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Latest news from IPPF

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A selection of news from across the Federation

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Africa

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IPPF Africa Region Quarterly Newsletter - March to June 2022

Quarterly Newsletter - March to June 2022.
Angola decriminalizes same sex relations
news item

| 19 February 2021

Angola descriminaliza as relações entre pessoas do mesmo sexo

A Federação Internacional Para o Planeamento Familiar (IPPF) acolhe as notícias sobre a descriminalização das relações entre pessoas do mesmo sexo em Angola.  A IPPF reconhece e congratula os activistas, defensores e organizações que ajudaram a tornar possível esta alteração histórica na lei. Na Quinta-feira, 10 de Fevereiro, entrou em vigor o novo código penal de Angola, o qual descriminaliza as relações entre pessoas do mesmo sexo. Também introduz protecções relativas à orientação sexual em algumas das cláusulas não-discriminatórias de Angola, e menciona a orientação sexual nas cláusulas do discurso do código penal. Os Angolanos de todas as orientações sexuais podem finalmente viver com maior liberdade e desfrutar do mesmo direito constitucional relativo ao amor e à autonomia corporal. Estas alterações representam a primeira reformulação das leis da era colonial desde que Angola conquistou a independência em 1975, abolindo cláusulas dessa era que estavam em vigor desde que o código penal introduziu a proibição em 1886. A Directora do Escritório Regional de África da IPPF, Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry declarou: “As notícias que chegam de Angola dão nova vida e esperança renovada não apenas para a comunidade LGBTI em Angola, mas para África como um todo. As leis anti-LGBTI da era colonial são uma mancha na nossa consciência colectiva, e esta decisão assinala uma nova era de inclusividade, esperança e amor. Ninguém deve ser tratado como criminoso por escolher quem amar, e esperamos que esta alteração legislativa inspire outros países que tenham um vestígio colonial semelhante a reverem as suas próprias leis.” O primeiro passo para alterar o código penal foi dado em 2019 quando o Parlamento aprovou as alterações propostas. No entanto, apenas em Novembro de 2020 é que estas foram ratificadas pelo Presidente João Lourenço, com um prazo de 90 dias até à sua entrada em vigor na última semana. O novo código penal aboliu a linguagem de “vício contra natura”, a qual era percebida como uma proibição às relações com pessoas do mesmo sexo. A nova lei inclui vários artigos que protegem contra a discriminação com base na orientação sexual, em relação ao trabalho ou locais públicos e eventos, e inclui a pena de prisão até dois anos por discriminação baseada na orientação sexual. Após a descriminalização em Angola, o número de países onde a homossexualidade é descriminalizada é agora 72. Esta é uma base sólida para o que aí vem, para permitir um mundo onde todas as pessoas possam tomar decisões sobre a sua sexualidade e bem-estar, livres de discriminação, uma luta na qual a IPPF será uma participante activa. Leia esta declaração em inglês.

Angola decriminalizes same sex relations
news_item

| 19 February 2021

Angola descriminaliza as relações entre pessoas do mesmo sexo

A Federação Internacional Para o Planeamento Familiar (IPPF) acolhe as notícias sobre a descriminalização das relações entre pessoas do mesmo sexo em Angola.  A IPPF reconhece e congratula os activistas, defensores e organizações que ajudaram a tornar possível esta alteração histórica na lei. Na Quinta-feira, 10 de Fevereiro, entrou em vigor o novo código penal de Angola, o qual descriminaliza as relações entre pessoas do mesmo sexo. Também introduz protecções relativas à orientação sexual em algumas das cláusulas não-discriminatórias de Angola, e menciona a orientação sexual nas cláusulas do discurso do código penal. Os Angolanos de todas as orientações sexuais podem finalmente viver com maior liberdade e desfrutar do mesmo direito constitucional relativo ao amor e à autonomia corporal. Estas alterações representam a primeira reformulação das leis da era colonial desde que Angola conquistou a independência em 1975, abolindo cláusulas dessa era que estavam em vigor desde que o código penal introduziu a proibição em 1886. A Directora do Escritório Regional de África da IPPF, Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry declarou: “As notícias que chegam de Angola dão nova vida e esperança renovada não apenas para a comunidade LGBTI em Angola, mas para África como um todo. As leis anti-LGBTI da era colonial são uma mancha na nossa consciência colectiva, e esta decisão assinala uma nova era de inclusividade, esperança e amor. Ninguém deve ser tratado como criminoso por escolher quem amar, e esperamos que esta alteração legislativa inspire outros países que tenham um vestígio colonial semelhante a reverem as suas próprias leis.” O primeiro passo para alterar o código penal foi dado em 2019 quando o Parlamento aprovou as alterações propostas. No entanto, apenas em Novembro de 2020 é que estas foram ratificadas pelo Presidente João Lourenço, com um prazo de 90 dias até à sua entrada em vigor na última semana. O novo código penal aboliu a linguagem de “vício contra natura”, a qual era percebida como uma proibição às relações com pessoas do mesmo sexo. A nova lei inclui vários artigos que protegem contra a discriminação com base na orientação sexual, em relação ao trabalho ou locais públicos e eventos, e inclui a pena de prisão até dois anos por discriminação baseada na orientação sexual. Após a descriminalização em Angola, o número de países onde a homossexualidade é descriminalizada é agora 72. Esta é uma base sólida para o que aí vem, para permitir um mundo onde todas as pessoas possam tomar decisões sobre a sua sexualidade e bem-estar, livres de discriminação, uma luta na qual a IPPF será uma participante activa. Leia esta declaração em inglês.

#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
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
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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.

