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A selection of news from across the Federation

IPPF's Member Association IPPA in Advocacy Action

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.
youth from China Member Association (CFPA)
news item

| 12 May 2022

Building Inclusive, Resilient, Gender Equal Societies through Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE): The 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Education Ministers’ Conference (APREMC II) Side Event

Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is a pillar in delivering high-quality gender-transformative education and crucial to achieving SDG 4 on education. Likewise, it contributes to the fulfillment of SDG 3 on health and SDG 5 on gender equality. CSE protects young people and helps build a safer, inclusive society. CSE also has the potential to prevent and reduce gender-based and intimate partner violence. Our panel speakers will highlight the importance of CSE and its critical role to give young people the knowledge and skills they need to manage their health and form equal, fulfilling, and safe relationships free from discrimination, coercion, and violence. This session will be an inclusive dialogue among multiple stakeholder groups in South-East Asia and the Pacific on the implementation of the Goal 4 – specifically Comprehensive Sexuality Education - to exchange good practices and innovation, and to reflect on recommendations to accelerate progress.   Date: Friday, 3 June 2022 Time: 10am – 11.30am BKK / 11am – 12.30pm KL / 3pm – 4.30pm Suva (check your timezone here) Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMpce-gqTsvGtcKSoH3Mf1439uxJ4Ko5Dkw Organizers: International Planned Parenthood Federation ESEAOR (IPPF ESEAOR), UNFPA Asia Pacific and UNESCO Topics: Results of the Regional CSE Review: Brayant Gonzales, IPPF ESEAOR and Brian Kironde, UNFPA Pacific Building CSE into national education curriculums: Dr Somolireasmey Saphon, Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia (RHAC) Age- and developmentally appropriate sexuality education for people with disability: Sera Ratu, Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF) Delivering sexuality education in humanitarian settings: Louria Joy Paragon, Family Planning Organisation of the Philippines (FPOP) Digital solutions to Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE): Jack Martin IPPF ESEAOR Sub-Regional Office for the Pacific (SROP)

youth from China Member Association (CFPA)
news_item

| 12 May 2022

Building Inclusive, Resilient, Gender Equal Societies through Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE): The 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Education Ministers’ Conference (APREMC II) Side Event

Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is a pillar in delivering high-quality gender-transformative education and crucial to achieving SDG 4 on education. Likewise, it contributes to the fulfillment of SDG 3 on health and SDG 5 on gender equality. CSE protects young people and helps build a safer, inclusive society. CSE also has the potential to prevent and reduce gender-based and intimate partner violence. Our panel speakers will highlight the importance of CSE and its critical role to give young people the knowledge and skills they need to manage their health and form equal, fulfilling, and safe relationships free from discrimination, coercion, and violence. This session will be an inclusive dialogue among multiple stakeholder groups in South-East Asia and the Pacific on the implementation of the Goal 4 – specifically Comprehensive Sexuality Education - to exchange good practices and innovation, and to reflect on recommendations to accelerate progress.   Date: Friday, 3 June 2022 Time: 10am – 11.30am BKK / 11am – 12.30pm KL / 3pm – 4.30pm Suva (check your timezone here) Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMpce-gqTsvGtcKSoH3Mf1439uxJ4Ko5Dkw Organizers: International Planned Parenthood Federation ESEAOR (IPPF ESEAOR), UNFPA Asia Pacific and UNESCO Topics: Results of the Regional CSE Review: Brayant Gonzales, IPPF ESEAOR and Brian Kironde, UNFPA Pacific Building CSE into national education curriculums: Dr Somolireasmey Saphon, Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia (RHAC) Age- and developmentally appropriate sexuality education for people with disability: Sera Ratu, Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF) Delivering sexuality education in humanitarian settings: Louria Joy Paragon, Family Planning Organisation of the Philippines (FPOP) Digital solutions to Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE): Jack Martin IPPF ESEAOR Sub-Regional Office for the Pacific (SROP)

photos of adolescent girl
news item

| 09 May 2022

Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development side event: Build Back Equal for Adolescent Girls

