre la drogue et le crime ) : https://www.unodc.org/unodc/fr/frontpage/2018/November/le-foyer--lendroit-le-plus-dangereux-pour-les-femmes-o-la-majorit-des-femmes-victimes-dhomicide-dans-le-monde-sont-tues-par-leur-partenaire-ou-leur-famille--selon-une-tude-de-lonudc.html                                                  By Nancy ADEPAUD et Martine OUEDRAOGO,                                              IPPF Africa Region Interns and Women's Rights Activists

The Greats - Anna Zolnierowicz - The Future Is Female
news_item

| 05 December 2022

16 days of activism against gender-based violence - FEMICIDE

The term 'Feminicide' was first defined in 1976 by the South African feminist author Diana Elisabeth Hamilton Russel as 'the killing of women by men simply because they are women'. To qualify as a feminicide, the killing of a woman must necessarily be associated with motives related to her identity as a woman.  Thus, a woman killed in a burglary or by a hit-and-run driver cannot de facto be considered a victim of feminicide. The murderer is not necessarily a man. Types of Feminicide The term feminicide refers to two types of crime: intimate feminicide and non-intimate feminicide. The first one is committed by a spouse, ex-spouse or family member. According to a study cited by the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 35% of women killed worldwide are killed by their partners, compared to only 5% of murders involving men.  The second is committed by a stranger. The most frequently cited examples are the hundreds of women killed over many years in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, or the anti-feminist massacre at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989. However, the WHO recognises two (02) other categories of feminicide in addition to these: honour killing and dowry-related feminicide. Honour killings are carried out by a male or female member of the victim's family or clan, when a woman is accused of having transgressed moral laws or traditions - committing adultery, having sexual relations or pregnancy outside marriage, or even having been raped - to protect the family's reputation. Dowry-related femicide is the killing of a woman by her in-laws upon marriage because of an insufficient dowry (practised in India, for example). Feminicide in Africa Overall, there is a lack of data and insufficient analysis on femicide in Africa. Beyond the need for and existence of recent, reliable, comprehensive data and sociological analysis on the issue, experts agree that the available statistics probably underestimate the extent of the phenomenon worldwide, including in Africa. In Côte d'Ivoire, in Bocanda, in April 2021, a farmer living in Abouakro, Mr Paul, is suspected of having taken his wife's life on the night of Thursday 8 April 2021, for alleged infidelity. Recently, on Thursday 10 November 2022, a pregnant woman died after being stabbed by her neighbour in a building in Yopougon, Ananeraie district. The African and American continents are the regions where women are most likely to be killed by an intimate partner or family member. In Africa, the rate was about 3.1 victims per 100,000 women, while it was 1.6 in the Americas, 1.3 in Oceania and 0.9 in Asia. The lowest rate was recorded in Europe, with 0.7 victims per 100,000 women. According to a study by UN Women, in 2019 there were 19,000 cases of women dying in Africa, 10,000 of which were caused by the (intimate) partner. And 69% of the women killed in 2017 were killed by their partner or a family member.  In Zimbabwe, in 1998, three out of five (3/5) murder cases in the Harare High Court involved domestic violence. In Côte d'Ivoire, an unprecedented survey initiated and financed by the organisation Citoyennes pour la Promotion et Défense des Droits des Enfants, Femmes et Minorités (CPDEFM), an NGO founded by lawyer Sylvia Apata, has revealed approximately 416 cases of feminicide in Abidjan between 2019 and 2020, and thousands of cases of gender-based violence. Amnesty International estimates that in South Africa, every six (06) hours on average, a woman is killed by her husband or partner. This alarming figure places the country among the most dangerous for women, with a level of violence comparable to that of a country at war. After South Africa, Senegal is also cited as a country with a high incidence of feminicide. The major factors or causes of feminicide The factors of feminicide are multiple and can be found at several levels: individual, community, societal and structural.  At the individual level, several elements can be identified. These include a lack of female empowerment, limited financial resources, high unemployment, or delinquency, for example. At the relational or family level, we can list mental health problems of partners who become aggressive, the desire to dominate and control his partner, refusal of the woman's freedom, suspicion of infidelity, paranoia, trauma due to an inability to cope with a break-up, desire for separation, among others. At the community level, there is de facto gender inequality. This means that when some women want to emancipate themselves and take the lead or claim their rights, they are frowned upon and may be murdered for this reason because they are thought to want to "dominate" or "take the place of men", in some communities. Finally, at the societal or structural level, we can point to certain elements that may contribute to the phenomenon, such as the lack of respect for women's rights, the impunity enjoyed by murderers, corruption in the judicial system, the weight of tradition and religion, and the irresponsibility of the authorities, and above all of the State, to make any real pronouncement on the issue. Concrete actions taken against feminicide While many African women continue to be subjected to multiple abuses, community actors, influential women and youth activists are fighting  for the effective implementation of legislation against femicide in Africa. African states that are signatories to international treaties guaranteeing the fight against such violence are struggling to enforce their commitments, despite the adoption of tougher laws. Political authorities are in fact hampered by customary law, which often prevails over modern law, especially in rural areas. This favours a culture of impunity, where out-of-court settlements impede the smooth running of the judicial process. As regards the role of the State, many countries have no legislation on femicide, so no information is collected, which explains the lack of reliable and recent data on the extent of the phenomenon. Even when they do include feminicide in their legislation, several of them struggle to create a favourable climate (for survivors and families to report violence), or have failed to implement adequate collection and publication of local information. It is in the face of this ineffectiveness of institutions that new actors committed to changing attitudes and protecting women's lives have emerged. Where public awareness campaigns fail to convince husbands or men to ban violence against women, religious leaders, traditional authorities and activist movements appear as legitimate intermediaries. Some actions have also been undertaken to eradicate this phenomenon. In Senegal, for example, several religious and community leaders have decided to come out of silence and raise awareness among their followers during Friday prayers. They caution husbands against sexually violating their wives. In the fight against feminicide in Africa, the contribution of organisations in the fight against feminicide is just as remarkable. In 2021, IPPF Africa Region, in consortium with four other international organisations,  launched a project titled: "Feminist Opportunities Now" (FON), which aims to build the capacity of women's movements through grants to local feminist organisations in nine countries - six of which are in Africa, with a particular focus on reaching out to small, often unregistered, local organisations to address and respond to gender-based violence. The project will advance the feminist agenda by addressing gender-based violence in order to promote, protect and fulfil the human rights of all. Despite advances in several African countries to date (including laws, demonstrations and apparent political will), femicide is still rife. Combating this global scourge means acting not only at the educational level but also at the institutional level. With regard to education, it is important to put an end to these violent attitudes, especially among the youngest, through the schools, homes and communities in which they live. It is also imperative that States  implement public policies to combat violence against women, particularly feminicide. BIBLIOGRAPHY :    OMS : Fiche d’information « Comprendre et lutter contre la violence à l’égard des femmes » https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/86253/WHO_RHR_12.38_fre.pdf ONU Femmes : « Etat des lieux de la situation dans le monde »  https://www.onufemmes.fr/nos-actualites/2019/11/25/feminicides-etat-des-lieux-de-la-situation-dans-le-monde Amnesty international « Rapport 21/22 » : https://www.amnestyalgerie.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Rapport-Annuel-Amnesty-International-FR.pdf UNFPA « Journée internationale pour l’élimination des violences faites aux femmes et aux filles » : https://www.unfpa.org/fr/events/journee-internationale-pour-lelimination-des-violences-faites-aux-femmes TV5 Monde « Etat des lieux des violences faites aux femmes en Afrique »  : https://information.tv5monde.com/afrique/etat-des-lieux-des-violences-faites-aux-femmes-en-afrique-433820 L’article « le foyer , l’endroit le plus dangereux pour les femmes » UNODC ( office des nations unies contre la drogue et le crime ) : https://www.unodc.org/unodc/fr/frontpage/2018/November/le-foyer--lendroit-le-plus-dangereux-pour-les-femmes-o-la-majorit-des-femmes-victimes-dhomicide-dans-le-monde-sont-tues-par-leur-partenaire-ou-leur-famille--selon-une-tude-de-lonudc.html                                                  By Nancy ADEPAUD et Martine OUEDRAOGO,                                              IPPF Africa Region Interns and Women's Rights Activists

Bungoma county training
news item

| 24 November 2022

Bridging the knowledge gap on abortion care; addressing & reducing incidence of increased maternal mortality and morbidity

