All posts tagged: SRHR

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Abortion Rights in Poland: From Legalization in 1959 to Czarny Protest in 2016

In 1989, Polish women stood at a crossroads. With the fall of the Soviet Union, women were re-introduced to the concepts of Western second-wave feminism. Like in other post-soviet states, the effects of communism resulted in the fierce emancipation of women in both family and work. Now, looking at the current debate in Poland around abortion and women’s autonomy over their bodies, one cannot help but ask, why now? Why is it that almost thirty years after the fall of the Communist Government in Poland, is women’s right to abortion being questioned? For those answers one must take a good hard look at Poland’s history, which more often than not is caught between Western ideals, the Catholic Church, and the country’s history of communism. Under the Communist state, both women and men were expected to work which resulted in a massive increase of women entering both industrial and agricultural fields. A popular slogan even arise during this time, “Kobiety na Traktory”(“Women to the Tractor”). In 1956, a good twenty years before the United States and France, …

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White Ribbon Alliance: Passionate Citizens Changing Communities

Girls’ Globe bloggers have had the opportunity to meet with and speak to Midwives and Citizen Journalists from Uganda, Malawi and Zimbabwe, who are working with White Ribbon Alliance to strengthen the rights and health of women and children, and to change communities so that they thrive. Caroline Maposhere, Zimbabwe Caroline Maposhere is a Registered Nurse, nurse midwife and a public health nurse with Bachelor of Theology and Master of Science in Counseling studies. She has extensive experience working in reproductive health including counseling young people, parents and religious leaders on sexual diversity and training health care providers on how to be sensitive to the needs of LGBTI people. Caroline has vast training experience including being US Peace Corps Pre service Technical Trainer in more than 10 countries. She is well-known as “Aunty” on radio, TV and church programs for sexual and reproductive health in Zimbabwe and is a member of the Board of Trustees for White Ribbon Alliance Zimbabwe. Elman Nsinda, Uganda A journalist and advocate for women’s and children’s health and rights, Elman Nsinda has been involved in safe motherhood advocacy campaigns across the Uganda …

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HIV/AIDS Prevention Starts with Combating Gender Inequality

Written by: Hayley Trinh, Communications and Development Intern, Education for Equality International Since the first known case of HIV in India was diagnosed in 1986, the number of people infected with the virus has continued to grow. According the most recent UNAIDS Gap Report, India has the third-highest number of people living with HIV in the world, with 2.1 million Indians accounting for four of every 10 people infected in Asia. Rajasthan, where EEI’s girls’ education and empowerment efforts are currently focused, is considered a low prevalence state by National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), but the population is considered highly vulnerable because of its high percentage of migrant labor. People from Rajasthan migrate to high prevalence states like Maharashtra and Gujarat and return with the disease. Rajasthan also accounts for 19% of all mines in India, employing over 500,000 workers, many of them are from other states. The situation in the state has become critical due to increase of traffic on national highways, tourists, and laborers coming in search for jobs. Due to its large …

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What We Need to Know About HIV & Adolescent Girls

The term ‘adolescent girls’ encompasses, in theory, all those aged 10-24. In reality, the lower section of that age bracket – the 10-19 year olds specifically – receive the least attention and are therefore the least comprehensively catered for when it comes to HIV/AIDS information and services. So what do we know? There is no country in the world where we don’t have adolescents living with HIV, and adolescent girls remain disproportionately affected. There are 990,000 girls between 10-19 years old living with HIV globally. For boys of the same age, that figure drops to 770, 000. Every hour, 26 adolescents are infected with HIV – two thirds of these are girls. Adolescent AIDS-related deaths are increasing. Very young adolescents are generally overlooked, since at this age they face a relatively low burden of disease. However, 10-14 is a critical life phase for shaping future health and development. And what don’t we know? There are HUGE differences between 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 year old girls, but we don’t have data that represents those differences by being divided up into …

21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016), Durban, South Africa.
Photo shows the AHF AIDS walk.
Photo©International AIDS Society/

Young People’s Leadership in Ending AIDS by 2030

54 young people from  17 different countries across Africa, hosted a Youth Satellite Session at the 21st International AIDS Conference on Youth Leadership in Achieving Universal Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights and Ending AIDS by 2030, hosted in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), South Africa’s National Department of Health and Johnson & Johnson. The youth satellite session was  creatively organised, featuring poetry, drama, music and a panel discussion where the young people shared perspectives on how living with and without HIV affects them individually and broadly within the communities they live in. They engaged in an intriguing  inter-generational dialogue with key decision makers, stressing the need for multilateral organizations and governments to collaborate with young people to deliver better programs and initiatives at local levels. This could help to achieve better results towards reducing new infections and ultimately ending HIV/AIDS amongst youth and adolescents aged 15-24 across the continent. Meaningful youth engagement was mentioned as a prerequisite in giving  young people the opportunity  to be part of leadership structures that are involved in the …

