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IPPF-ESEAOR TO HOST FP2030 ASIA-PACIFIC HUB

IPPF-ESEAOR will serve as the host of FP2030 Asia Pacific Regional Hub starting this year. This is the fourth FP2030 Regional Hub, preceded by the North America and Europe Hub in Washington DC, the East and Southern Africa Hub in Nairobi, Kenya, and the North, West and Central Africa Hub in Abuja, Nigeria. This is part of the ongoing transition of FP2030 - from a single secretariat office in the United States and now to a global support structure and presence.
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| 02 June 2024

Redefining Media Activism: A Gender Progressive Shift

  A recent panel discussion at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, titled “A Gender Progressive Approach to Understanding the Fallacies of Performative Media Activism,” brought together prominent voices in media and gender advocacy. Organised by the postgraduate students of the Gender Studies Programme, the event featured Malarvili Meganathan, Regional Communications, Voice, and Media Advisor at IPPF ESEAOR; Abinaya Dhivya Mohan, Advocacy Director at Women’s Aid Organisation; Sabrina Aripen, PhD student and founder of the Society for Equality, Respect, and Trust for All (SERATA); and songwriter Takahara Suiko. The discussion explored performative activism in the media and feminist movements. Panellists addressed the challenges of media inclusivity and representation, examining the role of privilege in shaping these discussions. Gender-Progressive Media The discussion emphasised the need for gender-progressive media to go beyond performative gestures, advocating for inclusive and meaningful representation of all genders in authentic ways that contribute to substantive cultural shifts. Currently, gender representation in media is skewed towards men and prominently features gender stereotypes. Globally, women comprise only 24% of the people who have heard, read about, or seen in newspapers, television, and radio news. Over 46% of news stories reinforce gender stereotypes, while only 4% of stories challenge them despite an increase in coverage over the past five years. Underrepresentation varies significantly in local contexts, affecting LGBTQIA+ individuals, women of colour, Indigenous women, migrants, and refugees. In the Asia Pacific region, gender inequality and power imbalances persist, limiting women’s agency to exercise choice. Activism and Media Literacy The panel also discussed effective activism strategies for engaging and mobilising diverse audiences to foster allyship and collective action. Media literacy was highlighted as a crucial tool in empowering audiences to analyse representations of gender and race in the media critically. Solution journalism was emphasised to address challenges alongside evidence-based responses. This approach reimagines focus, frame, and narrative, contributing to a more inclusive and equitable media landscape. According to the latest Journalism, media, and technology trends for 2024 by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, publishers prioritise more precise explanations of complex stories, solutions-oriented storytelling, and inspirational stories to counter news avoidance and fatigue and maintain interest. Perspectives on Media Representation and Gender Justice     Dr Rusaslina Idrus, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Gender Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya: "It is crucial for young women to see themselves represented in the media. Diversity is vital. We must create spaces for marginalised communities and platform activists and address economic barriers affecting Indigenous communities. This includes tailoring messaging to be culturally relevant, particularly in areas like reproductive health and rights, by collaborating closely with community leaders. Abinaya Dhivya Mohan, Advocacy Director, Women’s Aid Organisation: "To promote gender justice, it's essential to tell the stories of survivors in a dignified, rights-based manner and make media more accessible to people with disability. Gender-progressive media should prioritise these aspects. Media organisations should hire more women in decision-making positions and institute policies that protect women from harassment and violence.” Lauren Brodie Tsen, Research Assistant, Postgraduate student, Department of Gender Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya: "In Nabawan, one of the poorest districts in Malaysia, pregnant women struggle to access life-saving services due to inadequate infrastructure. Media activism must address the rights and needs of those on the fringes, particularly women and girls deprived of essential healthcare services and protection against sexual and gender-based violence.” Moderated by Nadirah Babji, Senior Humanitarian Program Officer at IPPF ESEAOR, the event concluded with valuable insights into gender-progressive media practices. The discussion emphasised moving beyond performative activism, ensuring meaningful representation and leadership from communities on the ground, and the need for coherent policies at all levels, starting with national media policies.

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| 02 June 2024

Redefining Media Activism: A Gender Progressive Shift

  A recent panel discussion at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, titled “A Gender Progressive Approach to Understanding the Fallacies of Performative Media Activism,” brought together prominent voices in media and gender advocacy. Organised by the postgraduate students of the Gender Studies Programme, the event featured Malarvili Meganathan, Regional Communications, Voice, and Media Advisor at IPPF ESEAOR; Abinaya Dhivya Mohan, Advocacy Director at Women’s Aid Organisation; Sabrina Aripen, PhD student and founder of the Society for Equality, Respect, and Trust for All (SERATA); and songwriter Takahara Suiko. The discussion explored performative activism in the media and feminist movements. Panellists addressed the challenges of media inclusivity and representation, examining the role of privilege in shaping these discussions. Gender-Progressive Media The discussion emphasised the need for gender-progressive media to go beyond performative gestures, advocating for inclusive and meaningful representation of all genders in authentic ways that contribute to substantive cultural shifts. Currently, gender representation in media is skewed towards men and prominently features gender stereotypes. Globally, women comprise only 24% of the people who have heard, read about, or seen in newspapers, television, and radio news. Over 46% of news stories reinforce gender stereotypes, while only 4% of stories challenge them despite an increase in coverage over the past five years. Underrepresentation varies significantly in local contexts, affecting LGBTQIA+ individuals, women of colour, Indigenous women, migrants, and refugees. In the Asia Pacific region, gender inequality and power imbalances persist, limiting women’s agency to exercise choice. Activism and Media Literacy The panel also discussed effective activism strategies for engaging and mobilising diverse audiences to foster allyship and collective action. Media literacy was highlighted as a crucial tool in empowering audiences to analyse representations of gender and race in the media critically. Solution journalism was emphasised to address challenges alongside evidence-based responses. This approach reimagines focus, frame, and narrative, contributing to a more inclusive and equitable media landscape. According to the latest Journalism, media, and technology trends for 2024 by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, publishers prioritise more precise explanations of complex stories, solutions-oriented storytelling, and inspirational stories to counter news avoidance and fatigue and maintain interest. Perspectives on Media Representation and Gender Justice     Dr Rusaslina Idrus, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Gender Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya: "It is crucial for young women to see themselves represented in the media. Diversity is vital. We must create spaces for marginalised communities and platform activists and address economic barriers affecting Indigenous communities. This includes tailoring messaging to be culturally relevant, particularly in areas like reproductive health and rights, by collaborating closely with community leaders. Abinaya Dhivya Mohan, Advocacy Director, Women’s Aid Organisation: "To promote gender justice, it's essential to tell the stories of survivors in a dignified, rights-based manner and make media more accessible to people with disability. Gender-progressive media should prioritise these aspects. Media organisations should hire more women in decision-making positions and institute policies that protect women from harassment and violence.” Lauren Brodie Tsen, Research Assistant, Postgraduate student, Department of Gender Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya: "In Nabawan, one of the poorest districts in Malaysia, pregnant women struggle to access life-saving services due to inadequate infrastructure. Media activism must address the rights and needs of those on the fringes, particularly women and girls deprived of essential healthcare services and protection against sexual and gender-based violence.” Moderated by Nadirah Babji, Senior Humanitarian Program Officer at IPPF ESEAOR, the event concluded with valuable insights into gender-progressive media practices. The discussion emphasised moving beyond performative activism, ensuring meaningful representation and leadership from communities on the ground, and the need for coherent policies at all levels, starting with national media policies.