In Kenya, abortion is regulated by article 26(4) of the Constitution which states that: abortion is permitted (and legal) when in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law. Unsafe abortion in Kenya is among the highest in Africa. According to Dr Ann Kihara from the International Federation of Gygaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) maternal mortality is high at about 6,000 deaths per year and 17% of them are as a result of complications from unsafe abortion. Most of these cases have moderate to severe complications requiring specialized treatment and often have lasting health effects. Despite these statistics, most healthcare providers in Kenya lack comprehensive knowledge on the laws that and access to abortion care, and the skills to effectively assess, recommend and provide abortion care within the constitutional provision. Moreover, existing adverse social cultural and religious beliefs create barriers for effective counseling, assessment, referrals, and provision of life saving comprehensive abortion services. Through the support of the Guttmacher Institute and the International Plan Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR), Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK) conducted a training for private healthcare providers on Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) from 17th to 21st October 2022 in Bungoma County, Western Kenya. The training included in depth learning activities and discussions on the legal framework for comprehensive abortion care, consequences of unsafe abortion in Kenya, counselling for post abortion care (PAC), infection prevention, complications and management, counselling for informed decision making in post abortion care and pain management. The main objective of the training was to contribute towards reduction of abortion stigma and creating an enabling environment for quality service provision by private healthcare providers in the County. Beverlynn Juma, a service provider in Misikhu, shared: “Bungoma County has high incidents of unsafe abortions because people are not open about it, so many unsafe abortions go unreported. CAC training will enable most service providers to be open about the fact that they provide safe abortion services, leading to increased awareness of the availability of these services. Reproductive Health Network Kenya in partnership with the county government will improve the state of abortion by enabling girls to be able to go for the procedure freely hence reducing mortality rates’’. From the testimonials shared by Beverly and other healthcare providers in the training; access to safe abortion information in Bungoma County is also limited due to knowledge gaps on the legality of the service and their obligation as providers. Martin Onyango, the Strategic Legal Expert at the Centre for Reproductive Rights Africa Region stated that his hope and wish is that “…the training invokes the desire to offer safe services by providers and equally empower them to be champions and advocates for safe abortion in their county”. The Bungoma County Reproductive Health Coordinator, Mrs. Christine Naliaka expressed her appreciation for the training and partnership between RHNK and the County government of Bungoma, which in her opinion is very timely and said: “there still exists stigma of CAC & PAC services, clients still hide and don’t open up to safe abortion services despite inevitable conditions like miscarriages. Some of the challenges faced by the facilities in provision of abortion services is that the providers don’t display PAC services on their service charters, no financial allocation of PAC/CAC services from the county government, reporting tools are not available in all facilities, and there is no capacity building of the providers”.   She acknowledged the contribution of partners in promoting service access as most clients from Bungoma receive services from private facilities. Christine also recommended support supervision visits after the training to ascertain whether the providers are compliant and giving quality services such as PAC/CAC as an emergency service. She also mentioned that collaborations and partnership between should be deepened to bridge the information gap in service access, and critically partners should work seamlessly with the county structures to provide more information to the public while working on building the capacity of the providers to create a favorable working environment, and stronger continuum of care.  “The training has been successful especially in terms of establishing a network of providers in Bungoma County as well as filling the gaps in terms of skills gap and having necessary knowledge to provide the services. We believe that the providers we have trained will be part of the network for Bungoma County under RHNK umbrella and provide quality services especially to the under-reached population, the youth, adolescents and women in the rural areas.’’ Dr. Wambulwa, Bungoma County Pharmacist. In order to reduce maternal mortality, it is critical that key stakeholders’ intensify preventive promotive SRHR campaigns for right holders’ awareness of their needs. Stakeholders’ should also promote public-private partnership in building the capacity of Health Care Providers in understanding their professional roles and provision of fundamental human rights. “We applaud the County Government of Bungoma, and all the other partnerships and actors who are working continually and untiringly to expand access to abortion care. Almost 90% of abortions in countries with liberal abortion laws are considered safe, compared to only 25% in countries where abortion is banned. This is a serious violation of human rights. Medical abortion has revolutionised access to care and safe abortion, both inside and outside the health system. These advances must be protected, and at IPPF we are committed to expanding the knowledge of and acceptance around abortion care, reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods,” said Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region. The government should prioritize aligning SRHR legal frameworks to create an enabling environment for access to information and healthcare by all. They should ensure increased funds allocation to SRHR including abortion commodities and equipment in both public and private facilities for access to quality and comprehensive SRHR. In conclusion there is need for investment in research for continuous SRHR evidence generation to inform current and future programming centered on the needs of providers, communities and other stakeholders.

Bungoma county training
news_item

| 24 November 2022

Bridging the knowledge gap on abortion care; addressing & reducing incidence of increased maternal mortality and morbidity

In Kenya, abortion is regulated by article 26(4) of the Constitution which states that: abortion is permitted (and legal) when in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law. Unsafe abortion in Kenya is among the highest in Africa. According to Dr Ann Kihara from the International Federation of Gygaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) maternal mortality is high at about 6,000 deaths per year and 17% of them are as a result of complications from unsafe abortion. Most of these cases have moderate to severe complications requiring specialized treatment and often have lasting health effects. Despite these statistics, most healthcare providers in Kenya lack comprehensive knowledge on the laws that and access to abortion care, and the skills to effectively assess, recommend and provide abortion care within the constitutional provision. Moreover, existing adverse social cultural and religious beliefs create barriers for effective counseling, assessment, referrals, and provision of life saving comprehensive abortion services. Through the support of the Guttmacher Institute and the International Plan Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR), Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK) conducted a training for private healthcare providers on Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) from 17th to 21st October 2022 in Bungoma County, Western Kenya. The training included in depth learning activities and discussions on the legal framework for comprehensive abortion care, consequences of unsafe abortion in Kenya, counselling for post abortion care (PAC), infection prevention, complications and management, counselling for informed decision making in post abortion care and pain management. The main objective of the training was to contribute towards reduction of abortion stigma and creating an enabling environment for quality service provision by private healthcare providers in the County. Beverlynn Juma, a service provider in Misikhu, shared: “Bungoma County has high incidents of unsafe abortions because people are not open about it, so many unsafe abortions go unreported. CAC training will enable most service providers to be open about the fact that they provide safe abortion services, leading to increased awareness of the availability of these services. Reproductive Health Network Kenya in partnership with the county government will improve the state of abortion by enabling girls to be able to go for the procedure freely hence reducing mortality rates’’. From the testimonials shared by Beverly and other healthcare providers in the training; access to safe abortion information in Bungoma County is also limited due to knowledge gaps on the legality of the service and their obligation as providers. Martin Onyango, the Strategic Legal Expert at the Centre for Reproductive Rights Africa Region stated that his hope and wish is that “…the training invokes the desire to offer safe services by providers and equally empower them to be champions and advocates for safe abortion in their county”. The Bungoma County Reproductive Health Coordinator, Mrs. Christine Naliaka expressed her appreciation for the training and partnership between RHNK and the County government of Bungoma, which in her opinion is very timely and said: “there still exists stigma of CAC & PAC services, clients still hide and don’t open up to safe abortion services despite inevitable conditions like miscarriages. Some of the challenges faced by the facilities in provision of abortion services is that the providers don’t display PAC services on their service charters, no financial allocation of PAC/CAC services from the county government, reporting tools are not available in all facilities, and there is no capacity building of the providers”.   She acknowledged the contribution of partners in promoting service access as most clients from Bungoma receive services from private facilities. Christine also recommended support supervision visits after the training to ascertain whether the providers are compliant and giving quality services such as PAC/CAC as an emergency service. She also mentioned that collaborations and partnership between should be deepened to bridge the information gap in service access, and critically partners should work seamlessly with the county structures to provide more information to the public while working on building the capacity of the providers to create a favorable working environment, and stronger continuum of care.  “The training has been successful especially in terms of establishing a network of providers in Bungoma County as well as filling the gaps in terms of skills gap and having necessary knowledge to provide the services. We believe that the providers we have trained will be part of the network for Bungoma County under RHNK umbrella and provide quality services especially to the under-reached population, the youth, adolescents and women in the rural areas.’’ Dr. Wambulwa, Bungoma County Pharmacist. In order to reduce maternal mortality, it is critical that key stakeholders’ intensify preventive promotive SRHR campaigns for right holders’ awareness of their needs. Stakeholders’ should also promote public-private partnership in building the capacity of Health Care Providers in understanding their professional roles and provision of fundamental human rights. “We applaud the County Government of Bungoma, and all the other partnerships and actors who are working continually and untiringly to expand access to abortion care. Almost 90% of abortions in countries with liberal abortion laws are considered safe, compared to only 25% in countries where abortion is banned. This is a serious violation of human rights. Medical abortion has revolutionised access to care and safe abortion, both inside and outside the health system. These advances must be protected, and at IPPF we are committed to expanding the knowledge of and acceptance around abortion care, reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods,” said Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region. The government should prioritize aligning SRHR legal frameworks to create an enabling environment for access to information and healthcare by all. They should ensure increased funds allocation to SRHR including abortion commodities and equipment in both public and private facilities for access to quality and comprehensive SRHR. In conclusion there is need for investment in research for continuous SRHR evidence generation to inform current and future programming centered on the needs of providers, communities and other stakeholders.