  On March 30, 2022, the Asia Pacific Working Group on Adolescent Girls (AP WGAG),  hosted a virtual side event alongside the 9th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development. The AP WGAG co-chairs, IPPF ESEAOR and Plan International Asia-Pacific, along with the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and other partners, organized Build Back Equal for Adolescent Girls.   The session aimed to highlight the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises on adolescent girls’ health, education and well-being and to share best practices and policy recommendations.    Anh Duong, a GPE youth leader and Plan International youth advisor from Vietnam, moderated the panel consisting of youth activists and decision makers.   The pandemic is impacting adolescent girls in many ways   Adolescent girls from around the region called attention to the varied impacts of the pandemic. We heard repeatedly that the pandemic is creating a mental health crisis. Applesta Maryann da Costa from India’s Human Touch Foundation pointed out that education disruption, rising unemployment and inaccessibility to basic amenities are some of the key factors creating anxiety and depression among youth: “The digital divide has further excluded vulnerable communities that do not have access to technology and contributed to elevated levels of anxiety and stress.”  Adolescent girls are also impacted by humanitarian crises and climate change and play a role in addressing them  In November 2021, during the riots in the Solomon Islands, Larisha from the Young Women's Christian Association used the training she received through the Girls Rise Up program to help her community. She said, “We must put adolescent girls and adolescent girls with disabilities at the forefront of all our interventions.”  Ridhima, a young climate activist and president of Save the Children’s Red Alert Network, is fighting the climate crisis in India. She spoke of solutions by women leaders to mitigate the impacts of climate change and emphasized, “It is important to provide a platform and give girls and women [equal] opportunities.”   She added, “We have to change the gain maximization for a few, to risk minimization for all. We need to work together as a collective and solve these problems based on the advice given by the experts.”    Some governments and organizations are finding solutions that work  Gender-responsive education planning     Dr. Hari Lamsal, joint secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, shared Nepal’s success in reaching gender parity in school. However, despite national-level progress, disparities persist at the subnational level and across different communities. “We realized there is a need to develop a composite index, which can trigger resource allocation and strategic interventions.” The ministry, with support from UNICEF, the World Bank and GPE, developed the Equity Index to capture disparities in education. The ministry used the index to identify the most disadvantaged areas and provided additional resources for targeted local government efforts, including the (re)enrollment of girls in school through the Girls’ Access To Education (GATE) program.   Comprehensive sexuality education for all   “Education is the backbone and driving force for achieving all development goals,” said Dr. Yung Kunthearith from the Ministry of Education, Cambodia, who shared his government’s commitment to ensuring education policies are inclusive and equal. “Comprehensive sexuality education will be taught from grades 5 to 12. The Cambodian government is also focused on promoting hygiene and sanitation in schools, focusing on menstrual health care for girls.” He also highlighted that even though the education budgets have been under strain during the pandemic, Cambodia still prioritizes the importance of investing in education for all.   Supporting mental health, food security and menstrual hygiene  Applesta shared Human Touch Foundation’s support for adolescent girls during the pandemic, such as telephonic and in-person counseling, door-to-door delivery of anti-retrovirals (ARVs) and scaling up food security programs with support from the Youth Lead Young Key Population Small Grants Program. The foundation also initiated the EcoSwitch Campaign to support adolescent girls and young menstruators from rural communities across Goa with access to sustainable menstrual products.   At the end of the session, the audience shared their reflections and recommendations, with several key themes emerging: opportunities for adolescent girls to engage meaningfully with decision makers, supportive laws, policies and investment at the country level and the need for urgent cross-sectoral action.   Tomoko Fukuda, regional director of IPPF ESEAOR, remarked, “Adolescent girls are the future … Your voices and needs matter. We recognize that adolescent girls are in so many diverse situations, and when they want to make a decision, [it] is influenced by their environment. We need financial commitments and accessible systems for adolescent girls.”  Anh Duong emphasized, “It is time for us to act now for adolescent girls. Policies and programs must be intersectional and address all forms of discrimination faced by them.”    As Larisha aptly said, “…Please think of our needs. We are here, ready to be consulted on how to ensure responses capture the needs of adolescent girls and girls with disabilities.”  Watch the recording here.  *This blog was published on the Global Partnership for Education website.  About the Asia Pacific Working Group on Adolescent Girls   The Asia Pacific Working Group on Adolescent Girls is co-chaired by the International Planned Parenthood Federation East and South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR) and Plan International Asia-Pacific. Members include Asia Safe Abortion Partnership, CREA, Care Asia, Save the Children Asia, ECPAT International, GPE, Girls Not Brides, IPPF South Asia, Pacific Girl, Terre des Hommes, UNICEF, UN Women Asia and the Pacific Regional Office, UNFPA Asia and the Pacific Regional Office, YouthLead and YPEER Asia Pacific.    Contact Persons:  Natassha Kaur, IPPF ESEAOR, AP WGAG Co-Chair: [email protected]  Deepali Gupta, GPE, AP WGAG Member: [email protected] 

photos of adolescent girl
news_item

| 09 May 2022

Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development side event: Build Back Equal for Adolescent Girls

