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Ethiopia youth
news item

| 13 January 2022

"Let’s talk about sex baby!": Répondre aux besoins des adolescentes et des jeunes femmes en Afrique à l'ère du numérique

Dans le monde numérique d'aujourd'hui, tout est disponible en ligne: les informations, les produits et les services. Avec un taux de pénétration de la téléphonie mobile en Afrique sub-saharienne de 44%, 22% de la population africaine accède dorénavant au monde entier en cliquant simplement sur un bouton. De plus, l'Union africaine et le Groupe de la Banque mondiale se sont engagés à connecter chaque individu, entreprise et gouvernement africain d'ici 2030. Et alors que 60% de la population africaine est âgée de moins de 25 ans, on peut voir cette jeunesse africaine dans les rues de Nairobi, Accra ou Johannesburg, tapoter frénétiquement sur leurs smartphones, utilisant cette technologie numérique, facilement accessible, pour se divertir et s'instruire. Souvent, et sans surprise, cette quête de connaissances est centrée sur le sexe. Ce phénomène a cependant eu un impact moins important sur les filles et les jeunes femmes africaines, qui restent prisonnières de tabous et de normes sociales, incapables d'accéder en ligne à des informations précises sur la santé et les droits sexuels et reproductifs. L'écart entre les sexes en matière de téléphonie mobile signifie que seules deux femmes sur trois en Afrique possèdent un téléphone portable et qu'un tiers seulement utilise régulièrement des données mobiles. Les pratiques culturelles rétrogrades et les normes patriarcales endémiques, notamment le mariage précoce, l'excision, la purification sexuelle et l'héritage des femmes, continent de les exposer à d'innombrables risques. Les IST, le VIH, les violences sexuelles liées au genre et les grossesses chez les adolescentes sont monnaie courante; et les complications liées à la grossesse et à l'accouchement restent la principale cause de décès chez les filles âgées de 15 à 19 ans dans le monde. Cette situation s'est accentuée pendant la pandémie de COVID-19, qui a exacerbé les vulnérabilités des filles et des femmes. Aujourd'hui, alors que nous commémorons la Journée internationale de la fille, centrée sur la "génération numérique", nous souhaitons attirer l'attention sur les "droits" des filles et les défis uniques auxquels elles sont confrontées dans le monde. Le Mouvement d’Action des Jeunes de la Fédération internationale pour la planification familiale (IPPF) - une plateforme de plaidoyer dirigée par des pairs pour les jeunes âgés de 10 à 24 ans - nous montre chaque jour comment l'espace technologique croissant permet lentement aux adolescentes et aux jeunes femmes d'accéder aux appareils numériques et de rechercher des informations sur leur corps, la menstruation, la prévention de la grossesse, le consentement, l'amour, le plaisir, les relations, la contraception et l'avortement sans risque. C’est pourquoi au Nigeria, la Fédération Nigériane du Planning Familial (PPFN) – l’une des 33 Associations Membres  de la Fédération internationale pour la planification familiale, région Afrique (IPPFAR) - a commencé à fournir des services de santé sexuelle et reproductive aux jeunes en utilisant plusieurs plateformes numériques, notamment les SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Zoom et des appels téléphoniques directs. Ces plateformes offrent des informations précises, interactives, en direct, des sessions éducatives, des consultations individuelles et des orientations personnalisées. Les jeunes peuvent également consulter le site web Youth Connect (https://youthconnect.ppfn.org ) et l'application e-Health du PPFN, tous deux conçus par des jeunes. Au Bénin, l'Association Béninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille a introduit des sessions d'éducation sexuelle complète (ESC) en ligne, en réponse à la fermeture des écoles, basées sur le cadre de l'IPPF pour l'ESC avec des modules sur le genre, la santé sexuelle et reproductive, le VIH, les droits et la citoyenneté sexuels, le plaisir, la violence, la diversité et les relations. Au Togo, l'Association Togolaise pour le Bien-Etre Familial a lancé "InfoAdoJeunes", une application multifonctionnelle développée pour et par les jeunes, qui fournit des informations essentielles sur la santé sexuelle et reproductive de manière amusante et attrayante. L’application comporte 8 onglets de navigation sur l'éducation sexuelle, le cycle menstruel, la contraception, la téléconsultation, la web TV, les jeux et quiz, un forum de discussion et un onglet où les utilisateurs peuvent poser des questions à un expert en temps réel. Ces initiatives se révèlent très efficaces et les réactions, en particulier celles des jeunes femmes et des jeunes filles, sont très positives! L'accès en ligne rapide, opportun et privé aux informations et aux consultations sur la santé sexuelle y est amusant, pratique, sans jugement et confidentiel. Tout le monde y gagne! Nous faisons écho à l'UNFPA: Pour s'assurer un avenir égalitaire, les filles doivent avoir un accès égal aux outils et informations numériques. C'est pourquoi, en cette journée internationale de la fille, l'IPPFAR renouvelle son engagement et appelle les gouvernements à investir dans la technologie numérique afin que les adolescentes et les jeunes filles d'Afrique puissent facilement accéder à des informations précises et de qualité sur leur santé sexuelle et reproductive et qu'elles soient en mesure de prendre des décisions éclairées sur leur corps et leur avenir. Par Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry et Monica Mwai Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry est la Directrice régionale de la Fédération internationale pour la planification familiale, région Afrique (IPPFAR) et Monica Mwai est une jeune stagiaire au sein de l'équipe de communication d’IPPFAR. La Fédération internationale pour la planification familiale, région Afrique (IPPFAR) est l'un des principaux fournisseurs de services de santé sexuelle et reproductive de qualité en Afrique et une voix de défense de la santé et des droits sexuels et reproductifs dans la région. Pour plus d'informations sur le travail de l'IPPF Région Afrique, suivez-nous sur Facebook, Instagram, You Tube et Twitter.

Ethiopia youth
news_item

| 13 January 2022

"Let’s talk about sex baby!": Répondre aux besoins des adolescentes et des jeunes femmes en Afrique à l'ère du numérique

Dans le monde numérique d'aujourd'hui, tout est disponible en ligne: les informations, les produits et les services. Avec un taux de pénétration de la téléphonie mobile en Afrique sub-saharienne de 44%, 22% de la population africaine accède dorénavant au monde entier en cliquant simplement sur un bouton. De plus, l'Union africaine et le Groupe de la Banque mondiale se sont engagés à connecter chaque individu, entreprise et gouvernement africain d'ici 2030. Et alors que 60% de la population africaine est âgée de moins de 25 ans, on peut voir cette jeunesse africaine dans les rues de Nairobi, Accra ou Johannesburg, tapoter frénétiquement sur leurs smartphones, utilisant cette technologie numérique, facilement accessible, pour se divertir et s'instruire. Souvent, et sans surprise, cette quête de connaissances est centrée sur le sexe. Ce phénomène a cependant eu un impact moins important sur les filles et les jeunes femmes africaines, qui restent prisonnières de tabous et de normes sociales, incapables d'accéder en ligne à des informations précises sur la santé et les droits sexuels et reproductifs. L'écart entre les sexes en matière de téléphonie mobile signifie que seules deux femmes sur trois en Afrique possèdent un téléphone portable et qu'un tiers seulement utilise régulièrement des données mobiles. Les pratiques culturelles rétrogrades et les normes patriarcales endémiques, notamment le mariage précoce, l'excision, la purification sexuelle et l'héritage des femmes, continent de les exposer à d'innombrables risques. Les IST, le VIH, les violences sexuelles liées au genre et les grossesses chez les adolescentes sont monnaie courante; et les complications liées à la grossesse et à l'accouchement restent la principale cause de décès chez les filles âgées de 15 à 19 ans dans le monde. Cette situation s'est accentuée pendant la pandémie de COVID-19, qui a exacerbé les vulnérabilités des filles et des femmes. Aujourd'hui, alors que nous commémorons la Journée internationale de la fille, centrée sur la "génération numérique", nous souhaitons attirer l'attention sur les "droits" des filles et les défis uniques auxquels elles sont confrontées dans le monde. Le Mouvement d’Action des Jeunes de la Fédération internationale pour la planification familiale (IPPF) - une plateforme de plaidoyer dirigée par des pairs pour les jeunes âgés de 10 à 24 ans - nous montre chaque jour comment l'espace technologique croissant permet lentement aux adolescentes et aux jeunes femmes d'accéder aux appareils numériques et de rechercher des informations sur leur corps, la menstruation, la prévention de la grossesse, le consentement, l'amour, le plaisir, les relations, la contraception et l'avortement sans risque. C’est pourquoi au Nigeria, la Fédération Nigériane du Planning Familial (PPFN) – l’une des 33 Associations Membres  de la Fédération internationale pour la planification familiale, région Afrique (IPPFAR) - a commencé à fournir des services de santé sexuelle et reproductive aux jeunes en utilisant plusieurs plateformes numériques, notamment les SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Zoom et des appels téléphoniques directs. Ces plateformes offrent des informations précises, interactives, en direct, des sessions éducatives, des consultations individuelles et des orientations personnalisées. Les jeunes peuvent également consulter le site web Youth Connect (https://youthconnect.ppfn.org ) et l'application e-Health du PPFN, tous deux conçus par des jeunes. Au Bénin, l'Association Béninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille a introduit des sessions d'éducation sexuelle complète (ESC) en ligne, en réponse à la fermeture des écoles, basées sur le cadre de l'IPPF pour l'ESC avec des modules sur le genre, la santé sexuelle et reproductive, le VIH, les droits et la citoyenneté sexuels, le plaisir, la violence, la diversité et les relations. Au Togo, l'Association Togolaise pour le Bien-Etre Familial a lancé "InfoAdoJeunes", une application multifonctionnelle développée pour et par les jeunes, qui fournit des informations essentielles sur la santé sexuelle et reproductive de manière amusante et attrayante. L’application comporte 8 onglets de navigation sur l'éducation sexuelle, le cycle menstruel, la contraception, la téléconsultation, la web TV, les jeux et quiz, un forum de discussion et un onglet où les utilisateurs peuvent poser des questions à un expert en temps réel. Ces initiatives se révèlent très efficaces et les réactions, en particulier celles des jeunes femmes et des jeunes filles, sont très positives! L'accès en ligne rapide, opportun et privé aux informations et aux consultations sur la santé sexuelle y est amusant, pratique, sans jugement et confidentiel. Tout le monde y gagne! Nous faisons écho à l'UNFPA: Pour s'assurer un avenir égalitaire, les filles doivent avoir un accès égal aux outils et informations numériques. C'est pourquoi, en cette journée internationale de la fille, l'IPPFAR renouvelle son engagement et appelle les gouvernements à investir dans la technologie numérique afin que les adolescentes et les jeunes filles d'Afrique puissent facilement accéder à des informations précises et de qualité sur leur santé sexuelle et reproductive et qu'elles soient en mesure de prendre des décisions éclairées sur leur corps et leur avenir. Par Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry et Monica Mwai Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry est la Directrice régionale de la Fédération internationale pour la planification familiale, région Afrique (IPPFAR) et Monica Mwai est une jeune stagiaire au sein de l'équipe de communication d’IPPFAR. La Fédération internationale pour la planification familiale, région Afrique (IPPFAR) est l'un des principaux fournisseurs de services de santé sexuelle et reproductive de qualité en Afrique et une voix de défense de la santé et des droits sexuels et reproductifs dans la région. Pour plus d'informations sur le travail de l'IPPF Région Afrique, suivez-nous sur Facebook, Instagram, You Tube et Twitter.