IPPF West Africa EDs and YAM Presidents in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
news item

| 28 October 2022

Côte d'Ivoire hosts IPPF Member Associations from West and Central Africa for the launch of the new IPPF sub-office for the sub-region

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Africa regional office gathered from 17 to 22 October in Abidjan, the Executive Directors and Presidents of the Youth Action Movements (YAMs) of its Member Associations in West and Central Africa (Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone) as part of the launch of its new sub-office for West and Central Africa. With this anchoring in the sub-region, IPPF wishes on the one hand to get closer to its Member Associations (MAs) and Collaborative Partners (CPs), while providing them with more sustained technical support, and on the other hand to create strategic alliances with a view to amplifying advocacy around key issues relating to women's and youth rights and more specifically, their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). In her introductory speech, IPPF Africa Regional Director Marie Evelyne Petrus-Barry wished that "...the Federation would grow to better influence public policies and reach areas where sexual and reproductive health services are not being met".  She also insisted on the effective involvement of young people in the work of the Federation and its Member Associations in accordance with the new strategic framework: "We want this workshop to be a real opportunity for you as young people to express your desires and hopes for your sub-region, for your Member Associations and for IPPF more broadly”.  During the four-day workshop, the thirty-six (36) representatives of the 18 Member Associations from West and Central Africa discussed and developed an action plan to materialize IPPF's new vision articulated around the objectives of the new strategic framework over the period 2023-2028 with a particular focus on advocacy issues.  In particular, participants explored a common understanding of advocacy as a word and as an action, the status of advocacy in the draft strategic framework and how it aligns with the advocacy work already being done at country level.  In this regard, Dr AKU Abubakar, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria, said that "Advocacy is an essential part of our work; without advocacy, it would be difficult to carry out our programmes". The action plan resulting from this meeting will thus contribute to strengthening the synergy between IPPF member associations and consolidate their joint advocacy initiatives for women's access to adapted and diversified sexual and reproductive health services. The workshop was also an opportunity for the representatives of the Youth Action Movement (YAM) to advocate for capacity building of young people so that they can better contribute to the provision of quality SRHR services to marginalized populations.  "Young people play a role as facilitators of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), peer educators on Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) at the community level to change unfavourable norms, beliefs and traditions," said Aliu IDRISSU, YAM President of Ghana. A session was also devoted to the strategic and logistical preparation of the next IPPF General Assembly in Bogota, Colombia next November in which all participants are expected to participate. According to Comlan Christian AGBOZO, Executive Director of the Beninese Association for Family Welfare, "this workshop was a good opportunity for the Executive Directors to interact and share experiences after a long period of distant contacts linked to COVID 19. I congratulate the IPPF team for this initiative to set up a sub-office in West Africa, which brings the administration closer to the people, so that our concerns can be quickly taken into account”.  The four-day workshop ended on a very festive note with an evening of official launch of the new sub-office with artistic and cultural performances. On this occasion, Richard ALLO, Executive Director of the ‘Association Ivoirienne pour le Bien Être Familial (AIBEF)’, on behalf of all the executive directors present, expressed his gratitude and his team's joy at receiving the new sub-office on Ivorian soil. "As an Ivorian, I am very proud that my country has been chosen to host the sub-office and I hope that this new presence will help us to step up our efforts in the provision of sexual and reproductive health services”. Joyce Rosie AYONG, President of the Youth Action Movement of Cameroon also thanked the initiative on behalf of all the young people present: "We thank the IPPF team for these four days of very enriching workshops. Talking about youth issues with youth representatives is the best way to involve young people in decision-making about youth”. The new IPPF sub-office for West and Central Africa is located at Angre 9eme tranche, near the CGK building, BP: 06 BPM 2575 ABIDJAN 06, Abidjan - Côte D'Ivoire

IPPF West Africa EDs and YAM Presidents in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
news_item

| 28 October 2022

Côte d'Ivoire hosts IPPF Member Associations from West and Central Africa for the launch of the new IPPF sub-office for the sub-region

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Africa regional office gathered from 17 to 22 October in Abidjan, the Executive Directors and Presidents of the Youth Action Movements (YAMs) of its Member Associations in West and Central Africa (Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone) as part of the launch of its new sub-office for West and Central Africa. With this anchoring in the sub-region, IPPF wishes on the one hand to get closer to its Member Associations (MAs) and Collaborative Partners (CPs), while providing them with more sustained technical support, and on the other hand to create strategic alliances with a view to amplifying advocacy around key issues relating to women's and youth rights and more specifically, their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). In her introductory speech, IPPF Africa Regional Director Marie Evelyne Petrus-Barry wished that "...the Federation would grow to better influence public policies and reach areas where sexual and reproductive health services are not being met".  She also insisted on the effective involvement of young people in the work of the Federation and its Member Associations in accordance with the new strategic framework: "We want this workshop to be a real opportunity for you as young people to express your desires and hopes for your sub-region, for your Member Associations and for IPPF more broadly”.  During the four-day workshop, the thirty-six (36) representatives of the 18 Member Associations from West and Central Africa discussed and developed an action plan to materialize IPPF's new vision articulated around the objectives of the new strategic framework over the period 2023-2028 with a particular focus on advocacy issues.  In particular, participants explored a common understanding of advocacy as a word and as an action, the status of advocacy in the draft strategic framework and how it aligns with the advocacy work already being done at country level.  In this regard, Dr AKU Abubakar, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria, said that "Advocacy is an essential part of our work; without advocacy, it would be difficult to carry out our programmes". The action plan resulting from this meeting will thus contribute to strengthening the synergy between IPPF member associations and consolidate their joint advocacy initiatives for women's access to adapted and diversified sexual and reproductive health services. The workshop was also an opportunity for the representatives of the Youth Action Movement (YAM) to advocate for capacity building of young people so that they can better contribute to the provision of quality SRHR services to marginalized populations.  "Young people play a role as facilitators of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), peer educators on Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) at the community level to change unfavourable norms, beliefs and traditions," said Aliu IDRISSU, YAM President of Ghana. A session was also devoted to the strategic and logistical preparation of the next IPPF General Assembly in Bogota, Colombia next November in which all participants are expected to participate. According to Comlan Christian AGBOZO, Executive Director of the Beninese Association for Family Welfare, "this workshop was a good opportunity for the Executive Directors to interact and share experiences after a long period of distant contacts linked to COVID 19. I congratulate the IPPF team for this initiative to set up a sub-office in West Africa, which brings the administration closer to the people, so that our concerns can be quickly taken into account”.  The four-day workshop ended on a very festive note with an evening of official launch of the new sub-office with artistic and cultural performances. On this occasion, Richard ALLO, Executive Director of the ‘Association Ivoirienne pour le Bien Être Familial (AIBEF)’, on behalf of all the executive directors present, expressed his gratitude and his team's joy at receiving the new sub-office on Ivorian soil. "As an Ivorian, I am very proud that my country has been chosen to host the sub-office and I hope that this new presence will help us to step up our efforts in the provision of sexual and reproductive health services”. Joyce Rosie AYONG, President of the Youth Action Movement of Cameroon also thanked the initiative on behalf of all the young people present: "We thank the IPPF team for these four days of very enriching workshops. Talking about youth issues with youth representatives is the best way to involve young people in decision-making about youth”. The new IPPF sub-office for West and Central Africa is located at Angre 9eme tranche, near the CGK building, BP: 06 BPM 2575 ABIDJAN 06, Abidjan - Côte D'Ivoire

sexual-reproductive-health-Africa
news item

| 07 July 2022

IPPF Africa Region Quarterly Newsletter - July to September 2022

Quarterly Newsletter - July to September 2022. Click on the image above to read.

sexual-reproductive-health-Africa
news_item

| 19 October 2022

IPPF Africa Region Quarterly Newsletter - July to September 2022

Quarterly Newsletter - July to September 2022. Click on the image above to read.

news item

| 19 October 2022

IPPF Africa Region Quarterly Newsletter- July-September 2022

  Quarterly Newsletter, July - September 2022. Click on the image above to read.

news_item

| 19 October 2022

IPPF Africa Region Quarterly Newsletter- July-September 2022

  Quarterly Newsletter, July - September 2022. Click on the image above to read.

Ghana
news item

| 08 February 2022

Ghana offers free long-term contraception in a ‘game changer’ for women’s reproductive health rights

In a major win for women’s reproductive rights, Ghana’s National Health Insurance Program has expanded to include free long-term contraception from 1 January 2022. The move will allow millions of women of reproductive age who are already covered by national health insurance to avoid paying out of pocket for family planning methods such as the implant, coil and injections. It comes after a two-year pilot study found that including family planning services in health benefits packages resulted in a greater uptake of long-term contraception and future government savings in direct care costs.   “We are excited that at long last, long-term family planning methods are included in the National Health Insurance Scheme,” said Abena Adubea Amoah, the Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood of Ghana (PPAG), an IPPF Member Association. “This means long time peace of mind for women, girls and their families with potential positive impact on their health and economic life.”   Tackling deep-rooted barriers to healthcare In late 2021, the government of Ghana launched a year-long campaign aimed at raising awareness of and preventing maternal deaths in line with Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The role of family planning in reducing preventable maternal death is well documented, with unsafe abortion being one of the leading causes. Yet, Ghana is a country where deep-rooted cultural norms and structural barriers perpetuate poor sexual and reproductive health, including high risks of maternal mortality, high numbers of sexually transmitted infections and low levels of contraceptive use. Despite making important progress in recent years, Ghana’s maternal mortality ratio is 308 per 100,000 live births, which is still well above the SDG target of less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030.   PPAG will play an important role in supporting the government in its campaign to prevent maternal deaths and disabilities. Since 1967, PPAG has provided the people of Ghana with family planning services as well as maternal and child health care, infertility management, and voluntary counselling and testing for sexually transmitted infections including HIV and AIDS. With over 100 staff members, a team of 1,000 volunteers, and 300 peer educators, PPAG is well-positioned to deliver health services and programmes through permanent and mobile clinics in urban and rural communities across the country. The association's Youth Action Team, comprised of over 810 young people, leads a number of educational and awareness-raising activities at 1000 community-based service points across the country.  The contraceptive injection, implant, IUD - some of the options on offer to women in Ghana. Image: Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition “The youth of Ghana remain the bedrock of the country’s socio-economic development and a critical force for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals alongside the African Union Agenda 2063,” said Ishmael Selassie, PPAG’s Youth Programmes Manager. “The recent move by the government of Ghana to make contraceptives and related services covered by the national health insurance scheme is a game changer. The youth of this country, especially the poor, vulnerable and adolescent girls can hopefully live a healthy sexual life with the assurance of unhindered access to family planning and contraceptive services.”    Expanded, free access to long-term contraception is also a progressive step towards the global goal of Universal Health Coverage by 2030 – a framework that allows all individuals and communities to receive the health services and care they need without suffering financial hardship.   Reaching women through community-based services Still, nearly half (3.7 million) of an estimated 7.7 million women of reproductive age in Ghana do not have health insurance and family planning services may continue to be unaffordable for many. Inequitable distribution of health care facilities across the country means that many women in rural communities do not have access to lifesaving family planning and other sexual and reproductive health care services. Reaching these women through community-based services, and encouraging them to sign up to the newly expanded health insurance program will be crucial in ensuring the government reaches its goal of zero tolerance for maternal deaths and disabilities by 2030.   To support these efforts, PPAG deploys trained community volunteers to provide information, education and selected family planning services in their local communities. Emmanuel Akoto, the director of Programmes and Service Delivery at PPAG, said these volunteers play an important role in delivering contraceptives to the ‘doorsteps’ of those in need.   “They serve as a link between their community and health facilities within their localities, complementing the efforts of health care providers by creating demand and making referrals for sexual and reproductive health services,” he said. “This concept is very important because it is community-owned, devoid of stigmatization, cost effective and sustainable.”   As an established leader in Sub-Saharan Africa in providing health benefits packages paid for by the government, Ghana may serve as an example to other countries looking to expand universal health coverage by providing reliable family planning services for millions of women around the world.   For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