  On March 30, 2022, the Asia Pacific Working Group on Adolescent Girls (AP WGAG),  hosted a virtual side event alongside the 9th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development. The AP WGAG co-chairs, IPPF ESEAOR and Plan International Asia-Pacific, along with the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and other partners, organized Build Back Equal for Adolescent Girls.   The session aimed to highlight the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises on adolescent girls’ health, education and well-being and to share best practices and policy recommendations.    Anh Duong, a GPE youth leader and Plan International youth advisor from Vietnam, moderated the panel consisting of youth activists and decision makers.   The pandemic is impacting adolescent girls in many ways   Adolescent girls from around the region called attention to the varied impacts of the pandemic. We heard repeatedly that the pandemic is creating a mental health crisis. Applesta Maryann da Costa from India’s Human Touch Foundation pointed out that education disruption, rising unemployment and inaccessibility to basic amenities are some of the key factors creating anxiety and depression among youth: “The digital divide has further excluded vulnerable communities that do not have access to technology and contributed to elevated levels of anxiety and stress.”  Adolescent girls are also impacted by humanitarian crises and climate change and play a role in addressing them  In November 2021, during the riots in the Solomon Islands, Larisha from the Young Women's Christian Association used the training she received through the Girls Rise Up program to help her community. She said, “We must put adolescent girls and adolescent girls with disabilities at the forefront of all our interventions.”  Ridhima, a young climate activist and president of Save the Children’s Red Alert Network, is fighting the climate crisis in India. She spoke of solutions by women leaders to mitigate the impacts of climate change and emphasized, “It is important to provide a platform and give girls and women [equal] opportunities.”   She added, “We have to change the gain maximization for a few, to risk minimization for all. We need to work together as a collective and solve these problems based on the advice given by the experts.”    Some governments and organizations are finding solutions that work  Gender-responsive education planning     Dr. Hari Lamsal, joint secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, shared Nepal’s success in reaching gender parity in school. However, despite national-level progress, disparities persist at the subnational level and across different communities. “We realized there is a need to develop a composite index, which can trigger resource allocation and strategic interventions.” The ministry, with support from UNICEF, the World Bank and GPE, developed the Equity Index to capture disparities in education. The ministry used the index to identify the most disadvantaged areas and provided additional resources for targeted local government efforts, including the (re)enrollment of girls in school through the Girls’ Access To Education (GATE) program.   Comprehensive sexuality education for all   “Education is the backbone and driving force for achieving all development goals,” said Dr. Yung Kunthearith from the Ministry of Education, Cambodia, who shared his government’s commitment to ensuring education policies are inclusive and equal. “Comprehensive sexuality education will be taught from grades 5 to 12. The Cambodian government is also focused on promoting hygiene and sanitation in schools, focusing on menstrual health care for girls.” He also highlighted that even though the education budgets have been under strain during the pandemic, Cambodia still prioritizes the importance of investing in education for all.   Supporting mental health, food security and menstrual hygiene  Applesta shared Human Touch Foundation’s support for adolescent girls during the pandemic, such as telephonic and in-person counseling, door-to-door delivery of anti-retrovirals (ARVs) and scaling up food security programs with support from the Youth Lead Young Key Population Small Grants Program. The foundation also initiated the EcoSwitch Campaign to support adolescent girls and young menstruators from rural communities across Goa with access to sustainable menstrual products.   At the end of the session, the audience shared their reflections and recommendations, with several key themes emerging: opportunities for adolescent girls to engage meaningfully with decision makers, supportive laws, policies and investment at the country level and the need for urgent cross-sectoral action.   Tomoko Fukuda, regional director of IPPF ESEAOR, remarked, “Adolescent girls are the future … Your voices and needs matter. We recognize that adolescent girls are in so many diverse situations, and when they want to make a decision, [it] is influenced by their environment. We need financial commitments and accessible systems for adolescent girls.”  Anh Duong emphasized, “It is time for us to act now for adolescent girls. Policies and programs must be intersectional and address all forms of discrimination faced by them.”    As Larisha aptly said, “…Please think of our needs. We are here, ready to be consulted on how to ensure responses capture the needs of adolescent girls and girls with disabilities.”  Watch the recording here.  *This blog was published on the Global Partnership for Education website.  About the Asia Pacific Working Group on Adolescent Girls   The Asia Pacific Working Group on Adolescent Girls is co-chaired by the International Planned Parenthood Federation East and South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR) and Plan International Asia-Pacific. Members include Asia Safe Abortion Partnership, CREA, Care Asia, Save the Children Asia, ECPAT International, GPE, Girls Not Brides, IPPF South Asia, Pacific Girl, Terre des Hommes, UNICEF, UN Women Asia and the Pacific Regional Office, UNFPA Asia and the Pacific Regional Office, YouthLead and YPEER Asia Pacific.    Contact Persons:  Natassha Kaur, IPPF ESEAOR, AP WGAG Co-Chair: [email protected]  Deepali Gupta, GPE, AP WGAG Member: [email protected] 