YSNAP WOMEN'S DAY BANNER
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| 11 March 2024

Equality Now: Youth Leaders Call for Reproductive Justice Across Asia Pacific

The Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Network in East & Southeast Asia and the Pacific (YSNAP) organised a virtual panel discussion to mark International Women's Day under the theme of 'Inspire Inclusion', featuring participation by young advocates and leaders from across the region. The dialogue centred on ensuring equitable access to youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and addressing the complex intersections of poverty, reproductive health, and justice.  The Asia Pacific region, home to more than 60% of the global youth, stands at a crucial juncture. A significant barrier to achieving gender equality by 2030 is the alarming lack of investment in initiatives aimed at addressing discrimination and ensuring equal access to education and healthcare. Recognising the importance of investing in women goes beyond economic benefits; it is a fundamental human rights issue crucial for fostering inclusive societies.  The COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical conflicts, climate disasters, and economic instability have collectively pushed an additional 75 million people into poverty since 2020. Without urgent action, it is projected that more than 342 million women and girls will fall below the poverty line by 2030, further widening the gap in accessible sexual and reproductive rights and health. The International Planned Parenthood Federation’s (IPPF) 'Come Together - Strategic Plan 2028' is a comprehensive blueprint for supporting young people in realising their Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). The strategy emphasises 'youth-led' and 'youth-centred' programming, recognising the importance of empowering young people to have control over all aspects of their sexual and reproductive health. This approach is crucial for walking shoulder to shoulder with young people and communities facing stigma and prejudice. The panel discussion, moderated by Ashleigh Mar-Chang, Vice Chairperson of YSNAP, was enriched by insights from youth leaders across the region, emphasising the importance of inclusivity, engaging men and boys in gender equality, and including young people in decision-making processes for meaningful change. Inspiring Inclusivity: Creating Safe and Accessible Spaces  Aarefa Shiraz, a youth networker from IPPF South Asia, emphasised the critical role of inclusivity in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). She said inclusivity means that safe spaces in healthcare settings respect young individuals' autonomy and offer non-judgmental support. She envisions a future where inclusivity is intersectional, ensuring that every voice is heard and everyone is treated with respect and dignity. She highlighted the importance of young people freely expressing their individuality and sexuality, acknowledging the long history of women battling patriarchy and misogyny to achieve recognition and equal compensation for their work. Despite significant progress since the fight for women's rights to vote, she notes that much work remains to ensure that women and young people can safely express their identities and are compensated equally for their work, comparable to their male counterparts. Engaging Men and Boys for Gender Equality  Ly Teang Cheng, Project Coordinator of the Cambodia Men’s Network Program, discussed the critical role of men and boys in advancing gender equality. By challenging gender stereotypes and addressing toxic masculinity, he emphasised the need for societal change that includes men and boys as allies. This approach involves community engagement, advocacy, and capacity building to foster a more inclusive society. It also includes mobilising intergenerational support from fathers, grandfathers, and youth on topics of intersectionality and sexual and gender-based violence. The importance of men as allies cannot be overstated; their involvement is crucial in dismantling systemic barriers to equality and promoting a culture of respect and understanding across genders. Including Young People in Decision-Making Fa’atauva’a Sale (Ashlie), Youth Support Secretary at the Samoa Family Health Association (SFHA), emphasised the importance of including young people in policy and decision-making processes to create meaningful change, empowering them to actively participate in their communities and promote a sense of ownership. She highlighted the critical need to address the stigma surrounding SRHR conversations and discrimination, particularly in Samoa and across the Pacific. Tackling these issues is essential for fostering an environment where young people feel safe and supported in seeking information and services related to their sexual and reproductive health. Additionally, Grace Aumua, the youth focal person at SFHA, underscored the importance of treating youth with respect and kindness, actively encouraging diverse perspectives.  The International Women's Day panel discussion served as a powerful platform to address the challenges and achievements in women's health and rights. The virtual event underscored the collective effort required to advance SRHR in the Asia Pacific region and beyond by focusing on inclusivity, engaging diverse stakeholders, and empowering young voices.     For more information, contact: Malarvili Meganathan,  Regional Communications, Voice & Media Advisor, East, Southeast Asia and Oceania Region [email protected]

YSNAP WOMEN'S DAY BANNER
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| 11 March 2024

Equality Now: Youth Leaders Call for Reproductive Justice Across Asia Pacific

The Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Network in East & Southeast Asia and the Pacific (YSNAP) organised a virtual panel discussion to mark International Women's Day under the theme of 'Inspire Inclusion', featuring participation by young advocates and leaders from across the region. The dialogue centred on ensuring equitable access to youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and addressing the complex intersections of poverty, reproductive health, and justice.  The Asia Pacific region, home to more than 60% of the global youth, stands at a crucial juncture. A significant barrier to achieving gender equality by 2030 is the alarming lack of investment in initiatives aimed at addressing discrimination and ensuring equal access to education and healthcare. Recognising the importance of investing in women goes beyond economic benefits; it is a fundamental human rights issue crucial for fostering inclusive societies.  The COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical conflicts, climate disasters, and economic instability have collectively pushed an additional 75 million people into poverty since 2020. Without urgent action, it is projected that more than 342 million women and girls will fall below the poverty line by 2030, further widening the gap in accessible sexual and reproductive rights and health. The International Planned Parenthood Federation’s (IPPF) 'Come Together - Strategic Plan 2028' is a comprehensive blueprint for supporting young people in realising their Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). The strategy emphasises 'youth-led' and 'youth-centred' programming, recognising the importance of empowering young people to have control over all aspects of their sexual and reproductive health. This approach is crucial for walking shoulder to shoulder with young people and communities facing stigma and prejudice. The panel discussion, moderated by Ashleigh Mar-Chang, Vice Chairperson of YSNAP, was enriched by insights from youth leaders across the region, emphasising the importance of inclusivity, engaging men and boys in gender equality, and including young people in decision-making processes for meaningful change. Inspiring Inclusivity: Creating Safe and Accessible Spaces  Aarefa Shiraz, a youth networker from IPPF South Asia, emphasised the critical role of inclusivity in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). She said inclusivity means that safe spaces in healthcare settings respect young individuals' autonomy and offer non-judgmental support. She envisions a future where inclusivity is intersectional, ensuring that every voice is heard and everyone is treated with respect and dignity. She highlighted the importance of young people freely expressing their individuality and sexuality, acknowledging the long history of women battling patriarchy and misogyny to achieve recognition and equal compensation for their work. Despite significant progress since the fight for women's rights to vote, she notes that much work remains to ensure that women and young people can safely express their identities and are compensated equally for their work, comparable to their male counterparts. Engaging Men and Boys for Gender Equality  Ly Teang Cheng, Project Coordinator of the Cambodia Men’s Network Program, discussed the critical role of men and boys in advancing gender equality. By challenging gender stereotypes and addressing toxic masculinity, he emphasised the need for societal change that includes men and boys as allies. This approach involves community engagement, advocacy, and capacity building to foster a more inclusive society. It also includes mobilising intergenerational support from fathers, grandfathers, and youth on topics of intersectionality and sexual and gender-based violence. The importance of men as allies cannot be overstated; their involvement is crucial in dismantling systemic barriers to equality and promoting a culture of respect and understanding across genders. Including Young People in Decision-Making Fa’atauva’a Sale (Ashlie), Youth Support Secretary at the Samoa Family Health Association (SFHA), emphasised the importance of including young people in policy and decision-making processes to create meaningful change, empowering them to actively participate in their communities and promote a sense of ownership. She highlighted the critical need to address the stigma surrounding SRHR conversations and discrimination, particularly in Samoa and across the Pacific. Tackling these issues is essential for fostering an environment where young people feel safe and supported in seeking information and services related to their sexual and reproductive health. Additionally, Grace Aumua, the youth focal person at SFHA, underscored the importance of treating youth with respect and kindness, actively encouraging diverse perspectives.  The International Women's Day panel discussion served as a powerful platform to address the challenges and achievements in women's health and rights. The virtual event underscored the collective effort required to advance SRHR in the Asia Pacific region and beyond by focusing on inclusivity, engaging diverse stakeholders, and empowering young voices.     For more information, contact: Malarvili Meganathan,  Regional Communications, Voice & Media Advisor, East, Southeast Asia and Oceania Region [email protected]