Ghana
news_item

| 08 February 2022

Ghana offers free long-term contraception in a ‘game changer’ for women’s reproductive health rights

In a major win for women’s reproductive rights, Ghana’s National Health Insurance Program has expanded to include free long-term contraception from 1 January 2022. The move will allow millions of women of reproductive age who are already covered by national health insurance to avoid paying out of pocket for family planning methods such as the implant, coil and injections. It comes after a two-year pilot study found that including family planning services in health benefits packages resulted in a greater uptake of long-term contraception and future government savings in direct care costs.   “We are excited that at long last, long-term family planning methods are included in the National Health Insurance Scheme,” said Abena Adubea Amoah, the Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood of Ghana (PPAG), an IPPF Member Association. “This means long time peace of mind for women, girls and their families with potential positive impact on their health and economic life.”   Tackling deep-rooted barriers to healthcare In late 2021, the government of Ghana launched a year-long campaign aimed at raising awareness of and preventing maternal deaths in line with Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The role of family planning in reducing preventable maternal death is well documented, with unsafe abortion being one of the leading causes. Yet, Ghana is a country where deep-rooted cultural norms and structural barriers perpetuate poor sexual and reproductive health, including high risks of maternal mortality, high numbers of sexually transmitted infections and low levels of contraceptive use. Despite making important progress in recent years, Ghana’s maternal mortality ratio is 308 per 100,000 live births, which is still well above the SDG target of less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030.   PPAG will play an important role in supporting the government in its campaign to prevent maternal deaths and disabilities. Since 1967, PPAG has provided the people of Ghana with family planning services as well as maternal and child health care, infertility management, and voluntary counselling and testing for sexually transmitted infections including HIV and AIDS. With over 100 staff members, a team of 1,000 volunteers, and 300 peer educators, PPAG is well-positioned to deliver health services and programmes through permanent and mobile clinics in urban and rural communities across the country. The association's Youth Action Team, comprised of over 810 young people, leads a number of educational and awareness-raising activities at 1000 community-based service points across the country.  The contraceptive injection, implant, IUD - some of the options on offer to women in Ghana. Image: Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition “The youth of Ghana remain the bedrock of the country’s socio-economic development and a critical force for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals alongside the African Union Agenda 2063,” said Ishmael Selassie, PPAG’s Youth Programmes Manager. “The recent move by the government of Ghana to make contraceptives and related services covered by the national health insurance scheme is a game changer. The youth of this country, especially the poor, vulnerable and adolescent girls can hopefully live a healthy sexual life with the assurance of unhindered access to family planning and contraceptive services.”    Expanded, free access to long-term contraception is also a progressive step towards the global goal of Universal Health Coverage by 2030 – a framework that allows all individuals and communities to receive the health services and care they need without suffering financial hardship.   Reaching women through community-based services Still, nearly half (3.7 million) of an estimated 7.7 million women of reproductive age in Ghana do not have health insurance and family planning services may continue to be unaffordable for many. Inequitable distribution of health care facilities across the country means that many women in rural communities do not have access to lifesaving family planning and other sexual and reproductive health care services. Reaching these women through community-based services, and encouraging them to sign up to the newly expanded health insurance program will be crucial in ensuring the government reaches its goal of zero tolerance for maternal deaths and disabilities by 2030.   To support these efforts, PPAG deploys trained community volunteers to provide information, education and selected family planning services in their local communities. Emmanuel Akoto, the director of Programmes and Service Delivery at PPAG, said these volunteers play an important role in delivering contraceptives to the ‘doorsteps’ of those in need.   “They serve as a link between their community and health facilities within their localities, complementing the efforts of health care providers by creating demand and making referrals for sexual and reproductive health services,” he said. “This concept is very important because it is community-owned, devoid of stigmatization, cost effective and sustainable.”   As an established leader in Sub-Saharan Africa in providing health benefits packages paid for by the government, Ghana may serve as an example to other countries looking to expand universal health coverage by providing reliable family planning services for millions of women around the world.   For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

