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Latest news from IPPF

Spotlight

A selection of news from across the Federation

Zoe Flood_Somaliland_IPPF
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Quel prix pour un monde libéré des mutilations génitales féminines ?

Par Marie-Evelyne Pétrus-Barry et Anush Aghabalyan

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Family_Planning_Togo
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| 12 December 2020

IPPFAR Statement on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day

12 December 2020. Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Africa Region joins the rest of the world in celebrating the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day. The goal of UHC is to ensure that all people have access to high-quality health services without suffering financial hardship. A critical step to achieving this goal is the full realization of people’s access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and more so, among women and girls. Owing to their unique needs and vulnerabilities, the success of UHC cannot be fully achieved until all women and girls can access the sexual reproductive health services they need. Each day, more than 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. According to the World Health Organization, 94% of all maternal deaths occur in low and lower middle-income countries. 218 million women in these countries have an unmet need for modern contraception according to the Guttmacher Institute, which also states that 35 million women have abortions in unsafe conditions. A further 133 million do not receive the treatment they need for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomoniasis. Cervical cancer, which is the fourth most common cancer among women globally is also a great challenge, with nearly 90% of the 311,000 deaths worldwide in 2018 occurring in these countries. These figures highlight the profound need to invest more in SRHR. Lack of high-quality sexual and reproductive health care undoubtedly puts women at risk for negative reproductive health outcomes. Weak health outcomes are strongly interrelated with gender inequalities, discrimination, violence and lack of SRHR information and services. It is therefore paramount that SRHR is integrated into UHC to protect gains and accelerate progress towards various goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The integration of SRHR into UHC requires addressing the multiple legal and sociocultural barriers that limit access to services and prevent women and girls from fulfilling their right to health. While governments are responsible for determining their own path towards UHC, this must be done in an accordance with agreed human rights treaties and commitments, including respecting and promoting SRHR. IPPF Africa Region is committed to addressing the challenges that impede the achievement of UHC, with particular focus on those pertaining to SRHR. On this day, we implore all African governments, donors and partners to call for greater investment in SRHR, and ensure that a comprehensive package of SRHR interventions is a fundamental part of national UHC policies, strategies and programmes. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Media Contacts: Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: [email protected]

Family_Planning_Togo
news_item

| 12 December 2020

IPPFAR Statement on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day

12 December 2020. Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Africa Region joins the rest of the world in celebrating the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day. The goal of UHC is to ensure that all people have access to high-quality health services without suffering financial hardship. A critical step to achieving this goal is the full realization of people’s access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and more so, among women and girls. Owing to their unique needs and vulnerabilities, the success of UHC cannot be fully achieved until all women and girls can access the sexual reproductive health services they need. Each day, more than 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. According to the World Health Organization, 94% of all maternal deaths occur in low and lower middle-income countries. 218 million women in these countries have an unmet need for modern contraception according to the Guttmacher Institute, which also states that 35 million women have abortions in unsafe conditions. A further 133 million do not receive the treatment they need for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomoniasis. Cervical cancer, which is the fourth most common cancer among women globally is also a great challenge, with nearly 90% of the 311,000 deaths worldwide in 2018 occurring in these countries. These figures highlight the profound need to invest more in SRHR. Lack of high-quality sexual and reproductive health care undoubtedly puts women at risk for negative reproductive health outcomes. Weak health outcomes are strongly interrelated with gender inequalities, discrimination, violence and lack of SRHR information and services. It is therefore paramount that SRHR is integrated into UHC to protect gains and accelerate progress towards various goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The integration of SRHR into UHC requires addressing the multiple legal and sociocultural barriers that limit access to services and prevent women and girls from fulfilling their right to health. While governments are responsible for determining their own path towards UHC, this must be done in an accordance with agreed human rights treaties and commitments, including respecting and promoting SRHR. IPPF Africa Region is committed to addressing the challenges that impede the achievement of UHC, with particular focus on those pertaining to SRHR. On this day, we implore all African governments, donors and partners to call for greater investment in SRHR, and ensure that a comprehensive package of SRHR interventions is a fundamental part of national UHC policies, strategies and programmes. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Media Contacts: Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: [email protected]

Human Rights Day 2020
news item

| 10 December 2020

IPPFAR Joins the World in Marking the International Human Rights Day

10 December 2020. IPPF Africa Region joins the world in marking the International Human Rights Day. This year, the theme of the international human rights day is: “Recover Better – Stand up for Human Rights”. During these dire times of the pandemic, human rights violations have continued everywhere in the world. In Africa, numerous incidents of use of excessive force, arbitrary arrests or detention, restrictions on civic space, and blanket denial of the right to seek asylum during the implementation of COVID-19 prevention measures have been reported. For example, in Kenya, the manner of enforcement of emergency measures by police amplifi­ed negative human rights impacts, and led to deaths, injuries, sexual and gender-based violence and hundreds of arrests. In South Africa, the army and the police were accused of shooting, beating, teargassing and water bombing people suspected of violating lockdown measures. The same was witnessed in Ivory Coast where police clashed with citizens who were protesting against the establishment of a coronavirus testing center in the capital city of Abidjan. While public health protocols and control measures are indeed necessary, they should not come at the expense of people’s human rights. According to UN Women, prior to the pandemic, violence against women across the world was already alarmingly high, with nearly one in five women (18%) experience violence in the past 12 months at the hands of an intimate male partner. With COVID-19, an increased reporting of domestic violence has surfaced, with a staggering 40% rise in some countries. The pandemic has forced victims to stay at home with their abusers, leaving them with few opportunities to seek shelter or solace. Access to vital sexual and reproductive health services, including for women subjected to violence, have become more limited. Other services, such as hotlines, crisis centers, shelters, legal aid, and protection services have been scaled back, further reducing access to the few sources of help that women in abusive situations might have. Victims in the world’s poorest countries, especially those with already-existing humanitarian crises, are the most vulnerable. As the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recently stated : «COVID 19 is a test of societies, of governments, of communities and of individuals. Now is the time for solidarity and cooperation to tackle the virus, and to mitigate the effects, often unintended, of measures designed to halt the spread of the virus. Respect for human rights across the spectrum, including economic, social, cultural, and civil and political rights, will be fundamental to the success of the public health response and recovery from the pandemic.». The norms and principles of human rights should guide governments’ responses to COVID-19, with these rights strengthening the public health response to the pandemic. People’s fundamental human rights, such as the right to life and duty to protect life and the right to health and access to healthcare, that are enshrined in Constitutions and embedded in various international instruments must be respected, regardless of the prevailing circumstances. IPPF Africa Region takes this opportunity to call upon all relevant authorities to ensure that everyone’s human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled in the response to the pandemic.