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| 11 November 2023

Empowering Content Creators in Low-Resource Settings Through Community-Driven Strategies in Asia Pacific

  The Asia-Pacific Digital Sexuality Education Bootcamp for Content Creators (DESIRE Bootcamp 2023) brought together 96 participants from the region, including educators and advocates. Organised by UNFPA Asia-Pacific Regional Office and UNFPA Indonesia, the event aimed to foster partnerships and promote collective learning.  The bootcamp provided content creators with the tools needed to positively impact Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health (AYSRH) in the region through sessions held on November 4th, 5th, and 11th. The first session, led by IPPF ESEAOR, addressed challenges faced by marginalised youth and underscored community-driven solutions.  In his opening remarks, Pio Smith, Regional Director, UNFPA Asia and the Pacific Office, emphasised the importance of harnessing the ever-evolving digital landscape. “In today's world, where youth are gaining unprecedented access to technology, we must leverage digital spaces to deliver accurate, non-discriminatory, age-appropriate information. Our goal transcends borders, demographics and backgrounds,” he said. Navigating the Challenges Malarvili Meganathan, Regional Communications, Voice, and Media Advisor at IPPF ESEAOR, highlighted the critical nature of addressing vital issues in low-resource settings. One key takeaway from the talk revolved around recognising the challenges faced by marginalised and underserved youths, particularly concerning access to adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health information and services. Understanding these challenges deeply emerged as a crucial step toward developing effective strategies for their resolution or mitigation, emphasising adopting a community-driven approach. Transitioning to access to education and information in the region, a report by UNFPA, UNESCO, and IPPF revealed that many young people prefer to obtain information from the internet and peers rather than relying solely on school-based education. This shift in information sources highlights the need for inclusive digital education to ensure marginalised populations, such as LGBTQIA+ individuals, refugees, migrants, people with disabilities, and indigenous communities, are not left behind in the educational framework of numerous countries. Innovative Approaches to Bridging Gaps: Community-Driven Strategies The session proposed actionable strategies to address the challenges collaboratively, including peer education programs, stakeholder collaborations, and policymakers' engagement to prioritise sexual education and digital access in low-resource settings.  Best practices encompassed those implemented by IPPF Member Associations and implementing partners, which involved collaboration with community members, consultation with village representatives in hard-to-reach areas, communication materials in local languages, utilisation of community radios, establishment of public-private partnerships, hands-on training in content editing, and outreach sessions with young people in Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Fiji and the Solomon Islands. Zaira Mendez, Social Media Manager at the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP), led a hands-on session to develop innovative methods for creating digital sexuality education content in low-resource settings, drawing inspiration from FPOP's success in engaging young people, especially in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA) supported by the Australian government-funded RESPOND project. These areas include hard-to-reach communities, both geographically and socially, due to uneven socio-economic development. In the interactive session, participants explored various content creation strategies tailored to the unique needs and challenges of these communities. They brainstormed ideas for informative videos, infographics, and quizzes, effectively conveying essential sexual education information. These efforts aim to empower young people with accurate knowledge, enabling them to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.   The session concluded on a high note, with participants demonstrating their strong commitment to positively impacting digital sexuality education. This commitment sets the stage for future partnerships and collaborations to strengthen content creation in the Asia-Pacific region, ensuring equitable access to essential sexual and reproductive health information for all.

banner photo
news_item

| 11 November 2023

Empowering Content Creators in Low-Resource Settings Through Community-Driven Strategies in Asia Pacific

  The Asia-Pacific Digital Sexuality Education Bootcamp for Content Creators (DESIRE Bootcamp 2023) brought together 96 participants from the region, including educators and advocates. Organised by UNFPA Asia-Pacific Regional Office and UNFPA Indonesia, the event aimed to foster partnerships and promote collective learning.  The bootcamp provided content creators with the tools needed to positively impact Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health (AYSRH) in the region through sessions held on November 4th, 5th, and 11th. The first session, led by IPPF ESEAOR, addressed challenges faced by marginalised youth and underscored community-driven solutions.  In his opening remarks, Pio Smith, Regional Director, UNFPA Asia and the Pacific Office, emphasised the importance of harnessing the ever-evolving digital landscape. “In today's world, where youth are gaining unprecedented access to technology, we must leverage digital spaces to deliver accurate, non-discriminatory, age-appropriate information. Our goal transcends borders, demographics and backgrounds,” he said. Navigating the Challenges Malarvili Meganathan, Regional Communications, Voice, and Media Advisor at IPPF ESEAOR, highlighted the critical nature of addressing vital issues in low-resource settings. One key takeaway from the talk revolved around recognising the challenges faced by marginalised and underserved youths, particularly concerning access to adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health information and services. Understanding these challenges deeply emerged as a crucial step toward developing effective strategies for their resolution or mitigation, emphasising adopting a community-driven approach. Transitioning to access to education and information in the region, a report by UNFPA, UNESCO, and IPPF revealed that many young people prefer to obtain information from the internet and peers rather than relying solely on school-based education. This shift in information sources highlights the need for inclusive digital education to ensure marginalised populations, such as LGBTQIA+ individuals, refugees, migrants, people with disabilities, and indigenous communities, are not left behind in the educational framework of numerous countries. Innovative Approaches to Bridging Gaps: Community-Driven Strategies The session proposed actionable strategies to address the challenges collaboratively, including peer education programs, stakeholder collaborations, and policymakers' engagement to prioritise sexual education and digital access in low-resource settings.  Best practices encompassed those implemented by IPPF Member Associations and implementing partners, which involved collaboration with community members, consultation with village representatives in hard-to-reach areas, communication materials in local languages, utilisation of community radios, establishment of public-private partnerships, hands-on training in content editing, and outreach sessions with young people in Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Fiji and the Solomon Islands. Zaira Mendez, Social Media Manager at the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP), led a hands-on session to develop innovative methods for creating digital sexuality education content in low-resource settings, drawing inspiration from FPOP's success in engaging young people, especially in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA) supported by the Australian government-funded RESPOND project. These areas include hard-to-reach communities, both geographically and socially, due to uneven socio-economic development. In the interactive session, participants explored various content creation strategies tailored to the unique needs and challenges of these communities. They brainstormed ideas for informative videos, infographics, and quizzes, effectively conveying essential sexual education information. These efforts aim to empower young people with accurate knowledge, enabling them to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.   The session concluded on a high note, with participants demonstrating their strong commitment to positively impacting digital sexuality education. This commitment sets the stage for future partnerships and collaborations to strengthen content creation in the Asia-Pacific region, ensuring equitable access to essential sexual and reproductive health information for all.

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| 17 January 2023

IPPF welcomes new Executive Director for Planned Parenthood Association Thailand (PPAT)

Planned Parenthood Association Thailand (PPAT) has a new Executive Director! Please join us in welcoming Dr. Nanthakan Sungsuman Woodham into the IPPF and PPAT families. Dr. Woodham has been associated with PPAT since 2019, in multiple capacities, including Deputy Executive Director. Dr. Woodham will continue to promote the values and principles of PPAT and continue to strengthen relationships with the government, partners, non-government organisations, and the public and private sectors. We are excited and we look forward to continuously work with Dr. Woodham in advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights in Thailand!

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| 17 January 2023

IPPF welcomes new Executive Director for Planned Parenthood Association Thailand (PPAT)

Planned Parenthood Association Thailand (PPAT) has a new Executive Director! Please join us in welcoming Dr. Nanthakan Sungsuman Woodham into the IPPF and PPAT families. Dr. Woodham has been associated with PPAT since 2019, in multiple capacities, including Deputy Executive Director. Dr. Woodham will continue to promote the values and principles of PPAT and continue to strengthen relationships with the government, partners, non-government organisations, and the public and private sectors. We are excited and we look forward to continuously work with Dr. Woodham in advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights in Thailand!