The Greats - Anna Zolnierowicz - The Future Is Female
news item

| 05 December 2022

16 days of activism against gender-based violence - FEMICIDE

The term 'Feminicide' was first defined in 1976 by the South African feminist author Diana Elisabeth Hamilton Russel as 'the killing of women by men simply because they are women'. To qualify as a feminicide, the killing of a woman must necessarily be associated with motives related to her identity as a woman.  Thus, a woman killed in a burglary or by a hit-and-run driver cannot de facto be considered a victim of feminicide. The murderer is not necessarily a man. Types of Feminicide The term feminicide refers to two types of crime: intimate feminicide and non-intimate feminicide. The first one is committed by a spouse, ex-spouse or family member. According to a study cited by the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 35% of women killed worldwide are killed by their partners, compared to only 5% of murders involving men.  The second is committed by a stranger. The most frequently cited examples are the hundreds of women killed over many years in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, or the anti-feminist massacre at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989. However, the WHO recognises two (02) other categories of feminicide in addition to these: honour killing and dowry-related feminicide. Honour killings are carried out by a male or female member of the victim's family or clan, when a woman is accused of having transgressed moral laws or traditions - committing adultery, having sexual relations or pregnancy outside marriage, or even having been raped - to protect the family's reputation. Dowry-related femicide is the killing of a woman by her in-laws upon marriage because of an insufficient dowry (practised in India, for example). Feminicide in Africa Overall, there is a lack of data and insufficient analysis on femicide in Africa. Beyond the need for and existence of recent, reliable, comprehensive data and sociological analysis on the issue, experts agree that the available statistics probably underestimate the extent of the phenomenon worldwide, including in Africa. In Côte d'Ivoire, in Bocanda, in April 2021, a farmer living in Abouakro, Mr Paul, is suspected of having taken his wife's life on the night of Thursday 8 April 2021, for alleged infidelity. Recently, on Thursday 10 November 2022, a pregnant woman died after being stabbed by her neighbour in a building in Yopougon, Ananeraie district. The African and American continents are the regions where women are most likely to be killed by an intimate partner or family member. In Africa, the rate was about 3.1 victims per 100,000 women, while it was 1.6 in the Americas, 1.3 in Oceania and 0.9 in Asia. The lowest rate was recorded in Europe, with 0.7 victims per 100,000 women. According to a study by UN Women, in 2019 there were 19,000 cases of women dying in Africa, 10,000 of which were caused by the (intimate) partner. And 69% of the women killed in 2017 were killed by their partner or a family member.  In Zimbabwe, in 1998, three out of five (3/5) murder cases in the Harare High Court involved domestic violence. In Côte d'Ivoire, an unprecedented survey initiated and financed by the organisation Citoyennes pour la Promotion et Défense des Droits des Enfants, Femmes et Minorités (CPDEFM), an NGO founded by lawyer Sylvia Apata, has revealed approximately 416 cases of feminicide in Abidjan between 2019 and 2020, and thousands of cases of gender-based violence. Amnesty International estimates that in South Africa, every six (06) hours on average, a woman is killed by her husband or partner. This alarming figure places the country among the most dangerous for women, with a level of violence comparable to that of a country at war. After South Africa, Senegal is also cited as a country with a high incidence of feminicide. The major factors or causes of feminicide The factors of feminicide are multiple and can be found at several levels: individual, community, societal and structural.  At the individual level, several elements can be identified. These include a lack of female empowerment, limited financial resources, high unemployment, or delinquency, for example. At the relational or family level, we can list mental health problems of partners who become aggressive, the desire to dominate and control his partner, refusal of the woman's freedom, suspicion of infidelity, paranoia, trauma due to an inability to cope with a break-up, desire for separation, among others. At the community level, there is de facto gender inequality. This means that when some women want to emancipate themselves and take the lead or claim their rights, they are frowned upon and may be murdered for this reason because they are thought to want to "dominate" or "take the place of men", in some communities. Finally, at the societal or structural level, we can point to certain elements that may contribute to the phenomenon, such as the lack of respect for women's rights, the impunity enjoyed by murderers, corruption in the judicial system, the weight of tradition and religion, and the irresponsibility of the authorities, and above all of the State, to make any real pronouncement on the issue. Concrete actions taken against feminicide While many African women continue to be subjected to multiple abuses, community actors, influential women and youth activists are fighting  for the effective implementation of legislation against femicide in Africa. African states that are signatories to international treaties guaranteeing the fight against such violence are struggling to enforce their commitments, despite the adoption of tougher laws. Political authorities are in fact hampered by customary law, which often prevails over modern law, especially in rural areas. This favours a culture of impunity, where out-of-court settlements impede the smooth running of the judicial process. As regards the role of the State, many countries have no legislation on femicide, so no information is collected, which explains the lack of reliable and recent data on the extent of the phenomenon. Even when they do include feminicide in their legislation, several of them struggle to create a favourable climate (for survivors and families to report violence), or have failed to implement adequate collection and publication of local information. It is in the face of this ineffectiveness of institutions that new actors committed to changing attitudes and protecting women's lives have emerged. Where public awareness campaigns fail to convince husbands or men to ban violence against women, religious leaders, traditional authorities and activist movements appear as legitimate intermediaries. Some actions have also been undertaken to eradicate this phenomenon. In Senegal, for example, several religious and community leaders have decided to come out of silence and raise awareness among their followers during Friday prayers. They caution husbands against sexually violating their wives. In the fight against feminicide in Africa, the contribution of organisations in the fight against feminicide is just as remarkable. In 2021, IPPF Africa Region, in consortium with four other international organisations,  launched a project titled: "Feminist Opportunities Now" (FON), which aims to build the capacity of women's movements through grants to local feminist organisations in nine countries - six of which are in Africa, with a particular focus on reaching out to small, often unregistered, local organisations to address and respond to gender-based violence. The project will advance the feminist agenda by addressing gender-based violence in order to promote, protect and fulfil the human rights of all. Despite advances in several African countries to date (including laws, demonstrations and apparent political will), femicide is still rife. Combating this global scourge means acting not only at the educational level but also at the institutional level. With regard to education, it is important to put an end to these violent attitudes, especially among the youngest, through the schools, homes and communities in which they live. It is also imperative that States  implement public policies to combat violence against women, particularly feminicide. BIBLIOGRAPHY :    OMS : Fiche d’information « Comprendre et lutter contre la violence à l’égard des femmes » https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/86253/WHO_RHR_12.38_fre.pdf ONU Femmes : « Etat des lieux de la situation dans le monde »  https://www.onufemmes.fr/nos-actualites/2019/11/25/feminicides-etat-des-lieux-de-la-situation-dans-le-monde Amnesty international « Rapport 21/22 » : https://www.amnestyalgerie.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Rapport-Annuel-Amnesty-International-FR.pdf UNFPA « Journée internationale pour l’élimination des violences faites aux femmes et aux filles » : https://www.unfpa.org/fr/events/journee-internationale-pour-lelimination-des-violences-faites-aux-femmes TV5 Monde « Etat des lieux des violences faites aux femmes en Afrique »  : https://information.tv5monde.com/afrique/etat-des-lieux-des-violences-faites-aux-femmes-en-afrique-433820 L’article « le foyer , l’endroit le plus dangereux pour les femmes » UNODC ( office des nations unies contre la drogue et le crime ) : https://www.unodc.org/unodc/fr/frontpage/2018/November/le-foyer--lendroit-le-plus-dangereux-pour-les-femmes-o-la-majorit-des-femmes-victimes-dhomicide-dans-le-monde-sont-tues-par-leur-partenaire-ou-leur-famille--selon-une-tude-de-lonudc.html                                                  By Nancy ADEPAUD et Martine OUEDRAOGO,                                              IPPF Africa Region Interns and Women's Rights Activists

The Greats - Anna Zolnierowicz - The Future Is Female
news_item

| 05 December 2022

16 days of activism against gender-based violence - FEMICIDE

The term 'Feminicide' was first defined in 1976 by the South African feminist author Diana Elisabeth Hamilton Russel as 'the killing of women by men simply because they are women'. To qualify as a feminicide, the killing of a woman must necessarily be associated with motives related to her identity as a woman.  Thus, a woman killed in a burglary or by a hit-and-run driver cannot de facto be considered a victim of feminicide. The murderer is not necessarily a man. Types of Feminicide The term feminicide refers to two types of crime: intimate feminicide and non-intimate feminicide. The first one is committed by a spouse, ex-spouse or family member. According to a study cited by the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 35% of women killed worldwide are killed by their partners, compared to only 5% of murders involving men.  The second is committed by a stranger. The most frequently cited examples are the hundreds of women killed over many years in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, or the anti-feminist massacre at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989. However, the WHO recognises two (02) other categories of feminicide in addition to these: honour killing and dowry-related feminicide. Honour killings are carried out by a male or female member of the victim's family or clan, when a woman is accused of having transgressed moral laws or traditions - committing adultery, having sexual relations or pregnancy outside marriage, or even having been raped - to protect the family's reputation. Dowry-related femicide is the killing of a woman by her in-laws upon marriage because of an insufficient dowry (practised in India, for example). Feminicide in Africa Overall, there is a lack of data and insufficient analysis on femicide in Africa. Beyond the need for and existence of recent, reliable, comprehensive data and sociological analysis on the issue, experts agree that the available statistics probably underestimate the extent of the phenomenon worldwide, including in Africa. In Côte d'Ivoire, in Bocanda, in April 2021, a farmer living in Abouakro, Mr Paul, is suspected of having taken his wife's life on the night of Thursday 8 April 2021, for alleged infidelity. Recently, on Thursday 10 November 2022, a pregnant woman died after being stabbed by her neighbour in a building in Yopougon, Ananeraie district. The African and American continents are the regions where women are most likely to be killed by an intimate partner or family member. In Africa, the rate was about 3.1 victims per 100,000 women, while it was 1.6 in the Americas, 1.3 in Oceania and 0.9 in Asia. The lowest rate was recorded in Europe, with 0.7 victims per 100,000 women. According to a study by UN Women, in 2019 there were 19,000 cases of women dying in Africa, 10,000 of which were caused by the (intimate) partner. And 69% of the women killed in 2017 were killed by their partner or a family member.  In Zimbabwe, in 1998, three out of five (3/5) murder cases in the Harare High Court involved domestic violence. In Côte d'Ivoire, an unprecedented survey initiated and financed by the organisation Citoyennes pour la Promotion et Défense des Droits des Enfants, Femmes et Minorités (CPDEFM), an NGO founded by lawyer Sylvia Apata, has revealed approximately 416 cases of feminicide in Abidjan between 2019 and 2020, and thousands of cases of gender-based violence. Amnesty International estimates that in South Africa, every six (06) hours on average, a woman is killed by her husband or partner. This alarming figure places the country among the most dangerous for women, with a level of violence comparable to that of a country at war. After South Africa, Senegal is also cited as a country with a high incidence of feminicide. The major factors or causes of feminicide The factors of feminicide are multiple and can be found at several levels: individual, community, societal and structural.  At the individual level, several elements can be identified. These include a lack of female empowerment, limited financial resources, high unemployment, or delinquency, for example. At the relational or family level, we can list mental health problems of partners who become aggressive, the desire to dominate and control his partner, refusal of the woman's freedom, suspicion of infidelity, paranoia, trauma due to an inability to cope with a break-up, desire for separation, among others. At the community level, there is de facto gender inequality. This means that when some women want to emancipate themselves and take the lead or claim their rights, they are frowned upon and may be murdered for this reason because they are thought to want to "dominate" or "take the place of men", in some communities. Finally, at the societal or structural level, we can point to certain elements that may contribute to the phenomenon, such as the lack of respect for women's rights, the impunity enjoyed by murderers, corruption in the judicial system, the weight of tradition and religion, and the irresponsibility of the authorities, and above all of the State, to make any real pronouncement on the issue. Concrete actions taken against feminicide While many African women continue to be subjected to multiple abuses, community actors, influential women and youth activists are fighting  for the effective implementation of legislation against femicide in Africa. African states that are signatories to international treaties guaranteeing the fight against such violence are struggling to enforce their commitments, despite the adoption of tougher laws. Political authorities are in fact hampered by customary law, which often prevails over modern law, especially in rural areas. This favours a culture of impunity, where out-of-court settlements impede the smooth running of the judicial process. As regards the role of the State, many countries have no legislation on femicide, so no information is collected, which explains the lack of reliable and recent data on the extent of the phenomenon. Even when they do include feminicide in their legislation, several of them struggle to create a favourable climate (for survivors and families to report violence), or have failed to implement adequate collection and publication of local information. It is in the face of this ineffectiveness of institutions that new actors committed to changing attitudes and protecting women's lives have emerged. Where public awareness campaigns fail to convince husbands or men to ban violence against women, religious leaders, traditional authorities and activist movements appear as legitimate intermediaries. Some actions have also been undertaken to eradicate this phenomenon. In Senegal, for example, several religious and community leaders have decided to come out of silence and raise awareness among their followers during Friday prayers. They caution husbands against sexually violating their wives. In the fight against feminicide in Africa, the contribution of organisations in the fight against feminicide is just as remarkable. In 2021, IPPF Africa Region, in consortium with four other international organisations,  launched a project titled: "Feminist Opportunities Now" (FON), which aims to build the capacity of women's movements through grants to local feminist organisations in nine countries - six of which are in Africa, with a particular focus on reaching out to small, often unregistered, local organisations to address and respond to gender-based violence. The project will advance the feminist agenda by addressing gender-based violence in order to promote, protect and fulfil the human rights of all. Despite advances in several African countries to date (including laws, demonstrations and apparent political will), femicide is still rife. Combating this global scourge means acting not only at the educational level but also at the institutional level. With regard to education, it is important to put an end to these violent attitudes, especially among the youngest, through the schools, homes and communities in which they live. It is also imperative that States  implement public policies to combat violence against women, particularly feminicide. BIBLIOGRAPHY :    OMS : Fiche d’information « Comprendre et lutter contre la violence à l’égard des femmes » https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/86253/WHO_RHR_12.38_fre.pdf ONU Femmes : « Etat des lieux de la situation dans le monde »  https://www.onufemmes.fr/nos-actualites/2019/11/25/feminicides-etat-des-lieux-de-la-situation-dans-le-monde Amnesty international « Rapport 21/22 » : https://www.amnestyalgerie.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Rapport-Annuel-Amnesty-International-FR.pdf UNFPA « Journée internationale pour l’élimination des violences faites aux femmes et aux filles » : https://www.unfpa.org/fr/events/journee-internationale-pour-lelimination-des-violences-faites-aux-femmes TV5 Monde « Etat des lieux des violences faites aux femmes en Afrique »  : https://information.tv5monde.com/afrique/etat-des-lieux-des-violences-faites-aux-femmes-en-afrique-433820 L’article « le foyer , l’endroit le plus dangereux pour les femmes » UNODC ( office des nations unies contre la drogue et le crime ) : https://www.unodc.org/unodc/fr/frontpage/2018/November/le-foyer--lendroit-le-plus-dangereux-pour-les-femmes-o-la-majorit-des-femmes-victimes-dhomicide-dans-le-monde-sont-tues-par-leur-partenaire-ou-leur-famille--selon-une-tude-de-lonudc.html                                                  By Nancy ADEPAUD et Martine OUEDRAOGO,                                              IPPF Africa Region Interns and Women's Rights Activists