Human Rights Day 2020
news_item

| 10 December 2020

IPPFAR Joins the World in Marking the International Human Rights Day

10 December 2020. IPPF Africa Region joins the world in marking the International Human Rights Day. This year, the theme of the international human rights day is: “Recover Better – Stand up for Human Rights”. During these dire times of the pandemic, human rights violations have continued everywhere in the world. In Africa, numerous incidents of use of excessive force, arbitrary arrests or detention, restrictions on civic space, and blanket denial of the right to seek asylum during the implementation of COVID-19 prevention measures have been reported. For example, in Kenya, the manner of enforcement of emergency measures by police amplifi­ed negative human rights impacts, and led to deaths, injuries, sexual and gender-based violence and hundreds of arrests. In South Africa, the army and the police were accused of shooting, beating, teargassing and water bombing people suspected of violating lockdown measures. The same was witnessed in Ivory Coast where police clashed with citizens who were protesting against the establishment of a coronavirus testing center in the capital city of Abidjan. While public health protocols and control measures are indeed necessary, they should not come at the expense of people’s human rights. According to UN Women, prior to the pandemic, violence against women across the world was already alarmingly high, with nearly one in five women (18%) experience violence in the past 12 months at the hands of an intimate male partner. With COVID-19, an increased reporting of domestic violence has surfaced, with a staggering 40% rise in some countries. The pandemic has forced victims to stay at home with their abusers, leaving them with few opportunities to seek shelter or solace. Access to vital sexual and reproductive health services, including for women subjected to violence, have become more limited. Other services, such as hotlines, crisis centers, shelters, legal aid, and protection services have been scaled back, further reducing access to the few sources of help that women in abusive situations might have. Victims in the world’s poorest countries, especially those with already-existing humanitarian crises, are the most vulnerable. As the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recently stated : «COVID 19 is a test of societies, of governments, of communities and of individuals. Now is the time for solidarity and cooperation to tackle the virus, and to mitigate the effects, often unintended, of measures designed to halt the spread of the virus. Respect for human rights across the spectrum, including economic, social, cultural, and civil and political rights, will be fundamental to the success of the public health response and recovery from the pandemic.». The norms and principles of human rights should guide governments’ responses to COVID-19, with these rights strengthening the public health response to the pandemic. People’s fundamental human rights, such as the right to life and duty to protect life and the right to health and access to healthcare, that are enshrined in Constitutions and embedded in various international instruments must be respected, regardless of the prevailing circumstances. IPPF Africa Region takes this opportunity to call upon all relevant authorities to ensure that everyone’s human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled in the response to the pandemic.

transgender-day-of-remembrance-2020
news item

| 20 November 2020

IPPF Honours the Trans Day of Remembrance

20 November 2020. On the Trans Day of Remembrance, IPPF remembers the transgender people whose lives have been lost globally to transphobic violence, and stands in solidarity in the fight for trans rights. This year the Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM) project added 350 trans and gender-diverse people to the list of people to be remembered worldwide. This project systematically monitors, collects and analyses reports of homicides of trans and gender-diverse people worldwide. The world needs to wake up and understand that transphobia and its violence is a destructive aggression of social prejudice that denies people their human rights. IPPF works to change laws in countries to support gender and sexual diversity. We spotlight the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association (IPPA/PKBI) who are fighting for to halt the Penal Code revisions that criminalises and stigmatises gender and sexually diverse persons, including trans people. IPPA produced a short film "Emak Menolak", highlighting the challenges of trans people in Indonesia. Check it out here: IPPF will continue to fight and stand in solidarity with the trans community until their rights are realized and respected, because trans rights are human rights. Will you join us? --ENDS--

transgender-day-of-remembrance-2020
news_item

| 20 November 2020

IPPF Honours the Trans Day of Remembrance

20 November 2020. On the Trans Day of Remembrance, IPPF remembers the transgender people whose lives have been lost globally to transphobic violence, and stands in solidarity in the fight for trans rights. This year the Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM) project added 350 trans and gender-diverse people to the list of people to be remembered worldwide. This project systematically monitors, collects and analyses reports of homicides of trans and gender-diverse people worldwide. The world needs to wake up and understand that transphobia and its violence is a destructive aggression of social prejudice that denies people their human rights. IPPF works to change laws in countries to support gender and sexual diversity. We spotlight the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association (IPPA/PKBI) who are fighting for to halt the Penal Code revisions that criminalises and stigmatises gender and sexually diverse persons, including trans people. IPPA produced a short film "Emak Menolak", highlighting the challenges of trans people in Indonesia. Check it out here: IPPF will continue to fight and stand in solidarity with the trans community until their rights are realized and respected, because trans rights are human rights. Will you join us? --ENDS--

#InternationalDayOfTheGirlChild
news item

| 11 October 2020

IPPAR Supporting Girl-Led Advocacy and Leadership [International Day of the Girl 2020]

Today, International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) joins the rest of the world in celebrating the International Day of the Girl under the theme: ‘My Voice, Our Equal Future’. IPPF Africa Region is committed to raising awareness on the need to eliminate all forms of discrimination against the rights of African girls. Through the Youth Action Movement (YAM), IPPFAR’s youth volunteer body, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to girl-led advocacy and leadership by ensuring that African girls are involved in key-decision making activities at country, regional and international levels. Various YAM empowerment campaigns and girl-focused programmes have enabled girls to create the future they want by giving them platforms to raise their voices and accelerate change in their communities. IPPFAR and its Member Associations are duty-bound to facilitate and improve girls’ access to sexual reproductive health information and services as this will not only empower them, but help them make informed decisions about their health. It is imperative to observe that girls who have passed through our youth programmes now hold influential positions in their communities. Today’s celebration comes amid the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the African girl in various ways. With schools often being a safe space for girls, their closures have predisposed them to various risks, such as teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), female genital mutilation, child abuse and sexual gender-based violence. Reports of girls being married off early have also increased, with parents -many of whom have lost their livelihoods because of COVID-19, doing so for economic gain. Movement restrictions and social isolation have also confined girls at home, leaving them with the burden of laborious domestic work and care giving. IPPFAR takes this opportunity to implore on African governments to unequivocally provide Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) for in and out of school youth -as this is among the means that would empower girls and reduce their vulnerability. Read the French version of this statement here. For more information about the work of IPPF Africa Region, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

