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Indonesia

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Indonesia Passes Long Awaited Bill Towards Eliminating Sexual Violence

12 April 2022: Indonesia has passed the sexual violence bill into law a decade after it was first proposed. The final draft of the law criminalises physical sexual abuse, both in marriage and outside, sexual exploitation, forced marriage, including child marriage, and circulating non-consensual sexual content, amongst others. It also stipulates that a court must compel convicted abusers to pay restitution and authorities to provide counselling to victims.

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Statement of IPPF ESEAOR
news item

| 07 October 2020

Statement of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, East and South East Asia & Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR)

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) congratulates the World Health Organization – Western Pacific Region for convening this Regional Committee meeting amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We commend WHO’s leadership, dedication, and commitment in coordinating the COVID-19 response in the region and providing clear, science-based guidance to all its Member-States. In the Western Pacific Region, access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services such as antenatal care, contraception, anti-retroviral treatment, and safe abortion, has suffered significantly. As the breadth of the pandemic continues to unfold and the true impacts emerge, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) must be a priority concern to ensure that women and girls and other vulnerable groups will have uninterrupted access to life-saving SRH services without discrimination. Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is a fundamental human right. We call on Member States to adequately invest in, and ensure sustained financing for, sexual and reproductive health care of women, girls and other marginalised and vulnerable populations. COVID-19 disproportionately affects women and girls and exacerbates existing inequalities and discrimination of the most marginalized groups. The COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent movement control orders or lockdowns, increases the risk of abuse and exploitation, such as intimate partner violence due to heightened tensions in the household and harmful practices such as child marriage especially for girls in disadvantaged and hard to reach areas. Member States comply with international standards and commitments to provide SGBV and SRH services as part of the package of essential services provided during any emergency, in the aftermath and integrate such services into the essential health package. IPPF is committed to doing its share on the global and regional response. As the largest sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service provider among civil society organizations globally, our health workers are on the frontlines to ensure women and girls, the poor and most vulnerable and marginalised are not denied these essential services during the pandemic. These are extraordinary times and our efforts are not without challenges and significant resource constraints where the role of the global architecture is more important than ever to ensure global solidarity. We urge Member States to implement WHO guidance and international commitments to ensure uninterrupted access to a comprehensive suite of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care and commodities during the COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery leaving no one behind. Tomoko Fukuda, Regional Director

Statement of IPPF ESEAOR
news_item

| 07 October 2020

Statement of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, East and South East Asia & Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR)

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) congratulates the World Health Organization – Western Pacific Region for convening this Regional Committee meeting amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We commend WHO’s leadership, dedication, and commitment in coordinating the COVID-19 response in the region and providing clear, science-based guidance to all its Member-States. In the Western Pacific Region, access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services such as antenatal care, contraception, anti-retroviral treatment, and safe abortion, has suffered significantly. As the breadth of the pandemic continues to unfold and the true impacts emerge, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) must be a priority concern to ensure that women and girls and other vulnerable groups will have uninterrupted access to life-saving SRH services without discrimination. Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is a fundamental human right. We call on Member States to adequately invest in, and ensure sustained financing for, sexual and reproductive health care of women, girls and other marginalised and vulnerable populations. COVID-19 disproportionately affects women and girls and exacerbates existing inequalities and discrimination of the most marginalized groups. The COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent movement control orders or lockdowns, increases the risk of abuse and exploitation, such as intimate partner violence due to heightened tensions in the household and harmful practices such as child marriage especially for girls in disadvantaged and hard to reach areas. Member States comply with international standards and commitments to provide SGBV and SRH services as part of the package of essential services provided during any emergency, in the aftermath and integrate such services into the essential health package. IPPF is committed to doing its share on the global and regional response. As the largest sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service provider among civil society organizations globally, our health workers are on the frontlines to ensure women and girls, the poor and most vulnerable and marginalised are not denied these essential services during the pandemic. These are extraordinary times and our efforts are not without challenges and significant resource constraints where the role of the global architecture is more important than ever to ensure global solidarity. We urge Member States to implement WHO guidance and international commitments to ensure uninterrupted access to a comprehensive suite of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care and commodities during the COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery leaving no one behind. Tomoko Fukuda, Regional Director

COVID-19 Response Issue #2
news item

| 03 July 2020

COVID-19 Response Issue #2: Situation in East Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific, June 2020

This is the second update from the ESEAO Regional Office on the situation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We highlight the impact of COVID-19 on the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of Youth and Adolescents and a closer view of IPPF Member Associations’ youth-led initiatives providing essential sexual and reproductive health care through uninterrupted SRH service delivery, dissemination of accurate SRH information, and provision of sexuality education through online platforms and social media. To read the full update, click here.

COVID-19 Response Issue #2
news_item

| 03 July 2020

COVID-19 Response Issue #2: Situation in East Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific, June 2020

This is the second update from the ESEAO Regional Office on the situation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We highlight the impact of COVID-19 on the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of Youth and Adolescents and a closer view of IPPF Member Associations’ youth-led initiatives providing essential sexual and reproductive health care through uninterrupted SRH service delivery, dissemination of accurate SRH information, and provision of sexuality education through online platforms and social media. To read the full update, click here.

IPPF
news item

| 08 June 2020

IPPF members see opponents of sexual and reproductive health and rights step-up pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic

New data from the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) reveals how opponents of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) around the world are attempting to use the COVID-19 pandemic as cover to try to push back against progressive reforms.  The latest IPPF survey of its worldwide membership on COVID-19 reveals that opponents of SRHR are employing a range of tactics to try to undermine sexual and reproductive rights. This includes spreading misinformation (18 members), framing the pandemic as an opportunity to reinforce traditional values (15), increasing discrimination against vulnerable populations (10), pushing for regressive measures against SRHR (eight) and blocking progressive debates on SRHR laws and policies (seven). One member reported social media platforms being used to spread a message that “COVID-19 is the answer from God on abortion.” Another reported opposition attempting to prevent the passage of a bill covering violence against women through parliament, claiming the pandemic was a “Dictate from the West” and passage of the bill contrary to Sharia Law.  The spreading of false information includes: The distribution of fake leaflets with health ministry logos among vulnerable groups, stating they are not at risk from COVID-19. The use of social media messages to claim safe abortion services will infect women with COVID-19. The spread of anti-contraception messages mixed in with disinformation about COVID-19 Attempts to block or slow legislature and policies include limiting progress in the passage of a bill to abolish anti-abortion laws and attempts to exclude abortion from national guidelines on sexual and reproductive care during the pandemic. One member reported that political opponents of sexual and reproductive rights were using “all communication and legislative spaces to validate discourses that position women in domestic tasks” by claiming: “the pandemic has allowed us to reassess the important role that women play in their homes for families.” IPPF members are resisting this opposition and defending laws and policies that support SRHR. 61 members report working with governments to ensure continuation of sexual and reproductive health provision service provision and 31 say they have contributed to policies or changes in legislation in support or defence of SRHR and gender equality since January 2020. 59 members reported advocating to ensure the continuation of access to sexual and reproductive healthcare for under-served and vulnerable groups during the pandemic and 54 members said they were advocating for ways to combat sexual and gender-based violence, which threatens more women and girls in lockdown.  The pandemic continues to have a huge impact on the delivery of sexual and reproductive healthcare around the world. 52 members rated the reduction of their capacity to deliver services as “critical or severe” – meaning at least 50 percent of their operations had been reduced or impacted. Only two members, less than one per cent, in countries with small numbers of COVID-19 infections, reported no impact on them. Other headlines include: 19 members report having to dismiss or suspend staff. 32 members say they are facing stockouts of short-acting contraceptives such as the oral contraceptives, emergency contraception and condoms. 26 members report stockouts of long-acting contraception such as intrauterine devices and implants. 5,440 service delivery points across all IPPF members are closed, 11 per cent of the total number of all IPPF service delivery points. 238 static clinics, which provide a wide range of services, remain closed. 546 were reported closed in IPPF’s March survey of members. Only eight members are still able to delivery comprehensive sexuality education in schools, even with social distancing. 67 members are now delivering comprehensive sexuality education through digital and social platforms.  IPPF’s Director General Dr Alvaro Bermejo said: “This data shows how hard IPPF members are working to find ways to overcome the impact of COVID-19, but also how severe the impact remains.    Reopening hundreds of static clinics is a huge achievement, as is the change by members to deliver vitally needs comprehensive sexuality education through digital and social channels when many schools remain closed.   However innovative IPPF members are, they cannot hope to offset the effect of this pandemic without additional support. This can only be addressed with the effective supply of commodities, to ensure stockouts are avoided and access to services for all IPPF clients is continued.    Support from governments is also critical, in particular in responding to the opposition who are trying to use the cover of COVID-19 to chip away at sexual and reproductive rights. Extremist views which seek to rob women and girls of their human rights and undermine their ability to access vital sexual and reproductive healthcare must be resisted.    Many governments do already take a positive stand in defence of women and girls and have gone further during this pandemic to support access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, such as access to telemedicine. IPPF calls on all governments to adopt such sensible and practical measures to make it easier for women and girls to get the care they need so badly in these difficult times, and to ignore the voices of coercive opponents who seek to impose their radical views on others.”