Bungoma county training
news item

| 24 November 2022

Bridging the knowledge gap on abortion care; addressing & reducing incidence of increased maternal mortality and morbidity

In Kenya, abortion is regulated by article 26(4) of the Constitution which states that: abortion is permitted (and legal) when in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law. Unsafe abortion in Kenya is among the highest in Africa. According to Dr Ann Kihara from the International Federation of Gygaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) maternal mortality is high at about 6,000 deaths per year and 17% of them are as a result of complications from unsafe abortion. Most of these cases have moderate to severe complications requiring specialized treatment and often have lasting health effects. Despite these statistics, most healthcare providers in Kenya lack comprehensive knowledge on the laws that and access to abortion care, and the skills to effectively assess, recommend and provide abortion care within the constitutional provision. Moreover, existing adverse social cultural and religious beliefs create barriers for effective counseling, assessment, referrals, and provision of life saving comprehensive abortion services. Through the support of the Guttmacher Institute and the International Plan Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR), Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK) conducted a training for private healthcare providers on Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) from 17th to 21st October 2022 in Bungoma County, Western Kenya. The training included in depth learning activities and discussions on the legal framework for comprehensive abortion care, consequences of unsafe abortion in Kenya, counselling for post abortion care (PAC), infection prevention, complications and management, counselling for informed decision making in post abortion care and pain management. The main objective of the training was to contribute towards reduction of abortion stigma and creating an enabling environment for quality service provision by private healthcare providers in the County. Beverlynn Juma, a service provider in Misikhu, shared: “Bungoma County has high incidents of unsafe abortions because people are not open about it, so many unsafe abortions go unreported. CAC training will enable most service providers to be open about the fact that they provide safe abortion services, leading to increased awareness of the availability of these services. Reproductive Health Network Kenya in partnership with the county government will improve the state of abortion by enabling girls to be able to go for the procedure freely hence reducing mortality rates’’. From the testimonials shared by Beverly and other healthcare providers in the training; access to safe abortion information in Bungoma County is also limited due to knowledge gaps on the legality of the service and their obligation as providers. Martin Onyango, the Strategic Legal Expert at the Centre for Reproductive Rights Africa Region stated that his hope and wish is that “…the training invokes the desire to offer safe services by providers and equally empower them to be champions and advocates for safe abortion in their county”. The Bungoma County Reproductive Health Coordinator, Mrs. Christine Naliaka expressed her appreciation for the training and partnership between RHNK and the County government of Bungoma, which in her opinion is very timely and said: “there still exists stigma of CAC & PAC services, clients still hide and don’t open up to safe abortion services despite inevitable conditions like miscarriages. Some of the challenges faced by the facilities in provision of abortion services is that the providers don’t display PAC services on their service charters, no financial allocation of PAC/CAC services from the county government, reporting tools are not available in all facilities, and there is no capacity building of the providers”.   She acknowledged the contribution of partners in promoting service access as most clients from Bungoma receive services from private facilities. Christine also recommended support supervision visits after the training to ascertain whether the providers are compliant and giving quality services such as PAC/CAC as an emergency service. She also mentioned that collaborations and partnership between should be deepened to bridge the information gap in service access, and critically partners should work seamlessly with the county structures to provide more information to the public while working on building the capacity of the providers to create a favorable working environment, and stronger continuum of care.  “The training has been successful especially in terms of establishing a network of providers in Bungoma County as well as filling the gaps in terms of skills gap and having necessary knowledge to provide the services. We believe that the providers we have trained will be part of the network for Bungoma County under RHNK umbrella and provide quality services especially to the under-reached population, the youth, adolescents and women in the rural areas.’’ Dr. Wambulwa, Bungoma County Pharmacist. In order to reduce maternal mortality, it is critical that key stakeholders’ intensify preventive promotive SRHR campaigns for right holders’ awareness of their needs. Stakeholders’ should also promote public-private partnership in building the capacity of Health Care Providers in understanding their professional roles and provision of fundamental human rights. “We applaud the County Government of Bungoma, and all the other partnerships and actors who are working continually and untiringly to expand access to abortion care. Almost 90% of abortions in countries with liberal abortion laws are considered safe, compared to only 25% in countries where abortion is banned. This is a serious violation of human rights. Medical abortion has revolutionised access to care and safe abortion, both inside and outside the health system. These advances must be protected, and at IPPF we are committed to expanding the knowledge of and acceptance around abortion care, reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods,” said Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region. The government should prioritize aligning SRHR legal frameworks to create an enabling environment for access to information and healthcare by all. They should ensure increased funds allocation to SRHR including abortion commodities and equipment in both public and private facilities for access to quality and comprehensive SRHR. In conclusion there is need for investment in research for continuous SRHR evidence generation to inform current and future programming centered on the needs of providers, communities and other stakeholders.

Bungoma county training
news_item

| 24 November 2022

Bridging the knowledge gap on abortion care; addressing & reducing incidence of increased maternal mortality and morbidity