Pan-African Women’s Organization
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| 03 August 2020

IPPFAR Celebrates the Pan-African Women’s Day

Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Africa Regional Office and its member associations joins the Pan African’s Woman Organization (PAWO) in celebrating the Pan-African Women’s Day. On this day, we recognize PAWO’s dedicated efforts in enhancing the lives of girls and women across the African continent. For over five decades, PAWO and its development partners have spearheaded various programmes and initiatives that have empowered thousands of African women, socially and politically. Indeed, these efforts have yielded positive results, as evidenced through notable positive changes in the status of African women as most, hold powerful leadership positions in different spaces. There is so much to celebrate; in politics, African women have demonstrated true leadership and have ably led successful democracies, literacy levels have increased significantly, and so have their economic statuses, where many run successful businesses or are employed. They continue to defy all odds by breaking various social, cultural, economic and political barriers to thrive in different fields. However, it is not enough, for women today are still under-represented in many areas. Many African women remain disadvantaged, underscoring the need for unity by actors in both the public and private sectors to be relentless in ensuring that women have an equal seat at the table. A lot more still needs to be done. IPPF Africa Region has been at the forefront of championing women’s rights – more so in reproductive health, with various women-centered and empowerment programs implemented in our Member Associations across the continent. The success of our work has been greatly enhanced through close collaboration and partnerships with different governments and organizations at the international, regional, national and local levels. The African Union and its partners, such as PAWO, continue to be some of our invaluable development allies. On this day, we congratulate PAWO on its 58th anniversary, and celebrate the work it continues to do in empowering African women. We reiterate our commitment to PAWO’s efforts in championing the women’s development agenda in the continent, and pledge our highest assurance of support to the organization.   Featured image: IPPF/Xaume Olleros/Senegal Media Contacts: -Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, 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]

Pan-African Women’s Organization
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| 31 July 2020

IPPFAR Celebrates the Pan-African Women’s Day

Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Africa Regional Office and its member associations joins the Pan African’s Woman Organization (PAWO) in celebrating the Pan-African Women’s Day. On this day, we recognize PAWO’s dedicated efforts in enhancing the lives of girls and women across the African continent. For over five decades, PAWO and its development partners have spearheaded various programmes and initiatives that have empowered thousands of African women, socially and politically. Indeed, these efforts have yielded positive results, as evidenced through notable positive changes in the status of African women as most, hold powerful leadership positions in different spaces. There is so much to celebrate; in politics, African women have demonstrated true leadership and have ably led successful democracies, literacy levels have increased significantly, and so have their economic statuses, where many run successful businesses or are employed. They continue to defy all odds by breaking various social, cultural, economic and political barriers to thrive in different fields. However, it is not enough, for women today are still under-represented in many areas. Many African women remain disadvantaged, underscoring the need for unity by actors in both the public and private sectors to be relentless in ensuring that women have an equal seat at the table. A lot more still needs to be done. IPPF Africa Region has been at the forefront of championing women’s rights – more so in reproductive health, with various women-centered and empowerment programs implemented in our Member Associations across the continent. The success of our work has been greatly enhanced through close collaboration and partnerships with different governments and organizations at the international, regional, national and local levels. The African Union and its partners, such as PAWO, continue to be some of our invaluable development allies. On this day, we congratulate PAWO on its 58th anniversary, and celebrate the work it continues to do in empowering African women. We reiterate our commitment to PAWO’s efforts in championing the women’s development agenda in the continent, and pledge our highest assurance of support to the organization.   Featured image: IPPF/Xaume Olleros/Senegal Media Contacts: -Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, 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]

World Population Day 2020
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| 11 July 2020

World Population Day: Prioritization of Women and Girls During COVID-19 is Essential

Nairobi, 11 July 2020 - As we celebrate the World Population Day today, we are cognizant of the fact that it has come at a very difficult time. The world is coping with the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as is the case with most calamities, the poor and marginalized have been hardest hit. In response, governments have put in place various measures to contain the spread of the virus and while these have yielded some measure of positive results, they have also increased the vulnerability of some populations, such as women and girls. For example, the closure of schools has seen adolescent and teenage girls exposed to early child marriage, female genital mutilation, trafficking, child labor and other forms of exploitation. Staying home has also limited their access to comprehensive sexuality education, which has potential to contribute to teen pregnancies. Their exposure to sexual and gender-based violence during this time is imminent. Women largely depend on the informal economy for their livelihoods, but with the pandemic severely affecting their movement and their small businesses, they have been left economically exposed. Weak and overstretched health systems have seen governments divert most of their resources to mitigating the challenges of COVID-19. This has caused disruption of services in health facilities and affected the supply of commodities such as contraceptives and HIV drugs. Lockdowns and curfews have further aggravated the situation by limiting populations’ access to hospitals. Women can no longer easily visit their regular healthcare providers for their family planning needs. This could lead to unplanned pregnancies which may result increased cases of unsafe abortion. It has also become increasingly difficult for pregnant women to access antenatal, delivery and post-natal care services, putting them at greater risk for negative birth outcomes. As the world commemorates this important day, we implore governments and other stakeholders to recognize the gender dynamics during pandemics such as COVID-19, and work towards ensuring that women and girls have unhindered access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services. Media Contacts: -Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, 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]

World Population Day 2020
news_item

| 11 July 2020

World Population Day: Prioritization of Women and Girls During COVID-19 is Essential

Nairobi, 11 July 2020 - As we celebrate the World Population Day today, we are cognizant of the fact that it has come at a very difficult time. The world is coping with the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as is the case with most calamities, the poor and marginalized have been hardest hit. In response, governments have put in place various measures to contain the spread of the virus and while these have yielded some measure of positive results, they have also increased the vulnerability of some populations, such as women and girls. For example, the closure of schools has seen adolescent and teenage girls exposed to early child marriage, female genital mutilation, trafficking, child labor and other forms of exploitation. Staying home has also limited their access to comprehensive sexuality education, which has potential to contribute to teen pregnancies. Their exposure to sexual and gender-based violence during this time is imminent. Women largely depend on the informal economy for their livelihoods, but with the pandemic severely affecting their movement and their small businesses, they have been left economically exposed. Weak and overstretched health systems have seen governments divert most of their resources to mitigating the challenges of COVID-19. This has caused disruption of services in health facilities and affected the supply of commodities such as contraceptives and HIV drugs. Lockdowns and curfews have further aggravated the situation by limiting populations’ access to hospitals. Women can no longer easily visit their regular healthcare providers for their family planning needs. This could lead to unplanned pregnancies which may result increased cases of unsafe abortion. It has also become increasingly difficult for pregnant women to access antenatal, delivery and post-natal care services, putting them at greater risk for negative birth outcomes. As the world commemorates this important day, we implore governments and other stakeholders to recognize the gender dynamics during pandemics such as COVID-19, and work towards ensuring that women and girls have unhindered access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services. Media Contacts: -Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, 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]

SGBV_IPPFAR
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| 29 October 2018