Ethiopia youth
news item

| 13 January 2022

“Let’s talk about sex baby”: Responding to the Needs of Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Africa in the Digital Age

In todays’ digital world, everything is available online. Information, products, and services. 22% of the African population, can access the world at the click of a button and mobile penetration rate in Sub-Saharan Africa is at 44%. The African Union and the World Bank Group have committed to connecting every African individual, business, and government by 2030. 60% of Africa’s population is <25 years. The young Africans can be seen on the streets of Nairobi, Accra, and Johannesburg, swiping left and right, using this readily available digital technology for entertainment, education, and learning. Often, and unsurprisingly, this pursuit for knowledge is centered around sex. This phenomenon has though had a less impressive impact on African girls and young women, who continue to be trapped by taboos and restrictive gender and social norms, unable to access accurate sexual and reproductive health and rights information online. The Mobile Gender Gap means only two out of three women in Africa own a mobile phone, and only a third use mobile data regularly. Retrogressive cultural practices and patriarchal norms though are endemic including early marriage, female genital cutting, sexual cleansing, and wife inheritance, exposing them to innumerable risks. STIs, HIV, gender-based sexual violence and teenage pregnancies are commonplace; and complications from pregnancy and childbirth complications remain the leading cause of death among girls aged 15–19 years globally. Today, as we commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child centered on the ‘Digital Generation’ we want to call attention to the rights’ of the girl child and the unique challenges they face globally. IPPFs Youth Action Movement, a peer-led advocacy platform for young people aged 10-24 years, is showing us how the growing technological space is slowly permitting adolescent girls and young women to access digital devices and seek information about their bodies, menstruation, pregnancy prevention, peer pressure, love, pleasure, relationships, contraception and safe abortion. This became more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic, which exacerbated the vulnerabilities of girls and women. In Nigeria, the Planned Parenthood of Nigeria  – began delivering sexual reproductive health services using several digital and online platforms including: Short Message Service (SMS), Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Zoom and direct telephone calls. These platforms offered accurate, live interactive information and educational sessions, one-to-one consultations and respective referrals. Young people are additionally reached through the Youth Connect website (https://youthconnect.ppfn.org) and ‘The PPFN e-Health App’ which were both co-designed by young people. In Benin, the Association Béninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille introduced online comprehensive sexuality educations sessions, in response to school closures, based on the IPPF’s Framework for CSE: gender, sexual and reproductive health and HIV, sexual rights and sexual citizenship, pleasure, violence, diversity and relationships. In Togo, the Association Togolaise pour le Bien-Etre Familial launched ‘InfoAdoJeunes’, a multi-functional app that was developed for and by young people, providing critical information about sexual and reproductive health in a fun and engaging manner. The 8 navigation tabs: sexuality education, the menstrual cycle, teleconsultation, web TV, games and quizzes, a chat forum, contraception, and a tab where users can ask an experts questions in real-time. These initiatives are proving to be very successful, and feedback, in particular from the young women and girls, has been very positive! Quick, timely, private, online access to information and consultations around sexual health is fun, convenient, non-judgemental and protects their privacy. A win-win all around! We echo UNFPA: To secure an equal future, girls need equal access to digital tools and information. This is why, on this international day of the Girl Child, IPPF’s renews its commitment and call on governments and support to invest in digital technology to ensure adolescents and young girls in Africa can easily access high-quality, accurate information around their sexual and reproductive health and are empowered to make informed decisions about their bodies and their futures. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry is the Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region (IPPFAR) and Monica Mwai is a Youth Intern within the Communications Team. By Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry and Monica Mwai The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading providers of quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in Africa and a sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

Ethiopia youth
news_item

| 13 January 2022

“Let’s talk about sex baby”: Responding to the Needs of Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Africa in the Digital Age

In todays’ digital world, everything is available online. Information, products, and services. 22% of the African population, can access the world at the click of a button and mobile penetration rate in Sub-Saharan Africa is at 44%. The African Union and the World Bank Group have committed to connecting every African individual, business, and government by 2030. 60% of Africa’s population is <25 years. The young Africans can be seen on the streets of Nairobi, Accra, and Johannesburg, swiping left and right, using this readily available digital technology for entertainment, education, and learning. Often, and unsurprisingly, this pursuit for knowledge is centered around sex. This phenomenon has though had a less impressive impact on African girls and young women, who continue to be trapped by taboos and restrictive gender and social norms, unable to access accurate sexual and reproductive health and rights information online. The Mobile Gender Gap means only two out of three women in Africa own a mobile phone, and only a third use mobile data regularly. Retrogressive cultural practices and patriarchal norms though are endemic including early marriage, female genital cutting, sexual cleansing, and wife inheritance, exposing them to innumerable risks. STIs, HIV, gender-based sexual violence and teenage pregnancies are commonplace; and complications from pregnancy and childbirth complications remain the leading cause of death among girls aged 15–19 years globally. Today, as we commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child centered on the ‘Digital Generation’ we want to call attention to the rights’ of the girl child and the unique challenges they face globally. IPPFs Youth Action Movement, a peer-led advocacy platform for young people aged 10-24 years, is showing us how the growing technological space is slowly permitting adolescent girls and young women to access digital devices and seek information about their bodies, menstruation, pregnancy prevention, peer pressure, love, pleasure, relationships, contraception and safe abortion. This became more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic, which exacerbated the vulnerabilities of girls and women. In Nigeria, the Planned Parenthood of Nigeria  – began delivering sexual reproductive health services using several digital and online platforms including: Short Message Service (SMS), Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Zoom and direct telephone calls. These platforms offered accurate, live interactive information and educational sessions, one-to-one consultations and respective referrals. Young people are additionally reached through the Youth Connect website (https://youthconnect.ppfn.org) and ‘The PPFN e-Health App’ which were both co-designed by young people. In Benin, the Association Béninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille introduced online comprehensive sexuality educations sessions, in response to school closures, based on the IPPF’s Framework for CSE: gender, sexual and reproductive health and HIV, sexual rights and sexual citizenship, pleasure, violence, diversity and relationships. In Togo, the Association Togolaise pour le Bien-Etre Familial launched ‘InfoAdoJeunes’, a multi-functional app that was developed for and by young people, providing critical information about sexual and reproductive health in a fun and engaging manner. The 8 navigation tabs: sexuality education, the menstrual cycle, teleconsultation, web TV, games and quizzes, a chat forum, contraception, and a tab where users can ask an experts questions in real-time. These initiatives are proving to be very successful, and feedback, in particular from the young women and girls, has been very positive! Quick, timely, private, online access to information and consultations around sexual health is fun, convenient, non-judgemental and protects their privacy. A win-win all around! We echo UNFPA: To secure an equal future, girls need equal access to digital tools and information. This is why, on this international day of the Girl Child, IPPF’s renews its commitment and call on governments and support to invest in digital technology to ensure adolescents and young girls in Africa can easily access high-quality, accurate information around their sexual and reproductive health and are empowered to make informed decisions about their bodies and their futures. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry is the Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region (IPPFAR) and Monica Mwai is a Youth Intern within the Communications Team. By Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry and Monica Mwai The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading providers of quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in Africa and a sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

YOUTH
news item

| 13 January 2022

Africa Youth Month: Taking Stock of Africa’s Commitments to Young People

It is now slightly more than 15 years since the Assembly of the Heads of States of the African Union adopted the Africa Youth Charter in Banjul, The Gambia. Although this Charter provides a strategic framework towards consolidating an approach for the enforcement of meaningful youth involvement in Africa's development agenda, the ideals of this Charter are yet to be realized by young people in their diversities.  Indeed, Africa's development agenda must be linked to the health and well-being of its young people. The United Nations World Population Prospects has documented an incremental growth in young people between the ages of 15 – 24 in Africa since 1952 and this growth has continued to escalate throughout the years. The report also projects that by 2030, over half of the countries in Africa will have more than a 40 per cent increase in the number of young people. These figures demonstrate the need for more meaningful engagement of young people who will be the driving force behind the continent's development agenda.  The sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of young people in Africa is an agenda that requires a thorough reflection and a particular prioritization by all stakeholders. Young people's sexual and reproductive health needs are most often overlooked due to a myriad of factors, including customs and taboos which impede their access to contraceptives, parental or spousal consent legislations, Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services that are inadequate or ill-adapted to cater to the diversity of needs of young people. In addition, adolescents and young people lack information on menstrual hygiene, different types of STIs, contraception, prevention of sexual violence, among other topics. Yet this information is vital in enabling them to make informed decisions and equiping them with skills they need to fully enjoy their SRHR. This problematic situation has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated the vulnerability of young people, with many exposed to sexual and gender-based violence, sexual exploitation, and as well as the closure of clinics and other emergency support services. As many school closed, adolescent girls and young women have been particularly affected and teenage pregnancies have risen as a result of sexual violence and a lack of information on SRH education.     Consequently, this year, as the African Union dedicates the month of November to celebrate Africa’s Youth under the theme " Defining the Future Today: Youth-Led Solutions for Building the Africa We Want”, it is essential that the continent reflects and acts on its commitment towards young people as highlighted in its development agenda 2063 and specifically in the Africa Youth Charter. Young people in Africa are not vulnerable, but they are made vulnerable when they are not involved, heard, engaged, allowed to lead, able to share their ideas of where they want to see the continent in the following years and provided with the knowledge and information necessary to make their own choices and to determine their destiny, particularly concerning their sexual and reproductive health and rights.    Africa is not short of young people who can lead, provide the change we want, and support advancing Africa's development agenda. In Ghana, the Youth Action Movement (YAM), a nationwide network of young people leading and promoting young people's SRHR, has defined itself as a movement by and for Ghanaian youth. The movement’s advocacy on SRHR information and services and young people has led to an increase in young people taking leadership positions, campaigning and  engaging the government on sexual and reproductive health. The YAM has advocated for a positive change in access to youth friendly services at the community level. This has led to an increase in the number of clinics providing youth-friendly SRHR services in Ghana. The movement has also complemented government efforts by providing SRHR information and services to the general population, particularly adolescents, women, men and vulnerable groups, including persons living with a disability. The YAM is also actively involved in linking young people to services through the outreach programme organized by the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana programme entitled "YENKASA", meaning ‘let's talk’ in local Twi language. Since its establishment in 2020, the contact center has responded to the SRHR needs and challenges of thousands of young people in Ghana.   The youth in Africa continue to demonstrate that they are capable and ready to be entrusted drivers and partners in Africa’s development agenda, including in the field of SRHR. It is now for Africa’s leaders and institutions to give them the trust and the space that they have strived for and earned.   Anita Nyanjong is the Global Lead, Youth at International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).  Claudia Lawson is the Youth Action Movement (YAM) President, Ghana.

YOUTH
news_item

| 13 January 2022

Africa Youth Month: Taking Stock of Africa’s Commitments to Young People

It is now slightly more than 15 years since the Assembly of the Heads of States of the African Union adopted the Africa Youth Charter in Banjul, The Gambia. Although this Charter provides a strategic framework towards consolidating an approach for the enforcement of meaningful youth involvement in Africa's development agenda, the ideals of this Charter are yet to be realized by young people in their diversities.  Indeed, Africa's development agenda must be linked to the health and well-being of its young people. The United Nations World Population Prospects has documented an incremental growth in young people between the ages of 15 – 24 in Africa since 1952 and this growth has continued to escalate throughout the years. The report also projects that by 2030, over half of the countries in Africa will have more than a 40 per cent increase in the number of young people. These figures demonstrate the need for more meaningful engagement of young people who will be the driving force behind the continent's development agenda.  The sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of young people in Africa is an agenda that requires a thorough reflection and a particular prioritization by all stakeholders. Young people's sexual and reproductive health needs are most often overlooked due to a myriad of factors, including customs and taboos which impede their access to contraceptives, parental or spousal consent legislations, Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services that are inadequate or ill-adapted to cater to the diversity of needs of young people. In addition, adolescents and young people lack information on menstrual hygiene, different types of STIs, contraception, prevention of sexual violence, among other topics. Yet this information is vital in enabling them to make informed decisions and equiping them with skills they need to fully enjoy their SRHR. This problematic situation has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated the vulnerability of young people, with many exposed to sexual and gender-based violence, sexual exploitation, and as well as the closure of clinics and other emergency support services. As many school closed, adolescent girls and young women have been particularly affected and teenage pregnancies have risen as a result of sexual violence and a lack of information on SRH education.     Consequently, this year, as the African Union dedicates the month of November to celebrate Africa’s Youth under the theme " Defining the Future Today: Youth-Led Solutions for Building the Africa We Want”, it is essential that the continent reflects and acts on its commitment towards young people as highlighted in its development agenda 2063 and specifically in the Africa Youth Charter. Young people in Africa are not vulnerable, but they are made vulnerable when they are not involved, heard, engaged, allowed to lead, able to share their ideas of where they want to see the continent in the following years and provided with the knowledge and information necessary to make their own choices and to determine their destiny, particularly concerning their sexual and reproductive health and rights.    Africa is not short of young people who can lead, provide the change we want, and support advancing Africa's development agenda. In Ghana, the Youth Action Movement (YAM), a nationwide network of young people leading and promoting young people's SRHR, has defined itself as a movement by and for Ghanaian youth. The movement’s advocacy on SRHR information and services and young people has led to an increase in young people taking leadership positions, campaigning and  engaging the government on sexual and reproductive health. The YAM has advocated for a positive change in access to youth friendly services at the community level. This has led to an increase in the number of clinics providing youth-friendly SRHR services in Ghana. The movement has also complemented government efforts by providing SRHR information and services to the general population, particularly adolescents, women, men and vulnerable groups, including persons living with a disability. The YAM is also actively involved in linking young people to services through the outreach programme organized by the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana programme entitled "YENKASA", meaning ‘let's talk’ in local Twi language. Since its establishment in 2020, the contact center has responded to the SRHR needs and challenges of thousands of young people in Ghana.   The youth in Africa continue to demonstrate that they are capable and ready to be entrusted drivers and partners in Africa’s development agenda, including in the field of SRHR. It is now for Africa’s leaders and institutions to give them the trust and the space that they have strived for and earned.   Anita Nyanjong is the Global Lead, Youth at International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).  Claudia Lawson is the Youth Action Movement (YAM) President, Ghana.