In Kenya, abortion is regulated by article 26(4) of the Constitution which states that: abortion is permitted (and legal) when in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law. Unsafe abortion in Kenya is among the highest in Africa. According to Dr Ann Kihara from the International Federation of Gygaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) maternal mortality is high at about 6,000 deaths per year and 17% of them are as a result of complications from unsafe abortion. Most of these cases have moderate to severe complications requiring specialized treatment and often have lasting health effects. Despite these statistics, most healthcare providers in Kenya lack comprehensive knowledge on the laws that and access to abortion care, and the skills to effectively assess, recommend and provide abortion care within the constitutional provision. Moreover, existing adverse social cultural and religious beliefs create barriers for effective counseling, assessment, referrals, and provision of life saving comprehensive abortion services. Through the support of the Guttmacher Institute and the International Plan Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR), Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK) conducted a training for private healthcare providers on Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) from 17th to 21st October 2022 in Bungoma County, Western Kenya. The training included in depth learning activities and discussions on the legal framework for comprehensive abortion care, consequences of unsafe abortion in Kenya, counselling for post abortion care (PAC), infection prevention, complications and management, counselling for informed decision making in post abortion care and pain management. The main objective of the training was to contribute towards reduction of abortion stigma and creating an enabling environment for quality service provision by private healthcare providers in the County. Beverlynn Juma, a service provider in Misikhu, shared: “Bungoma County has high incidents of unsafe abortions because people are not open about it, so many unsafe abortions go unreported. CAC training will enable most service providers to be open about the fact that they provide safe abortion services, leading to increased awareness of the availability of these services. Reproductive Health Network Kenya in partnership with the county government will improve the state of abortion by enabling girls to be able to go for the procedure freely hence reducing mortality rates’’. From the testimonials shared by Beverly and other healthcare providers in the training; access to safe abortion information in Bungoma County is also limited due to knowledge gaps on the legality of the service and their obligation as providers. Martin Onyango, the Strategic Legal Expert at the Centre for Reproductive Rights Africa Region stated that his hope and wish is that “…the training invokes the desire to offer safe services by providers and equally empower them to be champions and advocates for safe abortion in their county”. The Bungoma County Reproductive Health Coordinator, Mrs. Christine Naliaka expressed her appreciation for the training and partnership between RHNK and the County government of Bungoma, which in her opinion is very timely and said: “there still exists stigma of CAC & PAC services, clients still hide and don’t open up to safe abortion services despite inevitable conditions like miscarriages. Some of the challenges faced by the facilities in provision of abortion services is that the providers don’t display PAC services on their service charters, no financial allocation of PAC/CAC services from the county government, reporting tools are not available in all facilities, and there is no capacity building of the providers”.   She acknowledged the contribution of partners in promoting service access as most clients from Bungoma receive services from private facilities. Christine also recommended support supervision visits after the training to ascertain whether the providers are compliant and giving quality services such as PAC/CAC as an emergency service. She also mentioned that collaborations and partnership between should be deepened to bridge the information gap in service access, and critically partners should work seamlessly with the county structures to provide more information to the public while working on building the capacity of the providers to create a favorable working environment, and stronger continuum of care.  “The training has been successful especially in terms of establishing a network of providers in Bungoma County as well as filling the gaps in terms of skills gap and having necessary knowledge to provide the services. We believe that the providers we have trained will be part of the network for Bungoma County under RHNK umbrella and provide quality services especially to the under-reached population, the youth, adolescents and women in the rural areas.’’ Dr. Wambulwa, Bungoma County Pharmacist. In order to reduce maternal mortality, it is critical that key stakeholders’ intensify preventive promotive SRHR campaigns for right holders’ awareness of their needs. Stakeholders’ should also promote public-private partnership in building the capacity of Health Care Providers in understanding their professional roles and provision of fundamental human rights. “We applaud the County Government of Bungoma, and all the other partnerships and actors who are working continually and untiringly to expand access to abortion care. Almost 90% of abortions in countries with liberal abortion laws are considered safe, compared to only 25% in countries where abortion is banned. This is a serious violation of human rights. Medical abortion has revolutionised access to care and safe abortion, both inside and outside the health system. These advances must be protected, and at IPPF we are committed to expanding the knowledge of and acceptance around abortion care, reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods,” said Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region. The government should prioritize aligning SRHR legal frameworks to create an enabling environment for access to information and healthcare by all. They should ensure increased funds allocation to SRHR including abortion commodities and equipment in both public and private facilities for access to quality and comprehensive SRHR. In conclusion there is need for investment in research for continuous SRHR evidence generation to inform current and future programming centered on the needs of providers, communities and other stakeholders.

IPPF West Africa EDs and YAM Presidents in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
news item

| 28 October 2022

Côte d'Ivoire hosts IPPF Member Associations from West and Central Africa for the launch of the new IPPF sub-office for the sub-region

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Africa regional office gathered from 17 to 22 October in Abidjan, the Executive Directors and Presidents of the Youth Action Movements (YAMs) of its Member Associations in West and Central Africa (Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone) as part of the launch of its new sub-office for West and Central Africa. With this anchoring in the sub-region, IPPF wishes on the one hand to get closer to its Member Associations (MAs) and Collaborative Partners (CPs), while providing them with more sustained technical support, and on the other hand to create strategic alliances with a view to amplifying advocacy around key issues relating to women's and youth rights and more specifically, their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). In her introductory speech, IPPF Africa Regional Director Marie Evelyne Petrus-Barry wished that "...the Federation would grow to better influence public policies and reach areas where sexual and reproductive health services are not being met".  She also insisted on the effective involvement of young people in the work of the Federation and its Member Associations in accordance with the new strategic framework: "We want this workshop to be a real opportunity for you as young people to express your desires and hopes for your sub-region, for your Member Associations and for IPPF more broadly”.  During the four-day workshop, the thirty-six (36) representatives of the 18 Member Associations from West and Central Africa discussed and developed an action plan to materialize IPPF's new vision articulated around the objectives of the new strategic framework over the period 2023-2028 with a particular focus on advocacy issues.  In particular, participants explored a common understanding of advocacy as a word and as an action, the status of advocacy in the draft strategic framework and how it aligns with the advocacy work already being done at country level.  In this regard, Dr AKU Abubakar, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria, said that "Advocacy is an essential part of our work; without advocacy, it would be difficult to carry out our programmes". The action plan resulting from this meeting will thus contribute to strengthening the synergy between IPPF member associations and consolidate their joint advocacy initiatives for women's access to adapted and diversified sexual and reproductive health services. The workshop was also an opportunity for the representatives of the Youth Action Movement (YAM) to advocate for capacity building of young people so that they can better contribute to the provision of quality SRHR services to marginalized populations.  "Young people play a role as facilitators of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), peer educators on Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) at the community level to change unfavourable norms, beliefs and traditions," said Aliu IDRISSU, YAM President of Ghana. A session was also devoted to the strategic and logistical preparation of the next IPPF General Assembly in Bogota, Colombia next November in which all participants are expected to participate. According to Comlan Christian AGBOZO, Executive Director of the Beninese Association for Family Welfare, "this workshop was a good opportunity for the Executive Directors to interact and share experiences after a long period of distant contacts linked to COVID 19. I congratulate the IPPF team for this initiative to set up a sub-office in West Africa, which brings the administration closer to the people, so that our concerns can be quickly taken into account”.  The four-day workshop ended on a very festive note with an evening of official launch of the new sub-office with artistic and cultural performances. On this occasion, Richard ALLO, Executive Director of the ‘Association Ivoirienne pour le Bien Être Familial (AIBEF)’, on behalf of all the executive directors present, expressed his gratitude and his team's joy at receiving the new sub-office on Ivorian soil. "As an Ivorian, I am very proud that my country has been chosen to host the sub-office and I hope that this new presence will help us to step up our efforts in the provision of sexual and reproductive health services”. Joyce Rosie AYONG, President of the Youth Action Movement of Cameroon also thanked the initiative on behalf of all the young people present: "We thank the IPPF team for these four days of very enriching workshops. Talking about youth issues with youth representatives is the best way to involve young people in decision-making about youth”. The new IPPF sub-office for West and Central Africa is located at Angre 9eme tranche, near the CGK building, BP: 06 BPM 2575 ABIDJAN 06, Abidjan - Côte D'Ivoire

IPPF West Africa EDs and YAM Presidents in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
news_item

| 28 October 2022

Côte d'Ivoire hosts IPPF Member Associations from West and Central Africa for the launch of the new IPPF sub-office for the sub-region

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Africa regional office gathered from 17 to 22 October in Abidjan, the Executive Directors and Presidents of the Youth Action Movements (YAMs) of its Member Associations in West and Central Africa (Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone) as part of the launch of its new sub-office for West and Central Africa. With this anchoring in the sub-region, IPPF wishes on the one hand to get closer to its Member Associations (MAs) and Collaborative Partners (CPs), while providing them with more sustained technical support, and on the other hand to create strategic alliances with a view to amplifying advocacy around key issues relating to women's and youth rights and more specifically, their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). In her introductory speech, IPPF Africa Regional Director Marie Evelyne Petrus-Barry wished that "...the Federation would grow to better influence public policies and reach areas where sexual and reproductive health services are not being met".  She also insisted on the effective involvement of young people in the work of the Federation and its Member Associations in accordance with the new strategic framework: "We want this workshop to be a real opportunity for you as young people to express your desires and hopes for your sub-region, for your Member Associations and for IPPF more broadly”.  During the four-day workshop, the thirty-six (36) representatives of the 18 Member Associations from West and Central Africa discussed and developed an action plan to materialize IPPF's new vision articulated around the objectives of the new strategic framework over the period 2023-2028 with a particular focus on advocacy issues.  In particular, participants explored a common understanding of advocacy as a word and as an action, the status of advocacy in the draft strategic framework and how it aligns with the advocacy work already being done at country level.  In this regard, Dr AKU Abubakar, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria, said that "Advocacy is an essential part of our work; without advocacy, it would be difficult to carry out our programmes". The action plan resulting from this meeting will thus contribute to strengthening the synergy between IPPF member associations and consolidate their joint advocacy initiatives for women's access to adapted and diversified sexual and reproductive health services. The workshop was also an opportunity for the representatives of the Youth Action Movement (YAM) to advocate for capacity building of young people so that they can better contribute to the provision of quality SRHR services to marginalized populations.  "Young people play a role as facilitators of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), peer educators on Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) at the community level to change unfavourable norms, beliefs and traditions," said Aliu IDRISSU, YAM President of Ghana. A session was also devoted to the strategic and logistical preparation of the next IPPF General Assembly in Bogota, Colombia next November in which all participants are expected to participate. According to Comlan Christian AGBOZO, Executive Director of the Beninese Association for Family Welfare, "this workshop was a good opportunity for the Executive Directors to interact and share experiences after a long period of distant contacts linked to COVID 19. I congratulate the IPPF team for this initiative to set up a sub-office in West Africa, which brings the administration closer to the people, so that our concerns can be quickly taken into account”.  The four-day workshop ended on a very festive note with an evening of official launch of the new sub-office with artistic and cultural performances. On this occasion, Richard ALLO, Executive Director of the ‘Association Ivoirienne pour le Bien Être Familial (AIBEF)’, on behalf of all the executive directors present, expressed his gratitude and his team's joy at receiving the new sub-office on Ivorian soil. "As an Ivorian, I am very proud that my country has been chosen to host the sub-office and I hope that this new presence will help us to step up our efforts in the provision of sexual and reproductive health services”. Joyce Rosie AYONG, President of the Youth Action Movement of Cameroon also thanked the initiative on behalf of all the young people present: "We thank the IPPF team for these four days of very enriching workshops. Talking about youth issues with youth representatives is the best way to involve young people in decision-making about youth”. The new IPPF sub-office for West and Central Africa is located at Angre 9eme tranche, near the CGK building, BP: 06 BPM 2575 ABIDJAN 06, Abidjan - Côte D'Ivoire

sexual-reproductive-health-Africa
news item

| 07 July 2022

IPPF Africa Region Quarterly Newsletter - July to September 2022

Quarterly Newsletter - July to September 2022. Click on the image above to read.