#InternationalDayOfTheGirlChild
news_item

| 11 October 2020

IPPAR Supporting Girl-Led Advocacy and Leadership [International Day of the Girl 2020]

Today, International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) joins the rest of the world in celebrating the International Day of the Girl under the theme: ‘My Voice, Our Equal Future’. IPPF Africa Region is committed to raising awareness on the need to eliminate all forms of discrimination against the rights of African girls. Through the Youth Action Movement (YAM), IPPFAR’s youth volunteer body, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to girl-led advocacy and leadership by ensuring that African girls are involved in key-decision making activities at country, regional and international levels. Various YAM empowerment campaigns and girl-focused programmes have enabled girls to create the future they want by giving them platforms to raise their voices and accelerate change in their communities. IPPFAR and its Member Associations are duty-bound to facilitate and improve girls’ access to sexual reproductive health information and services as this will not only empower them, but help them make informed decisions about their health. It is imperative to observe that girls who have passed through our youth programmes now hold influential positions in their communities. Today’s celebration comes amid the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the African girl in various ways. With schools often being a safe space for girls, their closures have predisposed them to various risks, such as teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), female genital mutilation, child abuse and sexual gender-based violence. Reports of girls being married off early have also increased, with parents -many of whom have lost their livelihoods because of COVID-19, doing so for economic gain. Movement restrictions and social isolation have also confined girls at home, leaving them with the burden of laborious domestic work and care giving. IPPFAR takes this opportunity to implore on African governments to unequivocally provide Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) for in and out of school youth -as this is among the means that would empower girls and reduce their vulnerability. Read the French version of this statement here. For more information about the work of IPPF Africa Region, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

International Day of the Girl
news item

| 11 October 2020

L'IPPRA soutient le plaidoyer et le leadership exercés par les filles

Aujourd'hui, la Fédération internationale pour la planification familiale - Région Afrique (IPPFRA) se joint au reste du monde pour célébrer la Journée internationale de la fille sous le thème : "Ma voix, l’égalité pour notre avenir". L’IPPF Région Afrique œuvre à sensibiliser sur la nécessité d'éliminer toutes les formes de discrimination en matière de droits des filles africaines. Avec le mouvement d'action des jeunes (MAJ), l'organe de jeunes volontaires de l'IPPFRA, nous continuons à manifester notre engagement en faveur de la défense des droits et du leadership des filles en veillant à ce que les filles africaines participent aux principales activités liées à la prise de décision aux niveaux national, régional et international. Diverses campagnes d'autonomisation du MAJ et programmes axés sur les filles ont permis à celles-ci de bâtir l'avenir qu'elles souhaitent, en leur offrant des plates-formes pour faire entendre leur voix et accélérer le changement au sein de leurs communautés. L'IPPFRA et ses associations membres ont le devoir de faciliter et d'améliorer l'accès des filles aux informations et aux services de santé sexuelle et reproductive, car cela leur permettra non seulement de se prendre en charge, mais aussi de prendre des décisions éclairées concernant leur santé. Il convient de noter que les filles qui sont passées par nos programmes pour jeunes occupent maintenant des postes influents dans leurs communautés. La célébration d'aujourd'hui a lieu dans le contexte d’une pandémie sans précédent liée à la COVID-19, qui a touché la fille africaine de diverses manières. Les écoles étant habituellement un lieu sûr pour les filles, leur fermeture les a exposées à divers risques, tels que les grossesses chez les adolescentes, les infections sexuellement transmissibles (dont le VIH), les mutilations génitales féminines, les mauvais traitements infligés aux enfants et la violence sexuelle à caractère sexiste. Les cas de mariage précoce de filles ont également augmenté, les parents - dont beaucoup ont perdu leurs moyens de subsistance à cause de la COVID-19 - le faisant pour des raisons économiques. Les restrictions de mouvement et l'isolement social ont également confiné les filles à la maison, les soumettant à la charge de travaux domestiques pénibles et de dispensation de soins. L'IPPFRA saisit l’occasion de la célébration de cette journée internationale de la fille pour exhorter les dirigeants africains à assurer sans équivoque une éducation sexuelle complète aux jeunes scolarisés et non scolarisés - car c'est l'un des moyens qui permettrait d'autonomiser les filles et de réduire leur vulnérabilité.   Lisez cet article en anglais ici. Pour plus d'informations sur le travail de l'IPPF Région Afrique, suivez-nous sur Facebook et Twitter.