IPPF
news_item

| 08 June 2020

IPPF members see opponents of sexual and reproductive health and rights step-up pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic

New data from the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) reveals how opponents of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) around the world are attempting to use the COVID-19 pandemic as cover to try to push back against progressive reforms.  The latest IPPF survey of its worldwide membership on COVID-19 reveals that opponents of SRHR are employing a range of tactics to try to undermine sexual and reproductive rights. This includes spreading misinformation (18 members), framing the pandemic as an opportunity to reinforce traditional values (15), increasing discrimination against vulnerable populations (10), pushing for regressive measures against SRHR (eight) and blocking progressive debates on SRHR laws and policies (seven). One member reported social media platforms being used to spread a message that “COVID-19 is the answer from God on abortion.” Another reported opposition attempting to prevent the passage of a bill covering violence against women through parliament, claiming the pandemic was a “Dictate from the West” and passage of the bill contrary to Sharia Law.  The spreading of false information includes: The distribution of fake leaflets with health ministry logos among vulnerable groups, stating they are not at risk from COVID-19. The use of social media messages to claim safe abortion services will infect women with COVID-19. The spread of anti-contraception messages mixed in with disinformation about COVID-19 Attempts to block or slow legislature and policies include limiting progress in the passage of a bill to abolish anti-abortion laws and attempts to exclude abortion from national guidelines on sexual and reproductive care during the pandemic. One member reported that political opponents of sexual and reproductive rights were using “all communication and legislative spaces to validate discourses that position women in domestic tasks” by claiming: “the pandemic has allowed us to reassess the important role that women play in their homes for families.” IPPF members are resisting this opposition and defending laws and policies that support SRHR. 61 members report working with governments to ensure continuation of sexual and reproductive health provision service provision and 31 say they have contributed to policies or changes in legislation in support or defence of SRHR and gender equality since January 2020. 59 members reported advocating to ensure the continuation of access to sexual and reproductive healthcare for under-served and vulnerable groups during the pandemic and 54 members said they were advocating for ways to combat sexual and gender-based violence, which threatens more women and girls in lockdown.  The pandemic continues to have a huge impact on the delivery of sexual and reproductive healthcare around the world. 52 members rated the reduction of their capacity to deliver services as “critical or severe” – meaning at least 50 percent of their operations had been reduced or impacted. Only two members, less than one per cent, in countries with small numbers of COVID-19 infections, reported no impact on them. Other headlines include: 19 members report having to dismiss or suspend staff. 32 members say they are facing stockouts of short-acting contraceptives such as the oral contraceptives, emergency contraception and condoms. 26 members report stockouts of long-acting contraception such as intrauterine devices and implants. 5,440 service delivery points across all IPPF members are closed, 11 per cent of the total number of all IPPF service delivery points. 238 static clinics, which provide a wide range of services, remain closed. 546 were reported closed in IPPF’s March survey of members. Only eight members are still able to delivery comprehensive sexuality education in schools, even with social distancing. 67 members are now delivering comprehensive sexuality education through digital and social platforms.  IPPF’s Director General Dr Alvaro Bermejo said: “This data shows how hard IPPF members are working to find ways to overcome the impact of COVID-19, but also how severe the impact remains.    Reopening hundreds of static clinics is a huge achievement, as is the change by members to deliver vitally needs comprehensive sexuality education through digital and social channels when many schools remain closed.   However innovative IPPF members are, they cannot hope to offset the effect of this pandemic without additional support. This can only be addressed with the effective supply of commodities, to ensure stockouts are avoided and access to services for all IPPF clients is continued.    Support from governments is also critical, in particular in responding to the opposition who are trying to use the cover of COVID-19 to chip away at sexual and reproductive rights. Extremist views which seek to rob women and girls of their human rights and undermine their ability to access vital sexual and reproductive healthcare must be resisted.    Many governments do already take a positive stand in defence of women and girls and have gone further during this pandemic to support access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, such as access to telemedicine. IPPF calls on all governments to adopt such sensible and practical measures to make it easier for women and girls to get the care they need so badly in these difficult times, and to ignore the voices of coercive opponents who seek to impose their radical views on others.”

UN Logo
news item

| 20 May 2020

IPPF condemns the US administration attempts to deny essential sexual and reproductive health to women and girls in humanitarian settings

IPPF highly condemns the letter sent by the US Acting Administrator to the UN Secretary-General asking to ‘remove references to "sexual and reproductive health" and its derivatives from the UN’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan, (Global HRP) and drop the provision of abortion as an essential component of the UN’s priorities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.' Deciding whether and when to have children – and having the options and means to act on that decision – is a fundamental human right for all people. Indeed, the ability of a woman or girl to safely decide not to continue through a full pregnancy can save their lives and may be the key that unlocks pursuing education, employment, financial security and good health. Abortion care is health care, saves lives and is essential to the 25 million women who are forced every year to go through an unsafe abortion. Including sexual and reproductive health and rights as a core part of the response to COVID-19 is fundamental. Women and girls are amongst those being most affected by the pandemic facing restrictions in access to contraceptives, an increasing incidence of sexual and gender-based violence in confinement among many other challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic particularly threatens women living in humanitarian and fragile settings who face increased vulnerability to gender-based violence and abuse including rape and are less likely to access contraception resulting in increased risk of unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion. Denying access to essential life-saving sexual and reproductive health care in humanitarian context including obstetric and newborn care, clinical care for survivors of rape, contraception, safe abortion care and HIV and sexually transmitted infections treatment and prevention, contravenes humanitarian principles and will contribute to increased maternal death and disability. IPPF’s Director-General Dr Alvaro Bermejo said: “By undermining the global efforts to control this pandemic and attempt to block sexual and reproductive health, this US administration undermines the ability of women and children around the world to live through COVID-19”. Fulfilling sexual and Reproductive health and rights is essential for women and girls to have autonomy over their own bodies, to achieve gender equality and ultimately the Sustainable Development Goals. Kate Gilmore, new chair of the IPPF’s Board says: “In this moment of global crisis, the 134 Member Associations of the International Planned Parenthood Federation join the progressive and pragmatic voices of the vast majority of countries at the World Health Assembly calling for global solidarity, universal access to health and for prioritising the needs of the people left behind. Attaining the highest possible standard of health keeps being the world’s priority.” COVID-19 is a global challenge that urges an articulated and coordinated global response led by the World Health Organization. IPPF firmly oppose any attempt to undermine this and proudly support the work of the World Health Organization in providing indispensable support to countries to guarantee health and human rights to all around the world.