Guinea
news item

| 14 January 2022

Guinée. Des cas choquants de viol et de meurtre de filles doivent pousser les autorités à renforcer les efforts pour prévenir et combattre la violence sexuelle

Les autorités guinéennes doivent prendre des mesures immédiates pour garantir une enquête approfondie et impartiale sur les récents viols et agressions sexuelles suivis de meurtres commis en l'espace de huit jours seulement et traduire leurs auteurs en justice, ont déclaré Amnesty International et la Fédération internationale pour la Planification Familiale (IPPF) aujourd'hui. Elles doivent également augmenter leurs efforts pour combattre la violence sexuelle en renforçant la prévention, soutenant l’accès des victimes à la justice et adoptant une loi spéciale sur la violence à l’égard des femmes. Entre le 25 novembre et le 2 décembre, six filles de trois à 16 ans et une femme ont été sexuellement agressées et certaines violées. Deux des filles sont mortes à cause de la violence. « Les récits de viols sont fréquents en Guinée. Les autorités guinéennes doivent de manière urgente renforcer leurs efforts de prévention et de lutte contre la violence sexuelle en Guinée, » a déclaré Samira Daoud, directrice d’Amnesty International pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest et l’Afrique centrale Viol sur des mineures  Le 2 décembre 2021, l’Office guinéen pour la protection du genre, de l’enfance et des mœurs (OPROGEM) a présenté un homme de 24 ans accusé de viol sur une fille de trois ans à Gbessia, un quartier de la capitale Conakry. Le 30 novembre, une autre fille de trois ans a été violée à Batè-Nafadji dans la région de Kankan à l’est du pays. Le 27 novembre, une fille de 12 ans qui rentrait chez elle a été violée par deux hommes dans la ville de Sanoun. Une fille de 12 ans est morte des suites d’un viol à Siguiri au nord-ouest le 26 novembre. Le même jour dans la commune urbaine de Labé au centre-ouest du pays, une fille de trois ans a subi un viol collectif. L’organisation locale, ‘ Agir pour le Droit Féminin’, qui a rencontré les parents de la fille de trois ans le 7 décembre dernier a rapporté à Amnesty International et IPPF qu’elle était partie acheter un bonbon non loin de la maison familiale lorsque ceux suspectés d’être ses ravisseurs l’ont emmenée dans une maison non habitée et l’ont sexuellement agressée jusqu’à ce que mort s’ensuive. Le père de la fille qui a rencontré le procureur lui a confirmé sa demande de justice pour sa fille. Le père de l’un des auteurs présumés est aussi venu demander pardon à la famille de la fille qui a refusé. Les viols sur des mineures font suite à celui d’une jeune femme venue le 25 novembre, dans un hôpital de la ville de Kamsar au nord-ouest pour une intervention chirurgicale. La direction de l’hôpital a annoncé le 28 novembre avoir « interpellé le présumé coupable » - un prestataire de service externe - et l’avoir conduit à la gendarmerie. Le même jour, une fille de 16 ans a été violée par plusieurs hommes à Kankan.   « Les autorités doivent faire en sorte que les enquêtes sur les auteurs de ces viols soient menées sans délai et en toute indépendance et impartialité et que tout responsable soit traduit en justice, » a déclaré Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Directrice du Bureau Afrique de l’IPPF « Les victimes doivent avoir accès à des soins médicaux et à un soutien psychosocial ainsi qu'à une assistance pour accéder à la justice et à la réparation. » Plus de 331 cas de viols rapportés depuis le début de l’année Depuis le début de l’année, l’OPROGEM et la Brigade spécial de protection des personnes vulnérables (BSPPV) ont traité 331 cas de viols. En 2020 seulement, ils ont traité 374 cas de viol, un nombre qui reflète seulement la partie visible de l'iceberg selon plusieurs ONGs travaillant dans le domaine de la lutte contre les violences sexuelles, des journalistes, la police et la gendarmerie. Cela est dû à la stigmatisation associée au viol en Guinée, ce qui souvent conduit, non pas à signaler le crime et déposer des plaintes mais souvent à des médiations et des règlements à l'amiable entre les victimes ou leurs familles et les présumés auteurs ou leurs familles. Les récents cas de viols font suite à un autre crime ayant provoqué le mois dernier une vive réaction dans le pays. M’Mah Sylla, une femme de 25 ans, avait présumément été violée par des médecins dans une clinique non agréée de Conakry où elle était allée se faire soigner. Elle était tombée enceinte et les mêmes auteurs l’avaient de nouveau violée au cours de l’avortement auquel ils tentaient de procéder. Le viol a engendré des blessures impossibles à guérir malgré sept opérations chirurgicales. M’Mah Sylla est décédée le 20 novembre dernier à Tunis (Tunisie), après son évacuation médicale facilitée par le gouvernement. A la suite de la mort de M’Mah Sylla, des femmes ont manifesté les 22, 24 et 30 novembre à Labé, Kindia et N’Zérékoré pour réclamer justice pour toutes les victimes de viol. Le 21 novembre, le ministère de la Justice avait annoncé la détention de trois des quatre auteurs présumés du viol de M’Mah Sylla à la prison de Conakry. Le gouvernement a par ailleurs présenté ses condoléances au nom du chef de l’État. Des militants ont dénoncé la recrudescence des cas de viol. Djenab Boiro de l’organisation ‘Mon Enfant, Ma vie’ a déclaré lors d’une réunion avec Amnesty International à Conakry : « Même morte, M'Mah Sylla mérite justice. Je suis convaincue que le jour où ses bourreaux seront condamnés à la peine qu'ils méritent, son âme reposera enfin en paix. Nous avons beaucoup trop de cas comme celui de M'Mah Sylla et nous espérons et rêvons de ne plus en avoir. » « Ces dernières années, les autorités ont pris des décisions salutaires pour lutter contre les violences sexuelles, comme la création au sein de la gendarmerie de la BSPPV en 2020. Par ailleurs, les organisations locales de défense des droits des femmes ont joué et continuent de jouer un rôle majeur dans la dénonciation des violences sexuelles, de concert avec certains médias, » a déclaré Samira Daoud « Malgré cela, la persistance des viols, notamment de filles, appelle à des efforts beaucoup plus importants pour sensibiliser l’ensemble de la société pour prévenir la violence sexuelle, protéger les victimes, leur permettre d’accéder à la justice, d’obtenir réparation, et de traduire les auteurs en justice. Cela passe notamment mais pas seulement, par l’adoption d’une loi spéciale sur la violence à l’égard des femmes comme recommandé par la Convention Internationale sur l'élimination de toutes les formes de discrimination à l'égard des femmes, » a conclu Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry. isez cet article en anglais ici. Pour organiser un entretien, contactez le service de presse : d’Amnesty International : [email protected] ; Twitter Afrique de l’Ouest et centrale : @amnestyWaro ; et/ou d’IPPF : M. Mahmoud Garga ([email protected])  

Guinea
news_item

| 15 December 2021

Guinée. Des cas choquants de viol et de meurtre de filles doivent pousser les autorités à renforcer les efforts pour prévenir et combattre la violence sexuelle

Les autorités guinéennes doivent prendre des mesures immédiates pour garantir une enquête approfondie et impartiale sur les récents viols et agressions sexuelles suivis de meurtres commis en l'espace de huit jours seulement et traduire leurs auteurs en justice, ont déclaré Amnesty International et la Fédération internationale pour la Planification Familiale (IPPF) aujourd'hui. Elles doivent également augmenter leurs efforts pour combattre la violence sexuelle en renforçant la prévention, soutenant l’accès des victimes à la justice et adoptant une loi spéciale sur la violence à l’égard des femmes. Entre le 25 novembre et le 2 décembre, six filles de trois à 16 ans et une femme ont été sexuellement agressées et certaines violées. Deux des filles sont mortes à cause de la violence. « Les récits de viols sont fréquents en Guinée. Les autorités guinéennes doivent de manière urgente renforcer leurs efforts de prévention et de lutte contre la violence sexuelle en Guinée, » a déclaré Samira Daoud, directrice d’Amnesty International pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest et l’Afrique centrale Viol sur des mineures  Le 2 décembre 2021, l’Office guinéen pour la protection du genre, de l’enfance et des mœurs (OPROGEM) a présenté un homme de 24 ans accusé de viol sur une fille de trois ans à Gbessia, un quartier de la capitale Conakry. Le 30 novembre, une autre fille de trois ans a été violée à Batè-Nafadji dans la région de Kankan à l’est du pays. Le 27 novembre, une fille de 12 ans qui rentrait chez elle a été violée par deux hommes dans la ville de Sanoun. Une fille de 12 ans est morte des suites d’un viol à Siguiri au nord-ouest le 26 novembre. Le même jour dans la commune urbaine de Labé au centre-ouest du pays, une fille de trois ans a subi un viol collectif. L’organisation locale, ‘ Agir pour le Droit Féminin’, qui a rencontré les parents de la fille de trois ans le 7 décembre dernier a rapporté à Amnesty International et IPPF qu’elle était partie acheter un bonbon non loin de la maison familiale lorsque ceux suspectés d’être ses ravisseurs l’ont emmenée dans une maison non habitée et l’ont sexuellement agressée jusqu’à ce que mort s’ensuive. Le père de la fille qui a rencontré le procureur lui a confirmé sa demande de justice pour sa fille. Le père de l’un des auteurs présumés est aussi venu demander pardon à la famille de la fille qui a refusé. Les viols sur des mineures font suite à celui d’une jeune femme venue le 25 novembre, dans un hôpital de la ville de Kamsar au nord-ouest pour une intervention chirurgicale. La direction de l’hôpital a annoncé le 28 novembre avoir « interpellé le présumé coupable » - un prestataire de service externe - et l’avoir conduit à la gendarmerie. Le même jour, une fille de 16 ans a été violée par plusieurs hommes à Kankan.   « Les autorités doivent faire en sorte que les enquêtes sur les auteurs de ces viols soient menées sans délai et en toute indépendance et impartialité et que tout responsable soit traduit en justice, » a déclaré Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Directrice du Bureau Afrique de l’IPPF « Les victimes doivent avoir accès à des soins médicaux et à un soutien psychosocial ainsi qu'à une assistance pour accéder à la justice et à la réparation. » Plus de 331 cas de viols rapportés depuis le début de l’année Depuis le début de l’année, l’OPROGEM et la Brigade spécial de protection des personnes vulnérables (BSPPV) ont traité 331 cas de viols. En 2020 seulement, ils ont traité 374 cas de viol, un nombre qui reflète seulement la partie visible de l'iceberg selon plusieurs ONGs travaillant dans le domaine de la lutte contre les violences sexuelles, des journalistes, la police et la gendarmerie. Cela est dû à la stigmatisation associée au viol en Guinée, ce qui souvent conduit, non pas à signaler le crime et déposer des plaintes mais souvent à des médiations et des règlements à l'amiable entre les victimes ou leurs familles et les présumés auteurs ou leurs familles. Les récents cas de viols font suite à un autre crime ayant provoqué le mois dernier une vive réaction dans le pays. M’Mah Sylla, une femme de 25 ans, avait présumément été violée par des médecins dans une clinique non agréée de Conakry où elle était allée se faire soigner. Elle était tombée enceinte et les mêmes auteurs l’avaient de nouveau violée au cours de l’avortement auquel ils tentaient de procéder. Le viol a engendré des blessures impossibles à guérir malgré sept opérations chirurgicales. M’Mah Sylla est décédée le 20 novembre dernier à Tunis (Tunisie), après son évacuation médicale facilitée par le gouvernement. A la suite de la mort de M’Mah Sylla, des femmes ont manifesté les 22, 24 et 30 novembre à Labé, Kindia et N’Zérékoré pour réclamer justice pour toutes les victimes de viol. Le 21 novembre, le ministère de la Justice avait annoncé la détention de trois des quatre auteurs présumés du viol de M’Mah Sylla à la prison de Conakry. Le gouvernement a par ailleurs présenté ses condoléances au nom du chef de l’État. Des militants ont dénoncé la recrudescence des cas de viol. Djenab Boiro de l’organisation ‘Mon Enfant, Ma vie’ a déclaré lors d’une réunion avec Amnesty International à Conakry : « Même morte, M'Mah Sylla mérite justice. Je suis convaincue que le jour où ses bourreaux seront condamnés à la peine qu'ils méritent, son âme reposera enfin en paix. Nous avons beaucoup trop de cas comme celui de M'Mah Sylla et nous espérons et rêvons de ne plus en avoir. » « Ces dernières années, les autorités ont pris des décisions salutaires pour lutter contre les violences sexuelles, comme la création au sein de la gendarmerie de la BSPPV en 2020. Par ailleurs, les organisations locales de défense des droits des femmes ont joué et continuent de jouer un rôle majeur dans la dénonciation des violences sexuelles, de concert avec certains médias, » a déclaré Samira Daoud « Malgré cela, la persistance des viols, notamment de filles, appelle à des efforts beaucoup plus importants pour sensibiliser l’ensemble de la société pour prévenir la violence sexuelle, protéger les victimes, leur permettre d’accéder à la justice, d’obtenir réparation, et de traduire les auteurs en justice. Cela passe notamment mais pas seulement, par l’adoption d’une loi spéciale sur la violence à l’égard des femmes comme recommandé par la Convention Internationale sur l'élimination de toutes les formes de discrimination à l'égard des femmes, » a conclu Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry. isez cet article en anglais ici. Pour organiser un entretien, contactez le service de presse : d’Amnesty International : [email protected] ; Twitter Afrique de l’Ouest et centrale : @amnestyWaro ; et/ou d’IPPF : M. Mahmoud Garga ([email protected])  