Sexual Gender-Based Violence Services in IPPFAR Member Associations to be Strengthened

IPPF Africa Region recently held a Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) workshop for over 30 program staff and service providers drawn from selected Member Associations (MAs). The workshop was co- organized by the Gender Unit and the Programmes & Health Systems Strengthening Department. It was aimed at strengthening the capacity of IPPFAR MAs to deliver on SGBV -a major public health concern and human rights issue. SGBV is one of the eight components of IPPF’s Integrated Package of Essential Services (IPES), whose other components include: counselling, contraception, safe abortion care, STIs/RTIs, gynaecology, prenatal care and HIV. Worrying Data According to Dr. Elias Girma -IPPFAR’s Lead Technical Advisor, SRHR Programmes, SGBV statistics from the region are indicative of the rising number of cases (35% to 70% women having experienced physical or sexual violence), which underscores the great need for IPPFAR Member Associations to strengthen their response to survivors. In 2017, IPPF Africa region offered over 1.3 million SGBV services (including referrals). “This worrying data reveals the need for appropriate and effective strategies to address the SGBV challenge in Africa. Provision of a range of essential services to SGBV survivors is one of the most crucial responses, and there are great opportunities for our clinics to ensure that every SGBV survivor receives the appropriate counseling, treatment and support services they need,” he said during the workshop which was held in Nairobi, Kenya. Policy and Legal Environment While noting that the deeply-embedded unequal power relations in society sees more women than men suffer from SGBV, Dr. Girma said that key among the workshop’s objectives was to broaden the service provider’s understanding of the legal and policy frameworks pertaining to gender and SGBV. These comprise key international and regional laws, instruments and agreements. Toward this, Ms. Nathalie Nkoume, IPPFAR's Gender Equality Advisor shared information on various policies, conventions and international frameworks that aim to fight violence against women. She stressed that each government has the duty to protect all SGBV survivors by putting in place respective national frameworks and further providing adequate resources for effective implementation of the legal provisions. Ms. Nkoume also took participants through the IPPF Gender Equality policy, as well as the IPPF gender implementation plans as key reference documents that promote actions towards a transformative agenda for equality of outcomes, opportunities and rights. Visit to the KNH GBV Recovery Center To better understand how an ideal GBV center within a health facility operates, the participants -drawn from 12 African countries (Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, DRC, Eswatini, Zambia, Togo, Mali, Chad, and Cameroon) visited the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH)’s Gender-Based Violence Recovery (GBVR) Center in Nairobi. This is a model health facility that offers comprehensive management of GBV. At the recovery center, participants were taken through the process of handling a client who presents with a GBV complaint or need, and the range of services offered to them. These services include: screening and examination, treatment for physical injuries, laboratory tests, collection of forensic evidence, counseling (including trauma counseling) and psychosocial support. On a need basis, the clients are linked to safe houses (shelters), support groups and law enforcement agencies.  The GBV survivors are also offered post-rape care services such as treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), emergency contraceptive pills -to help reduce chances of unwanted pregnancies, as well as Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) -antiretroviral drugs which, if taken properly, significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection by 80%. Comprehensive Package of Care The head of the Mental Health Unit at KNH GBVR Center, Dr. Margaret Makanyengo stressed on the strong referral mechanism within the hospital that ensures the survivor gets a comprehensive package of care. “Different units within the hospital work closely together to ensure the client is offered all the services they need. These services are provided to the client in a confidential manner. The service providers strive to uphold the dignity of the clients, while assuring them of their safety and security within the hospital precincts,” she said. Following their visit to KNH’s GBVR center, participants shared some of their feedback. “Seeing how different departments all work together to smoothly deliver services to the client is impressive. There are different entry points of identification for the GBV survivors such as the maternity, the Comprehensive Care Center, the casualty, the youth center and the mental health department. This ensures that no client is left out, and it is something that we as health service providers need to think seriously about, with regard to our facilities,” said Rebecca Zawedde, a participant from Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU). Her sentiments were shared by Cathy Zoa, a participant from Cameroon. “I return to my work station with a lot of lessons learnt from KNH. Right from the triage, the clients are well received by the nurse. The facility is well-branded and the rooms, which are exceptionally clean, are in secure areas which is very important for SGBV survivors. In addition, the reception area at the GBVR center is very warm and welcoming. This is very important to the client.   I also admired the zeal with which the service providers undertake their work. You can tell they are very knowledgeable about their areas of expertise and are very passionate about what they do. They have really inspired me,” she said. Data Collection and Management Mr. Paulin Tra, IPPFAR’s Technical Manager -Performance, Knowledge and New Technology shared information on the power of data collection and management, and the key role they play in improving SGBV programs. He also shared trends of SGBV performance in the IPPF Africa Region, verses other SRHR services offered by MAs in the same region. Population Council, an organization that has undertaken extensive research on SGBV shared several study results on SGBV.  The organization has also helped create a regional SGBV network. Improved SGBV Service Provision in MA Clinics Following the training, the participants thoroughly analyzed the SGBV components in their programs, taking note of the weaknesses, strengths and areas of improvement. In their action plans, some of their improved strategies for strengthening the SGBV components will include routine screening for SGBV, training of service providers on the respective national SGBV protocols, more engagement of boys and men in the SGBV response, and heightened awareness creation of SGBV -which will largely be undertaken by volunteers and peer educators at the community level. Other aspects will include the forging of partnerships at the community and national level with different stakeholders such as the government, grassroots organizations, cultural custodians, religious leaders, and other influential institutions. Sylvia Auma of Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK) was inspired to begin instituting changes back at the Family Care Medical Center in Jerusalem estate, located in Nairobi’s Eastlands area. “I have gained a lot from this workshop. The most important thing I have learnt is that responding to the unique needs of SGBV survivors in our health facilities does not have to be complicated. When I return, I will share all the information I have learned from this workshop with my colleagues. I will particularly ensure that our triage service is functional, as this can be entry point for identification of potential SGBV survivors or those at risk of abuse. I believe we have the capacity to attend to their sensitive needs with the already existing resources that we have at our clinic,” she said. Story by Maryanne W. Waweru, Governance and Compliance Officer, IPPF Africa Region Also Read: Newly Launched! State of African Women Report: Key Findings For more information about the work of IPPF Africa Region, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