sexual-reproductive-health-Africa
news_item

| 19 October 2022

IPPF Africa Region Quarterly Newsletter - July to September 2022

Quarterly Newsletter - July to September 2022. Click on the image above to read.

news item

| 19 October 2022

IPPF Africa Region Quarterly Newsletter- July-September 2022

  Quarterly Newsletter, July - September 2022. Click on the image above to read.

news_item

| 19 October 2022

IPPF Africa Region Quarterly Newsletter- July-September 2022

  Quarterly Newsletter, July - September 2022. Click on the image above to read.

Ghana
news item

| 08 February 2022

Ghana offers free long-term contraception in a ‘game changer’ for women’s reproductive health rights

In a major win for women’s reproductive rights, Ghana’s National Health Insurance Program has expanded to include free long-term contraception from 1 January 2022. The move will allow millions of women of reproductive age who are already covered by national health insurance to avoid paying out of pocket for family planning methods such as the implant, coil and injections. It comes after a two-year pilot study found that including family planning services in health benefits packages resulted in a greater uptake of long-term contraception and future government savings in direct care costs.   “We are excited that at long last, long-term family planning methods are included in the National Health Insurance Scheme,” said Abena Adubea Amoah, the Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood of Ghana (PPAG), an IPPF Member Association. “This means long time peace of mind for women, girls and their families with potential positive impact on their health and economic life.”   Tackling deep-rooted barriers to healthcare In late 2021, the government of Ghana launched a year-long campaign aimed at raising awareness of and preventing maternal deaths in line with Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The role of family planning in reducing preventable maternal death is well documented, with unsafe abortion being one of the leading causes. Yet, Ghana is a country where deep-rooted cultural norms and structural barriers perpetuate poor sexual and reproductive health, including high risks of maternal mortality, high numbers of sexually transmitted infections and low levels of contraceptive use. Despite making important progress in recent years, Ghana’s maternal mortality ratio is 308 per 100,000 live births, which is still well above the SDG target of less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030.   PPAG will play an important role in supporting the government in its campaign to prevent maternal deaths and disabilities. Since 1967, PPAG has provided the people of Ghana with family planning services as well as maternal and child health care, infertility management, and voluntary counselling and testing for sexually transmitted infections including HIV and AIDS. With over 100 staff members, a team of 1,000 volunteers, and 300 peer educators, PPAG is well-positioned to deliver health services and programmes through permanent and mobile clinics in urban and rural communities across the country. The association's Youth Action Team, comprised of over 810 young people, leads a number of educational and awareness-raising activities at 1000 community-based service points across the country.  The contraceptive injection, implant, IUD - some of the options on offer to women in Ghana. Image: Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition “The youth of Ghana remain the bedrock of the country’s socio-economic development and a critical force for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals alongside the African Union Agenda 2063,” said Ishmael Selassie, PPAG’s Youth Programmes Manager. “The recent move by the government of Ghana to make contraceptives and related services covered by the national health insurance scheme is a game changer. The youth of this country, especially the poor, vulnerable and adolescent girls can hopefully live a healthy sexual life with the assurance of unhindered access to family planning and contraceptive services.”    Expanded, free access to long-term contraception is also a progressive step towards the global goal of Universal Health Coverage by 2030 – a framework that allows all individuals and communities to receive the health services and care they need without suffering financial hardship.   Reaching women through community-based services Still, nearly half (3.7 million) of an estimated 7.7 million women of reproductive age in Ghana do not have health insurance and family planning services may continue to be unaffordable for many. Inequitable distribution of health care facilities across the country means that many women in rural communities do not have access to lifesaving family planning and other sexual and reproductive health care services. Reaching these women through community-based services, and encouraging them to sign up to the newly expanded health insurance program will be crucial in ensuring the government reaches its goal of zero tolerance for maternal deaths and disabilities by 2030.   To support these efforts, PPAG deploys trained community volunteers to provide information, education and selected family planning services in their local communities. Emmanuel Akoto, the director of Programmes and Service Delivery at PPAG, said these volunteers play an important role in delivering contraceptives to the ‘doorsteps’ of those in need.   “They serve as a link between their community and health facilities within their localities, complementing the efforts of health care providers by creating demand and making referrals for sexual and reproductive health services,” he said. “This concept is very important because it is community-owned, devoid of stigmatization, cost effective and sustainable.”   As an established leader in Sub-Saharan Africa in providing health benefits packages paid for by the government, Ghana may serve as an example to other countries looking to expand universal health coverage by providing reliable family planning services for millions of women around the world.   For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

Ghana
news_item

| 08 February 2022

Ghana offers free long-term contraception in a ‘game changer’ for women’s reproductive health rights

In a major win for women’s reproductive rights, Ghana’s National Health Insurance Program has expanded to include free long-term contraception from 1 January 2022. The move will allow millions of women of reproductive age who are already covered by national health insurance to avoid paying out of pocket for family planning methods such as the implant, coil and injections. It comes after a two-year pilot study found that including family planning services in health benefits packages resulted in a greater uptake of long-term contraception and future government savings in direct care costs.   “We are excited that at long last, long-term family planning methods are included in the National Health Insurance Scheme,” said Abena Adubea Amoah, the Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood of Ghana (PPAG), an IPPF Member Association. “This means long time peace of mind for women, girls and their families with potential positive impact on their health and economic life.”   Tackling deep-rooted barriers to healthcare In late 2021, the government of Ghana launched a year-long campaign aimed at raising awareness of and preventing maternal deaths in line with Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The role of family planning in reducing preventable maternal death is well documented, with unsafe abortion being one of the leading causes. Yet, Ghana is a country where deep-rooted cultural norms and structural barriers perpetuate poor sexual and reproductive health, including high risks of maternal mortality, high numbers of sexually transmitted infections and low levels of contraceptive use. Despite making important progress in recent years, Ghana’s maternal mortality ratio is 308 per 100,000 live births, which is still well above the SDG target of less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030.   PPAG will play an important role in supporting the government in its campaign to prevent maternal deaths and disabilities. Since 1967, PPAG has provided the people of Ghana with family planning services as well as maternal and child health care, infertility management, and voluntary counselling and testing for sexually transmitted infections including HIV and AIDS. With over 100 staff members, a team of 1,000 volunteers, and 300 peer educators, PPAG is well-positioned to deliver health services and programmes through permanent and mobile clinics in urban and rural communities across the country. The association's Youth Action Team, comprised of over 810 young people, leads a number of educational and awareness-raising activities at 1000 community-based service points across the country.  The contraceptive injection, implant, IUD - some of the options on offer to women in Ghana. Image: Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition “The youth of Ghana remain the bedrock of the country’s socio-economic development and a critical force for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals alongside the African Union Agenda 2063,” said Ishmael Selassie, PPAG’s Youth Programmes Manager. “The recent move by the government of Ghana to make contraceptives and related services covered by the national health insurance scheme is a game changer. The youth of this country, especially the poor, vulnerable and adolescent girls can hopefully live a healthy sexual life with the assurance of unhindered access to family planning and contraceptive services.”    Expanded, free access to long-term contraception is also a progressive step towards the global goal of Universal Health Coverage by 2030 – a framework that allows all individuals and communities to receive the health services and care they need without suffering financial hardship.   Reaching women through community-based services Still, nearly half (3.7 million) of an estimated 7.7 million women of reproductive age in Ghana do not have health insurance and family planning services may continue to be unaffordable for many. Inequitable distribution of health care facilities across the country means that many women in rural communities do not have access to lifesaving family planning and other sexual and reproductive health care services. Reaching these women through community-based services, and encouraging them to sign up to the newly expanded health insurance program will be crucial in ensuring the government reaches its goal of zero tolerance for maternal deaths and disabilities by 2030.   To support these efforts, PPAG deploys trained community volunteers to provide information, education and selected family planning services in their local communities. Emmanuel Akoto, the director of Programmes and Service Delivery at PPAG, said these volunteers play an important role in delivering contraceptives to the ‘doorsteps’ of those in need.   “They serve as a link between their community and health facilities within their localities, complementing the efforts of health care providers by creating demand and making referrals for sexual and reproductive health services,” he said. “This concept is very important because it is community-owned, devoid of stigmatization, cost effective and sustainable.”   As an established leader in Sub-Saharan Africa in providing health benefits packages paid for by the government, Ghana may serve as an example to other countries looking to expand universal health coverage by providing reliable family planning services for millions of women around the world.   For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.