Guinea
news item

| 14 January 2022

Guinea: Horrific cases of rape and murder of girls must urge authorities to strengthen their efforts to prevent and combat sexual violence

Guinean authorities must take immediate measures to ensure thorough and impartial investigation of recent rapes and sexual assaults followed by murders committed over the course of just eight days and bring perpetrators to justice, Amnesty International and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) said today. They must also increase their efforts to fight sexual violence by strengthening prevention, supporting access to justice for survivors and adopting a special law on violence against women. Six girls aged between three and 16, and a woman were sexually assaulted, and some were raped between 25 November and 2 December 2021. Two of the girls have died as a result of the violence. “Rape is all too commonplace in Guinea. Authorities should urgently strengthen their efforts to prevent and combat sexual violence in Guinea," said Samira Daoud, Amnesty International West and Central Africa director. Rape of girls On 2 December 2021, the Office for the Protection of Gender, Childhood and Morals (OPROGEM) presented a 24-year-old man charged with the rape of a three-year-old girl in the district of Gbessia in the capital Conakry.  On 30 November another three-year-old girl was raped in Batè-Nafadji in the eastern region of Kankan. On 27 November, a 12-year-old girl was raped by two men on her way home in the town of Sanoun. This came just a day after the death of another 12-year-old girl in the north-eastern town of Siguiri. In the urban commune of Labé, west-central region of Guinea, a three-year-old girl was gang raped on 26 November.  Local organization, "Agir pour le Droit Féminin", which met with the three-year-old girl's parents on 7 December, told the organizations that she was abducted when going to buy candy not far from the family home. She was then taken to an uninhabited house and sexually assaulted until she died.  The girl’s father who met with the prosecutor confirmed his demand for justice for his daughter. One of the alleged perpetrator’s father requested forgiveness from the girl’s family but they refused.  The rapes of girls followed the rape of a woman on 25 November while she was in a hospital in the north-western town of Kamsar for a surgery. The hospital management announced three days later they had "arrested the alleged perpetrator" -who is an external service provider- and taken him to the gendarmerie.  The same day, a 16-year-old girl was also raped by several men in Kankan. “The authorities must ensure thorough and impartial investigations of these rape cases without delay and anyone found guilty must be brought to justice," said Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, IPPF Africa Regional Director. “Survivors must receive access to medical care and psychosocial support as well as legal aid to access justice and redress.” More than 331 rape cases reported since the beginning of the year Since the beginning of the year, OPROGEM and the Special Brigade for the Protection of Vulnerable Persons (BSPPV in French) have already dealt with 331 rape cases. In 2020 alone, they dealt with 374 cases, a number which reflects only the tip of the iceberg according to NGOs working on sexual violence survivors, journalists, police and gendarmerie.  This is due to the stigma associated with rape in Guinea, which often leads to not reporting the crime and not filing complaints, and often such cases are handled through mediation and out-of-court settlements between the victims or their families and the alleged perpetrators or their families. The recent rape cases follow another case that sparked a strong public reaction across the country last month.   M’Mah Sylla, a 25-year-old woman, was allegedly raped by doctors at a non-licensed clinic in Conakry, where she went for treatment. She got pregnant as a result, and the same perpetrators raped her again when she returned to the clinic to seek an abortion. The rape caused injuries that could not be healed despite seven surgeries. The victim died on 20 November in Tunis (Tunisia) where she was medically evacuated following a government intervention.  Following M’Mah Sylla’s death, women staged protests on 22, 24 and 30 November in the towns of Labé, Kindia and N’Zérékoré, demanding justice for all victims of rape.   On 21 November, the Ministry of Justice said three of the four alleged perpetrators of M’Mah Sylla’s rape had been detained in Conakry prison. The government also presented its condolences to her family on behalf of the head of state.  Activists spoke out on the surge in rape cases.  Djenab Boiro of “Mon Enfant, Ma vie” a local organization, told Amnesty International during a meeting in Conakry:  “Even dead, M'Mah Sylla deserves justice. I am convinced that the day the perpetrators will be sentenced to the punishment they deserve, her soul will finally rest in peace. We have had too many cases like M'Mah Sylla’s and we hope and dream of not having any more.”  “Authorities have taken some steps in the right direction in recent years which we welcome, such as the creation in 2020 of a special unit within the gendarmerie to fight sexual violence. In addition, local women’s rights organizations have played and continue to play a major role in speaking up against sexual violence, together with some media,” said Samira Daoud "Despite this situation, the persistence of rape cases, especially of girls, calls for much greater efforts to raise awareness among the public to prevent sexual violence, to protect the survivors, and ensure their timely access to justice and reparations as well as to bring perpetrators to account. This includes but is not limited to the adoption of a special law on violence against women, as recommended by the CEDAW Committee,” concluded Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry. Read this article in French here. To arrange an interview, please contact: Amnesty’s Press Office Email [email protected]; West and Centra Africa’s Twitter: @AmnestyWaro;  and/or IPPF Africa Region Lead Communication Advisor, Mr. Mahmoud Garga ([email protected])

Guinea
news_item

| 15 December 2021

Guinea: Horrific cases of rape and murder of girls must urge authorities to strengthen their efforts to prevent and combat sexual violence

Guinean authorities must take immediate measures to ensure thorough and impartial investigation of recent rapes and sexual assaults followed by murders committed over the course of just eight days and bring perpetrators to justice, Amnesty International and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) said today. They must also increase their efforts to fight sexual violence by strengthening prevention, supporting access to justice for survivors and adopting a special law on violence against women. Six girls aged between three and 16, and a woman were sexually assaulted, and some were raped between 25 November and 2 December 2021. Two of the girls have died as a result of the violence. “Rape is all too commonplace in Guinea. Authorities should urgently strengthen their efforts to prevent and combat sexual violence in Guinea," said Samira Daoud, Amnesty International West and Central Africa director. Rape of girls On 2 December 2021, the Office for the Protection of Gender, Childhood and Morals (OPROGEM) presented a 24-year-old man charged with the rape of a three-year-old girl in the district of Gbessia in the capital Conakry.  On 30 November another three-year-old girl was raped in Batè-Nafadji in the eastern region of Kankan. On 27 November, a 12-year-old girl was raped by two men on her way home in the town of Sanoun. This came just a day after the death of another 12-year-old girl in the north-eastern town of Siguiri. In the urban commune of Labé, west-central region of Guinea, a three-year-old girl was gang raped on 26 November.  Local organization, "Agir pour le Droit Féminin", which met with the three-year-old girl's parents on 7 December, told the organizations that she was abducted when going to buy candy not far from the family home. She was then taken to an uninhabited house and sexually assaulted until she died.  The girl’s father who met with the prosecutor confirmed his demand for justice for his daughter. One of the alleged perpetrator’s father requested forgiveness from the girl’s family but they refused.  The rapes of girls followed the rape of a woman on 25 November while she was in a hospital in the north-western town of Kamsar for a surgery. The hospital management announced three days later they had "arrested the alleged perpetrator" -who is an external service provider- and taken him to the gendarmerie.  The same day, a 16-year-old girl was also raped by several men in Kankan. “The authorities must ensure thorough and impartial investigations of these rape cases without delay and anyone found guilty must be brought to justice," said Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, IPPF Africa Regional Director. “Survivors must receive access to medical care and psychosocial support as well as legal aid to access justice and redress.” More than 331 rape cases reported since the beginning of the year Since the beginning of the year, OPROGEM and the Special Brigade for the Protection of Vulnerable Persons (BSPPV in French) have already dealt with 331 rape cases. In 2020 alone, they dealt with 374 cases, a number which reflects only the tip of the iceberg according to NGOs working on sexual violence survivors, journalists, police and gendarmerie.  This is due to the stigma associated with rape in Guinea, which often leads to not reporting the crime and not filing complaints, and often such cases are handled through mediation and out-of-court settlements between the victims or their families and the alleged perpetrators or their families. The recent rape cases follow another case that sparked a strong public reaction across the country last month.   M’Mah Sylla, a 25-year-old woman, was allegedly raped by doctors at a non-licensed clinic in Conakry, where she went for treatment. She got pregnant as a result, and the same perpetrators raped her again when she returned to the clinic to seek an abortion. The rape caused injuries that could not be healed despite seven surgeries. The victim died on 20 November in Tunis (Tunisia) where she was medically evacuated following a government intervention.  Following M’Mah Sylla’s death, women staged protests on 22, 24 and 30 November in the towns of Labé, Kindia and N’Zérékoré, demanding justice for all victims of rape.   On 21 November, the Ministry of Justice said three of the four alleged perpetrators of M’Mah Sylla’s rape had been detained in Conakry prison. The government also presented its condolences to her family on behalf of the head of state.  Activists spoke out on the surge in rape cases.  Djenab Boiro of “Mon Enfant, Ma vie” a local organization, told Amnesty International during a meeting in Conakry:  “Even dead, M'Mah Sylla deserves justice. I am convinced that the day the perpetrators will be sentenced to the punishment they deserve, her soul will finally rest in peace. We have had too many cases like M'Mah Sylla’s and we hope and dream of not having any more.”  “Authorities have taken some steps in the right direction in recent years which we welcome, such as the creation in 2020 of a special unit within the gendarmerie to fight sexual violence. In addition, local women’s rights organizations have played and continue to play a major role in speaking up against sexual violence, together with some media,” said Samira Daoud "Despite this situation, the persistence of rape cases, especially of girls, calls for much greater efforts to raise awareness among the public to prevent sexual violence, to protect the survivors, and ensure their timely access to justice and reparations as well as to bring perpetrators to account. This includes but is not limited to the adoption of a special law on violence against women, as recommended by the CEDAW Committee,” concluded Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry. Read this article in French here. To arrange an interview, please contact: Amnesty’s Press Office Email [email protected]; West and Centra Africa’s Twitter: @AmnestyWaro;  and/or IPPF Africa Region Lead Communication Advisor, Mr. Mahmoud Garga ([email protected])