IPPF's Member Association IPPA in Advocacy Action
news item

| 13 April 2022

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. Perkumpulan Keluarga Berencana Indonesia (PKBI) (also known as the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association (IPPA)), IPPF member in Indonesia, has been actively advocating for this bill since 2017 and has been part of the formal drafting of the bill in the past two (2) years. Eko Maryadi, PKBI’s Executive Director offered these words, “Congratulations to the PKBI Advocacy Team who consistently guarded the draft Bill until it became the Criminal Acts of Sexual Violence Law. The struggle is not over. We still must oversee the operationalisation of the law, and our advocacy and the fight against sexual violence will not stop until it does.” “We welcome the passing of the sexual violence bill in Indonesia and congratulate PKBI, Komnas Perempuan and countless activists and advocates in Indonesia for your tireless fight to ensure all people are safe from sexual and gender-based violence, and survivors have access to justice and support. This is a great win for the sexual and reproductive rights of all Indonesians, especially women and girls”, said Tomoko Fukuda, IPPF ESEAOR Regional Director.

IPPF's Member Association IPPA in Advocacy Action
news_item

| 13 April 2022

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. Perkumpulan Keluarga Berencana Indonesia (PKBI) (also known as the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association (IPPA)), IPPF member in Indonesia, has been actively advocating for this bill since 2017 and has been part of the formal drafting of the bill in the past two (2) years. Eko Maryadi, PKBI’s Executive Director offered these words, “Congratulations to the PKBI Advocacy Team who consistently guarded the draft Bill until it became the Criminal Acts of Sexual Violence Law. The struggle is not over. We still must oversee the operationalisation of the law, and our advocacy and the fight against sexual violence will not stop until it does.” “We welcome the passing of the sexual violence bill in Indonesia and congratulate PKBI, Komnas Perempuan and countless activists and advocates in Indonesia for your tireless fight to ensure all people are safe from sexual and gender-based violence, and survivors have access to justice and support. This is a great win for the sexual and reproductive rights of all Indonesians, especially women and girls”, said Tomoko Fukuda, IPPF ESEAOR Regional Director.

A call for gender-inclusive, climate-resilient and equitable seuxal and reproductive healthcare from advocates in South-East Asia and the Pacific.
news item

| 05 April 2022

A call for gender-inclusive, climate-resilient and equitable sexual and reproductive healthcare from advocates in Southeast Asia and the Pacific

23 March 2022 - On the sides of the 66th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66), Health Care Without Harm South East Asia (HCWH SEA) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation East & South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR) publicly announced a strategic partnership promoting gender-sensitive, climate-resilient women’s and girls’ health agenda across South East Asia and the Pacific. “The climate crisis and the current COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impact women and girls in the Asia Pacific region, aggravate their situation, restrain their capacity, and expose the weaknesses of the current economic, social and political system as reflected on their health and well-being.” expressed Ramon San Pascual, HCWH South East Asia’s Executive Director.  San Pascual adds that, “the COVID-19 pandemic has not only exposed these challenges but also multiplied the hazards faced by women and girls who often lack access to health services and are left out of formal policy and social protection measures. Even before the pandemic, gender inequity  is also  observed in the healthcare system as well. 70% of the workforce in the healthcare sector are women, and yet the leadership and the specialist roles are assumed by men.” According to Tomoko Fukuda, Regional Director of IPPF ESEAOR, “In climate-disaster situations, women, girls and people with diverse Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) are among the most vulnerable not only to the social and environmental impacts of these climate-related disasters, but also from the lack of sexual and reproductive health services.” Fukuda adds that “In the spirit of CSW66, gender equality must be at the center of solutions. Therefore, through joint project initiatives at the country level, this regional partnership aims to provide communities and health facilities with information, skills, and resources to advance the climate, gender, sexual and reproductive health and rights agenda in South East Asia and the Pacific.” As part of the tasks ahead, both organizations are committed to exchanging knowledge and  tools among respective members and partner networks. The partnership launched a pilot project in collaboration with the Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia (RHAC) and Solomon Islands Planned Parenthood Association (SIPPA) to contribute to building climate-resilient, equitable, and sustainable sexual and reproductive healthcare in both countries. In a joint CSW66 statement released by HCWH South East Asia and IPPF ESEAOR , they call on governments in Asia Pacific to address gender inequality and recognize the important role of SRHR in reducing vulnerability to human-induced climate-related disasters and enhancing resilience to climate change.  International Planned Parenthood Federation East & South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. We are a worldwide movement of national organizations working with and for communities and individuals. IPPF ESEAOR supports 23 Member Associations and 2 Collaborating Partners in a total of 25 countries to empower women, men and young people in the most vulnerable situations to access life-saving services and programmes, and live with dignity. Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) in South East Asia Health Care Without Harm - South East Asia (HCWH-SEA) is part of a global nonprofit organization that seeks to transform health care worldwide so the sector reduces its environmental footprint and becomes a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice. HCWH-SEA is working with hospitals, health ministries, medical professionals, and climate advocates in Indonesia, Viet Nam, the Philippines, Malaysia, South Korea, and Taiwan.