UN Logo
news_item

| 20 May 2020

IPPF condemns the US administration attempts to deny essential sexual and reproductive health to women and girls in humanitarian settings

IPPF highly condemns the letter sent by the US Acting Administrator to the UN Secretary-General asking to ‘remove references to "sexual and reproductive health" and its derivatives from the UN’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan, (Global HRP) and drop the provision of abortion as an essential component of the UN’s priorities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.' Deciding whether and when to have children – and having the options and means to act on that decision – is a fundamental human right for all people. Indeed, the ability of a woman or girl to safely decide not to continue through a full pregnancy can save their lives and may be the key that unlocks pursuing education, employment, financial security and good health. Abortion care is health care, saves lives and is essential to the 25 million women who are forced every year to go through an unsafe abortion. Including sexual and reproductive health and rights as a core part of the response to COVID-19 is fundamental. Women and girls are amongst those being most affected by the pandemic facing restrictions in access to contraceptives, an increasing incidence of sexual and gender-based violence in confinement among many other challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic particularly threatens women living in humanitarian and fragile settings who face increased vulnerability to gender-based violence and abuse including rape and are less likely to access contraception resulting in increased risk of unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion. Denying access to essential life-saving sexual and reproductive health care in humanitarian context including obstetric and newborn care, clinical care for survivors of rape, contraception, safe abortion care and HIV and sexually transmitted infections treatment and prevention, contravenes humanitarian principles and will contribute to increased maternal death and disability. IPPF’s Director-General Dr Alvaro Bermejo said: “By undermining the global efforts to control this pandemic and attempt to block sexual and reproductive health, this US administration undermines the ability of women and children around the world to live through COVID-19”. Fulfilling sexual and Reproductive health and rights is essential for women and girls to have autonomy over their own bodies, to achieve gender equality and ultimately the Sustainable Development Goals. Kate Gilmore, new chair of the IPPF’s Board says: “In this moment of global crisis, the 134 Member Associations of the International Planned Parenthood Federation join the progressive and pragmatic voices of the vast majority of countries at the World Health Assembly calling for global solidarity, universal access to health and for prioritising the needs of the people left behind. Attaining the highest possible standard of health keeps being the world’s priority.” COVID-19 is a global challenge that urges an articulated and coordinated global response led by the World Health Organization. IPPF firmly oppose any attempt to undermine this and proudly support the work of the World Health Organization in providing indispensable support to countries to guarantee health and human rights to all around the world.

Kate Gilmore
news item

| 20 May 2020

IPPF announces new Board of Trustees

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has brought-in historic changes to its governance and structure after transforming itself through a year-long reform process. The changes ensure the global sexual and reproductive health NGO can now respond faster to the needs of the women, girls and marginalized people who make-up the vast majority of its clients and whom are being disproportionality affected by the COVID-19 crisis. In its final meeting, IPPF’s Governing Council agreed a new governance structure to take its place. It also endorsed a new 15-member Board of Trustees that reflect the skills and the diversity IPPF needs. Two thirds of the new board are women, and five are young people under 25. The Chair of the Board of Trustees is Kate Gilmore, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2015 to 2019. Kate Gilmore said: “It would be an extraordinary privilege to join the Board of IPPF at any time; but it is even more so now. As certain governments and other regressive influencers work to orchestrate rollback on sexual and reproductive health and rights, IPPF stands as a beacon of hope and solidarity for the fundamental dignity of women, men and young people - of people of all identities - the world over. A worldwide movement grounded in the intimacies of local realities, IPPF is unrelentingly courageous in its delivery of tangible care and principled advocacy for the sexual and reproductive health and rights of millions, even in the midst of grave humanitarian crises of conflict and contagion. To be gifted the opportunity to contribute to the continued governance of this life saving, global game-changer is truly an opportunity to be cherished. We are enormously grateful to those who prepared the way for this new Board and, in particular, pay tribute to the President and Trustees of the outgoing Governing Council for their leadership in doing so.” IPPF’s outgoing President Rana Abu Ghazaleh said: “I am grateful that we are now ready to take the Federation to the next level. In doing so we shall change so many more lives for the better. It has been a privilege to serve IPPF as a youth volunteer and Governing Council member for almost two decades in its mission and fight for women’s rights and social justice and I hand over to the new interim Chair of our new Board of Trustees with pride in the legacy we leave. I am proud of our progress and I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the task of driving us to the finish line for a brand new IPPF.” At the same time as confirming its new Board, the Federation has adopted amended regulations, procedural bylaws, and policies that embed its governance reforms. It has also appointed seven members of its new Nominations and Governance Committee (NGC), which has the mandate to lead future recruitment for its Board and its committees and review the performance of Board members. The transformation began in May 2019 when IPPF’s Governing Council responded to a groundswell of activism for reform, and sanctioned reviews of its governance structure and its resource allocation model. The parallel reviews recommended sweeping changes at a meeting of all the Federation’s 134 national members in New Delhi last November. It agreed unanimously to approve the proposals, with a six-month deadline to have them all in place. IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo said: “In the space of 12 months our Federation has transformed itself from within. It has designed, agreed and now implemented the most sweeping changes to how it is governed and how it is run. For any organization, responding with courage and integrity to the need for reform is a challenge; and many fail to do so. This is the result of a desire and determination from across our Federation and community to build a new future. Volunteers, young people, staff and partners mobilized to breathe life into a new IPPF. This is a new era for IPPF, one that is grounded in our membership and more strategically positioned to focus on the needs of those we serve. With the crisis of COVID-19, they have never needed us more. We already know that women and girls are being disproportionately affected by this pandemic. They are facing more gender-based violence, the majority of risk in frontline health provision and a lack of time, lack of choice and lack of access to essential sexual and reproductive health services.” Arecent survey of IPPF members found that 5,633 static and mobile clinics and community-based care outlets had closed because of the pandemic, across 64 countries. Dozens of IPPF’s members reported they had been forced to cut sexual and reproductive healthcare services as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. In response IPPF established an emergency fund to provide PPE to members in need and began coordinating a Federation-wide response through a COVID-19 Taskforce.