LGBTI
news item

| 14 January 2022

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

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

LGBTI
news_item

| 30 November 2021

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

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

Ethiopia youth
news item

| 13 January 2022

"Let’s talk about sex baby!": Répondre aux besoins des adolescentes et des jeunes femmes en Afrique à l'ère du numérique

Dans le monde numérique d'aujourd'hui, tout est disponible en ligne: les informations, les produits et les services. Avec un taux de pénétration de la téléphonie mobile en Afrique sub-saharienne de 44%, 22% de la population africaine accède dorénavant au monde entier en cliquant simplement sur un bouton. De plus, l'Union africaine et le Groupe de la Banque mondiale se sont engagés à connecter chaque individu, entreprise et gouvernement africain d'ici 2030. Et alors que 60% de la population africaine est âgée de moins de 25 ans, on peut voir cette jeunesse africaine dans les rues de Nairobi, Accra ou Johannesburg, tapoter frénétiquement sur leurs smartphones, utilisant cette technologie numérique, facilement accessible, pour se divertir et s'instruire. Souvent, et sans surprise, cette quête de connaissances est centrée sur le sexe. Ce phénomène a cependant eu un impact moins important sur les filles et les jeunes femmes africaines, qui restent prisonnières de tabous et de normes sociales, incapables d'accéder en ligne à des informations précises sur la santé et les droits sexuels et reproductifs. L'écart entre les sexes en matière de téléphonie mobile signifie que seules deux femmes sur trois en Afrique possèdent un téléphone portable et qu'un tiers seulement utilise régulièrement des données mobiles. Les pratiques culturelles rétrogrades et les normes patriarcales endémiques, notamment le mariage précoce, l'excision, la purification sexuelle et l'héritage des femmes, continent de les exposer à d'innombrables risques. Les IST, le VIH, les violences sexuelles liées au genre et les grossesses chez les adolescentes sont monnaie courante; et les complications liées à la grossesse et à l'accouchement restent la principale cause de décès chez les filles âgées de 15 à 19 ans dans le monde. Cette situation s'est accentuée pendant la pandémie de COVID-19, qui a exacerbé les vulnérabilités des filles et des femmes. Aujourd'hui, alors que nous commémorons la Journée internationale de la fille, centrée sur la "génération numérique", nous souhaitons attirer l'attention sur les "droits" des filles et les défis uniques auxquels elles sont confrontées dans le monde. Le Mouvement d’Action des Jeunes de la Fédération internationale pour la planification familiale (IPPF) - une plateforme de plaidoyer dirigée par des pairs pour les jeunes âgés de 10 à 24 ans - nous montre chaque jour comment l'espace technologique croissant permet lentement aux adolescentes et aux jeunes femmes d'accéder aux appareils numériques et de rechercher des informations sur leur corps, la menstruation, la prévention de la grossesse, le consentement, l'amour, le plaisir, les relations, la contraception et l'avortement sans risque. C’est pourquoi au Nigeria, la Fédération Nigériane du Planning Familial (PPFN) – l’une des 33 Associations Membres  de la Fédération internationale pour la planification familiale, région Afrique (IPPFAR) - a commencé à fournir des services de santé sexuelle et reproductive aux jeunes en utilisant plusieurs plateformes numériques, notamment les SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Zoom et des appels téléphoniques directs. Ces plateformes offrent des informations précises, interactives, en direct, des sessions éducatives, des consultations individuelles et des orientations personnalisées. Les jeunes peuvent également consulter le site web Youth Connect (https://youthconnect.ppfn.org ) et l'application e-Health du PPFN, tous deux conçus par des jeunes. Au Bénin, l'Association Béninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille a introduit des sessions d'éducation sexuelle complète (ESC) en ligne, en réponse à la fermeture des écoles, basées sur le cadre de l'IPPF pour l'ESC avec des modules sur le genre, la santé sexuelle et reproductive, le VIH, les droits et la citoyenneté sexuels, le plaisir, la violence, la diversité et les relations. Au Togo, l'Association Togolaise pour le Bien-Etre Familial a lancé "InfoAdoJeunes", une application multifonctionnelle développée pour et par les jeunes, qui fournit des informations essentielles sur la santé sexuelle et reproductive de manière amusante et attrayante. L’application comporte 8 onglets de navigation sur l'éducation sexuelle, le cycle menstruel, la contraception, la téléconsultation, la web TV, les jeux et quiz, un forum de discussion et un onglet où les utilisateurs peuvent poser des questions à un expert en temps réel. Ces initiatives se révèlent très efficaces et les réactions, en particulier celles des jeunes femmes et des jeunes filles, sont très positives! L'accès en ligne rapide, opportun et privé aux informations et aux consultations sur la santé sexuelle y est amusant, pratique, sans jugement et confidentiel. Tout le monde y gagne! Nous faisons écho à l'UNFPA: Pour s'assurer un avenir égalitaire, les filles doivent avoir un accès égal aux outils et informations numériques. C'est pourquoi, en cette journée internationale de la fille, l'IPPFAR renouvelle son engagement et appelle les gouvernements à investir dans la technologie numérique afin que les adolescentes et les jeunes filles d'Afrique puissent facilement accéder à des informations précises et de qualité sur leur santé sexuelle et reproductive et qu'elles soient en mesure de prendre des décisions éclairées sur leur corps et leur avenir. Par Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry et Monica Mwai Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry est la Directrice régionale de la Fédération internationale pour la planification familiale, région Afrique (IPPFAR) et Monica Mwai est une jeune stagiaire au sein de l'équipe de communication d’IPPFAR. La Fédération internationale pour la planification familiale, région Afrique (IPPFAR) est l'un des principaux fournisseurs de services de santé sexuelle et reproductive de qualité en Afrique et une voix de défense de la santé et des droits sexuels et reproductifs dans la région. Pour plus d'informations sur le travail de l'IPPF Région Afrique, suivez-nous sur Facebook, Instagram, You Tube et Twitter.

Ethiopia youth
news_item

| 13 January 2022

"Let’s talk about sex baby!": Répondre aux besoins des adolescentes et des jeunes femmes en Afrique à l'ère du numérique

Dans le monde numérique d'aujourd'hui, tout est disponible en ligne: les informations, les produits et les services. Avec un taux de pénétration de la téléphonie mobile en Afrique sub-saharienne de 44%, 22% de la population africaine accède dorénavant au monde entier en cliquant simplement sur un bouton. De plus, l'Union africaine et le Groupe de la Banque mondiale se sont engagés à connecter chaque individu, entreprise et gouvernement africain d'ici 2030. Et alors que 60% de la population africaine est âgée de moins de 25 ans, on peut voir cette jeunesse africaine dans les rues de Nairobi, Accra ou Johannesburg, tapoter frénétiquement sur leurs smartphones, utilisant cette technologie numérique, facilement accessible, pour se divertir et s'instruire. Souvent, et sans surprise, cette quête de connaissances est centrée sur le sexe. Ce phénomène a cependant eu un impact moins important sur les filles et les jeunes femmes africaines, qui restent prisonnières de tabous et de normes sociales, incapables d'accéder en ligne à des informations précises sur la santé et les droits sexuels et reproductifs. L'écart entre les sexes en matière de téléphonie mobile signifie que seules deux femmes sur trois en Afrique possèdent un téléphone portable et qu'un tiers seulement utilise régulièrement des données mobiles. Les pratiques culturelles rétrogrades et les normes patriarcales endémiques, notamment le mariage précoce, l'excision, la purification sexuelle et l'héritage des femmes, continent de les exposer à d'innombrables risques. Les IST, le VIH, les violences sexuelles liées au genre et les grossesses chez les adolescentes sont monnaie courante; et les complications liées à la grossesse et à l'accouchement restent la principale cause de décès chez les filles âgées de 15 à 19 ans dans le monde. Cette situation s'est accentuée pendant la pandémie de COVID-19, qui a exacerbé les vulnérabilités des filles et des femmes. Aujourd'hui, alors que nous commémorons la Journée internationale de la fille, centrée sur la "génération numérique", nous souhaitons attirer l'attention sur les "droits" des filles et les défis uniques auxquels elles sont confrontées dans le monde. Le Mouvement d’Action des Jeunes de la Fédération internationale pour la planification familiale (IPPF) - une plateforme de plaidoyer dirigée par des pairs pour les jeunes âgés de 10 à 24 ans - nous montre chaque jour comment l'espace technologique croissant permet lentement aux adolescentes et aux jeunes femmes d'accéder aux appareils numériques et de rechercher des informations sur leur corps, la menstruation, la prévention de la grossesse, le consentement, l'amour, le plaisir, les relations, la contraception et l'avortement sans risque. C’est pourquoi au Nigeria, la Fédération Nigériane du Planning Familial (PPFN) – l’une des 33 Associations Membres  de la Fédération internationale pour la planification familiale, région Afrique (IPPFAR) - a commencé à fournir des services de santé sexuelle et reproductive aux jeunes en utilisant plusieurs plateformes numériques, notamment les SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Zoom et des appels téléphoniques directs. Ces plateformes offrent des informations précises, interactives, en direct, des sessions éducatives, des consultations individuelles et des orientations personnalisées. Les jeunes peuvent également consulter le site web Youth Connect (https://youthconnect.ppfn.org ) et l'application e-Health du PPFN, tous deux conçus par des jeunes. Au Bénin, l'Association Béninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille a introduit des sessions d'éducation sexuelle complète (ESC) en ligne, en réponse à la fermeture des écoles, basées sur le cadre de l'IPPF pour l'ESC avec des modules sur le genre, la santé sexuelle et reproductive, le VIH, les droits et la citoyenneté sexuels, le plaisir, la violence, la diversité et les relations. Au Togo, l'Association Togolaise pour le Bien-Etre Familial a lancé "InfoAdoJeunes", une application multifonctionnelle développée pour et par les jeunes, qui fournit des informations essentielles sur la santé sexuelle et reproductive de manière amusante et attrayante. L’application comporte 8 onglets de navigation sur l'éducation sexuelle, le cycle menstruel, la contraception, la téléconsultation, la web TV, les jeux et quiz, un forum de discussion et un onglet où les utilisateurs peuvent poser des questions à un expert en temps réel. Ces initiatives se révèlent très efficaces et les réactions, en particulier celles des jeunes femmes et des jeunes filles, sont très positives! L'accès en ligne rapide, opportun et privé aux informations et aux consultations sur la santé sexuelle y est amusant, pratique, sans jugement et confidentiel. Tout le monde y gagne! Nous faisons écho à l'UNFPA: Pour s'assurer un avenir égalitaire, les filles doivent avoir un accès égal aux outils et informations numériques. C'est pourquoi, en cette journée internationale de la fille, l'IPPFAR renouvelle son engagement et appelle les gouvernements à investir dans la technologie numérique afin que les adolescentes et les jeunes filles d'Afrique puissent facilement accéder à des informations précises et de qualité sur leur santé sexuelle et reproductive et qu'elles soient en mesure de prendre des décisions éclairées sur leur corps et leur avenir. Par Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry et Monica Mwai Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry est la Directrice régionale de la Fédération internationale pour la planification familiale, région Afrique (IPPFAR) et Monica Mwai est une jeune stagiaire au sein de l'équipe de communication d’IPPFAR. La Fédération internationale pour la planification familiale, région Afrique (IPPFAR) est l'un des principaux fournisseurs de services de santé sexuelle et reproductive de qualité en Afrique et une voix de défense de la santé et des droits sexuels et reproductifs dans la région. Pour plus d'informations sur le travail de l'IPPF Région Afrique, suivez-nous sur Facebook, Instagram, You Tube et Twitter.