VINAFPA on stage
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| 16 January 2023

Celebrating 30th anniversary of VINAFPA in Vietnam

The Vietnam Family Planning Association (VINAFPA) commemorated its 30th anniversary with a ceremony on January 11, 2023, in Hanoi. More than 250 delegates from different Ministries, students and faculty members from academic institutions, CSOs, factory representatives, print and social media, social activists and volunteers and staff of the Association participated. The association's pivotal role in shaping policy changes in Vietnam on family planning, reproductive health, women's development and rights, and other social issues was emphasised by Dr. Pham Ba Nhat, President of VINAFPA. Through a diverse range of delivery channels, including clinics, mobile units, associated health facilities, and CBDs in 37 branches throughout Vietnam, VINAFPA has made impressive strides in improving access to SRH information, education, and clinical services over the years. A documentary film on 30 years of VINAFPA was also screened during the event. Ms. Tomoko Fukuda, Regional Director, IPPF ESEAOR, commended VINAFPA for its noteworthy efforts in addressing the SRHR of women, men, and young people in Vietnam, especially those from marginalised and underrepresented communities. She emphasised the importance of putting young people at the centre of SRHR programming and extending access to vulnerable groups like LGBTQI people, people with disabilities, indigenous people, and migrants and internally displaced people as well as highlighting the key elements of the IPPF Strategic Framework (2023-28). She continued by explaining that given Vietnam's declining fertility rates and reduced rates of maternal and infant mortality, it is critical that VINAFPA step up its advocacy for SRHR, particularly by ensuring access to contraceptive options and expanding fertility services (including infertility) in accordance with the life cycle approach. The event reached its end with short speeches from partner organisations and representatives of government agencies followed by a photography session to commemorate this day.

VINAFPA on stage
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| 16 January 2023

Celebrating 30th anniversary of VINAFPA in Vietnam

The Vietnam Family Planning Association (VINAFPA) commemorated its 30th anniversary with a ceremony on January 11, 2023, in Hanoi. More than 250 delegates from different Ministries, students and faculty members from academic institutions, CSOs, factory representatives, print and social media, social activists and volunteers and staff of the Association participated. The association's pivotal role in shaping policy changes in Vietnam on family planning, reproductive health, women's development and rights, and other social issues was emphasised by Dr. Pham Ba Nhat, President of VINAFPA. Through a diverse range of delivery channels, including clinics, mobile units, associated health facilities, and CBDs in 37 branches throughout Vietnam, VINAFPA has made impressive strides in improving access to SRH information, education, and clinical services over the years. A documentary film on 30 years of VINAFPA was also screened during the event. Ms. Tomoko Fukuda, Regional Director, IPPF ESEAOR, commended VINAFPA for its noteworthy efforts in addressing the SRHR of women, men, and young people in Vietnam, especially those from marginalised and underrepresented communities. She emphasised the importance of putting young people at the centre of SRHR programming and extending access to vulnerable groups like LGBTQI people, people with disabilities, indigenous people, and migrants and internally displaced people as well as highlighting the key elements of the IPPF Strategic Framework (2023-28). She continued by explaining that given Vietnam's declining fertility rates and reduced rates of maternal and infant mortality, it is critical that VINAFPA step up its advocacy for SRHR, particularly by ensuring access to contraceptive options and expanding fertility services (including infertility) in accordance with the life cycle approach. The event reached its end with short speeches from partner organisations and representatives of government agencies followed by a photography session to commemorate this day.

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| 08 November 2022

The Global Forum on International Population Trends and ODA (with focus on Young People) at the National Assembly, Republic of Korea

The Global Forum on International Population Trends and ODA – Marriage and Gender Perceptions of Young People in the 3 Asian Countries (Korea, Mongolia and Vietnam) was held on 4th November 2022 at the National Assembly, Seoul. It was co-hosted by Korea Population, Health and Welfare Association (KoPHWA – IPPF MA) and Korean Parliamentary League on Children, Population and Environment (CPE). The event opened with a congratulatory remark from Mr. Lee In-young, the chairman of CPE and member of the Democratic Party of Korea. This was followed by a remark from Mr. Kim Chang-soon, President of KOPHWA. Mr. Kim emphasized the significance of the event and encouraged continual cooperation among parties who attended the event.    ESEAOR, Director Programmes and Performance Dr Jameel gave an opening presentation on International Population Trends and IPPF Programme to address SRHR of young people. There are nearly one billion adolescent and young people aged 10 – 24 years living in 31 low- and middle-income countries in Asia and the Pacific, accounting for 53% of the world’s adolescent and youth. He emphasised on youth centered approach, preventing and addressing unintended pregnancies among adolescents and increasing international development assistance to young people. KOPHWA's lead researcher, Ms. Jung Yuri, presented the results of an online survey conducted from October 6th to 14th among 1,003 young people in South Korea, Vietnam and Mongolia. The survey was conducted to investigate the experience of and perception towards sexual reproductive health of young people in their 20's across the three Asian nations. The survey showed a need for sexual reproductive health education and increased availability of medical services. The presentation concluded by highlighting the importance of ODA and recommending sexual reproductive health policy that contextualizes the changing perceptions of the young people in their respective countries.      Following KOPHWA's presentation, Mr. Phuong Thi Thu Huong—consultant for the VINAFPA—and Ms. Munkhtsetseg Batmunkh—Executive Director of MFWA—presented on "Imbalanced sex ratio at birth in Vietnam and Cooperation with Korea" and "Mongolia's current state of SRHR", respectively. There was a discussion with Mr. Sodchimeg Khongor—representing Vietnam—and Ms. Nguyen Van Truong—representing Mongolia—to better understand thoughts and concerns of the young people in the current times about marriage and sexual reproductive health. The event ended with a discussion with Mr. Cho Hyungyu representing KOICA about the importance of and the need for ODA to improve the sexual reproductive health of young people in Asia.

Group photo
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| 08 November 2022

The Global Forum on International Population Trends and ODA (with focus on Young People) at the National Assembly, Republic of Korea

The Global Forum on International Population Trends and ODA – Marriage and Gender Perceptions of Young People in the 3 Asian Countries (Korea, Mongolia and Vietnam) was held on 4th November 2022 at the National Assembly, Seoul. It was co-hosted by Korea Population, Health and Welfare Association (KoPHWA – IPPF MA) and Korean Parliamentary League on Children, Population and Environment (CPE). The event opened with a congratulatory remark from Mr. Lee In-young, the chairman of CPE and member of the Democratic Party of Korea. This was followed by a remark from Mr. Kim Chang-soon, President of KOPHWA. Mr. Kim emphasized the significance of the event and encouraged continual cooperation among parties who attended the event.    ESEAOR, Director Programmes and Performance Dr Jameel gave an opening presentation on International Population Trends and IPPF Programme to address SRHR of young people. There are nearly one billion adolescent and young people aged 10 – 24 years living in 31 low- and middle-income countries in Asia and the Pacific, accounting for 53% of the world’s adolescent and youth. He emphasised on youth centered approach, preventing and addressing unintended pregnancies among adolescents and increasing international development assistance to young people. KOPHWA's lead researcher, Ms. Jung Yuri, presented the results of an online survey conducted from October 6th to 14th among 1,003 young people in South Korea, Vietnam and Mongolia. The survey was conducted to investigate the experience of and perception towards sexual reproductive health of young people in their 20's across the three Asian nations. The survey showed a need for sexual reproductive health education and increased availability of medical services. The presentation concluded by highlighting the importance of ODA and recommending sexual reproductive health policy that contextualizes the changing perceptions of the young people in their respective countries.      Following KOPHWA's presentation, Mr. Phuong Thi Thu Huong—consultant for the VINAFPA—and Ms. Munkhtsetseg Batmunkh—Executive Director of MFWA—presented on "Imbalanced sex ratio at birth in Vietnam and Cooperation with Korea" and "Mongolia's current state of SRHR", respectively. There was a discussion with Mr. Sodchimeg Khongor—representing Vietnam—and Ms. Nguyen Van Truong—representing Mongolia—to better understand thoughts and concerns of the young people in the current times about marriage and sexual reproductive health. The event ended with a discussion with Mr. Cho Hyungyu representing KOICA about the importance of and the need for ODA to improve the sexual reproductive health of young people in Asia.