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Universal Access to Midwives is a Human Right

“I think, the need during pregnancy, birth-giving, when you have an unintended pregnancy and the need for you to choose yourself when and if to have a family, is universal. And equal access to evidence-based care is a human right,” says Marie Klingberg-Allvin, who has spent the last fifteen years as a midwife and conducting research on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in low-resource settings. In her keynote speech at the Nordic Midwifery Congress, Marie Klingberg-Allvin mentioned the fact that there are still 300,000 maternal deaths, 2.1 million newborn deaths, and 2.6 million stillbirths that occur every year. These deaths are preventable and if every woman had access to sexual and reproductive health care and services, including contraception and safe and legal abortion, and evidence-based maternal health care through a midwife and emergency obstetric care, most of these deaths could be prevented. Listen to her explain the linkages between midwives and human rights.   Girls’ Globe is at the NJF Congress in Gothenburg, Sweden. Follow the conversations here on girlsglobe.org and through the hashtag …

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How Activists and Organizations are Using Social Media to Promote Family Planning

By Luke Nozicka and Jennifer Gonzalez / Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting When Imali Ngusale hosts social media discussions about sex and family planning, to inform people about subjects they are not exposed to at home or in school, she often uses numbers and codes to keep the conversation under wraps. “We do this because when it goes to social media … somebody may need to find out where they can get youth friendly services — and if their parents or relatives are following them, you want to make it discreet,” Ngusale said of the online chats, which usually consist of more than 100 curious youths who use Twitter to talk about reproductive health. “It is an innovative way to be discreet but also cool.” Ngusale, a 27-year-old social media strategist who works for the Centre for the Study of Adolescence in Nairobi, Kenya, said she has to do “some very good ground work” before each discussion, emailing people to inform them when conversations will occur and what code words will be used. “You can create meaning through different trends,” she said. Ngusale was …

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Sexual and reproductive health in emergencies

One of the most talked about issues at the International Conference on Family Planning was sexual and reproductive health in emergency situations, such as in conflict and displacement. Using the guidelines of the Minimum Initial Service Package (MSP), organizations and agencies working in emergencies offer comprehensive reproductive health services, including family planning, prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, safe motherhood and prevention and response to gender based violence. They aim to provide girls and women with the resources for sexual and reproductive health in the most unstable, unpredictable and unsafe circumstances imaginable. Representatives from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) explained that sometimes girls and women receiving these services are in healthy relationships, but often they are not. Most seek reproductive health services because they have been victims of sexual violence. Sarah Knaster of the Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crisis explained that existing gender inequalities are exacerbated in conflict and displacement. As systems of law and justice break down, rates of intimate partner violence, rape and incest increase. Families …

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#1 – The Global State of Maternal Health

In this first episode of The Mom Pod, hosted by Girls’ Globe Founder and President Julia Wiklander, you will be given an in-depth introduction to the global state of maternal health. Julia interviews Brigid McConville, Director of White Ribbon Alliance UK, who shares her expertise in the field of maternal health around the world. She tells stories of progress, speaks about what more needs to be done and what we can do. Brigid is a journalist and an award-winning author. She recently released her book On Becoming a Mother – Welcoming your new baby and your new life with wisdom from around the world.  Julia also calls Emma Saloranta, Co-Founder of The Mom Pod, who is based in Tanzania to speak about expectations, hopes and more! What do you want The Mom Pod to cover? Do you have unanswered questions you want an expert to tackle or are you curious about motherhood in other parts of the world? Record your voice message here or send us a written note. Cover Photo Credit: UNICEF Ethiopia/ Tesfaye, Creative Commons on Flickr.

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Reproductive Health Advocacy: Count Men In

Globally, there is a rising consensus steadily evolving among community leaders, the educated, and policymakers that ending gender-based violence and discrimination requires the full involvement of communities — and in particular, the increased participation of men and boys. This is because men and boys worldwide continue to maintain an unfair high lead compared to women in all areas – in August Houses and in stadiums; in homes, the classroom and the places of work. This is worsened by the still common practice of men making decisions for women regarding their welfare and dictating how they should live their lives. All this is led by the unchecked cultural practices which stem way back before the birth of global equality, gender and women’s rights movements such as the United Nations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. These organizations have played a significant role in advocating for gender equality even when gender equity remains not yet achieved. It’s this centralization of power on men together with primitive cultural practices, which make gender inequality a thorn in the foot of …