Ethiopia youth
news item

| 13 January 2022

“Let’s talk about sex baby”: Responding to the Needs of Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Africa in the Digital Age

In todays’ digital world, everything is available online. Information, products, and services. 22% of the African population, can access the world at the click of a button and mobile penetration rate in Sub-Saharan Africa is at 44%. The African Union and the World Bank Group have committed to connecting every African individual, business, and government by 2030. 60% of Africa’s population is <25 years. The young Africans can be seen on the streets of Nairobi, Accra, and Johannesburg, swiping left and right, using this readily available digital technology for entertainment, education, and learning. Often, and unsurprisingly, this pursuit for knowledge is centered around sex. This phenomenon has though had a less impressive impact on African girls and young women, who continue to be trapped by taboos and restrictive gender and social norms, unable to access accurate sexual and reproductive health and rights information online. The Mobile Gender Gap means only two out of three women in Africa own a mobile phone, and only a third use mobile data regularly. Retrogressive cultural practices and patriarchal norms though are endemic including early marriage, female genital cutting, sexual cleansing, and wife inheritance, exposing them to innumerable risks. STIs, HIV, gender-based sexual violence and teenage pregnancies are commonplace; and complications from pregnancy and childbirth complications remain the leading cause of death among girls aged 15–19 years globally. Today, as we commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child centered on the ‘Digital Generation’ we want to call attention to the rights’ of the girl child and the unique challenges they face globally. IPPFs Youth Action Movement, a peer-led advocacy platform for young people aged 10-24 years, is showing us how the growing technological space is slowly permitting adolescent girls and young women to access digital devices and seek information about their bodies, menstruation, pregnancy prevention, peer pressure, love, pleasure, relationships, contraception and safe abortion. This became more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic, which exacerbated the vulnerabilities of girls and women. In Nigeria, the Planned Parenthood of Nigeria  – began delivering sexual reproductive health services using several digital and online platforms including: Short Message Service (SMS), Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Zoom and direct telephone calls. These platforms offered accurate, live interactive information and educational sessions, one-to-one consultations and respective referrals. Young people are additionally reached through the Youth Connect website (https://youthconnect.ppfn.org) and ‘The PPFN e-Health App’ which were both co-designed by young people. In Benin, the Association Béninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille introduced online comprehensive sexuality educations sessions, in response to school closures, based on the IPPF’s Framework for CSE: gender, sexual and reproductive health and HIV, sexual rights and sexual citizenship, pleasure, violence, diversity and relationships. In Togo, the Association Togolaise pour le Bien-Etre Familial launched ‘InfoAdoJeunes’, a multi-functional app that was developed for and by young people, providing critical information about sexual and reproductive health in a fun and engaging manner. The 8 navigation tabs: sexuality education, the menstrual cycle, teleconsultation, web TV, games and quizzes, a chat forum, contraception, and a tab where users can ask an experts questions in real-time. These initiatives are proving to be very successful, and feedback, in particular from the young women and girls, has been very positive! Quick, timely, private, online access to information and consultations around sexual health is fun, convenient, non-judgemental and protects their privacy. A win-win all around! We echo UNFPA: To secure an equal future, girls need equal access to digital tools and information. This is why, on this international day of the Girl Child, IPPF’s renews its commitment and call on governments and support to invest in digital technology to ensure adolescents and young girls in Africa can easily access high-quality, accurate information around their sexual and reproductive health and are empowered to make informed decisions about their bodies and their futures. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry is the Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region (IPPFAR) and Monica Mwai is a Youth Intern within the Communications Team. By Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry and Monica Mwai The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading providers of quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in Africa and a sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

Ethiopia youth
news_item

| 13 January 2022

“Let’s talk about sex baby”: Responding to the Needs of Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Africa in the Digital Age

In todays’ digital world, everything is available online. Information, products, and services. 22% of the African population, can access the world at the click of a button and mobile penetration rate in Sub-Saharan Africa is at 44%. The African Union and the World Bank Group have committed to connecting every African individual, business, and government by 2030. 60% of Africa’s population is <25 years. The young Africans can be seen on the streets of Nairobi, Accra, and Johannesburg, swiping left and right, using this readily available digital technology for entertainment, education, and learning. Often, and unsurprisingly, this pursuit for knowledge is centered around sex. This phenomenon has though had a less impressive impact on African girls and young women, who continue to be trapped by taboos and restrictive gender and social norms, unable to access accurate sexual and reproductive health and rights information online. The Mobile Gender Gap means only two out of three women in Africa own a mobile phone, and only a third use mobile data regularly. Retrogressive cultural practices and patriarchal norms though are endemic including early marriage, female genital cutting, sexual cleansing, and wife inheritance, exposing them to innumerable risks. STIs, HIV, gender-based sexual violence and teenage pregnancies are commonplace; and complications from pregnancy and childbirth complications remain the leading cause of death among girls aged 15–19 years globally. Today, as we commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child centered on the ‘Digital Generation’ we want to call attention to the rights’ of the girl child and the unique challenges they face globally. IPPFs Youth Action Movement, a peer-led advocacy platform for young people aged 10-24 years, is showing us how the growing technological space is slowly permitting adolescent girls and young women to access digital devices and seek information about their bodies, menstruation, pregnancy prevention, peer pressure, love, pleasure, relationships, contraception and safe abortion. This became more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic, which exacerbated the vulnerabilities of girls and women. In Nigeria, the Planned Parenthood of Nigeria  – began delivering sexual reproductive health services using several digital and online platforms including: Short Message Service (SMS), Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Zoom and direct telephone calls. These platforms offered accurate, live interactive information and educational sessions, one-to-one consultations and respective referrals. Young people are additionally reached through the Youth Connect website (https://youthconnect.ppfn.org) and ‘The PPFN e-Health App’ which were both co-designed by young people. In Benin, the Association Béninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille introduced online comprehensive sexuality educations sessions, in response to school closures, based on the IPPF’s Framework for CSE: gender, sexual and reproductive health and HIV, sexual rights and sexual citizenship, pleasure, violence, diversity and relationships. In Togo, the Association Togolaise pour le Bien-Etre Familial launched ‘InfoAdoJeunes’, a multi-functional app that was developed for and by young people, providing critical information about sexual and reproductive health in a fun and engaging manner. The 8 navigation tabs: sexuality education, the menstrual cycle, teleconsultation, web TV, games and quizzes, a chat forum, contraception, and a tab where users can ask an experts questions in real-time. These initiatives are proving to be very successful, and feedback, in particular from the young women and girls, has been very positive! Quick, timely, private, online access to information and consultations around sexual health is fun, convenient, non-judgemental and protects their privacy. A win-win all around! We echo UNFPA: To secure an equal future, girls need equal access to digital tools and information. This is why, on this international day of the Girl Child, IPPF’s renews its commitment and call on governments and support to invest in digital technology to ensure adolescents and young girls in Africa can easily access high-quality, accurate information around their sexual and reproductive health and are empowered to make informed decisions about their bodies and their futures. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry is the Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region (IPPFAR) and Monica Mwai is a Youth Intern within the Communications Team. By Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry and Monica Mwai The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading providers of quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in Africa and a sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

YOUTH
news item

| 13 January 2022

Africa Youth Month: Taking Stock of Africa’s Commitments to Young People

It is now slightly more than 15 years since the Assembly of the Heads of States of the African Union adopted the Africa Youth Charter in Banjul, The Gambia. Although this Charter provides a strategic framework towards consolidating an approach for the enforcement of meaningful youth involvement in Africa's development agenda, the ideals of this Charter are yet to be realized by young people in their diversities.  Indeed, Africa's development agenda must be linked to the health and well-being of its young people. The United Nations World Population Prospects has documented an incremental growth in young people between the ages of 15 – 24 in Africa since 1952 and this growth has continued to escalate throughout the years. The report also projects that by 2030, over half of the countries in Africa will have more than a 40 per cent increase in the number of young people. These figures demonstrate the need for more meaningful engagement of young people who will be the driving force behind the continent's development agenda.  The sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of young people in Africa is an agenda that requires a thorough reflection and a particular prioritization by all stakeholders. Young people's sexual and reproductive health needs are most often overlooked due to a myriad of factors, including customs and taboos which impede their access to contraceptives, parental or spousal consent legislations, Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services that are inadequate or ill-adapted to cater to the diversity of needs of young people. In addition, adolescents and young people lack information on menstrual hygiene, different types of STIs, contraception, prevention of sexual violence, among other topics. Yet this information is vital in enabling them to make informed decisions and equiping them with skills they need to fully enjoy their SRHR. This problematic situation has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated the vulnerability of young people, with many exposed to sexual and gender-based violence, sexual exploitation, and as well as the closure of clinics and other emergency support services. As many school closed, adolescent girls and young women have been particularly affected and teenage pregnancies have risen as a result of sexual violence and a lack of information on SRH education.     Consequently, this year, as the African Union dedicates the month of November to celebrate Africa’s Youth under the theme " Defining the Future Today: Youth-Led Solutions for Building the Africa We Want”, it is essential that the continent reflects and acts on its commitment towards young people as highlighted in its development agenda 2063 and specifically in the Africa Youth Charter. Young people in Africa are not vulnerable, but they are made vulnerable when they are not involved, heard, engaged, allowed to lead, able to share their ideas of where they want to see the continent in the following years and provided with the knowledge and information necessary to make their own choices and to determine their destiny, particularly concerning their sexual and reproductive health and rights.    Africa is not short of young people who can lead, provide the change we want, and support advancing Africa's development agenda. In Ghana, the Youth Action Movement (YAM), a nationwide network of young people leading and promoting young people's SRHR, has defined itself as a movement by and for Ghanaian youth. The movement’s advocacy on SRHR information and services and young people has led to an increase in young people taking leadership positions, campaigning and  engaging the government on sexual and reproductive health. The YAM has advocated for a positive change in access to youth friendly services at the community level. This has led to an increase in the number of clinics providing youth-friendly SRHR services in Ghana. The movement has also complemented government efforts by providing SRHR information and services to the general population, particularly adolescents, women, men and vulnerable groups, including persons living with a disability. The YAM is also actively involved in linking young people to services through the outreach programme organized by the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana programme entitled "YENKASA", meaning ‘let's talk’ in local Twi language. Since its establishment in 2020, the contact center has responded to the SRHR needs and challenges of thousands of young people in Ghana.   The youth in Africa continue to demonstrate that they are capable and ready to be entrusted drivers and partners in Africa’s development agenda, including in the field of SRHR. It is now for Africa’s leaders and institutions to give them the trust and the space that they have strived for and earned.   Anita Nyanjong is the Global Lead, Youth at International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).  Claudia Lawson is the Youth Action Movement (YAM) President, Ghana.

YOUTH
news_item

| 13 January 2022

Africa Youth Month: Taking Stock of Africa’s Commitments to Young People

It is now slightly more than 15 years since the Assembly of the Heads of States of the African Union adopted the Africa Youth Charter in Banjul, The Gambia. Although this Charter provides a strategic framework towards consolidating an approach for the enforcement of meaningful youth involvement in Africa's development agenda, the ideals of this Charter are yet to be realized by young people in their diversities.  Indeed, Africa's development agenda must be linked to the health and well-being of its young people. The United Nations World Population Prospects has documented an incremental growth in young people between the ages of 15 – 24 in Africa since 1952 and this growth has continued to escalate throughout the years. The report also projects that by 2030, over half of the countries in Africa will have more than a 40 per cent increase in the number of young people. These figures demonstrate the need for more meaningful engagement of young people who will be the driving force behind the continent's development agenda.  The sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of young people in Africa is an agenda that requires a thorough reflection and a particular prioritization by all stakeholders. Young people's sexual and reproductive health needs are most often overlooked due to a myriad of factors, including customs and taboos which impede their access to contraceptives, parental or spousal consent legislations, Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services that are inadequate or ill-adapted to cater to the diversity of needs of young people. In addition, adolescents and young people lack information on menstrual hygiene, different types of STIs, contraception, prevention of sexual violence, among other topics. Yet this information is vital in enabling them to make informed decisions and equiping them with skills they need to fully enjoy their SRHR. This problematic situation has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated the vulnerability of young people, with many exposed to sexual and gender-based violence, sexual exploitation, and as well as the closure of clinics and other emergency support services. As many school closed, adolescent girls and young women have been particularly affected and teenage pregnancies have risen as a result of sexual violence and a lack of information on SRH education.     Consequently, this year, as the African Union dedicates the month of November to celebrate Africa’s Youth under the theme " Defining the Future Today: Youth-Led Solutions for Building the Africa We Want”, it is essential that the continent reflects and acts on its commitment towards young people as highlighted in its development agenda 2063 and specifically in the Africa Youth Charter. Young people in Africa are not vulnerable, but they are made vulnerable when they are not involved, heard, engaged, allowed to lead, able to share their ideas of where they want to see the continent in the following years and provided with the knowledge and information necessary to make their own choices and to determine their destiny, particularly concerning their sexual and reproductive health and rights.    Africa is not short of young people who can lead, provide the change we want, and support advancing Africa's development agenda. In Ghana, the Youth Action Movement (YAM), a nationwide network of young people leading and promoting young people's SRHR, has defined itself as a movement by and for Ghanaian youth. The movement’s advocacy on SRHR information and services and young people has led to an increase in young people taking leadership positions, campaigning and  engaging the government on sexual and reproductive health. The YAM has advocated for a positive change in access to youth friendly services at the community level. This has led to an increase in the number of clinics providing youth-friendly SRHR services in Ghana. The movement has also complemented government efforts by providing SRHR information and services to the general population, particularly adolescents, women, men and vulnerable groups, including persons living with a disability. The YAM is also actively involved in linking young people to services through the outreach programme organized by the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana programme entitled "YENKASA", meaning ‘let's talk’ in local Twi language. Since its establishment in 2020, the contact center has responded to the SRHR needs and challenges of thousands of young people in Ghana.   The youth in Africa continue to demonstrate that they are capable and ready to be entrusted drivers and partners in Africa’s development agenda, including in the field of SRHR. It is now for Africa’s leaders and institutions to give them the trust and the space that they have strived for and earned.   Anita Nyanjong is the Global Lead, Youth at International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).  Claudia Lawson is the Youth Action Movement (YAM) President, Ghana.