SGBV_IPPFAR
news_item

| 29 October 2018

Sexual Gender-Based Violence Services in IPPFAR Member Associations to be Strengthened

IPPF Africa Region recently held a Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) workshop for over 30 program staff and service providers drawn from selected Member Associations (MAs). The workshop was co- organized by the Gender Unit and the Programmes & Health Systems Strengthening Department. It was aimed at strengthening the capacity of IPPFAR MAs to deliver on SGBV -a major public health concern and human rights issue. SGBV is one of the eight components of IPPF’s Integrated Package of Essential Services (IPES), whose other components include: counselling, contraception, safe abortion care, STIs/RTIs, gynaecology, prenatal care and HIV. Worrying Data According to Dr. Elias Girma -IPPFAR’s Lead Technical Advisor, SRHR Programmes, SGBV statistics from the region are indicative of the rising number of cases (35% to 70% women having experienced physical or sexual violence), which underscores the great need for IPPFAR Member Associations to strengthen their response to survivors. In 2017, IPPF Africa region offered over 1.3 million SGBV services (including referrals). “This worrying data reveals the need for appropriate and effective strategies to address the SGBV challenge in Africa. Provision of a range of essential services to SGBV survivors is one of the most crucial responses, and there are great opportunities for our clinics to ensure that every SGBV survivor receives the appropriate counseling, treatment and support services they need,” he said during the workshop which was held in Nairobi, Kenya. Policy and Legal Environment While noting that the deeply-embedded unequal power relations in society sees more women than men suffer from SGBV, Dr. Girma said that key among the workshop’s objectives was to broaden the service provider’s understanding of the legal and policy frameworks pertaining to gender and SGBV. These comprise key international and regional laws, instruments and agreements. Toward this, Ms. Nathalie Nkoume, IPPFAR's Gender Equality Advisor shared information on various policies, conventions and international frameworks that aim to fight violence against women. She stressed that each government has the duty to protect all SGBV survivors by putting in place respective national frameworks and further providing adequate resources for effective implementation of the legal provisions. Ms. Nkoume also took participants through the IPPF Gender Equality policy, as well as the IPPF gender implementation plans as key reference documents that promote actions towards a transformative agenda for equality of outcomes, opportunities and rights. Visit to the KNH GBV Recovery Center To better understand how an ideal GBV center within a health facility operates, the participants -drawn from 12 African countries (Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, DRC, Eswatini, Zambia, Togo, Mali, Chad, and Cameroon) visited the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH)’s Gender-Based Violence Recovery (GBVR) Center in Nairobi. This is a model health facility that offers comprehensive management of GBV. At the recovery center, participants were taken through the process of handling a client who presents with a GBV complaint or need, and the range of services offered to them. These services include: screening and examination, treatment for physical injuries, laboratory tests, collection of forensic evidence, counseling (including trauma counseling) and psychosocial support. On a need basis, the clients are linked to safe houses (shelters), support groups and law enforcement agencies.  The GBV survivors are also offered post-rape care services such as treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), emergency contraceptive pills -to help reduce chances of unwanted pregnancies, as well as Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) -antiretroviral drugs which, if taken properly, significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection by 80%. Comprehensive Package of Care The head of the Mental Health Unit at KNH GBVR Center, Dr. Margaret Makanyengo stressed on the strong referral mechanism within the hospital that ensures the survivor gets a comprehensive package of care. “Different units within the hospital work closely together to ensure the client is offered all the services they need. These services are provided to the client in a confidential manner. The service providers strive to uphold the dignity of the clients, while assuring them of their safety and security within the hospital precincts,” she said. Following their visit to KNH’s GBVR center, participants shared some of their feedback. “Seeing how different departments all work together to smoothly deliver services to the client is impressive. There are different entry points of identification for the GBV survivors such as the maternity, the Comprehensive Care Center, the casualty, the youth center and the mental health department. This ensures that no client is left out, and it is something that we as health service providers need to think seriously about, with regard to our facilities,” said Rebecca Zawedde, a participant from Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU). Her sentiments were shared by Cathy Zoa, a participant from Cameroon. “I return to my work station with a lot of lessons learnt from KNH. Right from the triage, the clients are well received by the nurse. The facility is well-branded and the rooms, which are exceptionally clean, are in secure areas which is very important for SGBV survivors. In addition, the reception area at the GBVR center is very warm and welcoming. This is very important to the client.   I also admired the zeal with which the service providers undertake their work. You can tell they are very knowledgeable about their areas of expertise and are very passionate about what they do. They have really inspired me,” she said. Data Collection and Management Mr. Paulin Tra, IPPFAR’s Technical Manager -Performance, Knowledge and New Technology shared information on the power of data collection and management, and the key role they play in improving SGBV programs. He also shared trends of SGBV performance in the IPPF Africa Region, verses other SRHR services offered by MAs in the same region. Population Council, an organization that has undertaken extensive research on SGBV shared several study results on SGBV.  The organization has also helped create a regional SGBV network. Improved SGBV Service Provision in MA Clinics Following the training, the participants thoroughly analyzed the SGBV components in their programs, taking note of the weaknesses, strengths and areas of improvement. In their action plans, some of their improved strategies for strengthening the SGBV components will include routine screening for SGBV, training of service providers on the respective national SGBV protocols, more engagement of boys and men in the SGBV response, and heightened awareness creation of SGBV -which will largely be undertaken by volunteers and peer educators at the community level. Other aspects will include the forging of partnerships at the community and national level with different stakeholders such as the government, grassroots organizations, cultural custodians, religious leaders, and other influential institutions. Sylvia Auma of Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK) was inspired to begin instituting changes back at the Family Care Medical Center in Jerusalem estate, located in Nairobi’s Eastlands area. “I have gained a lot from this workshop. The most important thing I have learnt is that responding to the unique needs of SGBV survivors in our health facilities does not have to be complicated. When I return, I will share all the information I have learned from this workshop with my colleagues. I will particularly ensure that our triage service is functional, as this can be entry point for identification of potential SGBV survivors or those at risk of abuse. I believe we have the capacity to attend to their sensitive needs with the already existing resources that we have at our clinic,” she said. Story by Maryanne W. Waweru, Governance and Compliance Officer, IPPF Africa Region Also Read: Newly Launched! State of African Women Report: Key Findings For more information about the work of IPPF Africa Region, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Angola decriminalizes same sex relations
news item