A call for gender-inclusive, climate-resilient and equitable seuxal and reproductive healthcare from advocates in South-East Asia and the Pacific.
news_item

| 23 March 2022

A call for gender-inclusive, climate-resilient and equitable sexual and reproductive healthcare from advocates in Southeast Asia and the Pacific

23 March 2022 - On the sides of the 66th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66), Health Care Without Harm South East Asia (HCWH SEA) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation East & South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR) publicly announced a strategic partnership promoting gender-sensitive, climate-resilient women’s and girls’ health agenda across South East Asia and the Pacific. “The climate crisis and the current COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impact women and girls in the Asia Pacific region, aggravate their situation, restrain their capacity, and expose the weaknesses of the current economic, social and political system as reflected on their health and well-being.” expressed Ramon San Pascual, HCWH South East Asia’s Executive Director.  San Pascual adds that, “the COVID-19 pandemic has not only exposed these challenges but also multiplied the hazards faced by women and girls who often lack access to health services and are left out of formal policy and social protection measures. Even before the pandemic, gender inequity  is also  observed in the healthcare system as well. 70% of the workforce in the healthcare sector are women, and yet the leadership and the specialist roles are assumed by men.” According to Tomoko Fukuda, Regional Director of IPPF ESEAOR, “In climate-disaster situations, women, girls and people with diverse Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) are among the most vulnerable not only to the social and environmental impacts of these climate-related disasters, but also from the lack of sexual and reproductive health services.” Fukuda adds that “In the spirit of CSW66, gender equality must be at the center of solutions. Therefore, through joint project initiatives at the country level, this regional partnership aims to provide communities and health facilities with information, skills, and resources to advance the climate, gender, sexual and reproductive health and rights agenda in South East Asia and the Pacific.” As part of the tasks ahead, both organizations are committed to exchanging knowledge and  tools among respective members and partner networks. The partnership launched a pilot project in collaboration with the Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia (RHAC) and Solomon Islands Planned Parenthood Association (SIPPA) to contribute to building climate-resilient, equitable, and sustainable sexual and reproductive healthcare in both countries. In a joint CSW66 statement released by HCWH South East Asia and IPPF ESEAOR , they call on governments in Asia Pacific to address gender inequality and recognize the important role of SRHR in reducing vulnerability to human-induced climate-related disasters and enhancing resilience to climate change.  International Planned Parenthood Federation East & South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. We are a worldwide movement of national organizations working with and for communities and individuals. IPPF ESEAOR supports 23 Member Associations and 2 Collaborating Partners in a total of 25 countries to empower women, men and young people in the most vulnerable situations to access life-saving services and programmes, and live with dignity. Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) in South East Asia Health Care Without Harm - South East Asia (HCWH-SEA) is part of a global nonprofit organization that seeks to transform health care worldwide so the sector reduces its environmental footprint and becomes a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice. HCWH-SEA is working with hospitals, health ministries, medical professionals, and climate advocates in Indonesia, Viet Nam, the Philippines, Malaysia, South Korea, and Taiwan.