Guinea
news item

| 14 January 2022

Guinée. Des cas choquants de viol et de meurtre de filles doivent pousser les autorités à renforcer les efforts pour prévenir et combattre la violence sexuelle

Les autorités guinéennes doivent prendre des mesures immédiates pour garantir une enquête approfondie et impartiale sur les récents viols et agressions sexuelles suivis de meurtres commis en l'espace de huit jours seulement et traduire leurs auteurs en justice, ont déclaré Amnesty International et la Fédération internationale pour la Planification Familiale (IPPF) aujourd'hui. Elles doivent également augmenter leurs efforts pour combattre la violence sexuelle en renforçant la prévention, soutenant l’accès des victimes à la justice et adoptant une loi spéciale sur la violence à l’égard des femmes. Entre le 25 novembre et le 2 décembre, six filles de trois à 16 ans et une femme ont été sexuellement agressées et certaines violées. Deux des filles sont mortes à cause de la violence. « Les récits de viols sont fréquents en Guinée. Les autorités guinéennes doivent de manière urgente renforcer leurs efforts de prévention et de lutte contre la violence sexuelle en Guinée, » a déclaré Samira Daoud, directrice d’Amnesty International pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest et l’Afrique centrale Viol sur des mineures  Le 2 décembre 2021, l’Office guinéen pour la protection du genre, de l’enfance et des mœurs (OPROGEM) a présenté un homme de 24 ans accusé de viol sur une fille de trois ans à Gbessia, un quartier de la capitale Conakry. Le 30 novembre, une autre fille de trois ans a été violée à Batè-Nafadji dans la région de Kankan à l’est du pays. Le 27 novembre, une fille de 12 ans qui rentrait chez elle a été violée par deux hommes dans la ville de Sanoun. Une fille de 12 ans est morte des suites d’un viol à Siguiri au nord-ouest le 26 novembre. Le même jour dans la commune urbaine de Labé au centre-ouest du pays, une fille de trois ans a subi un viol collectif. L’organisation locale, ‘ Agir pour le Droit Féminin’, qui a rencontré les parents de la fille de trois ans le 7 décembre dernier a rapporté à Amnesty International et IPPF qu’elle était partie acheter un bonbon non loin de la maison familiale lorsque ceux suspectés d’être ses ravisseurs l’ont emmenée dans une maison non habitée et l’ont sexuellement agressée jusqu’à ce que mort s’ensuive. Le père de la fille qui a rencontré le procureur lui a confirmé sa demande de justice pour sa fille. Le père de l’un des auteurs présumés est aussi venu demander pardon à la famille de la fille qui a refusé. Les viols sur des mineures font suite à celui d’une jeune femme venue le 25 novembre, dans un hôpital de la ville de Kamsar au nord-ouest pour une intervention chirurgicale. La direction de l’hôpital a annoncé le 28 novembre avoir « interpellé le présumé coupable » - un prestataire de service externe - et l’avoir conduit à la gendarmerie. Le même jour, une fille de 16 ans a été violée par plusieurs hommes à Kankan.   « Les autorités doivent faire en sorte que les enquêtes sur les auteurs de ces viols soient menées sans délai et en toute indépendance et impartialité et que tout responsable soit traduit en justice, » a déclaré Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Directrice du Bureau Afrique de l’IPPF « Les victimes doivent avoir accès à des soins médicaux et à un soutien psychosocial ainsi qu'à une assistance pour accéder à la justice et à la réparation. » Plus de 331 cas de viols rapportés depuis le début de l’année Depuis le début de l’année, l’OPROGEM et la Brigade spécial de protection des personnes vulnérables (BSPPV) ont traité 331 cas de viols. En 2020 seulement, ils ont traité 374 cas de viol, un nombre qui reflète seulement la partie visible de l'iceberg selon plusieurs ONGs travaillant dans le domaine de la lutte contre les violences sexuelles, des journalistes, la police et la gendarmerie. Cela est dû à la stigmatisation associée au viol en Guinée, ce qui souvent conduit, non pas à signaler le crime et déposer des plaintes mais souvent à des médiations et des règlements à l'amiable entre les victimes ou leurs familles et les présumés auteurs ou leurs familles. Les récents cas de viols font suite à un autre crime ayant provoqué le mois dernier une vive réaction dans le pays. M’Mah Sylla, une femme de 25 ans, avait présumément été violée par des médecins dans une clinique non agréée de Conakry où elle était allée se faire soigner. Elle était tombée enceinte et les mêmes auteurs l’avaient de nouveau violée au cours de l’avortement auquel ils tentaient de procéder. Le viol a engendré des blessures impossibles à guérir malgré sept opérations chirurgicales. M’Mah Sylla est décédée le 20 novembre dernier à Tunis (Tunisie), après son évacuation médicale facilitée par le gouvernement. A la suite de la mort de M’Mah Sylla, des femmes ont manifesté les 22, 24 et 30 novembre à Labé, Kindia et N’Zérékoré pour réclamer justice pour toutes les victimes de viol. Le 21 novembre, le ministère de la Justice avait annoncé la détention de trois des quatre auteurs présumés du viol de M’Mah Sylla à la prison de Conakry. Le gouvernement a par ailleurs présenté ses condoléances au nom du chef de l’État. Des militants ont dénoncé la recrudescence des cas de viol. Djenab Boiro de l’organisation ‘Mon Enfant, Ma vie’ a déclaré lors d’une réunion avec Amnesty International à Conakry : « Même morte, M'Mah Sylla mérite justice. Je suis convaincue que le jour où ses bourreaux seront condamnés à la peine qu'ils méritent, son âme reposera enfin en paix. Nous avons beaucoup trop de cas comme celui de M'Mah Sylla et nous espérons et rêvons de ne plus en avoir. » « Ces dernières années, les autorités ont pris des décisions salutaires pour lutter contre les violences sexuelles, comme la création au sein de la gendarmerie de la BSPPV en 2020. Par ailleurs, les organisations locales de défense des droits des femmes ont joué et continuent de jouer un rôle majeur dans la dénonciation des violences sexuelles, de concert avec certains médias, » a déclaré Samira Daoud « Malgré cela, la persistance des viols, notamment de filles, appelle à des efforts beaucoup plus importants pour sensibiliser l’ensemble de la société pour prévenir la violence sexuelle, protéger les victimes, leur permettre d’accéder à la justice, d’obtenir réparation, et de traduire les auteurs en justice. Cela passe notamment mais pas seulement, par l’adoption d’une loi spéciale sur la violence à l’égard des femmes comme recommandé par la Convention Internationale sur l'élimination de toutes les formes de discrimination à l'égard des femmes, » a conclu Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry. isez cet article en anglais ici. Pour organiser un entretien, contactez le service de presse : d’Amnesty International : [email protected] ; Twitter Afrique de l’Ouest et centrale : @amnestyWaro ; et/ou d’IPPF : M. Mahmoud Garga ([email protected])  

Guinea
news_item

| 15 December 2021

Guinée. Des cas choquants de viol et de meurtre de filles doivent pousser les autorités à renforcer les efforts pour prévenir et combattre la violence sexuelle

Les autorités guinéennes doivent prendre des mesures immédiates pour garantir une enquête approfondie et impartiale sur les récents viols et agressions sexuelles suivis de meurtres commis en l'espace de huit jours seulement et traduire leurs auteurs en justice, ont déclaré Amnesty International et la Fédération internationale pour la Planification Familiale (IPPF) aujourd'hui. Elles doivent également augmenter leurs efforts pour combattre la violence sexuelle en renforçant la prévention, soutenant l’accès des victimes à la justice et adoptant une loi spéciale sur la violence à l’égard des femmes. Entre le 25 novembre et le 2 décembre, six filles de trois à 16 ans et une femme ont été sexuellement agressées et certaines violées. Deux des filles sont mortes à cause de la violence. « Les récits de viols sont fréquents en Guinée. Les autorités guinéennes doivent de manière urgente renforcer leurs efforts de prévention et de lutte contre la violence sexuelle en Guinée, » a déclaré Samira Daoud, directrice d’Amnesty International pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest et l’Afrique centrale Viol sur des mineures  Le 2 décembre 2021, l’Office guinéen pour la protection du genre, de l’enfance et des mœurs (OPROGEM) a présenté un homme de 24 ans accusé de viol sur une fille de trois ans à Gbessia, un quartier de la capitale Conakry. Le 30 novembre, une autre fille de trois ans a été violée à Batè-Nafadji dans la région de Kankan à l’est du pays. Le 27 novembre, une fille de 12 ans qui rentrait chez elle a été violée par deux hommes dans la ville de Sanoun. Une fille de 12 ans est morte des suites d’un viol à Siguiri au nord-ouest le 26 novembre. Le même jour dans la commune urbaine de Labé au centre-ouest du pays, une fille de trois ans a subi un viol collectif. L’organisation locale, ‘ Agir pour le Droit Féminin’, qui a rencontré les parents de la fille de trois ans le 7 décembre dernier a rapporté à Amnesty International et IPPF qu’elle était partie acheter un bonbon non loin de la maison familiale lorsque ceux suspectés d’être ses ravisseurs l’ont emmenée dans une maison non habitée et l’ont sexuellement agressée jusqu’à ce que mort s’ensuive. Le père de la fille qui a rencontré le procureur lui a confirmé sa demande de justice pour sa fille. Le père de l’un des auteurs présumés est aussi venu demander pardon à la famille de la fille qui a refusé. Les viols sur des mineures font suite à celui d’une jeune femme venue le 25 novembre, dans un hôpital de la ville de Kamsar au nord-ouest pour une intervention chirurgicale. La direction de l’hôpital a annoncé le 28 novembre avoir « interpellé le présumé coupable » - un prestataire de service externe - et l’avoir conduit à la gendarmerie. Le même jour, une fille de 16 ans a été violée par plusieurs hommes à Kankan.   « Les autorités doivent faire en sorte que les enquêtes sur les auteurs de ces viols soient menées sans délai et en toute indépendance et impartialité et que tout responsable soit traduit en justice, » a déclaré Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Directrice du Bureau Afrique de l’IPPF « Les victimes doivent avoir accès à des soins médicaux et à un soutien psychosocial ainsi qu'à une assistance pour accéder à la justice et à la réparation. » Plus de 331 cas de viols rapportés depuis le début de l’année Depuis le début de l’année, l’OPROGEM et la Brigade spécial de protection des personnes vulnérables (BSPPV) ont traité 331 cas de viols. En 2020 seulement, ils ont traité 374 cas de viol, un nombre qui reflète seulement la partie visible de l'iceberg selon plusieurs ONGs travaillant dans le domaine de la lutte contre les violences sexuelles, des journalistes, la police et la gendarmerie. Cela est dû à la stigmatisation associée au viol en Guinée, ce qui souvent conduit, non pas à signaler le crime et déposer des plaintes mais souvent à des médiations et des règlements à l'amiable entre les victimes ou leurs familles et les présumés auteurs ou leurs familles. Les récents cas de viols font suite à un autre crime ayant provoqué le mois dernier une vive réaction dans le pays. M’Mah Sylla, une femme de 25 ans, avait présumément été violée par des médecins dans une clinique non agréée de Conakry où elle était allée se faire soigner. Elle était tombée enceinte et les mêmes auteurs l’avaient de nouveau violée au cours de l’avortement auquel ils tentaient de procéder. Le viol a engendré des blessures impossibles à guérir malgré sept opérations chirurgicales. M’Mah Sylla est décédée le 20 novembre dernier à Tunis (Tunisie), après son évacuation médicale facilitée par le gouvernement. A la suite de la mort de M’Mah Sylla, des femmes ont manifesté les 22, 24 et 30 novembre à Labé, Kindia et N’Zérékoré pour réclamer justice pour toutes les victimes de viol. Le 21 novembre, le ministère de la Justice avait annoncé la détention de trois des quatre auteurs présumés du viol de M’Mah Sylla à la prison de Conakry. Le gouvernement a par ailleurs présenté ses condoléances au nom du chef de l’État. Des militants ont dénoncé la recrudescence des cas de viol. Djenab Boiro de l’organisation ‘Mon Enfant, Ma vie’ a déclaré lors d’une réunion avec Amnesty International à Conakry : « Même morte, M'Mah Sylla mérite justice. Je suis convaincue que le jour où ses bourreaux seront condamnés à la peine qu'ils méritent, son âme reposera enfin en paix. Nous avons beaucoup trop de cas comme celui de M'Mah Sylla et nous espérons et rêvons de ne plus en avoir. » « Ces dernières années, les autorités ont pris des décisions salutaires pour lutter contre les violences sexuelles, comme la création au sein de la gendarmerie de la BSPPV en 2020. Par ailleurs, les organisations locales de défense des droits des femmes ont joué et continuent de jouer un rôle majeur dans la dénonciation des violences sexuelles, de concert avec certains médias, » a déclaré Samira Daoud « Malgré cela, la persistance des viols, notamment de filles, appelle à des efforts beaucoup plus importants pour sensibiliser l’ensemble de la société pour prévenir la violence sexuelle, protéger les victimes, leur permettre d’accéder à la justice, d’obtenir réparation, et de traduire les auteurs en justice. Cela passe notamment mais pas seulement, par l’adoption d’une loi spéciale sur la violence à l’égard des femmes comme recommandé par la Convention Internationale sur l'élimination de toutes les formes de discrimination à l'égard des femmes, » a conclu Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry. isez cet article en anglais ici. Pour organiser un entretien, contactez le service de presse : d’Amnesty International : [email protected] ; Twitter Afrique de l’Ouest et centrale : @amnestyWaro ; et/ou d’IPPF : M. Mahmoud Garga ([email protected])  