| 19 February 2021

Angola descriminaliza as relações entre pessoas do mesmo sexo

A Federação Internacional Para o Planeamento Familiar (IPPF) acolhe as notícias sobre a descriminalização das relações entre pessoas do mesmo sexo em Angola.  A IPPF reconhece e congratula os activistas, defensores e organizações que ajudaram a tornar possível esta alteração histórica na lei. Na Quinta-feira, 10 de Fevereiro, entrou em vigor o novo código penal de Angola, o qual descriminaliza as relações entre pessoas do mesmo sexo. Também introduz protecções relativas à orientação sexual em algumas das cláusulas não-discriminatórias de Angola, e menciona a orientação sexual nas cláusulas do discurso do código penal. Os Angolanos de todas as orientações sexuais podem finalmente viver com maior liberdade e desfrutar do mesmo direito constitucional relativo ao amor e à autonomia corporal. Estas alterações representam a primeira reformulação das leis da era colonial desde que Angola conquistou a independência em 1975, abolindo cláusulas dessa era que estavam em vigor desde que o código penal introduziu a proibição em 1886. A Directora do Escritório Regional de África da IPPF, Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry declarou: “As notícias que chegam de Angola dão nova vida e esperança renovada não apenas para a comunidade LGBTI em Angola, mas para África como um todo. As leis anti-LGBTI da era colonial são uma mancha na nossa consciência colectiva, e esta decisão assinala uma nova era de inclusividade, esperança e amor. Ninguém deve ser tratado como criminoso por escolher quem amar, e esperamos que esta alteração legislativa inspire outros países que tenham um vestígio colonial semelhante a reverem as suas próprias leis.” O primeiro passo para alterar o código penal foi dado em 2019 quando o Parlamento aprovou as alterações propostas. No entanto, apenas em Novembro de 2020 é que estas foram ratificadas pelo Presidente João Lourenço, com um prazo de 90 dias até à sua entrada em vigor na última semana. O novo código penal aboliu a linguagem de “vício contra natura”, a qual era percebida como uma proibição às relações com pessoas do mesmo sexo. A nova lei inclui vários artigos que protegem contra a discriminação com base na orientação sexual, em relação ao trabalho ou locais públicos e eventos, e inclui a pena de prisão até dois anos por discriminação baseada na orientação sexual. Após a descriminalização em Angola, o número de países onde a homossexualidade é descriminalizada é agora 72. Esta é uma base sólida para o que aí vem, para permitir um mundo onde todas as pessoas possam tomar decisões sobre a sua sexualidade e bem-estar, livres de discriminação, uma luta na qual a IPPF será uma participante activa. Leia esta declaração em inglês.

Angola decriminalizes same sex relations
news_item

| 19 February 2021

Angola descriminaliza as relações entre pessoas do mesmo sexo

A Federação Internacional Para o Planeamento Familiar (IPPF) acolhe as notícias sobre a descriminalização das relações entre pessoas do mesmo sexo em Angola.  A IPPF reconhece e congratula os activistas, defensores e organizações que ajudaram a tornar possível esta alteração histórica na lei. Na Quinta-feira, 10 de Fevereiro, entrou em vigor o novo código penal de Angola, o qual descriminaliza as relações entre pessoas do mesmo sexo. Também introduz protecções relativas à orientação sexual em algumas das cláusulas não-discriminatórias de Angola, e menciona a orientação sexual nas cláusulas do discurso do código penal. Os Angolanos de todas as orientações sexuais podem finalmente viver com maior liberdade e desfrutar do mesmo direito constitucional relativo ao amor e à autonomia corporal. Estas alterações representam a primeira reformulação das leis da era colonial desde que Angola conquistou a independência em 1975, abolindo cláusulas dessa era que estavam em vigor desde que o código penal introduziu a proibição em 1886. A Directora do Escritório Regional de África da IPPF, Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry declarou: “As notícias que chegam de Angola dão nova vida e esperança renovada não apenas para a comunidade LGBTI em Angola, mas para África como um todo. As leis anti-LGBTI da era colonial são uma mancha na nossa consciência colectiva, e esta decisão assinala uma nova era de inclusividade, esperança e amor. Ninguém deve ser tratado como criminoso por escolher quem amar, e esperamos que esta alteração legislativa inspire outros países que tenham um vestígio colonial semelhante a reverem as suas próprias leis.” O primeiro passo para alterar o código penal foi dado em 2019 quando o Parlamento aprovou as alterações propostas. No entanto, apenas em Novembro de 2020 é que estas foram ratificadas pelo Presidente João Lourenço, com um prazo de 90 dias até à sua entrada em vigor na última semana. O novo código penal aboliu a linguagem de “vício contra natura”, a qual era percebida como uma proibição às relações com pessoas do mesmo sexo. A nova lei inclui vários artigos que protegem contra a discriminação com base na orientação sexual, em relação ao trabalho ou locais públicos e eventos, e inclui a pena de prisão até dois anos por discriminação baseada na orientação sexual. Após a descriminalização em Angola, o número de países onde a homossexualidade é descriminalizada é agora 72. Esta é uma base sólida para o que aí vem, para permitir um mundo onde todas as pessoas possam tomar decisões sobre a sua sexualidade e bem-estar, livres de discriminação, uma luta na qual a IPPF será uma participante activa. Leia esta declaração em inglês.

#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.