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| 02 June 2024

Redefining Media Activism: A Gender Progressive Shift

  A recent panel discussion at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, titled “A Gender Progressive Approach to Understanding the Fallacies of Performative Media Activism,” brought together prominent voices in media and gender advocacy. Organised by the postgraduate students of the Gender Studies Programme, the event featured Malarvili Meganathan, Regional Communications, Voice, and Media Advisor at IPPF ESEAOR; Abinaya Dhivya Mohan, Advocacy Director at Women’s Aid Organisation; Sabrina Aripen, PhD student and founder of the Society for Equality, Respect, and Trust for All (SERATA); and songwriter Takahara Suiko. The discussion explored performative activism in the media and feminist movements. Panellists addressed the challenges of media inclusivity and representation, examining the role of privilege in shaping these discussions. Gender-Progressive Media The discussion emphasised the need for gender-progressive media to go beyond performative gestures, advocating for inclusive and meaningful representation of all genders in authentic ways that contribute to substantive cultural shifts. Currently, gender representation in media is skewed towards men and prominently features gender stereotypes. Globally, women comprise only 24% of the people who have heard, read about, or seen in newspapers, television, and radio news. Over 46% of news stories reinforce gender stereotypes, while only 4% of stories challenge them despite an increase in coverage over the past five years. Underrepresentation varies significantly in local contexts, affecting LGBTQIA+ individuals, women of colour, Indigenous women, migrants, and refugees. In the Asia Pacific region, gender inequality and power imbalances persist, limiting women’s agency to exercise choice. Activism and Media Literacy The panel also discussed effective activism strategies for engaging and mobilising diverse audiences to foster allyship and collective action. Media literacy was highlighted as a crucial tool in empowering audiences to analyse representations of gender and race in the media critically. Solution journalism was emphasised to address challenges alongside evidence-based responses. This approach reimagines focus, frame, and narrative, contributing to a more inclusive and equitable media landscape. According to the latest Journalism, media, and technology trends for 2024 by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, publishers prioritise more precise explanations of complex stories, solutions-oriented storytelling, and inspirational stories to counter news avoidance and fatigue and maintain interest. Perspectives on Media Representation and Gender Justice     Dr Rusaslina Idrus, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Gender Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya: "It is crucial for young women to see themselves represented in the media. Diversity is vital. We must create spaces for marginalised communities and platform activists and address economic barriers affecting Indigenous communities. This includes tailoring messaging to be culturally relevant, particularly in areas like reproductive health and rights, by collaborating closely with community leaders. Abinaya Dhivya Mohan, Advocacy Director, Women’s Aid Organisation: "To promote gender justice, it's essential to tell the stories of survivors in a dignified, rights-based manner and make media more accessible to people with disability. Gender-progressive media should prioritise these aspects. Media organisations should hire more women in decision-making positions and institute policies that protect women from harassment and violence.” Lauren Brodie Tsen, Research Assistant, Postgraduate student, Department of Gender Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya: "In Nabawan, one of the poorest districts in Malaysia, pregnant women struggle to access life-saving services due to inadequate infrastructure. Media activism must address the rights and needs of those on the fringes, particularly women and girls deprived of essential healthcare services and protection against sexual and gender-based violence.” Moderated by Nadirah Babji, Senior Humanitarian Program Officer at IPPF ESEAOR, the event concluded with valuable insights into gender-progressive media practices. The discussion emphasised moving beyond performative activism, ensuring meaningful representation and leadership from communities on the ground, and the need for coherent policies at all levels, starting with national media policies.

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| 02 June 2024

Redefining Media Activism: A Gender Progressive Shift

  A recent panel discussion at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, titled “A Gender Progressive Approach to Understanding the Fallacies of Performative Media Activism,” brought together prominent voices in media and gender advocacy. Organised by the postgraduate students of the Gender Studies Programme, the event featured Malarvili Meganathan, Regional Communications, Voice, and Media Advisor at IPPF ESEAOR; Abinaya Dhivya Mohan, Advocacy Director at Women’s Aid Organisation; Sabrina Aripen, PhD student and founder of the Society for Equality, Respect, and Trust for All (SERATA); and songwriter Takahara Suiko. The discussion explored performative activism in the media and feminist movements. Panellists addressed the challenges of media inclusivity and representation, examining the role of privilege in shaping these discussions. Gender-Progressive Media The discussion emphasised the need for gender-progressive media to go beyond performative gestures, advocating for inclusive and meaningful representation of all genders in authentic ways that contribute to substantive cultural shifts. Currently, gender representation in media is skewed towards men and prominently features gender stereotypes. Globally, women comprise only 24% of the people who have heard, read about, or seen in newspapers, television, and radio news. Over 46% of news stories reinforce gender stereotypes, while only 4% of stories challenge them despite an increase in coverage over the past five years. Underrepresentation varies significantly in local contexts, affecting LGBTQIA+ individuals, women of colour, Indigenous women, migrants, and refugees. In the Asia Pacific region, gender inequality and power imbalances persist, limiting women’s agency to exercise choice. Activism and Media Literacy The panel also discussed effective activism strategies for engaging and mobilising diverse audiences to foster allyship and collective action. Media literacy was highlighted as a crucial tool in empowering audiences to analyse representations of gender and race in the media critically. Solution journalism was emphasised to address challenges alongside evidence-based responses. This approach reimagines focus, frame, and narrative, contributing to a more inclusive and equitable media landscape. According to the latest Journalism, media, and technology trends for 2024 by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, publishers prioritise more precise explanations of complex stories, solutions-oriented storytelling, and inspirational stories to counter news avoidance and fatigue and maintain interest. Perspectives on Media Representation and Gender Justice     Dr Rusaslina Idrus, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Gender Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya: "It is crucial for young women to see themselves represented in the media. Diversity is vital. We must create spaces for marginalised communities and platform activists and address economic barriers affecting Indigenous communities. This includes tailoring messaging to be culturally relevant, particularly in areas like reproductive health and rights, by collaborating closely with community leaders. Abinaya Dhivya Mohan, Advocacy Director, Women’s Aid Organisation: "To promote gender justice, it's essential to tell the stories of survivors in a dignified, rights-based manner and make media more accessible to people with disability. Gender-progressive media should prioritise these aspects. Media organisations should hire more women in decision-making positions and institute policies that protect women from harassment and violence.” Lauren Brodie Tsen, Research Assistant, Postgraduate student, Department of Gender Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya: "In Nabawan, one of the poorest districts in Malaysia, pregnant women struggle to access life-saving services due to inadequate infrastructure. Media activism must address the rights and needs of those on the fringes, particularly women and girls deprived of essential healthcare services and protection against sexual and gender-based violence.” Moderated by Nadirah Babji, Senior Humanitarian Program Officer at IPPF ESEAOR, the event concluded with valuable insights into gender-progressive media practices. The discussion emphasised moving beyond performative activism, ensuring meaningful representation and leadership from communities on the ground, and the need for coherent policies at all levels, starting with national media policies.