International Day of the Girl
news_item

| 11 October 2020

L'IPPRA soutient le plaidoyer et le leadership exercés par les filles

Aujourd'hui, la Fédération internationale pour la planification familiale - Région Afrique (IPPFRA) se joint au reste du monde pour célébrer la Journée internationale de la fille sous le thème : "Ma voix, l’égalité pour notre avenir". L’IPPF Région Afrique œuvre à sensibiliser sur la nécessité d'éliminer toutes les formes de discrimination en matière de droits des filles africaines. Avec le mouvement d'action des jeunes (MAJ), l'organe de jeunes volontaires de l'IPPFRA, nous continuons à manifester notre engagement en faveur de la défense des droits et du leadership des filles en veillant à ce que les filles africaines participent aux principales activités liées à la prise de décision aux niveaux national, régional et international. Diverses campagnes d'autonomisation du MAJ et programmes axés sur les filles ont permis à celles-ci de bâtir l'avenir qu'elles souhaitent, en leur offrant des plates-formes pour faire entendre leur voix et accélérer le changement au sein de leurs communautés. L'IPPFRA et ses associations membres ont le devoir de faciliter et d'améliorer l'accès des filles aux informations et aux services de santé sexuelle et reproductive, car cela leur permettra non seulement de se prendre en charge, mais aussi de prendre des décisions éclairées concernant leur santé. Il convient de noter que les filles qui sont passées par nos programmes pour jeunes occupent maintenant des postes influents dans leurs communautés. La célébration d'aujourd'hui a lieu dans le contexte d’une pandémie sans précédent liée à la COVID-19, qui a touché la fille africaine de diverses manières. Les écoles étant habituellement un lieu sûr pour les filles, leur fermeture les a exposées à divers risques, tels que les grossesses chez les adolescentes, les infections sexuellement transmissibles (dont le VIH), les mutilations génitales féminines, les mauvais traitements infligés aux enfants et la violence sexuelle à caractère sexiste. Les cas de mariage précoce de filles ont également augmenté, les parents - dont beaucoup ont perdu leurs moyens de subsistance à cause de la COVID-19 - le faisant pour des raisons économiques. Les restrictions de mouvement et l'isolement social ont également confiné les filles à la maison, les soumettant à la charge de travaux domestiques pénibles et de dispensation de soins. L'IPPFRA saisit l’occasion de la célébration de cette journée internationale de la fille pour exhorter les dirigeants africains à assurer sans équivoque une éducation sexuelle complète aux jeunes scolarisés et non scolarisés - car c'est l'un des moyens qui permettrait d'autonomiser les filles et de réduire leur vulnérabilité.   Lisez cet article en anglais ici. Pour plus d'informations sur le travail de l'IPPF Région Afrique, suivez-nous sur Facebook et Twitter.

International Safe Abortion Day
news item

| 28 September 2020

IPPFAR Statement on International Safe Abortion Day 2020

Nairobi, 28 September 2020. Today, International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) joins the rest of the world in celebrating the International Safe Abortion Day under the theme: “Telemedicine, self-managed abortion and access to safe abortion in the context of COVID-19 pandemic”.  According to WHO and Guttmacher, at least 25 million unsafe abortions occurred every year between 2010 and 2014. Majority (97%) of these were in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This is a major public health concern in these parts of the world where restrictive abortion laws and policies are the norm, resulting in preventable maternal deaths due to rampant incidences of unsafe abortion. Yet, restricting a woman’s ability to choose to end an unwanted pregnancy is a violation of her human rights. The unprecedented COVID-19 situation has severely impacted access to safe abortion in countries where favourable policies exist. With stretched health systems, diversion of resources to the COVID-19 response, disruptions in commodity supplies (including contraceptive products) and limited access to services, women's needs for sexual and reproductive health care, including contraception and safe abortion have been greatly affected. At IPPFAR, through our Member Associations, we are innovating with new service delivery models of telemedicine and self-care approaches that address women and girls’ contraception and safe abortion needs in this era of the pandemic. For example, our IPPF MA in Togo began booking clients and providing services through a toll-free teleconsultation service, which has facilitated clients’ access to services when they face challenges travelling to clinics owing to movement restrictions. The approach has further eased client flow in clinics at this time of social distancing. Additionally, the youth friendly ‘InfoAdoJeunes’ mobile application continues to provide information and remote counselling services for young people. The extensive usage of social media and other digital platforms, for example, in Cameroon, Kenya, Guinea, Ethiopia, and Togo have been effective in disseminating information about abortion and contraception, and to advertise other services available at the clinics. As the world celebrates this day, we call on African governments to domesticate, disseminate and implement provisions of the African Union Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. Commonly known as the Maputo Protocol, this instrument remains one of the most progressive legal instruments providing a comprehensive set of human rights for African women. We also call on other member states who have not signed nor ratified to do so. IPPFAR and its Member Associations recommit to provide safe abortion services where permissible by law. Media Contacts: -Maryanne Wanyama, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) – Email: [email protected] -Sam Ntelamo, Resident Representative, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Liaison Office to the African Union & UNECA, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) – Phone: +251 (11) 667 0699/0761 - Mobile +251 (0) 944 73 2051- Email: [email protected]

International Safe Abortion Day
news_item

| 28 September 2020

IPPFAR Statement on International Safe Abortion Day 2020

Nairobi, 28 September 2020. Today, International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) joins the rest of the world in celebrating the International Safe Abortion Day under the theme: “Telemedicine, self-managed abortion and access to safe abortion in the context of COVID-19 pandemic”.  According to WHO and Guttmacher, at least 25 million unsafe abortions occurred every year between 2010 and 2014. Majority (97%) of these were in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This is a major public health concern in these parts of the world where restrictive abortion laws and policies are the norm, resulting in preventable maternal deaths due to rampant incidences of unsafe abortion. Yet, restricting a woman’s ability to choose to end an unwanted pregnancy is a violation of her human rights. The unprecedented COVID-19 situation has severely impacted access to safe abortion in countries where favourable policies exist. With stretched health systems, diversion of resources to the COVID-19 response, disruptions in commodity supplies (including contraceptive products) and limited access to services, women's needs for sexual and reproductive health care, including contraception and safe abortion have been greatly affected. At IPPFAR, through our Member Associations, we are innovating with new service delivery models of telemedicine and self-care approaches that address women and girls’ contraception and safe abortion needs in this era of the pandemic. For example, our IPPF MA in Togo began booking clients and providing services through a toll-free teleconsultation service, which has facilitated clients’ access to services when they face challenges travelling to clinics owing to movement restrictions. The approach has further eased client flow in clinics at this time of social distancing. Additionally, the youth friendly ‘InfoAdoJeunes’ mobile application continues to provide information and remote counselling services for young people. The extensive usage of social media and other digital platforms, for example, in Cameroon, Kenya, Guinea, Ethiopia, and Togo have been effective in disseminating information about abortion and contraception, and to advertise other services available at the clinics. As the world celebrates this day, we call on African governments to domesticate, disseminate and implement provisions of the African Union Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. Commonly known as the Maputo Protocol, this instrument remains one of the most progressive legal instruments providing a comprehensive set of human rights for African women. We also call on other member states who have not signed nor ratified to do so. IPPFAR and its Member Associations recommit to provide safe abortion services where permissible by law. Media Contacts: -Maryanne Wanyama, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) – Email: [email protected] -Sam Ntelamo, Resident Representative, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Liaison Office to the African Union & UNECA, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) – Phone: +251 (11) 667 0699/0761 - Mobile +251 (0) 944 73 2051- Email: [email protected]