Kate Gilmore
news_item

| 19 May 2020

IPPF announces new Board of Trustees

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has brought-in historic changes to its governance and structure after transforming itself through a year-long reform process. The changes ensure the global sexual and reproductive health NGO can now respond faster to the needs of the women, girls and marginalized people who make-up the vast majority of its clients and whom are being disproportionality affected by the COVID-19 crisis. In its final meeting, IPPF’s Governing Council agreed a new governance structure to take its place. It also endorsed a new 15-member Board of Trustees that reflect the skills and the diversity IPPF needs. Two thirds of the new board are women, and five are young people under 25. The Chair of the Board of Trustees is Kate Gilmore, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2015 to 2019. Kate Gilmore said: “It would be an extraordinary privilege to join the Board of IPPF at any time; but it is even more so now. As certain governments and other regressive influencers work to orchestrate rollback on sexual and reproductive health and rights, IPPF stands as a beacon of hope and solidarity for the fundamental dignity of women, men and young people - of people of all identities - the world over. A worldwide movement grounded in the intimacies of local realities, IPPF is unrelentingly courageous in its delivery of tangible care and principled advocacy for the sexual and reproductive health and rights of millions, even in the midst of grave humanitarian crises of conflict and contagion. To be gifted the opportunity to contribute to the continued governance of this life saving, global game-changer is truly an opportunity to be cherished. We are enormously grateful to those who prepared the way for this new Board and, in particular, pay tribute to the President and Trustees of the outgoing Governing Council for their leadership in doing so.” IPPF’s outgoing President Rana Abu Ghazaleh said: “I am grateful that we are now ready to take the Federation to the next level. In doing so we shall change so many more lives for the better. It has been a privilege to serve IPPF as a youth volunteer and Governing Council member for almost two decades in its mission and fight for women’s rights and social justice and I hand over to the new interim Chair of our new Board of Trustees with pride in the legacy we leave. I am proud of our progress and I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the task of driving us to the finish line for a brand new IPPF.” At the same time as confirming its new Board, the Federation has adopted amended regulations, procedural bylaws, and policies that embed its governance reforms. It has also appointed seven members of its new Nominations and Governance Committee (NGC), which has the mandate to lead future recruitment for its Board and its committees and review the performance of Board members. The transformation began in May 2019 when IPPF’s Governing Council responded to a groundswell of activism for reform, and sanctioned reviews of its governance structure and its resource allocation model. The parallel reviews recommended sweeping changes at a meeting of all the Federation’s 134 national members in New Delhi last November. It agreed unanimously to approve the proposals, with a six-month deadline to have them all in place. IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo said: “In the space of 12 months our Federation has transformed itself from within. It has designed, agreed and now implemented the most sweeping changes to how it is governed and how it is run. For any organization, responding with courage and integrity to the need for reform is a challenge; and many fail to do so. This is the result of a desire and determination from across our Federation and community to build a new future. Volunteers, young people, staff and partners mobilized to breathe life into a new IPPF. This is a new era for IPPF, one that is grounded in our membership and more strategically positioned to focus on the needs of those we serve. With the crisis of COVID-19, they have never needed us more. We already know that women and girls are being disproportionately affected by this pandemic. They are facing more gender-based violence, the majority of risk in frontline health provision and a lack of time, lack of choice and lack of access to essential sexual and reproductive health services.” Arecent survey of IPPF members found that 5,633 static and mobile clinics and community-based care outlets had closed because of the pandemic, across 64 countries. Dozens of IPPF’s members reported they had been forced to cut sexual and reproductive healthcare services as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. In response IPPF established an emergency fund to provide PPE to members in need and began coordinating a Federation-wide response through a COVID-19 Taskforce.

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
news item

| 18 May 2020

IPPF is committed to fighting homophobia and transphobia worldwide

Today marks the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT), a day to draw attention to the discrimination and violence experienced by the LGBTI community. The day represents a major global annual landmark to draw the attention of decision makers, the media, the public, corporations, opinion leaders and local authorities to the alarming situation faced by people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics. Sexual and reproductive health and rights are for everyone, inclusive of sexual and gender diversity. This is particularly important since the outbreak of COVID-19, where people not conforming to sexual and gender norms are facing further abuse, neglect, incarceration and stigmatization. IPPF’s vision for "a world where all people can make decisions about their sexuality and well-being, in a world free of discrimination" strongly supports the position that all people have the right to self-determination according to their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and sex characteristics. IPPF is made up of people who also reflect sexual and gender diversity – many of our staff, board members, volunteers and partners are part of LGBTI communities. Our Federation is committed to providing quality and non-discriminatory services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people, and to fight for the recognition of the rights of sexual and gender diverse people worldwide. “The trans community has been implementing projects for sexual health promotion with MEXFAM for many years. We work with our peers from the LGBTI community, but also with the general population and they really appreciate what we do. They come to us for counseling and information. We are not the ‘weirdos’ anymore." – Joseline Sosa, volunteer at MEXFAM Oaxaca, an IPPF Member Association We work in cooperation and solidarity with the LGBTI movement by: Promoting inter-governmental declarations that recognize the right to a life free of violence and discrimination for LGBTI people at the UN in Geneva and New York Fighting for the decriminalization of same-sex acts where it is still prohibited, including Trinidad & Tobago and India Provide friendly services for HIV and STI prevention and treatment for men who have sex with men in Botswana Partnering with LGBTI organizations to respond to humanitarian situations in Nepal and Tonga Supporting teachers in providing sexual and gender diverse education all over the world Implementing protocols for sex change for trans people in Colombia Providing trans-specific dignity kits during natural disasters in Sri Lanka Fighting for same-sex marriage and recognition of same-sex families in Romania Those are just a few examples, but members of our Federation have been supporting the movement for years, and in some cases for decades. Since 2018, IPPF has established a Steering Committee, led by our Member Association in Norway, Sex og Politikk, to advance the sexual and gender diversity agenda within and outside our Federation.The Steering Committee includes representatives from all the Regional Offices. On 17 May, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, we reaffirm our commitment to achieving a world in which no person suffers discrimination or violence because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or sex characteristics; a world where the life or the integrity of people is not put at risk by prejudice; a world where all people can decide with whom to share their sexuality and their life; a world where people live healthy lives regardless of their sexual practices and their bodies. IPPF – in all of its diversity – will continue to fight for the human right for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and sex characteristics, to be respected, celebrated and recognized. In the end – love wins. Happy IDAHOBIT!         Image from FreePik and modified by IPPF

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
news_item

| 17 May 2020

IPPF is committed to fighting homophobia and transphobia worldwide

Today marks the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT), a day to draw attention to the discrimination and violence experienced by the LGBTI community. The day represents a major global annual landmark to draw the attention of decision makers, the media, the public, corporations, opinion leaders and local authorities to the alarming situation faced by people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics. Sexual and reproductive health and rights are for everyone, inclusive of sexual and gender diversity. This is particularly important since the outbreak of COVID-19, where people not conforming to sexual and gender norms are facing further abuse, neglect, incarceration and stigmatization. IPPF’s vision for "a world where all people can make decisions about their sexuality and well-being, in a world free of discrimination" strongly supports the position that all people have the right to self-determination according to their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and sex characteristics. IPPF is made up of people who also reflect sexual and gender diversity – many of our staff, board members, volunteers and partners are part of LGBTI communities. Our Federation is committed to providing quality and non-discriminatory services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people, and to fight for the recognition of the rights of sexual and gender diverse people worldwide. “The trans community has been implementing projects for sexual health promotion with MEXFAM for many years. We work with our peers from the LGBTI community, but also with the general population and they really appreciate what we do. They come to us for counseling and information. We are not the ‘weirdos’ anymore." – Joseline Sosa, volunteer at MEXFAM Oaxaca, an IPPF Member Association We work in cooperation and solidarity with the LGBTI movement by: Promoting inter-governmental declarations that recognize the right to a life free of violence and discrimination for LGBTI people at the UN in Geneva and New York Fighting for the decriminalization of same-sex acts where it is still prohibited, including Trinidad & Tobago and India Provide friendly services for HIV and STI prevention and treatment for men who have sex with men in Botswana Partnering with LGBTI organizations to respond to humanitarian situations in Nepal and Tonga Supporting teachers in providing sexual and gender diverse education all over the world Implementing protocols for sex change for trans people in Colombia Providing trans-specific dignity kits during natural disasters in Sri Lanka Fighting for same-sex marriage and recognition of same-sex families in Romania Those are just a few examples, but members of our Federation have been supporting the movement for years, and in some cases for decades. Since 2018, IPPF has established a Steering Committee, led by our Member Association in Norway, Sex og Politikk, to advance the sexual and gender diversity agenda within and outside our Federation.The Steering Committee includes representatives from all the Regional Offices. On 17 May, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, we reaffirm our commitment to achieving a world in which no person suffers discrimination or violence because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or sex characteristics; a world where the life or the integrity of people is not put at risk by prejudice; a world where all people can decide with whom to share their sexuality and their life; a world where people live healthy lives regardless of their sexual practices and their bodies. IPPF – in all of its diversity – will continue to fight for the human right for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and sex characteristics, to be respected, celebrated and recognized. In the end – love wins. Happy IDAHOBIT!         Image from FreePik and modified by IPPF