woman seeking srh healthcare
news item

| 14 March 2022

JOINT STATEMENT ON CSW WITH HCWH

The climate crisis and the current COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impact women and girls in the Asia Pacific region, aggravate their situation, restrains their capacity, and exposes the weaknesses of the current economic, social and political system as reflected on their health and well-being.   Countries in the Asia Pacific region are among those bearing the heaviest burden of climate change. More than 87% of its population were affected by disasters that occurred in the last 40 years. The region - exposed to recurring hazards brought about by climate change and now with the spread of COVID-19 - is prone to cascading and multiple disasters. This is further compounded by high levels of inequity, low levels of social protection, and weak systems, among others. Within this context, deeply ingrained, systemic discrimination means that women and girls are at a higher risk of experiencing harmful effects of the climate crisis.   The climate crisis is a gendered crisis as it has major impacts on the advancement of gender equality. Gender inequality, in turn, affects women’s and girls’ capacity to anticipate, adapt, and recover from disasters, and to contribute effectively to resilience building. Where women and girls experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, such as on account of their gender, education, ethnicity, disability or migrant status, or any other status, their vulnerability is heightened even more. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only exposed these challenges but also multiplied the risks faced by women and girls who often lack access to health services and are left out of formal policy and social protection measures.  The sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women and girls also suffer in the context of the climate crisis. It not only impacts their access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services but also increases the incidence of sexual and gender‑based violence and trafficking, poses harmful impacts on maternal and child health, among others. Realization of sexual and reproductive health and rights is critical in the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.   The recently published report of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has highlighted these deepening inequalities and unless we take transformational action NOW, we will have even more devastating impacts, further exacerbating the suffering of billions of women and girls across the region.  Addressing gender inequality and recognizing the important role of SRHR are crucial in reducing vulnerability to natural disasters and enhancing resilience to climate change. Therefore, we call on governments in the Asia Pacific region to:  Address underlying systemic causes of vulnerabilities to the climate crisis, and prioritize gender equality and women’s empowerment in the planning and funding of inclusive and sustainable development.   Ensure gender-equitable participation, access to information, and influence in planning and decision-making processes around climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and management, in particular inclusion of indigenous and rural women, LGBTQI+ communities, and other marginalized populations.    Recognizing the potential for multiple gains in health outcomes, using a human rights-based approach, integrate a broad range of SRH services and sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls, and other marginalised populations, in all other climate change and sustainable development plans such as national development plans, health sector plans, National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) as well as into climate change adaptation and resilience measures.   Invest in meaningful engagement and inclusion of youth to ensure their SRHR and health needs are being addressed, increase their resilience, and increase empowerment and autonomy.    States must respect, protect and fulfill their sexual and reproductive health and rights, including through eliminating female genital mutilation, child, early and forced marriage, sexual and gender-based violence against children, ending impunity for those who perpetrate these human rights violations, and ensuring access to SRH services and comprehensive sexuality education.    Commit more funds to climate change mitigation and adaptation, including resources to enable health systems to decarbonize, strengthen sustainability, and build resilience to respond to existing and future climate impacts and disasters, explicitly supporting SRHR within this.    Prioritize life-saving SRH services  during extreme weather events and other climate-related disasters, by integrating the minimum initial services package (MISP) for SRH in crisis situations in emergency preparedness and disaster risk reduction strategies as well as into emergency responses.    Coordinate and share disaggregated data, including digital and spatial, between climate and SRHR with better analysis and interpretation, which is critical to understand existing risks and vulnerabilities when it comes to health and SRHR, to inform effective strategies and policies.    Incorporate poverty, gender equality, age-related factors, and human rights, including the right to health and sexual and reproductive rights, in government’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), reports as a strategy to deliver on their commitments to the Paris Agreement.    Promote and establish regional forums and processes, with meaningful engagement of women’s and youth groups as well as of groups working with and representative of marginalized populations, to identify regional priority issues and current systemic challenges and come up with very specific solutions and actions.   In the weeks leading up to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), HCWH-SEA and IPPF ESEAOR announced a strategic partnership that aims to promote gender-sensitive, climate-resilient women’s and girls’ health agenda across South East Asia and the Pacific. Through joint project ideas, the regional partnership will provide communities/health facilities with information, skills, and resources on how to advance the climate, gender, sexual and reproductive health agenda in South East Asia and the Pacific. As part of the tasks ahead, both organizations shall facilitate the exchange of knowledge, tools, and build capacity among respective constituencies.  International Planned Parenthood Federation East & South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR) | The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. We are a worldwide movement of national organizations working with and for communities and individuals. IPPF ESEAOR supports 23 Member Associations and 2 Collaborating Partners in a total of 25 countries to empower women, men and young people in the most vulnerable situations to access life-saving services and programmes, and live with dignity. Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) in Southeast Asia (HCWH-SEA) is part of a global nonprofit organization that seeks to transform health care worldwide so the sector reduces its environmental footprint and becomes a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice. HCWH-SEA is working with hospitals, health ministries, medical professionals, and climate advocates in Indonesia, Viet Nam, the Philippines, Malaysia, South Korea, and Taiwan.