Family_Planning_Togo
news item

| 12 December 2020

IPPFAR Statement on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day

12 December 2020. Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Africa Region joins the rest of the world in celebrating the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day. The goal of UHC is to ensure that all people have access to high-quality health services without suffering financial hardship. A critical step to achieving this goal is the full realization of people’s access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and more so, among women and girls. Owing to their unique needs and vulnerabilities, the success of UHC cannot be fully achieved until all women and girls can access the sexual reproductive health services they need. Each day, more than 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. According to the World Health Organization, 94% of all maternal deaths occur in low and lower middle-income countries. 218 million women in these countries have an unmet need for modern contraception according to the Guttmacher Institute, which also states that 35 million women have abortions in unsafe conditions. A further 133 million do not receive the treatment they need for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomoniasis. Cervical cancer, which is the fourth most common cancer among women globally is also a great challenge, with nearly 90% of the 311,000 deaths worldwide in 2018 occurring in these countries. These figures highlight the profound need to invest more in SRHR. Lack of high-quality sexual and reproductive health care undoubtedly puts women at risk for negative reproductive health outcomes. Weak health outcomes are strongly interrelated with gender inequalities, discrimination, violence and lack of SRHR information and services. It is therefore paramount that SRHR is integrated into UHC to protect gains and accelerate progress towards various goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The integration of SRHR into UHC requires addressing the multiple legal and sociocultural barriers that limit access to services and prevent women and girls from fulfilling their right to health. While governments are responsible for determining their own path towards UHC, this must be done in an accordance with agreed human rights treaties and commitments, including respecting and promoting SRHR. IPPF Africa Region is committed to addressing the challenges that impede the achievement of UHC, with particular focus on those pertaining to SRHR. On this day, we implore all African governments, donors and partners to call for greater investment in SRHR, and ensure that a comprehensive package of SRHR interventions is a fundamental part of national UHC policies, strategies and programmes. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Media Contacts: Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: [email protected]

Family_Planning_Togo
news_item

| 12 December 2020

IPPFAR Statement on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day

12 December 2020. Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Africa Region joins the rest of the world in celebrating the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day. The goal of UHC is to ensure that all people have access to high-quality health services without suffering financial hardship. A critical step to achieving this goal is the full realization of people’s access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and more so, among women and girls. Owing to their unique needs and vulnerabilities, the success of UHC cannot be fully achieved until all women and girls can access the sexual reproductive health services they need. Each day, more than 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. According to the World Health Organization, 94% of all maternal deaths occur in low and lower middle-income countries. 218 million women in these countries have an unmet need for modern contraception according to the Guttmacher Institute, which also states that 35 million women have abortions in unsafe conditions. A further 133 million do not receive the treatment they need for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomoniasis. Cervical cancer, which is the fourth most common cancer among women globally is also a great challenge, with nearly 90% of the 311,000 deaths worldwide in 2018 occurring in these countries. These figures highlight the profound need to invest more in SRHR. Lack of high-quality sexual and reproductive health care undoubtedly puts women at risk for negative reproductive health outcomes. Weak health outcomes are strongly interrelated with gender inequalities, discrimination, violence and lack of SRHR information and services. It is therefore paramount that SRHR is integrated into UHC to protect gains and accelerate progress towards various goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The integration of SRHR into UHC requires addressing the multiple legal and sociocultural barriers that limit access to services and prevent women and girls from fulfilling their right to health. While governments are responsible for determining their own path towards UHC, this must be done in an accordance with agreed human rights treaties and commitments, including respecting and promoting SRHR. IPPF Africa Region is committed to addressing the challenges that impede the achievement of UHC, with particular focus on those pertaining to SRHR. On this day, we implore all African governments, donors and partners to call for greater investment in SRHR, and ensure that a comprehensive package of SRHR interventions is a fundamental part of national UHC policies, strategies and programmes. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Media Contacts: Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) - Email: [email protected]

Human Rights Day 2020
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| 10 December 2020

IPPFAR Joins the World in Marking the International Human Rights Day

10 December 2020. IPPF Africa Region joins the world in marking the International Human Rights Day. This year, the theme of the international human rights day is: “Recover Better – Stand up for Human Rights”. During these dire times of the pandemic, human rights violations have continued everywhere in the world. In Africa, numerous incidents of use of excessive force, arbitrary arrests or detention, restrictions on civic space, and blanket denial of the right to seek asylum during the implementation of COVID-19 prevention measures have been reported. For example, in Kenya, the manner of enforcement of emergency measures by police amplifi­ed negative human rights impacts, and led to deaths, injuries, sexual and gender-based violence and hundreds of arrests. In South Africa, the army and the police were accused of shooting, beating, teargassing and water bombing people suspected of violating lockdown measures. The same was witnessed in Ivory Coast where police clashed with citizens who were protesting against the establishment of a coronavirus testing center in the capital city of Abidjan. While public health protocols and control measures are indeed necessary, they should not come at the expense of people’s human rights. According to UN Women, prior to the pandemic, violence against women across the world was already alarmingly high, with nearly one in five women (18%) experience violence in the past 12 months at the hands of an intimate male partner. With COVID-19, an increased reporting of domestic violence has surfaced, with a staggering 40% rise in some countries. The pandemic has forced victims to stay at home with their abusers, leaving them with few opportunities to seek shelter or solace. Access to vital sexual and reproductive health services, including for women subjected to violence, have become more limited. Other services, such as hotlines, crisis centers, shelters, legal aid, and protection services have been scaled back, further reducing access to the few sources of help that women in abusive situations might have. Victims in the world’s poorest countries, especially those with already-existing humanitarian crises, are the most vulnerable. As the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recently stated : «COVID 19 is a test of societies, of governments, of communities and of individuals. Now is the time for solidarity and cooperation to tackle the virus, and to mitigate the effects, often unintended, of measures designed to halt the spread of the virus. Respect for human rights across the spectrum, including economic, social, cultural, and civil and political rights, will be fundamental to the success of the public health response and recovery from the pandemic.». The norms and principles of human rights should guide governments’ responses to COVID-19, with these rights strengthening the public health response to the pandemic. People’s fundamental human rights, such as the right to life and duty to protect life and the right to health and access to healthcare, that are enshrined in Constitutions and embedded in various international instruments must be respected, regardless of the prevailing circumstances. IPPF Africa Region takes this opportunity to call upon all relevant authorities to ensure that everyone’s human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled in the response to the pandemic.