Statement of IPPF ESEAOR
news item

| 07 October 2020

Statement of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, East and South East Asia & Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR)

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) congratulates the World Health Organization – Western Pacific Region for convening this Regional Committee meeting amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We commend WHO’s leadership, dedication, and commitment in coordinating the COVID-19 response in the region and providing clear, science-based guidance to all its Member-States. In the Western Pacific Region, access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services such as antenatal care, contraception, anti-retroviral treatment, and safe abortion, has suffered significantly. As the breadth of the pandemic continues to unfold and the true impacts emerge, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) must be a priority concern to ensure that women and girls and other vulnerable groups will have uninterrupted access to life-saving SRH services without discrimination. Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is a fundamental human right. We call on Member States to adequately invest in, and ensure sustained financing for, sexual and reproductive health care of women, girls and other marginalised and vulnerable populations. COVID-19 disproportionately affects women and girls and exacerbates existing inequalities and discrimination of the most marginalized groups. The COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent movement control orders or lockdowns, increases the risk of abuse and exploitation, such as intimate partner violence due to heightened tensions in the household and harmful practices such as child marriage especially for girls in disadvantaged and hard to reach areas. Member States comply with international standards and commitments to provide SGBV and SRH services as part of the package of essential services provided during any emergency, in the aftermath and integrate such services into the essential health package. IPPF is committed to doing its share on the global and regional response. As the largest sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service provider among civil society organizations globally, our health workers are on the frontlines to ensure women and girls, the poor and most vulnerable and marginalised are not denied these essential services during the pandemic. These are extraordinary times and our efforts are not without challenges and significant resource constraints where the role of the global architecture is more important than ever to ensure global solidarity. We urge Member States to implement WHO guidance and international commitments to ensure uninterrupted access to a comprehensive suite of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care and commodities during the COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery leaving no one behind. Tomoko Fukuda, Regional Director

Statement of IPPF ESEAOR
news_item

| 07 October 2020

Statement of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, East and South East Asia & Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR)

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) congratulates the World Health Organization – Western Pacific Region for convening this Regional Committee meeting amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We commend WHO’s leadership, dedication, and commitment in coordinating the COVID-19 response in the region and providing clear, science-based guidance to all its Member-States. In the Western Pacific Region, access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services such as antenatal care, contraception, anti-retroviral treatment, and safe abortion, has suffered significantly. As the breadth of the pandemic continues to unfold and the true impacts emerge, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) must be a priority concern to ensure that women and girls and other vulnerable groups will have uninterrupted access to life-saving SRH services without discrimination. Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is a fundamental human right. We call on Member States to adequately invest in, and ensure sustained financing for, sexual and reproductive health care of women, girls and other marginalised and vulnerable populations. COVID-19 disproportionately affects women and girls and exacerbates existing inequalities and discrimination of the most marginalized groups. The COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent movement control orders or lockdowns, increases the risk of abuse and exploitation, such as intimate partner violence due to heightened tensions in the household and harmful practices such as child marriage especially for girls in disadvantaged and hard to reach areas. Member States comply with international standards and commitments to provide SGBV and SRH services as part of the package of essential services provided during any emergency, in the aftermath and integrate such services into the essential health package. IPPF is committed to doing its share on the global and regional response. As the largest sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service provider among civil society organizations globally, our health workers are on the frontlines to ensure women and girls, the poor and most vulnerable and marginalised are not denied these essential services during the pandemic. These are extraordinary times and our efforts are not without challenges and significant resource constraints where the role of the global architecture is more important than ever to ensure global solidarity. We urge Member States to implement WHO guidance and international commitments to ensure uninterrupted access to a comprehensive suite of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care and commodities during the COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery leaving no one behind. Tomoko Fukuda, Regional Director

COVID-19 Response Issue #2
news item

| 03 July 2020

COVID-19 Response Issue #2: Situation in East Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific, June 2020

This is the second update from the ESEAO Regional Office on the situation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We highlight the impact of COVID-19 on the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of Youth and Adolescents and a closer view of IPPF Member Associations’ youth-led initiatives providing essential sexual and reproductive health care through uninterrupted SRH service delivery, dissemination of accurate SRH information, and provision of sexuality education through online platforms and social media. To read the full update, click here.

COVID-19 Response Issue #2
news_item

| 03 July 2020

COVID-19 Response Issue #2: Situation in East Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific, June 2020

This is the second update from the ESEAO Regional Office on the situation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We highlight the impact of COVID-19 on the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of Youth and Adolescents and a closer view of IPPF Member Associations’ youth-led initiatives providing essential sexual and reproductive health care through uninterrupted SRH service delivery, dissemination of accurate SRH information, and provision of sexuality education through online platforms and social media. To read the full update, click here.

IPPF
news item

| 08 June 2020

IPPF members see opponents of sexual and reproductive health and rights step-up pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic

New data from the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) reveals how opponents of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) around the world are attempting to use the COVID-19 pandemic as cover to try to push back against progressive reforms.  The latest IPPF survey of its worldwide membership on COVID-19 reveals that opponents of SRHR are employing a range of tactics to try to undermine sexual and reproductive rights. This includes spreading misinformation (18 members), framing the pandemic as an opportunity to reinforce traditional values (15), increasing discrimination against vulnerable populations (10), pushing for regressive measures against SRHR (eight) and blocking progressive debates on SRHR laws and policies (seven). One member reported social media platforms being used to spread a message that “COVID-19 is the answer from God on abortion.” Another reported opposition attempting to prevent the passage of a bill covering violence against women through parliament, claiming the pandemic was a “Dictate from the West” and passage of the bill contrary to Sharia Law.  The spreading of false information includes: The distribution of fake leaflets with health ministry logos among vulnerable groups, stating they are not at risk from COVID-19. The use of social media messages to claim safe abortion services will infect women with COVID-19. The spread of anti-contraception messages mixed in with disinformation about COVID-19 Attempts to block or slow legislature and policies include limiting progress in the passage of a bill to abolish anti-abortion laws and attempts to exclude abortion from national guidelines on sexual and reproductive care during the pandemic. One member reported that political opponents of sexual and reproductive rights were using “all communication and legislative spaces to validate discourses that position women in domestic tasks” by claiming: “the pandemic has allowed us to reassess the important role that women play in their homes for families.” IPPF members are resisting this opposition and defending laws and policies that support SRHR. 61 members report working with governments to ensure continuation of sexual and reproductive health provision service provision and 31 say they have contributed to policies or changes in legislation in support or defence of SRHR and gender equality since January 2020. 59 members reported advocating to ensure the continuation of access to sexual and reproductive healthcare for under-served and vulnerable groups during the pandemic and 54 members said they were advocating for ways to combat sexual and gender-based violence, which threatens more women and girls in lockdown.  The pandemic continues to have a huge impact on the delivery of sexual and reproductive healthcare around the world. 52 members rated the reduction of their capacity to deliver services as “critical or severe” – meaning at least 50 percent of their operations had been reduced or impacted. Only two members, less than one per cent, in countries with small numbers of COVID-19 infections, reported no impact on them. Other headlines include: 19 members report having to dismiss or suspend staff. 32 members say they are facing stockouts of short-acting contraceptives such as the oral contraceptives, emergency contraception and condoms. 26 members report stockouts of long-acting contraception such as intrauterine devices and implants. 5,440 service delivery points across all IPPF members are closed, 11 per cent of the total number of all IPPF service delivery points. 238 static clinics, which provide a wide range of services, remain closed. 546 were reported closed in IPPF’s March survey of members. Only eight members are still able to delivery comprehensive sexuality education in schools, even with social distancing. 67 members are now delivering comprehensive sexuality education through digital and social platforms.  IPPF’s Director General Dr Alvaro Bermejo said: “This data shows how hard IPPF members are working to find ways to overcome the impact of COVID-19, but also how severe the impact remains.    Reopening hundreds of static clinics is a huge achievement, as is the change by members to deliver vitally needs comprehensive sexuality education through digital and social channels when many schools remain closed.   However innovative IPPF members are, they cannot hope to offset the effect of this pandemic without additional support. This can only be addressed with the effective supply of commodities, to ensure stockouts are avoided and access to services for all IPPF clients is continued.    Support from governments is also critical, in particular in responding to the opposition who are trying to use the cover of COVID-19 to chip away at sexual and reproductive rights. Extremist views which seek to rob women and girls of their human rights and undermine their ability to access vital sexual and reproductive healthcare must be resisted.    Many governments do already take a positive stand in defence of women and girls and have gone further during this pandemic to support access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, such as access to telemedicine. IPPF calls on all governments to adopt such sensible and practical measures to make it easier for women and girls to get the care they need so badly in these difficult times, and to ignore the voices of coercive opponents who seek to impose their radical views on others.”