woman seeking srh healthcare
news_item

| 14 March 2022

JOINT STATEMENT ON CSW WITH HCWH

The climate crisis and the current COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impact women and girls in the Asia Pacific region, aggravate their situation, restrains their capacity, and exposes the weaknesses of the current economic, social and political system as reflected on their health and well-being.   Countries in the Asia Pacific region are among those bearing the heaviest burden of climate change. More than 87% of its population were affected by disasters that occurred in the last 40 years. The region - exposed to recurring hazards brought about by climate change and now with the spread of COVID-19 - is prone to cascading and multiple disasters. This is further compounded by high levels of inequity, low levels of social protection, and weak systems, among others. Within this context, deeply ingrained, systemic discrimination means that women and girls are at a higher risk of experiencing harmful effects of the climate crisis.   The climate crisis is a gendered crisis as it has major impacts on the advancement of gender equality. Gender inequality, in turn, affects women’s and girls’ capacity to anticipate, adapt, and recover from disasters, and to contribute effectively to resilience building. Where women and girls experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, such as on account of their gender, education, ethnicity, disability or migrant status, or any other status, their vulnerability is heightened even more. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only exposed these challenges but also multiplied the risks faced by women and girls who often lack access to health services and are left out of formal policy and social protection measures.  The sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women and girls also suffer in the context of the climate crisis. It not only impacts their access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services but also increases the incidence of sexual and gender‑based violence and trafficking, poses harmful impacts on maternal and child health, among others. Realization of sexual and reproductive health and rights is critical in the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.   The recently published report of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has highlighted these deepening inequalities and unless we take transformational action NOW, we will have even more devastating impacts, further exacerbating the suffering of billions of women and girls across the region.  Addressing gender inequality and recognizing the important role of SRHR are crucial in reducing vulnerability to natural disasters and enhancing resilience to climate change. Therefore, we call on governments in the Asia Pacific region to:  Address underlying systemic causes of vulnerabilities to the climate crisis, and prioritize gender equality and women’s empowerment in the planning and funding of inclusive and sustainable development.   Ensure gender-equitable participation, access to information, and influence in planning and decision-making processes around climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and management, in particular inclusion of indigenous and rural women, LGBTQI+ communities, and other marginalized populations.    Recognizing the potential for multiple gains in health outcomes, using a human rights-based approach, integrate a broad range of SRH services and sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls, and other marginalised populations, in all other climate change and sustainable development plans such as national development plans, health sector plans, National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) as well as into climate change adaptation and resilience measures.   Invest in meaningful engagement and inclusion of youth to ensure their SRHR and health needs are being addressed, increase their resilience, and increase empowerment and autonomy.    States must respect, protect and fulfill their sexual and reproductive health and rights, including through eliminating female genital mutilation, child, early and forced marriage, sexual and gender-based violence against children, ending impunity for those who perpetrate these human rights violations, and ensuring access to SRH services and comprehensive sexuality education.    Commit more funds to climate change mitigation and adaptation, including resources to enable health systems to decarbonize, strengthen sustainability, and build resilience to respond to existing and future climate impacts and disasters, explicitly supporting SRHR within this.    Prioritize life-saving SRH services  during extreme weather events and other climate-related disasters, by integrating the minimum initial services package (MISP) for SRH in crisis situations in emergency preparedness and disaster risk reduction strategies as well as into emergency responses.    Coordinate and share disaggregated data, including digital and spatial, between climate and SRHR with better analysis and interpretation, which is critical to understand existing risks and vulnerabilities when it comes to health and SRHR, to inform effective strategies and policies.    Incorporate poverty, gender equality, age-related factors, and human rights, including the right to health and sexual and reproductive rights, in government’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), reports as a strategy to deliver on their commitments to the Paris Agreement.    Promote and establish regional forums and processes, with meaningful engagement of women’s and youth groups as well as of groups working with and representative of marginalized populations, to identify regional priority issues and current systemic challenges and come up with very specific solutions and actions.   In the weeks leading up to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), HCWH-SEA and IPPF ESEAOR announced a strategic partnership that aims to promote gender-sensitive, climate-resilient women’s and girls’ health agenda across South East Asia and the Pacific. Through joint project ideas, the regional partnership will provide communities/health facilities with information, skills, and resources on how to advance the climate, gender, sexual and reproductive health agenda in South East Asia and the Pacific. As part of the tasks ahead, both organizations shall facilitate the exchange of knowledge, tools, and build capacity among respective constituencies.  International Planned Parenthood Federation East & South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR) | The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. We are a worldwide movement of national organizations working with and for communities and individuals. IPPF ESEAOR supports 23 Member Associations and 2 Collaborating Partners in a total of 25 countries to empower women, men and young people in the most vulnerable situations to access life-saving services and programmes, and live with dignity. Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) in Southeast Asia (HCWH-SEA) is part of a global nonprofit organization that seeks to transform health care worldwide so the sector reduces its environmental footprint and becomes a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice. HCWH-SEA is working with hospitals, health ministries, medical professionals, and climate advocates in Indonesia, Viet Nam, the Philippines, Malaysia, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Generation Equality Forum
news item