Pan-African Women’s Organization
news item

| 03 August 2020

IPPFAR Celebrates the Pan-African Women’s Day

Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Africa Regional Office and its member associations joins the Pan African’s Woman Organization (PAWO) in celebrating the Pan-African Women’s Day. On this day, we recognize PAWO’s dedicated efforts in enhancing the lives of girls and women across the African continent. For over five decades, PAWO and its development partners have spearheaded various programmes and initiatives that have empowered thousands of African women, socially and politically. Indeed, these efforts have yielded positive results, as evidenced through notable positive changes in the status of African women as most, hold powerful leadership positions in different spaces. There is so much to celebrate; in politics, African women have demonstrated true leadership and have ably led successful democracies, literacy levels have increased significantly, and so have their economic statuses, where many run successful businesses or are employed. They continue to defy all odds by breaking various social, cultural, economic and political barriers to thrive in different fields. However, it is not enough, for women today are still under-represented in many areas. Many African women remain disadvantaged, underscoring the need for unity by actors in both the public and private sectors to be relentless in ensuring that women have an equal seat at the table. A lot more still needs to be done. IPPF Africa Region has been at the forefront of championing women’s rights – more so in reproductive health, with various women-centered and empowerment programs implemented in our Member Associations across the continent. The success of our work has been greatly enhanced through close collaboration and partnerships with different governments and organizations at the international, regional, national and local levels. The African Union and its partners, such as PAWO, continue to be some of our invaluable development allies. On this day, we congratulate PAWO on its 58th anniversary, and celebrate the work it continues to do in empowering African women. We reiterate our commitment to PAWO’s efforts in championing the women’s development agenda in the continent, and pledge our highest assurance of support to the organization.   Featured image: IPPF/Xaume Olleros/Senegal Media Contacts: -Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, 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]

Pan-African Women’s Organization
news_item

| 31 July 2020

IPPFAR Celebrates the Pan-African Women’s Day

Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Africa Regional Office and its member associations joins the Pan African’s Woman Organization (PAWO) in celebrating the Pan-African Women’s Day. On this day, we recognize PAWO’s dedicated efforts in enhancing the lives of girls and women across the African continent. For over five decades, PAWO and its development partners have spearheaded various programmes and initiatives that have empowered thousands of African women, socially and politically. Indeed, these efforts have yielded positive results, as evidenced through notable positive changes in the status of African women as most, hold powerful leadership positions in different spaces. There is so much to celebrate; in politics, African women have demonstrated true leadership and have ably led successful democracies, literacy levels have increased significantly, and so have their economic statuses, where many run successful businesses or are employed. They continue to defy all odds by breaking various social, cultural, economic and political barriers to thrive in different fields. However, it is not enough, for women today are still under-represented in many areas. Many African women remain disadvantaged, underscoring the need for unity by actors in both the public and private sectors to be relentless in ensuring that women have an equal seat at the table. A lot more still needs to be done. IPPF Africa Region has been at the forefront of championing women’s rights – more so in reproductive health, with various women-centered and empowerment programs implemented in our Member Associations across the continent. The success of our work has been greatly enhanced through close collaboration and partnerships with different governments and organizations at the international, regional, national and local levels. The African Union and its partners, such as PAWO, continue to be some of our invaluable development allies. On this day, we congratulate PAWO on its 58th anniversary, and celebrate the work it continues to do in empowering African women. We reiterate our commitment to PAWO’s efforts in championing the women’s development agenda in the continent, and pledge our highest assurance of support to the organization.   Featured image: IPPF/Xaume Olleros/Senegal Media Contacts: -Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, 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]

World Population Day 2020
news item

| 11 July 2020

World Population Day: Prioritization of Women and Girls During COVID-19 is Essential

Nairobi, 11 July 2020 - As we celebrate the World Population Day today, we are cognizant of the fact that it has come at a very difficult time. The world is coping with the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as is the case with most calamities, the poor and marginalized have been hardest hit. In response, governments have put in place various measures to contain the spread of the virus and while these have yielded some measure of positive results, they have also increased the vulnerability of some populations, such as women and girls. For example, the closure of schools has seen adolescent and teenage girls exposed to early child marriage, female genital mutilation, trafficking, child labor and other forms of exploitation. Staying home has also limited their access to comprehensive sexuality education, which has potential to contribute to teen pregnancies. Their exposure to sexual and gender-based violence during this time is imminent. Women largely depend on the informal economy for their livelihoods, but with the pandemic severely affecting their movement and their small businesses, they have been left economically exposed. Weak and overstretched health systems have seen governments divert most of their resources to mitigating the challenges of COVID-19. This has caused disruption of services in health facilities and affected the supply of commodities such as contraceptives and HIV drugs. Lockdowns and curfews have further aggravated the situation by limiting populations’ access to hospitals. Women can no longer easily visit their regular healthcare providers for their family planning needs. This could lead to unplanned pregnancies which may result increased cases of unsafe abortion. It has also become increasingly difficult for pregnant women to access antenatal, delivery and post-natal care services, putting them at greater risk for negative birth outcomes. As the world commemorates this important day, we implore governments and other stakeholders to recognize the gender dynamics during pandemics such as COVID-19, and work towards ensuring that women and girls have unhindered access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services. Media Contacts: -Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, 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]

World Population Day 2020
news_item

| 11 July 2020

World Population Day: Prioritization of Women and Girls During COVID-19 is Essential

Nairobi, 11 July 2020 - As we celebrate the World Population Day today, we are cognizant of the fact that it has come at a very difficult time. The world is coping with the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as is the case with most calamities, the poor and marginalized have been hardest hit. In response, governments have put in place various measures to contain the spread of the virus and while these have yielded some measure of positive results, they have also increased the vulnerability of some populations, such as women and girls. For example, the closure of schools has seen adolescent and teenage girls exposed to early child marriage, female genital mutilation, trafficking, child labor and other forms of exploitation. Staying home has also limited their access to comprehensive sexuality education, which has potential to contribute to teen pregnancies. Their exposure to sexual and gender-based violence during this time is imminent. Women largely depend on the informal economy for their livelihoods, but with the pandemic severely affecting their movement and their small businesses, they have been left economically exposed. Weak and overstretched health systems have seen governments divert most of their resources to mitigating the challenges of COVID-19. This has caused disruption of services in health facilities and affected the supply of commodities such as contraceptives and HIV drugs. Lockdowns and curfews have further aggravated the situation by limiting populations’ access to hospitals. Women can no longer easily visit their regular healthcare providers for their family planning needs. This could lead to unplanned pregnancies which may result increased cases of unsafe abortion. It has also become increasingly difficult for pregnant women to access antenatal, delivery and post-natal care services, putting them at greater risk for negative birth outcomes. As the world commemorates this important day, we implore governments and other stakeholders to recognize the gender dynamics during pandemics such as COVID-19, and work towards ensuring that women and girls have unhindered access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services. Media Contacts: -Maryanne Wanyama, Communications Officer, 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]

SGBV_IPPFAR
news item

| 29 October 2018

Sexual Gender-Based Violence Services in IPPFAR Member Associations to be Strengthened