YSNAP WOMEN'S DAY BANNER
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| 11 March 2024

Equality Now: Youth Leaders Call for Reproductive Justice Across Asia Pacific

The Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Network in East & Southeast Asia and the Pacific (YSNAP) organised a virtual panel discussion to mark International Women's Day under the theme of 'Inspire Inclusion', featuring participation by young advocates and leaders from across the region. The dialogue centred on ensuring equitable access to youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and addressing the complex intersections of poverty, reproductive health, and justice.  The Asia Pacific region, home to more than 60% of the global youth, stands at a crucial juncture. A significant barrier to achieving gender equality by 2030 is the alarming lack of investment in initiatives aimed at addressing discrimination and ensuring equal access to education and healthcare. Recognising the importance of investing in women goes beyond economic benefits; it is a fundamental human rights issue crucial for fostering inclusive societies.  The COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical conflicts, climate disasters, and economic instability have collectively pushed an additional 75 million people into poverty since 2020. Without urgent action, it is projected that more than 342 million women and girls will fall below the poverty line by 2030, further widening the gap in accessible sexual and reproductive rights and health. The International Planned Parenthood Federation’s (IPPF) 'Come Together - Strategic Plan 2028' is a comprehensive blueprint for supporting young people in realising their Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). The strategy emphasises 'youth-led' and 'youth-centred' programming, recognising the importance of empowering young people to have control over all aspects of their sexual and reproductive health. This approach is crucial for walking shoulder to shoulder with young people and communities facing stigma and prejudice. The panel discussion, moderated by Ashleigh Mar-Chang, Vice Chairperson of YSNAP, was enriched by insights from youth leaders across the region, emphasising the importance of inclusivity, engaging men and boys in gender equality, and including young people in decision-making processes for meaningful change. Inspiring Inclusivity: Creating Safe and Accessible Spaces  Aarefa Shiraz, a youth networker from IPPF South Asia, emphasised the critical role of inclusivity in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). She said inclusivity means that safe spaces in healthcare settings respect young individuals' autonomy and offer non-judgmental support. She envisions a future where inclusivity is intersectional, ensuring that every voice is heard and everyone is treated with respect and dignity. She highlighted the importance of young people freely expressing their individuality and sexuality, acknowledging the long history of women battling patriarchy and misogyny to achieve recognition and equal compensation for their work. Despite significant progress since the fight for women's rights to vote, she notes that much work remains to ensure that women and young people can safely express their identities and are compensated equally for their work, comparable to their male counterparts. Engaging Men and Boys for Gender Equality  Ly Teang Cheng, Project Coordinator of the Cambodia Men’s Network Program, discussed the critical role of men and boys in advancing gender equality. By challenging gender stereotypes and addressing toxic masculinity, he emphasised the need for societal change that includes men and boys as allies. This approach involves community engagement, advocacy, and capacity building to foster a more inclusive society. It also includes mobilising intergenerational support from fathers, grandfathers, and youth on topics of intersectionality and sexual and gender-based violence. The importance of men as allies cannot be overstated; their involvement is crucial in dismantling systemic barriers to equality and promoting a culture of respect and understanding across genders. Including Young People in Decision-Making Fa’atauva’a Sale (Ashlie), Youth Support Secretary at the Samoa Family Health Association (SFHA), emphasised the importance of including young people in policy and decision-making processes to create meaningful change, empowering them to actively participate in their communities and promote a sense of ownership. She highlighted the critical need to address the stigma surrounding SRHR conversations and discrimination, particularly in Samoa and across the Pacific. Tackling these issues is essential for fostering an environment where young people feel safe and supported in seeking information and services related to their sexual and reproductive health. Additionally, Grace Aumua, the youth focal person at SFHA, underscored the importance of treating youth with respect and kindness, actively encouraging diverse perspectives.  The International Women's Day panel discussion served as a powerful platform to address the challenges and achievements in women's health and rights. The virtual event underscored the collective effort required to advance SRHR in the Asia Pacific region and beyond by focusing on inclusivity, engaging diverse stakeholders, and empowering young voices.     For more information, contact: Malarvili Meganathan,  Regional Communications, Voice & Media Advisor, East, Southeast Asia and Oceania Region [email protected]

YSNAP WOMEN'S DAY BANNER
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| 11 March 2024

Equality Now: Youth Leaders Call for Reproductive Justice Across Asia Pacific

The Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Network in East & Southeast Asia and the Pacific (YSNAP) organised a virtual panel discussion to mark International Women's Day under the theme of 'Inspire Inclusion', featuring participation by young advocates and leaders from across the region. The dialogue centred on ensuring equitable access to youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and addressing the complex intersections of poverty, reproductive health, and justice.  The Asia Pacific region, home to more than 60% of the global youth, stands at a crucial juncture. A significant barrier to achieving gender equality by 2030 is the alarming lack of investment in initiatives aimed at addressing discrimination and ensuring equal access to education and healthcare. Recognising the importance of investing in women goes beyond economic benefits; it is a fundamental human rights issue crucial for fostering inclusive societies.  The COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical conflicts, climate disasters, and economic instability have collectively pushed an additional 75 million people into poverty since 2020. Without urgent action, it is projected that more than 342 million women and girls will fall below the poverty line by 2030, further widening the gap in accessible sexual and reproductive rights and health. The International Planned Parenthood Federation’s (IPPF) 'Come Together - Strategic Plan 2028' is a comprehensive blueprint for supporting young people in realising their Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). The strategy emphasises 'youth-led' and 'youth-centred' programming, recognising the importance of empowering young people to have control over all aspects of their sexual and reproductive health. This approach is crucial for walking shoulder to shoulder with young people and communities facing stigma and prejudice. The panel discussion, moderated by Ashleigh Mar-Chang, Vice Chairperson of YSNAP, was enriched by insights from youth leaders across the region, emphasising the importance of inclusivity, engaging men and boys in gender equality, and including young people in decision-making processes for meaningful change. Inspiring Inclusivity: Creating Safe and Accessible Spaces  Aarefa Shiraz, a youth networker from IPPF South Asia, emphasised the critical role of inclusivity in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). She said inclusivity means that safe spaces in healthcare settings respect young individuals' autonomy and offer non-judgmental support. She envisions a future where inclusivity is intersectional, ensuring that every voice is heard and everyone is treated with respect and dignity. She highlighted the importance of young people freely expressing their individuality and sexuality, acknowledging the long history of women battling patriarchy and misogyny to achieve recognition and equal compensation for their work. Despite significant progress since the fight for women's rights to vote, she notes that much work remains to ensure that women and young people can safely express their identities and are compensated equally for their work, comparable to their male counterparts. Engaging Men and Boys for Gender Equality  Ly Teang Cheng, Project Coordinator of the Cambodia Men’s Network Program, discussed the critical role of men and boys in advancing gender equality. By challenging gender stereotypes and addressing toxic masculinity, he emphasised the need for societal change that includes men and boys as allies. This approach involves community engagement, advocacy, and capacity building to foster a more inclusive society. It also includes mobilising intergenerational support from fathers, grandfathers, and youth on topics of intersectionality and sexual and gender-based violence. The importance of men as allies cannot be overstated; their involvement is crucial in dismantling systemic barriers to equality and promoting a culture of respect and understanding across genders. Including Young People in Decision-Making Fa’atauva’a Sale (Ashlie), Youth Support Secretary at the Samoa Family Health Association (SFHA), emphasised the importance of including young people in policy and decision-making processes to create meaningful change, empowering them to actively participate in their communities and promote a sense of ownership. She highlighted the critical need to address the stigma surrounding SRHR conversations and discrimination, particularly in Samoa and across the Pacific. Tackling these issues is essential for fostering an environment where young people feel safe and supported in seeking information and services related to their sexual and reproductive health. Additionally, Grace Aumua, the youth focal person at SFHA, underscored the importance of treating youth with respect and kindness, actively encouraging diverse perspectives.  The International Women's Day panel discussion served as a powerful platform to address the challenges and achievements in women's health and rights. The virtual event underscored the collective effort required to advance SRHR in the Asia Pacific region and beyond by focusing on inclusivity, engaging diverse stakeholders, and empowering young voices.     For more information, contact: Malarvili Meganathan,  Regional Communications, Voice & Media Advisor, East, Southeast Asia and Oceania Region [email protected]

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| 11 November 2023

Empowering Content Creators in Low-Resource Settings Through Community-Driven Strategies in Asia Pacific