Human Rights Day 2020
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| 10 December 2020

IPPFAR Joins the World in Marking the International Human Rights Day

10 December 2020. IPPF Africa Region joins the world in marking the International Human Rights Day. This year, the theme of the international human rights day is: “Recover Better – Stand up for Human Rights”. During these dire times of the pandemic, human rights violations have continued everywhere in the world. In Africa, numerous incidents of use of excessive force, arbitrary arrests or detention, restrictions on civic space, and blanket denial of the right to seek asylum during the implementation of COVID-19 prevention measures have been reported. For example, in Kenya, the manner of enforcement of emergency measures by police amplifi­ed negative human rights impacts, and led to deaths, injuries, sexual and gender-based violence and hundreds of arrests. In South Africa, the army and the police were accused of shooting, beating, teargassing and water bombing people suspected of violating lockdown measures. The same was witnessed in Ivory Coast where police clashed with citizens who were protesting against the establishment of a coronavirus testing center in the capital city of Abidjan. While public health protocols and control measures are indeed necessary, they should not come at the expense of people’s human rights. According to UN Women, prior to the pandemic, violence against women across the world was already alarmingly high, with nearly one in five women (18%) experience violence in the past 12 months at the hands of an intimate male partner. With COVID-19, an increased reporting of domestic violence has surfaced, with a staggering 40% rise in some countries. The pandemic has forced victims to stay at home with their abusers, leaving them with few opportunities to seek shelter or solace. Access to vital sexual and reproductive health services, including for women subjected to violence, have become more limited. Other services, such as hotlines, crisis centers, shelters, legal aid, and protection services have been scaled back, further reducing access to the few sources of help that women in abusive situations might have. Victims in the world’s poorest countries, especially those with already-existing humanitarian crises, are the most vulnerable. As the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recently stated : «COVID 19 is a test of societies, of governments, of communities and of individuals. Now is the time for solidarity and cooperation to tackle the virus, and to mitigate the effects, often unintended, of measures designed to halt the spread of the virus. Respect for human rights across the spectrum, including economic, social, cultural, and civil and political rights, will be fundamental to the success of the public health response and recovery from the pandemic.». The norms and principles of human rights should guide governments’ responses to COVID-19, with these rights strengthening the public health response to the pandemic. People’s fundamental human rights, such as the right to life and duty to protect life and the right to health and access to healthcare, that are enshrined in Constitutions and embedded in various international instruments must be respected, regardless of the prevailing circumstances. IPPF Africa Region takes this opportunity to call upon all relevant authorities to ensure that everyone’s human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled in the response to the pandemic.

transgender-day-of-remembrance-2020
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| 20 November 2020

IPPF Honours the Trans Day of Remembrance

20 November 2020. On the Trans Day of Remembrance, IPPF remembers the transgender people whose lives have been lost globally to transphobic violence, and stands in solidarity in the fight for trans rights. This year the Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM) project added 350 trans and gender-diverse people to the list of people to be remembered worldwide. This project systematically monitors, collects and analyses reports of homicides of trans and gender-diverse people worldwide. The world needs to wake up and understand that transphobia and its violence is a destructive aggression of social prejudice that denies people their human rights. IPPF works to change laws in countries to support gender and sexual diversity. We spotlight the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association (IPPA/PKBI) who are fighting for to halt the Penal Code revisions that criminalises and stigmatises gender and sexually diverse persons, including trans people. IPPA produced a short film "Emak Menolak", highlighting the challenges of trans people in Indonesia. Check it out here: IPPF will continue to fight and stand in solidarity with the trans community until their rights are realized and respected, because trans rights are human rights. Will you join us? --ENDS--

transgender-day-of-remembrance-2020
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| 20 November 2020

IPPF Honours the Trans Day of Remembrance

20 November 2020. On the Trans Day of Remembrance, IPPF remembers the transgender people whose lives have been lost globally to transphobic violence, and stands in solidarity in the fight for trans rights. This year the Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM) project added 350 trans and gender-diverse people to the list of people to be remembered worldwide. This project systematically monitors, collects and analyses reports of homicides of trans and gender-diverse people worldwide. The world needs to wake up and understand that transphobia and its violence is a destructive aggression of social prejudice that denies people their human rights. IPPF works to change laws in countries to support gender and sexual diversity. We spotlight the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association (IPPA/PKBI) who are fighting for to halt the Penal Code revisions that criminalises and stigmatises gender and sexually diverse persons, including trans people. IPPA produced a short film "Emak Menolak", highlighting the challenges of trans people in Indonesia. Check it out here: IPPF will continue to fight and stand in solidarity with the trans community until their rights are realized and respected, because trans rights are human rights. Will you join us? --ENDS--

#InternationalDayOfTheGirlChild
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| 11 October 2020

IPPAR Supporting Girl-Led Advocacy and Leadership [International Day of the Girl 2020]

Today, International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) joins the rest of the world in celebrating the International Day of the Girl under the theme: ‘My Voice, Our Equal Future’. IPPF Africa Region is committed to raising awareness on the need to eliminate all forms of discrimination against the rights of African girls. Through the Youth Action Movement (YAM), IPPFAR’s youth volunteer body, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to girl-led advocacy and leadership by ensuring that African girls are involved in key-decision making activities at country, regional and international levels. Various YAM empowerment campaigns and girl-focused programmes have enabled girls to create the future they want by giving them platforms to raise their voices and accelerate change in their communities. IPPFAR and its Member Associations are duty-bound to facilitate and improve girls’ access to sexual reproductive health information and services as this will not only empower them, but help them make informed decisions about their health. It is imperative to observe that girls who have passed through our youth programmes now hold influential positions in their communities. Today’s celebration comes amid the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the African girl in various ways. With schools often being a safe space for girls, their closures have predisposed them to various risks, such as teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), female genital mutilation, child abuse and sexual gender-based violence. Reports of girls being married off early have also increased, with parents -many of whom have lost their livelihoods because of COVID-19, doing so for economic gain. Movement restrictions and social isolation have also confined girls at home, leaving them with the burden of laborious domestic work and care giving. IPPFAR takes this opportunity to implore on African governments to unequivocally provide Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) for in and out of school youth -as this is among the means that would empower girls and reduce their vulnerability. Read the French version of this statement here. For more information about the work of IPPF Africa Region, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