Guinea
news item

| 14 January 2022

Guinea: Horrific cases of rape and murder of girls must urge authorities to strengthen their efforts to prevent and combat sexual violence

Guinean authorities must take immediate measures to ensure thorough and impartial investigation of recent rapes and sexual assaults followed by murders committed over the course of just eight days and bring perpetrators to justice, Amnesty International and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) said today. They must also increase their efforts to fight sexual violence by strengthening prevention, supporting access to justice for survivors and adopting a special law on violence against women. Six girls aged between three and 16, and a woman were sexually assaulted, and some were raped between 25 November and 2 December 2021. Two of the girls have died as a result of the violence. “Rape is all too commonplace in Guinea. Authorities should urgently strengthen their efforts to prevent and combat sexual violence in Guinea," said Samira Daoud, Amnesty International West and Central Africa director. Rape of girls On 2 December 2021, the Office for the Protection of Gender, Childhood and Morals (OPROGEM) presented a 24-year-old man charged with the rape of a three-year-old girl in the district of Gbessia in the capital Conakry.  On 30 November another three-year-old girl was raped in Batè-Nafadji in the eastern region of Kankan. On 27 November, a 12-year-old girl was raped by two men on her way home in the town of Sanoun. This came just a day after the death of another 12-year-old girl in the north-eastern town of Siguiri. In the urban commune of Labé, west-central region of Guinea, a three-year-old girl was gang raped on 26 November.  Local organization, "Agir pour le Droit Féminin", which met with the three-year-old girl's parents on 7 December, told the organizations that she was abducted when going to buy candy not far from the family home. She was then taken to an uninhabited house and sexually assaulted until she died.  The girl’s father who met with the prosecutor confirmed his demand for justice for his daughter. One of the alleged perpetrator’s father requested forgiveness from the girl’s family but they refused.  The rapes of girls followed the rape of a woman on 25 November while she was in a hospital in the north-western town of Kamsar for a surgery. The hospital management announced three days later they had "arrested the alleged perpetrator" -who is an external service provider- and taken him to the gendarmerie.  The same day, a 16-year-old girl was also raped by several men in Kankan. “The authorities must ensure thorough and impartial investigations of these rape cases without delay and anyone found guilty must be brought to justice," said Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, IPPF Africa Regional Director. “Survivors must receive access to medical care and psychosocial support as well as legal aid to access justice and redress.” More than 331 rape cases reported since the beginning of the year Since the beginning of the year, OPROGEM and the Special Brigade for the Protection of Vulnerable Persons (BSPPV in French) have already dealt with 331 rape cases. In 2020 alone, they dealt with 374 cases, a number which reflects only the tip of the iceberg according to NGOs working on sexual violence survivors, journalists, police and gendarmerie.  This is due to the stigma associated with rape in Guinea, which often leads to not reporting the crime and not filing complaints, and often such cases are handled through mediation and out-of-court settlements between the victims or their families and the alleged perpetrators or their families. The recent rape cases follow another case that sparked a strong public reaction across the country last month.   M’Mah Sylla, a 25-year-old woman, was allegedly raped by doctors at a non-licensed clinic in Conakry, where she went for treatment. She got pregnant as a result, and the same perpetrators raped her again when she returned to the clinic to seek an abortion. The rape caused injuries that could not be healed despite seven surgeries. The victim died on 20 November in Tunis (Tunisia) where she was medically evacuated following a government intervention.  Following M’Mah Sylla’s death, women staged protests on 22, 24 and 30 November in the towns of Labé, Kindia and N’Zérékoré, demanding justice for all victims of rape.   On 21 November, the Ministry of Justice said three of the four alleged perpetrators of M’Mah Sylla’s rape had been detained in Conakry prison. The government also presented its condolences to her family on behalf of the head of state.  Activists spoke out on the surge in rape cases.  Djenab Boiro of “Mon Enfant, Ma vie” a local organization, told Amnesty International during a meeting in Conakry:  “Even dead, M'Mah Sylla deserves justice. I am convinced that the day the perpetrators will be sentenced to the punishment they deserve, her soul will finally rest in peace. We have had too many cases like M'Mah Sylla’s and we hope and dream of not having any more.”  “Authorities have taken some steps in the right direction in recent years which we welcome, such as the creation in 2020 of a special unit within the gendarmerie to fight sexual violence. In addition, local women’s rights organizations have played and continue to play a major role in speaking up against sexual violence, together with some media,” said Samira Daoud "Despite this situation, the persistence of rape cases, especially of girls, calls for much greater efforts to raise awareness among the public to prevent sexual violence, to protect the survivors, and ensure their timely access to justice and reparations as well as to bring perpetrators to account. This includes but is not limited to the adoption of a special law on violence against women, as recommended by the CEDAW Committee,” concluded Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry. Read this article in French here. To arrange an interview, please contact: Amnesty’s Press Office Email [email protected]; West and Centra Africa’s Twitter: @AmnestyWaro;  and/or IPPF Africa Region Lead Communication Advisor, Mr. Mahmoud Garga ([email protected])

Guinea
news_item

| 15 December 2021

Guinea: Horrific cases of rape and murder of girls must urge authorities to strengthen their efforts to prevent and combat sexual violence

Guinean authorities must take immediate measures to ensure thorough and impartial investigation of recent rapes and sexual assaults followed by murders committed over the course of just eight days and bring perpetrators to justice, Amnesty International and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) said today. They must also increase their efforts to fight sexual violence by strengthening prevention, supporting access to justice for survivors and adopting a special law on violence against women. Six girls aged between three and 16, and a woman were sexually assaulted, and some were raped between 25 November and 2 December 2021. Two of the girls have died as a result of the violence. “Rape is all too commonplace in Guinea. Authorities should urgently strengthen their efforts to prevent and combat sexual violence in Guinea," said Samira Daoud, Amnesty International West and Central Africa director. Rape of girls On 2 December 2021, the Office for the Protection of Gender, Childhood and Morals (OPROGEM) presented a 24-year-old man charged with the rape of a three-year-old girl in the district of Gbessia in the capital Conakry.  On 30 November another three-year-old girl was raped in Batè-Nafadji in the eastern region of Kankan. On 27 November, a 12-year-old girl was raped by two men on her way home in the town of Sanoun. This came just a day after the death of another 12-year-old girl in the north-eastern town of Siguiri. In the urban commune of Labé, west-central region of Guinea, a three-year-old girl was gang raped on 26 November.  Local organization, "Agir pour le Droit Féminin", which met with the three-year-old girl's parents on 7 December, told the organizations that she was abducted when going to buy candy not far from the family home. She was then taken to an uninhabited house and sexually assaulted until she died.  The girl’s father who met with the prosecutor confirmed his demand for justice for his daughter. One of the alleged perpetrator’s father requested forgiveness from the girl’s family but they refused.  The rapes of girls followed the rape of a woman on 25 November while she was in a hospital in the north-western town of Kamsar for a surgery. The hospital management announced three days later they had "arrested the alleged perpetrator" -who is an external service provider- and taken him to the gendarmerie.  The same day, a 16-year-old girl was also raped by several men in Kankan. “The authorities must ensure thorough and impartial investigations of these rape cases without delay and anyone found guilty must be brought to justice," said Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, IPPF Africa Regional Director. “Survivors must receive access to medical care and psychosocial support as well as legal aid to access justice and redress.” More than 331 rape cases reported since the beginning of the year Since the beginning of the year, OPROGEM and the Special Brigade for the Protection of Vulnerable Persons (BSPPV in French) have already dealt with 331 rape cases. In 2020 alone, they dealt with 374 cases, a number which reflects only the tip of the iceberg according to NGOs working on sexual violence survivors, journalists, police and gendarmerie.  This is due to the stigma associated with rape in Guinea, which often leads to not reporting the crime and not filing complaints, and often such cases are handled through mediation and out-of-court settlements between the victims or their families and the alleged perpetrators or their families. The recent rape cases follow another case that sparked a strong public reaction across the country last month.   M’Mah Sylla, a 25-year-old woman, was allegedly raped by doctors at a non-licensed clinic in Conakry, where she went for treatment. She got pregnant as a result, and the same perpetrators raped her again when she returned to the clinic to seek an abortion. The rape caused injuries that could not be healed despite seven surgeries. The victim died on 20 November in Tunis (Tunisia) where she was medically evacuated following a government intervention.  Following M’Mah Sylla’s death, women staged protests on 22, 24 and 30 November in the towns of Labé, Kindia and N’Zérékoré, demanding justice for all victims of rape.   On 21 November, the Ministry of Justice said three of the four alleged perpetrators of M’Mah Sylla’s rape had been detained in Conakry prison. The government also presented its condolences to her family on behalf of the head of state.  Activists spoke out on the surge in rape cases.  Djenab Boiro of “Mon Enfant, Ma vie” a local organization, told Amnesty International during a meeting in Conakry:  “Even dead, M'Mah Sylla deserves justice. I am convinced that the day the perpetrators will be sentenced to the punishment they deserve, her soul will finally rest in peace. We have had too many cases like M'Mah Sylla’s and we hope and dream of not having any more.”  “Authorities have taken some steps in the right direction in recent years which we welcome, such as the creation in 2020 of a special unit within the gendarmerie to fight sexual violence. In addition, local women’s rights organizations have played and continue to play a major role in speaking up against sexual violence, together with some media,” said Samira Daoud "Despite this situation, the persistence of rape cases, especially of girls, calls for much greater efforts to raise awareness among the public to prevent sexual violence, to protect the survivors, and ensure their timely access to justice and reparations as well as to bring perpetrators to account. This includes but is not limited to the adoption of a special law on violence against women, as recommended by the CEDAW Committee,” concluded Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry. Read this article in French here. To arrange an interview, please contact: Amnesty’s Press Office Email [email protected]; West and Centra Africa’s Twitter: @AmnestyWaro;  and/or IPPF Africa Region Lead Communication Advisor, Mr. Mahmoud Garga ([email protected])

LGBTI
news item

| 14 January 2022

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

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

LGBTI
news_item

| 30 November 2021

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

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