  The Asia-Pacific Digital Sexuality Education Bootcamp for Content Creators (DESIRE Bootcamp 2023) brought together 96 participants from the region, including educators and advocates. Organised by UNFPA Asia-Pacific Regional Office and UNFPA Indonesia, the event aimed to foster partnerships and promote collective learning.  The bootcamp provided content creators with the tools needed to positively impact Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health (AYSRH) in the region through sessions held on November 4th, 5th, and 11th. The first session, led by IPPF ESEAOR, addressed challenges faced by marginalised youth and underscored community-driven solutions.  In his opening remarks, Pio Smith, Regional Director, UNFPA Asia and the Pacific Office, emphasised the importance of harnessing the ever-evolving digital landscape. “In today's world, where youth are gaining unprecedented access to technology, we must leverage digital spaces to deliver accurate, non-discriminatory, age-appropriate information. Our goal transcends borders, demographics and backgrounds,” he said. Navigating the Challenges Malarvili Meganathan, Regional Communications, Voice, and Media Advisor at IPPF ESEAOR, highlighted the critical nature of addressing vital issues in low-resource settings. One key takeaway from the talk revolved around recognising the challenges faced by marginalised and underserved youths, particularly concerning access to adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health information and services. Understanding these challenges deeply emerged as a crucial step toward developing effective strategies for their resolution or mitigation, emphasising adopting a community-driven approach. Transitioning to access to education and information in the region, a report by UNFPA, UNESCO, and IPPF revealed that many young people prefer to obtain information from the internet and peers rather than relying solely on school-based education. This shift in information sources highlights the need for inclusive digital education to ensure marginalised populations, such as LGBTQIA+ individuals, refugees, migrants, people with disabilities, and indigenous communities, are not left behind in the educational framework of numerous countries. Innovative Approaches to Bridging Gaps: Community-Driven Strategies The session proposed actionable strategies to address the challenges collaboratively, including peer education programs, stakeholder collaborations, and policymakers' engagement to prioritise sexual education and digital access in low-resource settings.  Best practices encompassed those implemented by IPPF Member Associations and implementing partners, which involved collaboration with community members, consultation with village representatives in hard-to-reach areas, communication materials in local languages, utilisation of community radios, establishment of public-private partnerships, hands-on training in content editing, and outreach sessions with young people in Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Fiji and the Solomon Islands. Zaira Mendez, Social Media Manager at the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP), led a hands-on session to develop innovative methods for creating digital sexuality education content in low-resource settings, drawing inspiration from FPOP's success in engaging young people, especially in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA) supported by the Australian government-funded RESPOND project. These areas include hard-to-reach communities, both geographically and socially, due to uneven socio-economic development. In the interactive session, participants explored various content creation strategies tailored to the unique needs and challenges of these communities. They brainstormed ideas for informative videos, infographics, and quizzes, effectively conveying essential sexual education information. These efforts aim to empower young people with accurate knowledge, enabling them to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.   The session concluded on a high note, with participants demonstrating their strong commitment to positively impacting digital sexuality education. This commitment sets the stage for future partnerships and collaborations to strengthen content creation in the Asia-Pacific region, ensuring equitable access to essential sexual and reproductive health information for all.

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| 11 November 2023

Empowering Content Creators in Low-Resource Settings Through Community-Driven Strategies in Asia Pacific

  The Asia-Pacific Digital Sexuality Education Bootcamp for Content Creators (DESIRE Bootcamp 2023) brought together 96 participants from the region, including educators and advocates. Organised by UNFPA Asia-Pacific Regional Office and UNFPA Indonesia, the event aimed to foster partnerships and promote collective learning.  The bootcamp provided content creators with the tools needed to positively impact Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health (AYSRH) in the region through sessions held on November 4th, 5th, and 11th. The first session, led by IPPF ESEAOR, addressed challenges faced by marginalised youth and underscored community-driven solutions.  In his opening remarks, Pio Smith, Regional Director, UNFPA Asia and the Pacific Office, emphasised the importance of harnessing the ever-evolving digital landscape. “In today's world, where youth are gaining unprecedented access to technology, we must leverage digital spaces to deliver accurate, non-discriminatory, age-appropriate information. Our goal transcends borders, demographics and backgrounds,” he said. Navigating the Challenges Malarvili Meganathan, Regional Communications, Voice, and Media Advisor at IPPF ESEAOR, highlighted the critical nature of addressing vital issues in low-resource settings. One key takeaway from the talk revolved around recognising the challenges faced by marginalised and underserved youths, particularly concerning access to adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health information and services. Understanding these challenges deeply emerged as a crucial step toward developing effective strategies for their resolution or mitigation, emphasising adopting a community-driven approach. Transitioning to access to education and information in the region, a report by UNFPA, UNESCO, and IPPF revealed that many young people prefer to obtain information from the internet and peers rather than relying solely on school-based education. This shift in information sources highlights the need for inclusive digital education to ensure marginalised populations, such as LGBTQIA+ individuals, refugees, migrants, people with disabilities, and indigenous communities, are not left behind in the educational framework of numerous countries. Innovative Approaches to Bridging Gaps: Community-Driven Strategies The session proposed actionable strategies to address the challenges collaboratively, including peer education programs, stakeholder collaborations, and policymakers' engagement to prioritise sexual education and digital access in low-resource settings.  Best practices encompassed those implemented by IPPF Member Associations and implementing partners, which involved collaboration with community members, consultation with village representatives in hard-to-reach areas, communication materials in local languages, utilisation of community radios, establishment of public-private partnerships, hands-on training in content editing, and outreach sessions with young people in Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Fiji and the Solomon Islands. Zaira Mendez, Social Media Manager at the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP), led a hands-on session to develop innovative methods for creating digital sexuality education content in low-resource settings, drawing inspiration from FPOP's success in engaging young people, especially in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA) supported by the Australian government-funded RESPOND project. These areas include hard-to-reach communities, both geographically and socially, due to uneven socio-economic development. In the interactive session, participants explored various content creation strategies tailored to the unique needs and challenges of these communities. They brainstormed ideas for informative videos, infographics, and quizzes, effectively conveying essential sexual education information. These efforts aim to empower young people with accurate knowledge, enabling them to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.   The session concluded on a high note, with participants demonstrating their strong commitment to positively impacting digital sexuality education. This commitment sets the stage for future partnerships and collaborations to strengthen content creation in the Asia-Pacific region, ensuring equitable access to essential sexual and reproductive health information for all.

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| 17 January 2023

IPPF welcomes new Executive Director for Planned Parenthood Association Thailand (PPAT)

Planned Parenthood Association Thailand (PPAT) has a new Executive Director! Please join us in welcoming Dr. Nanthakan Sungsuman Woodham into the IPPF and PPAT families. Dr. Woodham has been associated with PPAT since 2019, in multiple capacities, including Deputy Executive Director. Dr. Woodham will continue to promote the values and principles of PPAT and continue to strengthen relationships with the government, partners, non-government organisations, and the public and private sectors. We are excited and we look forward to continuously work with Dr. Woodham in advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights in Thailand!

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| 17 January 2023

IPPF welcomes new Executive Director for Planned Parenthood Association Thailand (PPAT)

Planned Parenthood Association Thailand (PPAT) has a new Executive Director! Please join us in welcoming Dr. Nanthakan Sungsuman Woodham into the IPPF and PPAT families. Dr. Woodham has been associated with PPAT since 2019, in multiple capacities, including Deputy Executive Director. Dr. Woodham will continue to promote the values and principles of PPAT and continue to strengthen relationships with the government, partners, non-government organisations, and the public and private sectors. We are excited and we look forward to continuously work with Dr. Woodham in advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights in Thailand!