#InternationalDayOfTheGirlChild
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| 11 October 2020

IPPAR Supporting Girl-Led Advocacy and Leadership [International Day of the Girl 2020]

Today, International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) joins the rest of the world in celebrating the International Day of the Girl under the theme: ‘My Voice, Our Equal Future’. IPPF Africa Region is committed to raising awareness on the need to eliminate all forms of discrimination against the rights of African girls. Through the Youth Action Movement (YAM), IPPFAR’s youth volunteer body, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to girl-led advocacy and leadership by ensuring that African girls are involved in key-decision making activities at country, regional and international levels. Various YAM empowerment campaigns and girl-focused programmes have enabled girls to create the future they want by giving them platforms to raise their voices and accelerate change in their communities. IPPFAR and its Member Associations are duty-bound to facilitate and improve girls’ access to sexual reproductive health information and services as this will not only empower them, but help them make informed decisions about their health. It is imperative to observe that girls who have passed through our youth programmes now hold influential positions in their communities. Today’s celebration comes amid the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the African girl in various ways. With schools often being a safe space for girls, their closures have predisposed them to various risks, such as teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), female genital mutilation, child abuse and sexual gender-based violence. Reports of girls being married off early have also increased, with parents -many of whom have lost their livelihoods because of COVID-19, doing so for economic gain. Movement restrictions and social isolation have also confined girls at home, leaving them with the burden of laborious domestic work and care giving. IPPFAR takes this opportunity to implore on African governments to unequivocally provide Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) for in and out of school youth -as this is among the means that would empower girls and reduce their vulnerability. Read the French version of this statement here. For more information about the work of IPPF Africa Region, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

International Day of the Girl
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| 11 October 2020

L'IPPRA soutient le plaidoyer et le leadership exercés par les filles

Aujourd'hui, la Fédération internationale pour la planification familiale - Région Afrique (IPPFRA) se joint au reste du monde pour célébrer la Journée internationale de la fille sous le thème : "Ma voix, l’égalité pour notre avenir". L’IPPF Région Afrique œuvre à sensibiliser sur la nécessité d'éliminer toutes les formes de discrimination en matière de droits des filles africaines. Avec le mouvement d'action des jeunes (MAJ), l'organe de jeunes volontaires de l'IPPFRA, nous continuons à manifester notre engagement en faveur de la défense des droits et du leadership des filles en veillant à ce que les filles africaines participent aux principales activités liées à la prise de décision aux niveaux national, régional et international. Diverses campagnes d'autonomisation du MAJ et programmes axés sur les filles ont permis à celles-ci de bâtir l'avenir qu'elles souhaitent, en leur offrant des plates-formes pour faire entendre leur voix et accélérer le changement au sein de leurs communautés. L'IPPFRA et ses associations membres ont le devoir de faciliter et d'améliorer l'accès des filles aux informations et aux services de santé sexuelle et reproductive, car cela leur permettra non seulement de se prendre en charge, mais aussi de prendre des décisions éclairées concernant leur santé. Il convient de noter que les filles qui sont passées par nos programmes pour jeunes occupent maintenant des postes influents dans leurs communautés. La célébration d'aujourd'hui a lieu dans le contexte d’une pandémie sans précédent liée à la COVID-19, qui a touché la fille africaine de diverses manières. Les écoles étant habituellement un lieu sûr pour les filles, leur fermeture les a exposées à divers risques, tels que les grossesses chez les adolescentes, les infections sexuellement transmissibles (dont le VIH), les mutilations génitales féminines, les mauvais traitements infligés aux enfants et la violence sexuelle à caractère sexiste. Les cas de mariage précoce de filles ont également augmenté, les parents - dont beaucoup ont perdu leurs moyens de subsistance à cause de la COVID-19 - le faisant pour des raisons économiques. Les restrictions de mouvement et l'isolement social ont également confiné les filles à la maison, les soumettant à la charge de travaux domestiques pénibles et de dispensation de soins. L'IPPFRA saisit l’occasion de la célébration de cette journée internationale de la fille pour exhorter les dirigeants africains à assurer sans équivoque une éducation sexuelle complète aux jeunes scolarisés et non scolarisés - car c'est l'un des moyens qui permettrait d'autonomiser les filles et de réduire leur vulnérabilité.   Lisez cet article en anglais ici. Pour plus d'informations sur le travail de l'IPPF Région Afrique, suivez-nous sur Facebook et Twitter.

International Day of the Girl
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| 11 October 2020