IPPF
news_item

| 08 June 2020

IPPF members see opponents of sexual and reproductive health and rights step-up pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic

New data from the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) reveals how opponents of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) around the world are attempting to use the COVID-19 pandemic as cover to try to push back against progressive reforms.  The latest IPPF survey of its worldwide membership on COVID-19 reveals that opponents of SRHR are employing a range of tactics to try to undermine sexual and reproductive rights. This includes spreading misinformation (18 members), framing the pandemic as an opportunity to reinforce traditional values (15), increasing discrimination against vulnerable populations (10), pushing for regressive measures against SRHR (eight) and blocking progressive debates on SRHR laws and policies (seven). One member reported social media platforms being used to spread a message that “COVID-19 is the answer from God on abortion.” Another reported opposition attempting to prevent the passage of a bill covering violence against women through parliament, claiming the pandemic was a “Dictate from the West” and passage of the bill contrary to Sharia Law.  The spreading of false information includes: The distribution of fake leaflets with health ministry logos among vulnerable groups, stating they are not at risk from COVID-19. The use of social media messages to claim safe abortion services will infect women with COVID-19. The spread of anti-contraception messages mixed in with disinformation about COVID-19 Attempts to block or slow legislature and policies include limiting progress in the passage of a bill to abolish anti-abortion laws and attempts to exclude abortion from national guidelines on sexual and reproductive care during the pandemic. One member reported that political opponents of sexual and reproductive rights were using “all communication and legislative spaces to validate discourses that position women in domestic tasks” by claiming: “the pandemic has allowed us to reassess the important role that women play in their homes for families.” IPPF members are resisting this opposition and defending laws and policies that support SRHR. 61 members report working with governments to ensure continuation of sexual and reproductive health provision service provision and 31 say they have contributed to policies or changes in legislation in support or defence of SRHR and gender equality since January 2020. 59 members reported advocating to ensure the continuation of access to sexual and reproductive healthcare for under-served and vulnerable groups during the pandemic and 54 members said they were advocating for ways to combat sexual and gender-based violence, which threatens more women and girls in lockdown.  The pandemic continues to have a huge impact on the delivery of sexual and reproductive healthcare around the world. 52 members rated the reduction of their capacity to deliver services as “critical or severe” – meaning at least 50 percent of their operations had been reduced or impacted. Only two members, less than one per cent, in countries with small numbers of COVID-19 infections, reported no impact on them. Other headlines include: 19 members report having to dismiss or suspend staff. 32 members say they are facing stockouts of short-acting contraceptives such as the oral contraceptives, emergency contraception and condoms. 26 members report stockouts of long-acting contraception such as intrauterine devices and implants. 5,440 service delivery points across all IPPF members are closed, 11 per cent of the total number of all IPPF service delivery points. 238 static clinics, which provide a wide range of services, remain closed. 546 were reported closed in IPPF’s March survey of members. Only eight members are still able to delivery comprehensive sexuality education in schools, even with social distancing. 67 members are now delivering comprehensive sexuality education through digital and social platforms.  IPPF’s Director General Dr Alvaro Bermejo said: “This data shows how hard IPPF members are working to find ways to overcome the impact of COVID-19, but also how severe the impact remains.    Reopening hundreds of static clinics is a huge achievement, as is the change by members to deliver vitally needs comprehensive sexuality education through digital and social channels when many schools remain closed.   However innovative IPPF members are, they cannot hope to offset the effect of this pandemic without additional support. This can only be addressed with the effective supply of commodities, to ensure stockouts are avoided and access to services for all IPPF clients is continued.    Support from governments is also critical, in particular in responding to the opposition who are trying to use the cover of COVID-19 to chip away at sexual and reproductive rights. Extremist views which seek to rob women and girls of their human rights and undermine their ability to access vital sexual and reproductive healthcare must be resisted.    Many governments do already take a positive stand in defence of women and girls and have gone further during this pandemic to support access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, such as access to telemedicine. IPPF calls on all governments to adopt such sensible and practical measures to make it easier for women and girls to get the care they need so badly in these difficult times, and to ignore the voices of coercive opponents who seek to impose their radical views on others.”

UN Logo
news item

| 20 May 2020

IPPF condemns the US administration attempts to deny essential sexual and reproductive health to women and girls in humanitarian settings

IPPF highly condemns the letter sent by the US Acting Administrator to the UN Secretary-General asking to ‘remove references to "sexual and reproductive health" and its derivatives from the UN’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan, (Global HRP) and drop the provision of abortion as an essential component of the UN’s priorities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.' Deciding whether and when to have children – and having the options and means to act on that decision – is a fundamental human right for all people. Indeed, the ability of a woman or girl to safely decide not to continue through a full pregnancy can save their lives and may be the key that unlocks pursuing education, employment, financial security and good health. Abortion care is health care, saves lives and is essential to the 25 million women who are forced every year to go through an unsafe abortion. Including sexual and reproductive health and rights as a core part of the response to COVID-19 is fundamental. Women and girls are amongst those being most affected by the pandemic facing restrictions in access to contraceptives, an increasing incidence of sexual and gender-based violence in confinement among many other challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic particularly threatens women living in humanitarian and fragile settings who face increased vulnerability to gender-based violence and abuse including rape and are less likely to access contraception resulting in increased risk of unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion. Denying access to essential life-saving sexual and reproductive health care in humanitarian context including obstetric and newborn care, clinical care for survivors of rape, contraception, safe abortion care and HIV and sexually transmitted infections treatment and prevention, contravenes humanitarian principles and will contribute to increased maternal death and disability. IPPF’s Director-General Dr Alvaro Bermejo said: “By undermining the global efforts to control this pandemic and attempt to block sexual and reproductive health, this US administration undermines the ability of women and children around the world to live through COVID-19”. Fulfilling sexual and Reproductive health and rights is essential for women and girls to have autonomy over their own bodies, to achieve gender equality and ultimately the Sustainable Development Goals. Kate Gilmore, new chair of the IPPF’s Board says: “In this moment of global crisis, the 134 Member Associations of the International Planned Parenthood Federation join the progressive and pragmatic voices of the vast majority of countries at the World Health Assembly calling for global solidarity, universal access to health and for prioritising the needs of the people left behind. Attaining the highest possible standard of health keeps being the world’s priority.” COVID-19 is a global challenge that urges an articulated and coordinated global response led by the World Health Organization. IPPF firmly oppose any attempt to undermine this and proudly support the work of the World Health Organization in providing indispensable support to countries to guarantee health and human rights to all around the world.