IPPF Africa Region recently held a Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) workshop for over 30 program staff and service providers drawn from selected Member Associations (MAs). The workshop was co- organized by the Gender Unit and the Programmes & Health Systems Strengthening Department. It was aimed at strengthening the capacity of IPPFAR MAs to deliver on SGBV -a major public health concern and human rights issue. SGBV is one of the eight components of IPPF’s Integrated Package of Essential Services (IPES), whose other components include: counselling, contraception, safe abortion care, STIs/RTIs, gynaecology, prenatal care and HIV. Worrying Data According to Dr. Elias Girma -IPPFAR’s Lead Technical Advisor, SRHR Programmes, SGBV statistics from the region are indicative of the rising number of cases (35% to 70% women having experienced physical or sexual violence), which underscores the great need for IPPFAR Member Associations to strengthen their response to survivors. In 2017, IPPF Africa region offered over 1.3 million SGBV services (including referrals). “This worrying data reveals the need for appropriate and effective strategies to address the SGBV challenge in Africa. Provision of a range of essential services to SGBV survivors is one of the most crucial responses, and there are great opportunities for our clinics to ensure that every SGBV survivor receives the appropriate counseling, treatment and support services they need,” he said during the workshop which was held in Nairobi, Kenya. Policy and Legal Environment While noting that the deeply-embedded unequal power relations in society sees more women than men suffer from SGBV, Dr. Girma said that key among the workshop’s objectives was to broaden the service provider’s understanding of the legal and policy frameworks pertaining to gender and SGBV. These comprise key international and regional laws, instruments and agreements. Toward this, Ms. Nathalie Nkoume, IPPFAR's Gender Equality Advisor shared information on various policies, conventions and international frameworks that aim to fight violence against women. She stressed that each government has the duty to protect all SGBV survivors by putting in place respective national frameworks and further providing adequate resources for effective implementation of the legal provisions. Ms. Nkoume also took participants through the IPPF Gender Equality policy, as well as the IPPF gender implementation plans as key reference documents that promote actions towards a transformative agenda for equality of outcomes, opportunities and rights. Visit to the KNH GBV Recovery Center To better understand how an ideal GBV center within a health facility operates, the participants -drawn from 12 African countries (Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, DRC, Eswatini, Zambia, Togo, Mali, Chad, and Cameroon) visited the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH)’s Gender-Based Violence Recovery (GBVR) Center in Nairobi. This is a model health facility that offers comprehensive management of GBV. At the recovery center, participants were taken through the process of handling a client who presents with a GBV complaint or need, and the range of services offered to them. These services include: screening and examination, treatment for physical injuries, laboratory tests, collection of forensic evidence, counseling (including trauma counseling) and psychosocial support. On a need basis, the clients are linked to safe houses (shelters), support groups and law enforcement agencies.  The GBV survivors are also offered post-rape care services such as treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), emergency contraceptive pills -to help reduce chances of unwanted pregnancies, as well as Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) -antiretroviral drugs which, if taken properly, significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection by 80%. Comprehensive Package of Care The head of the Mental Health Unit at KNH GBVR Center, Dr. Margaret Makanyengo stressed on the strong referral mechanism within the hospital that ensures the survivor gets a comprehensive package of care. “Different units within the hospital work closely together to ensure the client is offered all the services they need. These services are provided to the client in a confidential manner. The service providers strive to uphold the dignity of the clients, while assuring them of their safety and security within the hospital precincts,” she said. Following their visit to KNH’s GBVR center, participants shared some of their feedback. “Seeing how different departments all work together to smoothly deliver services to the client is impressive. There are different entry points of identification for the GBV survivors such as the maternity, the Comprehensive Care Center, the casualty, the youth center and the mental health department. This ensures that no client is left out, and it is something that we as health service providers need to think seriously about, with regard to our facilities,” said Rebecca Zawedde, a participant from Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU). Her sentiments were shared by Cathy Zoa, a participant from Cameroon. “I return to my work station with a lot of lessons learnt from KNH. Right from the triage, the clients are well received by the nurse. The facility is well-branded and the rooms, which are exceptionally clean, are in secure areas which is very important for SGBV survivors. In addition, the reception area at the GBVR center is very warm and welcoming. This is very important to the client.   I also admired the zeal with which the service providers undertake their work. You can tell they are very knowledgeable about their areas of expertise and are very passionate about what they do. They have really inspired me,” she said. Data Collection and Management Mr. Paulin Tra, IPPFAR’s Technical Manager -Performance, Knowledge and New Technology shared information on the power of data collection and management, and the key role they play in improving SGBV programs. He also shared trends of SGBV performance in the IPPF Africa Region, verses other SRHR services offered by MAs in the same region. Population Council, an organization that has undertaken extensive research on SGBV shared several study results on SGBV.  The organization has also helped create a regional SGBV network. Improved SGBV Service Provision in MA Clinics Following the training, the participants thoroughly analyzed the SGBV components in their programs, taking note of the weaknesses, strengths and areas of improvement. In their action plans, some of their improved strategies for strengthening the SGBV components will include routine screening for SGBV, training of service providers on the respective national SGBV protocols, more engagement of boys and men in the SGBV response, and heightened awareness creation of SGBV -which will largely be undertaken by volunteers and peer educators at the community level. Other aspects will include the forging of partnerships at the community and national level with different stakeholders such as the government, grassroots organizations, cultural custodians, religious leaders, and other influential institutions. Sylvia Auma of Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK) was inspired to begin instituting changes back at the Family Care Medical Center in Jerusalem estate, located in Nairobi’s Eastlands area. “I have gained a lot from this workshop. The most important thing I have learnt is that responding to the unique needs of SGBV survivors in our health facilities does not have to be complicated. When I return, I will share all the information I have learned from this workshop with my colleagues. I will particularly ensure that our triage service is functional, as this can be entry point for identification of potential SGBV survivors or those at risk of abuse. I believe we have the capacity to attend to their sensitive needs with the already existing resources that we have at our clinic,” she said. Story by Maryanne W. Waweru, Governance and Compliance Officer, IPPF Africa Region Also Read: Newly Launched! State of African Women Report: Key Findings For more information about the work of IPPF Africa Region, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