L'IPPRA soutient le plaidoyer et le leadership exercés par les filles

Aujourd'hui, la Fédération internationale pour la planification familiale - Région Afrique (IPPFRA) se joint au reste du monde pour célébrer la Journée internationale de la fille sous le thème : "Ma voix, l’égalité pour notre avenir". L’IPPF Région Afrique œuvre à sensibiliser sur la nécessité d'éliminer toutes les formes de discrimination en matière de droits des filles africaines. Avec le mouvement d'action des jeunes (MAJ), l'organe de jeunes volontaires de l'IPPFRA, nous continuons à manifester notre engagement en faveur de la défense des droits et du leadership des filles en veillant à ce que les filles africaines participent aux principales activités liées à la prise de décision aux niveaux national, régional et international. Diverses campagnes d'autonomisation du MAJ et programmes axés sur les filles ont permis à celles-ci de bâtir l'avenir qu'elles souhaitent, en leur offrant des plates-formes pour faire entendre leur voix et accélérer le changement au sein de leurs communautés. L'IPPFRA et ses associations membres ont le devoir de faciliter et d'améliorer l'accès des filles aux informations et aux services de santé sexuelle et reproductive, car cela leur permettra non seulement de se prendre en charge, mais aussi de prendre des décisions éclairées concernant leur santé. Il convient de noter que les filles qui sont passées par nos programmes pour jeunes occupent maintenant des postes influents dans leurs communautés. La célébration d'aujourd'hui a lieu dans le contexte d’une pandémie sans précédent liée à la COVID-19, qui a touché la fille africaine de diverses manières. Les écoles étant habituellement un lieu sûr pour les filles, leur fermeture les a exposées à divers risques, tels que les grossesses chez les adolescentes, les infections sexuellement transmissibles (dont le VIH), les mutilations génitales féminines, les mauvais traitements infligés aux enfants et la violence sexuelle à caractère sexiste. Les cas de mariage précoce de filles ont également augmenté, les parents - dont beaucoup ont perdu leurs moyens de subsistance à cause de la COVID-19 - le faisant pour des raisons économiques. Les restrictions de mouvement et l'isolement social ont également confiné les filles à la maison, les soumettant à la charge de travaux domestiques pénibles et de dispensation de soins. L'IPPFRA saisit l’occasion de la célébration de cette journée internationale de la fille pour exhorter les dirigeants africains à assurer sans équivoque une éducation sexuelle complète aux jeunes scolarisés et non scolarisés - car c'est l'un des moyens qui permettrait d'autonomiser les filles et de réduire leur vulnérabilité.   Lisez cet article en anglais ici. Pour plus d'informations sur le travail de l'IPPF Région Afrique, suivez-nous sur Facebook et Twitter.

International Safe Abortion Day
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| 28 September 2020

IPPFAR Statement on International Safe Abortion Day 2020

Nairobi, 28 September 2020. Today, International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) joins the rest of the world in celebrating the International Safe Abortion Day under the theme: “Telemedicine, self-managed abortion and access to safe abortion in the context of COVID-19 pandemic”.  According to WHO and Guttmacher, at least 25 million unsafe abortions occurred every year between 2010 and 2014. Majority (97%) of these were in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This is a major public health concern in these parts of the world where restrictive abortion laws and policies are the norm, resulting in preventable maternal deaths due to rampant incidences of unsafe abortion. Yet, restricting a woman’s ability to choose to end an unwanted pregnancy is a violation of her human rights. The unprecedented COVID-19 situation has severely impacted access to safe abortion in countries where favourable policies exist. With stretched health systems, diversion of resources to the COVID-19 response, disruptions in commodity supplies (including contraceptive products) and limited access to services, women's needs for sexual and reproductive health care, including contraception and safe abortion have been greatly affected. At IPPFAR, through our Member Associations, we are innovating with new service delivery models of telemedicine and self-care approaches that address women and girls’ contraception and safe abortion needs in this era of the pandemic. For example, our IPPF MA in Togo began booking clients and providing services through a toll-free teleconsultation service, which has facilitated clients’ access to services when they face challenges travelling to clinics owing to movement restrictions. The approach has further eased client flow in clinics at this time of social distancing. Additionally, the youth friendly ‘InfoAdoJeunes’ mobile application continues to provide information and remote counselling services for young people. The extensive usage of social media and other digital platforms, for example, in Cameroon, Kenya, Guinea, Ethiopia, and Togo have been effective in disseminating information about abortion and contraception, and to advertise other services available at the clinics. As the world celebrates this day, we call on African governments to domesticate, disseminate and implement provisions of the African Union Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. Commonly known as the Maputo Protocol, this instrument remains one of the most progressive legal instruments providing a comprehensive set of human rights for African women. We also call on other member states who have not signed nor ratified to do so. IPPFAR and its Member Associations recommit to provide safe abortion services where permissible by law. Media Contacts: -Maryanne Wanyama, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) – Email: [email protected] -Sam Ntelamo, Resident Representative, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Liaison Office to the African Union & UNECA, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) – Phone: +251 (11) 667 0699/0761 - Mobile +251 (0) 944 73 2051- Email: [email protected]

International Safe Abortion Day
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| 28 September 2020

IPPFAR Statement on International Safe Abortion Day 2020

Nairobi, 28 September 2020. Today, International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) joins the rest of the world in celebrating the International Safe Abortion Day under the theme: “Telemedicine, self-managed abortion and access to safe abortion in the context of COVID-19 pandemic”.  According to WHO and Guttmacher, at least 25 million unsafe abortions occurred every year between 2010 and 2014. Majority (97%) of these were in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This is a major public health concern in these parts of the world where restrictive abortion laws and policies are the norm, resulting in preventable maternal deaths due to rampant incidences of unsafe abortion. Yet, restricting a woman’s ability to choose to end an unwanted pregnancy is a violation of her human rights. The unprecedented COVID-19 situation has severely impacted access to safe abortion in countries where favourable policies exist. With stretched health systems, diversion of resources to the COVID-19 response, disruptions in commodity supplies (including contraceptive products) and limited access to services, women's needs for sexual and reproductive health care, including contraception and safe abortion have been greatly affected. At IPPFAR, through our Member Associations, we are innovating with new service delivery models of telemedicine and self-care approaches that address women and girls’ contraception and safe abortion needs in this era of the pandemic. For example, our IPPF MA in Togo began booking clients and providing services through a toll-free teleconsultation service, which has facilitated clients’ access to services when they face challenges travelling to clinics owing to movement restrictions. The approach has further eased client flow in clinics at this time of social distancing. Additionally, the youth friendly ‘InfoAdoJeunes’ mobile application continues to provide information and remote counselling services for young people. The extensive usage of social media and other digital platforms, for example, in Cameroon, Kenya, Guinea, Ethiopia, and Togo have been effective in disseminating information about abortion and contraception, and to advertise other services available at the clinics. As the world celebrates this day, we call on African governments to domesticate, disseminate and implement provisions of the African Union Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. Commonly known as the Maputo Protocol, this instrument remains one of the most progressive legal instruments providing a comprehensive set of human rights for African women. We also call on other member states who have not signed nor ratified to do so. IPPFAR and its Member Associations recommit to provide safe abortion services where permissible by law. Media Contacts: -Maryanne Wanyama, IPPFARO, Nairobi (Kenya) – Email: mwanyama[email protected] -Sam Ntelamo, Resident Representative, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Liaison Office to the African Union & UNECA, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) – Phone: +251 (11) 667 0699/0761 - Mobile +251 (0) 944 73 2051- Email: [email protected]