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| 16 January 2023

Celebrating 30th anniversary of VINAFPA in Vietnam

The Vietnam Family Planning Association (VINAFPA) commemorated its 30th anniversary with a ceremony on January 11, 2023, in Hanoi. More than 250 delegates from different Ministries, students and faculty members from academic institutions, CSOs, factory representatives, print and social media, social activists and volunteers and staff of the Association participated. The association's pivotal role in shaping policy changes in Vietnam on family planning, reproductive health, women's development and rights, and other social issues was emphasised by Dr. Pham Ba Nhat, President of VINAFPA. Through a diverse range of delivery channels, including clinics, mobile units, associated health facilities, and CBDs in 37 branches throughout Vietnam, VINAFPA has made impressive strides in improving access to SRH information, education, and clinical services over the years. A documentary film on 30 years of VINAFPA was also screened during the event. Ms. Tomoko Fukuda, Regional Director, IPPF ESEAOR, commended VINAFPA for its noteworthy efforts in addressing the SRHR of women, men, and young people in Vietnam, especially those from marginalised and underrepresented communities. She emphasised the importance of putting young people at the centre of SRHR programming and extending access to vulnerable groups like LGBTQI people, people with disabilities, indigenous people, and migrants and internally displaced people as well as highlighting the key elements of the IPPF Strategic Framework (2023-28). She continued by explaining that given Vietnam's declining fertility rates and reduced rates of maternal and infant mortality, it is critical that VINAFPA step up its advocacy for SRHR, particularly by ensuring access to contraceptive options and expanding fertility services (including infertility) in accordance with the life cycle approach. The event reached its end with short speeches from partner organisations and representatives of government agencies followed by a photography session to commemorate this day.

VINAFPA on stage
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| 16 January 2023

Celebrating 30th anniversary of VINAFPA in Vietnam

The Vietnam Family Planning Association (VINAFPA) commemorated its 30th anniversary with a ceremony on January 11, 2023, in Hanoi. More than 250 delegates from different Ministries, students and faculty members from academic institutions, CSOs, factory representatives, print and social media, social activists and volunteers and staff of the Association participated. The association's pivotal role in shaping policy changes in Vietnam on family planning, reproductive health, women's development and rights, and other social issues was emphasised by Dr. Pham Ba Nhat, President of VINAFPA. Through a diverse range of delivery channels, including clinics, mobile units, associated health facilities, and CBDs in 37 branches throughout Vietnam, VINAFPA has made impressive strides in improving access to SRH information, education, and clinical services over the years. A documentary film on 30 years of VINAFPA was also screened during the event. Ms. Tomoko Fukuda, Regional Director, IPPF ESEAOR, commended VINAFPA for its noteworthy efforts in addressing the SRHR of women, men, and young people in Vietnam, especially those from marginalised and underrepresented communities. She emphasised the importance of putting young people at the centre of SRHR programming and extending access to vulnerable groups like LGBTQI people, people with disabilities, indigenous people, and migrants and internally displaced people as well as highlighting the key elements of the IPPF Strategic Framework (2023-28). She continued by explaining that given Vietnam's declining fertility rates and reduced rates of maternal and infant mortality, it is critical that VINAFPA step up its advocacy for SRHR, particularly by ensuring access to contraceptive options and expanding fertility services (including infertility) in accordance with the life cycle approach. The event reached its end with short speeches from partner organisations and representatives of government agencies followed by a photography session to commemorate this day.

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| 08 November 2022

The Global Forum on International Population Trends and ODA (with focus on Young People) at the National Assembly, Republic of Korea

The Global Forum on International Population Trends and ODA – Marriage and Gender Perceptions of Young People in the 3 Asian Countries (Korea, Mongolia and Vietnam) was held on 4th November 2022 at the National Assembly, Seoul. It was co-hosted by Korea Population, Health and Welfare Association (KoPHWA – IPPF MA) and Korean Parliamentary League on Children, Population and Environment (CPE). The event opened with a congratulatory remark from Mr. Lee In-young, the chairman of CPE and member of the Democratic Party of Korea. This was followed by a remark from Mr. Kim Chang-soon, President of KOPHWA. Mr. Kim emphasized the significance of the event and encouraged continual cooperation among parties who attended the event.    ESEAOR, Director Programmes and Performance Dr Jameel gave an opening presentation on International Population Trends and IPPF Programme to address SRHR of young people. There are nearly one billion adolescent and young people aged 10 – 24 years living in 31 low- and middle-income countries in Asia and the Pacific, accounting for 53% of the world’s adolescent and youth. He emphasised on youth centered approach, preventing and addressing unintended pregnancies among adolescents and increasing international development assistance to young people. KOPHWA's lead researcher, Ms. Jung Yuri, presented the results of an online survey conducted from October 6th to 14th among 1,003 young people in South Korea, Vietnam and Mongolia. The survey was conducted to investigate the experience of and perception towards sexual reproductive health of young people in their 20's across the three Asian nations. The survey showed a need for sexual reproductive health education and increased availability of medical services. The presentation concluded by highlighting the importance of ODA and recommending sexual reproductive health policy that contextualizes the changing perceptions of the young people in their respective countries.      Following KOPHWA's presentation, Mr. Phuong Thi Thu Huong—consultant for the VINAFPA—and Ms. Munkhtsetseg Batmunkh—Executive Director of MFWA—presented on "Imbalanced sex ratio at birth in Vietnam and Cooperation with Korea" and "Mongolia's current state of SRHR", respectively. There was a discussion with Mr. Sodchimeg Khongor—representing Vietnam—and Ms. Nguyen Van Truong—representing Mongolia—to better understand thoughts and concerns of the young people in the current times about marriage and sexual reproductive health. The event ended with a discussion with Mr. Cho Hyungyu representing KOICA about the importance of and the need for ODA to improve the sexual reproductive health of young people in Asia.

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| 08 November 2022

The Global Forum on International Population Trends and ODA (with focus on Young People) at the National Assembly, Republic of Korea

The Global Forum on International Population Trends and ODA – Marriage and Gender Perceptions of Young People in the 3 Asian Countries (Korea, Mongolia and Vietnam) was held on 4th November 2022 at the National Assembly, Seoul. It was co-hosted by Korea Population, Health and Welfare Association (KoPHWA – IPPF MA) and Korean Parliamentary League on Children, Population and Environment (CPE). The event opened with a congratulatory remark from Mr. Lee In-young, the chairman of CPE and member of the Democratic Party of Korea. This was followed by a remark from Mr. Kim Chang-soon, President of KOPHWA. Mr. Kim emphasized the significance of the event and encouraged continual cooperation among parties who attended the event.    ESEAOR, Director Programmes and Performance Dr Jameel gave an opening presentation on International Population Trends and IPPF Programme to address SRHR of young people. There are nearly one billion adolescent and young people aged 10 – 24 years living in 31 low- and middle-income countries in Asia and the Pacific, accounting for 53% of the world’s adolescent and youth. He emphasised on youth centered approach, preventing and addressing unintended pregnancies among adolescents and increasing international development assistance to young people. KOPHWA's lead researcher, Ms. Jung Yuri, presented the results of an online survey conducted from October 6th to 14th among 1,003 young people in South Korea, Vietnam and Mongolia. The survey was conducted to investigate the experience of and perception towards sexual reproductive health of young people in their 20's across the three Asian nations. The survey showed a need for sexual reproductive health education and increased availability of medical services. The presentation concluded by highlighting the importance of ODA and recommending sexual reproductive health policy that contextualizes the changing perceptions of the young people in their respective countries.      Following KOPHWA's presentation, Mr. Phuong Thi Thu Huong—consultant for the VINAFPA—and Ms. Munkhtsetseg Batmunkh—Executive Director of MFWA—presented on "Imbalanced sex ratio at birth in Vietnam and Cooperation with Korea" and "Mongolia's current state of SRHR", respectively. There was a discussion with Mr. Sodchimeg Khongor—representing Vietnam—and Ms. Nguyen Van Truong—representing Mongolia—to better understand thoughts and concerns of the young people in the current times about marriage and sexual reproductive health. The event ended with a discussion with Mr. Cho Hyungyu representing KOICA about the importance of and the need for ODA to improve the sexual reproductive health of young people in Asia.