UN Logo
news_item

| 20 May 2020

IPPF condemns the US administration attempts to deny essential sexual and reproductive health to women and girls in humanitarian settings

IPPF highly condemns the letter sent by the US Acting Administrator to the UN Secretary-General asking to ‘remove references to "sexual and reproductive health" and its derivatives from the UN’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan, (Global HRP) and drop the provision of abortion as an essential component of the UN’s priorities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.' Deciding whether and when to have children – and having the options and means to act on that decision – is a fundamental human right for all people. Indeed, the ability of a woman or girl to safely decide not to continue through a full pregnancy can save their lives and may be the key that unlocks pursuing education, employment, financial security and good health. Abortion care is health care, saves lives and is essential to the 25 million women who are forced every year to go through an unsafe abortion. Including sexual and reproductive health and rights as a core part of the response to COVID-19 is fundamental. Women and girls are amongst those being most affected by the pandemic facing restrictions in access to contraceptives, an increasing incidence of sexual and gender-based violence in confinement among many other challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic particularly threatens women living in humanitarian and fragile settings who face increased vulnerability to gender-based violence and abuse including rape and are less likely to access contraception resulting in increased risk of unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion. Denying access to essential life-saving sexual and reproductive health care in humanitarian context including obstetric and newborn care, clinical care for survivors of rape, contraception, safe abortion care and HIV and sexually transmitted infections treatment and prevention, contravenes humanitarian principles and will contribute to increased maternal death and disability. IPPF’s Director-General Dr Alvaro Bermejo said: “By undermining the global efforts to control this pandemic and attempt to block sexual and reproductive health, this US administration undermines the ability of women and children around the world to live through COVID-19”. Fulfilling sexual and Reproductive health and rights is essential for women and girls to have autonomy over their own bodies, to achieve gender equality and ultimately the Sustainable Development Goals. Kate Gilmore, new chair of the IPPF’s Board says: “In this moment of global crisis, the 134 Member Associations of the International Planned Parenthood Federation join the progressive and pragmatic voices of the vast majority of countries at the World Health Assembly calling for global solidarity, universal access to health and for prioritising the needs of the people left behind. Attaining the highest possible standard of health keeps being the world’s priority.” COVID-19 is a global challenge that urges an articulated and coordinated global response led by the World Health Organization. IPPF firmly oppose any attempt to undermine this and proudly support the work of the World Health Organization in providing indispensable support to countries to guarantee health and human rights to all around the world.

Kate Gilmore
news item

| 20 May 2020

IPPF announces new Board of Trustees

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has brought-in historic changes to its governance and structure after transforming itself through a year-long reform process. The changes ensure the global sexual and reproductive health NGO can now respond faster to the needs of the women, girls and marginalized people who make-up the vast majority of its clients and whom are being disproportionality affected by the COVID-19 crisis. In its final meeting, IPPF’s Governing Council agreed a new governance structure to take its place. It also endorsed a new 15-member Board of Trustees that reflect the skills and the diversity IPPF needs. Two thirds of the new board are women, and five are young people under 25. The Chair of the Board of Trustees is Kate Gilmore, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2015 to 2019. Kate Gilmore said: “It would be an extraordinary privilege to join the Board of IPPF at any time; but it is even more so now. As certain governments and other regressive influencers work to orchestrate rollback on sexual and reproductive health and rights, IPPF stands as a beacon of hope and solidarity for the fundamental dignity of women, men and young people - of people of all identities - the world over. A worldwide movement grounded in the intimacies of local realities, IPPF is unrelentingly courageous in its delivery of tangible care and principled advocacy for the sexual and reproductive health and rights of millions, even in the midst of grave humanitarian crises of conflict and contagion. To be gifted the opportunity to contribute to the continued governance of this life saving, global game-changer is truly an opportunity to be cherished. We are enormously grateful to those who prepared the way for this new Board and, in particular, pay tribute to the President and Trustees of the outgoing Governing Council for their leadership in doing so.” IPPF’s outgoing President Rana Abu Ghazaleh said: “I am grateful that we are now ready to take the Federation to the next level. In doing so we shall change so many more lives for the better. It has been a privilege to serve IPPF as a youth volunteer and Governing Council member for almost two decades in its mission and fight for women’s rights and social justice and I hand over to the new interim Chair of our new Board of Trustees with pride in the legacy we leave. I am proud of our progress and I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the task of driving us to the finish line for a brand new IPPF.” At the same time as confirming its new Board, the Federation has adopted amended regulations, procedural bylaws, and policies that embed its governance reforms. It has also appointed seven members of its new Nominations and Governance Committee (NGC), which has the mandate to lead future recruitment for its Board and its committees and review the performance of Board members. The transformation began in May 2019 when IPPF’s Governing Council responded to a groundswell of activism for reform, and sanctioned reviews of its governance structure and its resource allocation model. The parallel reviews recommended sweeping changes at a meeting of all the Federation’s 134 national members in New Delhi last November. It agreed unanimously to approve the proposals, with a six-month deadline to have them all in place. IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo said: “In the space of 12 months our Federation has transformed itself from within. It has designed, agreed and now implemented the most sweeping changes to how it is governed and how it is run. For any organization, responding with courage and integrity to the need for reform is a challenge; and many fail to do so. This is the result of a desire and determination from across our Federation and community to build a new future. Volunteers, young people, staff and partners mobilized to breathe life into a new IPPF. This is a new era for IPPF, one that is grounded in our membership and more strategically positioned to focus on the needs of those we serve. With the crisis of COVID-19, they have never needed us more. We already know that women and girls are being disproportionately affected by this pandemic. They are facing more gender-based violence, the majority of risk in frontline health provision and a lack of time, lack of choice and lack of access to essential sexual and reproductive health services.” Arecent survey of IPPF members found that 5,633 static and mobile clinics and community-based care outlets had closed because of the pandemic, across 64 countries. Dozens of IPPF’s members reported they had been forced to cut sexual and reproductive healthcare services as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. In response IPPF established an emergency fund to provide PPE to members in need and began coordinating a Federation-wide response through a COVID-19 Taskforce.