SGBV_IPPFAR
news_item

| 29 October 2018

Sexual Gender-Based Violence Services in IPPFAR Member Associations to be Strengthened

IPPF Africa Region recently held a Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) workshop for over 30 program staff and service providers drawn from selected Member Associations (MAs). The workshop was co- organized by the Gender Unit and the Programmes & Health Systems Strengthening Department. It was aimed at strengthening the capacity of IPPFAR MAs to deliver on SGBV -a major public health concern and human rights issue. SGBV is one of the eight components of IPPF’s Integrated Package of Essential Services (IPES), whose other components include: counselling, contraception, safe abortion care, STIs/RTIs, gynaecology, prenatal care and HIV. Worrying Data According to Dr. Elias Girma -IPPFAR’s Lead Technical Advisor, SRHR Programmes, SGBV statistics from the region are indicative of the rising number of cases (35% to 70% women having experienced physical or sexual violence), which underscores the great need for IPPFAR Member Associations to strengthen their response to survivors. In 2017, IPPF Africa region offered over 1.3 million SGBV services (including referrals). “This worrying data reveals the need for appropriate and effective strategies to address the SGBV challenge in Africa. Provision of a range of essential services to SGBV survivors is one of the most crucial responses, and there are great opportunities for our clinics to ensure that every SGBV survivor receives the appropriate counseling, treatment and support services they need,” he said during the workshop which was held in Nairobi, Kenya. Policy and Legal Environment While noting that the deeply-embedded unequal power relations in society sees more women than men suffer from SGBV, Dr. Girma said that key among the workshop’s objectives was to broaden the service provider’s understanding of the legal and policy frameworks pertaining to gender and SGBV. These comprise key international and regional laws, instruments and agreements. Toward this, Ms. Nathalie Nkoume, IPPFAR's Gender Equality Advisor shared information on various policies, conventions and international frameworks that aim to fight violence against women. She stressed that each government has the duty to protect all SGBV survivors by putting in place respective national frameworks and further providing adequate resources for effective implementation of the legal provisions. Ms. Nkoume also took participants through the IPPF Gender Equality policy, as well as the IPPF gender implementation plans as key reference documents that promote actions towards a transformative agenda for equality of outcomes, opportunities and rights. Visit to the KNH GBV Recovery Center To better understand how an ideal GBV center within a health facility operates, the participants -drawn from 12 African countries (Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, DRC, Eswatini, Zambia, Togo, Mali, Chad, and Cameroon) visited the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH)’s Gender-Based Violence Recovery (GBVR) Center in Nairobi. This is a model health facility that offers comprehensive management of GBV. At the recovery center, participants were taken through the process of handling a client who presents with a GBV complaint or need, and the range of services offered to them. These services include: screening and examination, treatment for physical injuries, laboratory tests, collection of forensic evidence, counseling (including trauma counseling) and psychosocial support. On a need basis, the clients are linked to safe houses (shelters), support groups and law enforcement agencies.  The GBV survivors are also offered post-rape care services such as treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), emergency contraceptive pills -to help reduce chances of unwanted pregnancies, as well as Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) -antiretroviral drugs which, if taken properly, significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection by 80%. Comprehensive Package of Care The head of the Mental Health Unit at KNH GBVR Center, Dr. Margaret Makanyengo stressed on the strong referral mechanism within the hospital that ensures the survivor gets a comprehensive package of care. “Different units within the hospital work closely together to ensure the client is offered all the services they need. These services are provided to the client in a confidential manner. The service providers strive to uphold the dignity of the clients, while assuring them of their safety and security within the hospital precincts,” she said. Following their visit to KNH’s GBVR center, participants shared some of their feedback. “Seeing how different departments all work together to smoothly deliver services to the client is impressive. There are different entry points of identification for the GBV survivors such as the maternity, the Comprehensive Care Center, the casualty, the youth center and the mental health department. This ensures that no client is left out, and it is something that we as health service providers need to think seriously about, with regard to our facilities,” said Rebecca Zawedde, a participant from Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU). Her sentiments were shared by Cathy Zoa, a participant from Cameroon. “I return to my work station with a lot of lessons learnt from KNH. Right from the triage, the clients are well received by the nurse. The facility is well-branded and the rooms, which are exceptionally clean, are in secure areas which is very important for SGBV survivors. In addition, the reception area at the GBVR center is very warm and welcoming. This is very important to the client.   I also admired the zeal with which the service providers undertake their work. You can tell they are very knowledgeable about their areas of expertise and are very passionate about what they do. They have really inspired me,” she said. Data Collection and Management Mr. Paulin Tra, IPPFAR’s Technical Manager -Performance, Knowledge and New Technology shared information on the power of data collection and management, and the key role they play in improving SGBV programs. He also shared trends of SGBV performance in the IPPF Africa Region, verses other SRHR services offered by MAs in the same region. Population Council, an organization that has undertaken extensive research on SGBV shared several study results on SGBV.  The organization has also helped create a regional SGBV network. Improved SGBV Service Provision in MA Clinics Following the training, the participants thoroughly analyzed the SGBV components in their programs, taking note of the weaknesses, strengths and areas of improvement. In their action plans, some of their improved strategies for strengthening the SGBV components will include routine screening for SGBV, training of service providers on the respective national SGBV protocols, more engagement of boys and men in the SGBV response, and heightened awareness creation of SGBV -which will largely be undertaken by volunteers and peer educators at the community level. Other aspects will include the forging of partnerships at the community and national level with different stakeholders such as the government, grassroots organizations, cultural custodians, religious leaders, and other influential institutions. Sylvia Auma of Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK) was inspired to begin instituting changes back at the Family Care Medical Center in Jerusalem estate, located in Nairobi’s Eastlands area. “I have gained a lot from this workshop. The most important thing I have learnt is that responding to the unique needs of SGBV survivors in our health facilities does not have to be complicated. When I return, I will share all the information I have learned from this workshop with my colleagues. I will particularly ensure that our triage service is functional, as this can be entry point for identification of potential SGBV survivors or those at risk of abuse. I believe we have the capacity to attend to their sensitive needs with the already existing resources that we have at our clinic,” she said. Story by Maryanne W. Waweru, Governance and Compliance Officer, IPPF Africa Region Also Read: Newly Launched! State of African Women Report: Key Findings For more information about the work of IPPF Africa Region, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.