Kate Gilmore
news_item

| 19 May 2020

IPPF announces new Board of Trustees

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has brought-in historic changes to its governance and structure after transforming itself through a year-long reform process. The changes ensure the global sexual and reproductive health NGO can now respond faster to the needs of the women, girls and marginalized people who make-up the vast majority of its clients and whom are being disproportionality affected by the COVID-19 crisis. In its final meeting, IPPF’s Governing Council agreed a new governance structure to take its place. It also endorsed a new 15-member Board of Trustees that reflect the skills and the diversity IPPF needs. Two thirds of the new board are women, and five are young people under 25. The Chair of the Board of Trustees is Kate Gilmore, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2015 to 2019. Kate Gilmore said: “It would be an extraordinary privilege to join the Board of IPPF at any time; but it is even more so now. As certain governments and other regressive influencers work to orchestrate rollback on sexual and reproductive health and rights, IPPF stands as a beacon of hope and solidarity for the fundamental dignity of women, men and young people - of people of all identities - the world over. A worldwide movement grounded in the intimacies of local realities, IPPF is unrelentingly courageous in its delivery of tangible care and principled advocacy for the sexual and reproductive health and rights of millions, even in the midst of grave humanitarian crises of conflict and contagion. To be gifted the opportunity to contribute to the continued governance of this life saving, global game-changer is truly an opportunity to be cherished. We are enormously grateful to those who prepared the way for this new Board and, in particular, pay tribute to the President and Trustees of the outgoing Governing Council for their leadership in doing so.” IPPF’s outgoing President Rana Abu Ghazaleh said: “I am grateful that we are now ready to take the Federation to the next level. In doing so we shall change so many more lives for the better. It has been a privilege to serve IPPF as a youth volunteer and Governing Council member for almost two decades in its mission and fight for women’s rights and social justice and I hand over to the new interim Chair of our new Board of Trustees with pride in the legacy we leave. I am proud of our progress and I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the task of driving us to the finish line for a brand new IPPF.” At the same time as confirming its new Board, the Federation has adopted amended regulations, procedural bylaws, and policies that embed its governance reforms. It has also appointed seven members of its new Nominations and Governance Committee (NGC), which has the mandate to lead future recruitment for its Board and its committees and review the performance of Board members. The transformation began in May 2019 when IPPF’s Governing Council responded to a groundswell of activism for reform, and sanctioned reviews of its governance structure and its resource allocation model. The parallel reviews recommended sweeping changes at a meeting of all the Federation’s 134 national members in New Delhi last November. It agreed unanimously to approve the proposals, with a six-month deadline to have them all in place. IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo said: “In the space of 12 months our Federation has transformed itself from within. It has designed, agreed and now implemented the most sweeping changes to how it is governed and how it is run. For any organization, responding with courage and integrity to the need for reform is a challenge; and many fail to do so. This is the result of a desire and determination from across our Federation and community to build a new future. Volunteers, young people, staff and partners mobilized to breathe life into a new IPPF. This is a new era for IPPF, one that is grounded in our membership and more strategically positioned to focus on the needs of those we serve. With the crisis of COVID-19, they have never needed us more. We already know that women and girls are being disproportionately affected by this pandemic. They are facing more gender-based violence, the majority of risk in frontline health provision and a lack of time, lack of choice and lack of access to essential sexual and reproductive health services.” Arecent survey of IPPF members found that 5,633 static and mobile clinics and community-based care outlets had closed because of the pandemic, across 64 countries. Dozens of IPPF’s members reported they had been forced to cut sexual and reproductive healthcare services as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. In response IPPF established an emergency fund to provide PPE to members in need and began coordinating a Federation-wide response through a COVID-19 Taskforce.

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
news item

| 18 May 2020

IPPF is committed to fighting homophobia and transphobia worldwide

Today marks the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT), a day to draw attention to the discrimination and violence experienced by the LGBTI community. The day represents a major global annual landmark to draw the attention of decision makers, the media, the public, corporations, opinion leaders and local authorities to the alarming situation faced by people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics. Sexual and reproductive health and rights are for everyone, inclusive of sexual and gender diversity. This is particularly important since the outbreak of COVID-19, where people not conforming to sexual and gender norms are facing further abuse, neglect, incarceration and stigmatization. IPPF’s vision for "a world where all people can make decisions about their sexuality and well-being, in a world free of discrimination" strongly supports the position that all people have the right to self-determination according to their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and sex characteristics. IPPF is made up of people who also reflect sexual and gender diversity – many of our staff, board members, volunteers and partners are part of LGBTI communities. Our Federation is committed to providing quality and non-discriminatory services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people, and to fight for the recognition of the rights of sexual and gender diverse people worldwide. “The trans community has been implementing projects for sexual health promotion with MEXFAM for many years. We work with our peers from the LGBTI community, but also with the general population and they really appreciate what we do. They come to us for counseling and information. We are not the ‘weirdos’ anymore." – Joseline Sosa, volunteer at MEXFAM Oaxaca, an IPPF Member Association We work in cooperation and solidarity with the LGBTI movement by: Promoting inter-governmental declarations that recognize the right to a life free of violence and discrimination for LGBTI people at the UN in Geneva and New York Fighting for the decriminalization of same-sex acts where it is still prohibited, including Trinidad & Tobago and India Provide friendly services for HIV and STI prevention and treatment for men who have sex with men in Botswana Partnering with LGBTI organizations to respond to humanitarian situations in Nepal and Tonga Supporting teachers in providing sexual and gender diverse education all over the world Implementing protocols for sex change for trans people in Colombia Providing trans-specific dignity kits during natural disasters in Sri Lanka Fighting for same-sex marriage and recognition of same-sex families in Romania Those are just a few examples, but members of our Federation have been supporting the movement for years, and in some cases for decades. Since 2018, IPPF has established a Steering Committee, led by our Member Association in Norway, Sex og Politikk, to advance the sexual and gender diversity agenda within and outside our Federation.The Steering Committee includes representatives from all the Regional Offices. On 17 May, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, we reaffirm our commitment to achieving a world in which no person suffers discrimination or violence because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or sex characteristics; a world where the life or the integrity of people is not put at risk by prejudice; a world where all people can decide with whom to share their sexuality and their life; a world where people live healthy lives regardless of their sexual practices and their bodies. IPPF – in all of its diversity – will continue to fight for the human right for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and sex characteristics, to be respected, celebrated and recognized. In the end – love wins. Happy IDAHOBIT!         Image from FreePik and modified by IPPF

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
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| 17 May 2020

IPPF is committed to fighting homophobia and transphobia worldwide

Today marks the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT), a day to draw attention to the discrimination and violence experienced by the LGBTI community. The day represents a major global annual landmark to draw the attention of decision makers, the media, the public, corporations, opinion leaders and local authorities to the alarming situation faced by people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics. Sexual and reproductive health and rights are for everyone, inclusive of sexual and gender diversity. This is particularly important since the outbreak of COVID-19, where people not conforming to sexual and gender norms are facing further abuse, neglect, incarceration and stigmatization. IPPF’s vision for "a world where all people can make decisions about their sexuality and well-being, in a world free of discrimination" strongly supports the position that all people have the right to self-determination according to their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and sex characteristics. IPPF is made up of people who also reflect sexual and gender diversity – many of our staff, board members, volunteers and partners are part of LGBTI communities. Our Federation is committed to providing quality and non-discriminatory services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people, and to fight for the recognition of the rights of sexual and gender diverse people worldwide. “The trans community has been implementing projects for sexual health promotion with MEXFAM for many years. We work with our peers from the LGBTI community, but also with the general population and they really appreciate what we do. They come to us for counseling and information. We are not the ‘weirdos’ anymore." – Joseline Sosa, volunteer at MEXFAM Oaxaca, an IPPF Member Association We work in cooperation and solidarity with the LGBTI movement by: Promoting inter-governmental declarations that recognize the right to a life free of violence and discrimination for LGBTI people at the UN in Geneva and New York Fighting for the decriminalization of same-sex acts where it is still prohibited, including Trinidad & Tobago and India Provide friendly services for HIV and STI prevention and treatment for men who have sex with men in Botswana Partnering with LGBTI organizations to respond to humanitarian situations in Nepal and Tonga Supporting teachers in providing sexual and gender diverse education all over the world Implementing protocols for sex change for trans people in Colombia Providing trans-specific dignity kits during natural disasters in Sri Lanka Fighting for same-sex marriage and recognition of same-sex families in Romania Those are just a few examples, but members of our Federation have been supporting the movement for years, and in some cases for decades. Since 2018, IPPF has established a Steering Committee, led by our Member Association in Norway, Sex og Politikk, to advance the sexual and gender diversity agenda within and outside our Federation.The Steering Committee includes representatives from all the Regional Offices. On 17 May, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, we reaffirm our commitment to achieving a world in which no person suffers discrimination or violence because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or sex characteristics; a world where the life or the integrity of people is not put at risk by prejudice; a world where all people can decide with whom to share their sexuality and their life; a world where people live healthy lives regardless of their sexual practices and their bodies. IPPF – in all of its diversity – will continue to fight for the human right for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and sex characteristics, to be respected, celebrated and recognized. In the end – love wins. Happy IDAHOBIT!         Image from FreePik and modified by IPPF