| 10 September 2021

Generation Equality Forum: Open Letter to UN Women

International Planned Parenthood Federation East & South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR), Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (APA), and Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) sent an open letter to UN Women on behalf of 92 civil society organizations based and/or working in the Asia and the Pacific to express concerns about the accessibility and inclusivity of the Paris Generation Equality Forum (GEF). This open letter is an outcome action from a regional civil society debrief following the Paris GEF, and developed through a consultative process. We welcome conversations with UN Women to establish inclusive and accessible channels of engagement and means of support for Generation Equality as we focus on implementation and accountability. Our open letter: English version with the full list of signatories, Bahasa Indonesia, Japanese, Mandarin, Hindi   Asia Pacific Sign On Letter: Accountability for the GEF Commitments and Civil Society Engagement We write to you as 92 intersectional feminist civil society (CS) organizations based and working in Asia and the Pacific. We are encouraged by the recent Generation Equality Forum (GEF) opportunity to build momentum and strengthen commitments to gender equality and empowerment across the globe. We are pleased to see 40 billion USD raised from multiple stakeholders towards this goal and towards achieving the targets and commitments of the GEF Action Coalition (AC) blueprints. However, we wish to express our strong concern that Asia and the Pacific was not prioritized, with a lack of engagement and a lack of resources for the region in the GEF and its development. Asia Pacific is home to the world's largest population, with over 60% of the world's youth. It is the most vulnerable to climate-related disasters, disproportionately affecting women and marginalized groups. Almost 40% of women in South-East Asia and up to 68% of women in the Pacific experience sexual and gender-based violence from intimate partners [1]. The Pacific region has some of the lowest rates of women in national legislative bodies across the globe. GEF was envisioned as a space to position some of these issues with our governments and we expected the Paris Forum would provide a platform to raise our critical collective advocacy issues. Yet, we observed that no government from Asia or the Pacific took part in the Paris opening or closing ceremonies; feminist leadership was not well represented throughout the forum and specific groups like sex workers and trans people were excluded. This is a huge missed opportunity to advance the gender equality agenda across our region and accurately represent global Generation Equality realities. We call urgent attention to the disappointing lack of financial commitments at GEF to the Feminist Action and Climate Justice AC, as Asia and the Pacific are already dealing daily with massive loss and damage from the climate and ecological emergency [2]. We are also deeply concerned about the lack of accessibility of the online platform – the timing and languages of GEF events posed a barrier for feminists from our region, and the platform technology didn’t take into account accessibility from regions far away from Europe. There was an unacceptable lack of disability-related accessibility, including sign language interpretation, closed captioning or screen reader accessibility (in multiple languages). Language is a substantial barrier to participation for women, girls and others who do not understand either English or French. The GEF Paris platform did not work well overall, and many sessions were severely disrupted by buffering, moderator issues, back-end technical staff being overheard during the sessions, and other technical issues. If Generation Equality truly seeks to be more inclusive, such barriers must be removed. Without guaranteeing the participation of those marginalized by ableism, heteronormativity, patriarchy and colonial legacies, we shall never achieve gender equality, and “leaving no one behind” will simply be empty rhetoric. The GEF must adhere to and exemplify the core AC principles of “intersectionality, feminist leadership and transformation”. In moving the process forward, we shall continue to engage in good faith but require increased accountability and transparency in content, structure and process. We feel that by working collectively, we can ensure that countries in Asia and the Pacific are mobilized to build momentum for gender equality, and ensure accountability for GEF commitments and ensure they are speedily devolved to grassroots, indigenous and local women and feminist-led groups, on the ground. We recommend: Transforming the Action Coalitions into inclusive Communities of Practice with full accessibility, and establishing regional Communities of Practice with resources for regional UN offices and development institutions to support engagement of intersectional feminists and women in all their diversity, including those in urban poor, informal settlements, rural and maritime areas, sex workers, LGBTQI+, non-binary people and people living with disabilities, from across the region; Making available adequate, sustainable and flexible funding to civil society, feminist, women, community and grass-roots, and youth-led organisations; Establishing a strong and effective accountability framework at regional, national and global levels by the end of the year to monitor commitments made by all AC leaders and commitment-makers; Engaging with intersectional feminists and civil society groups in the region to advocate with governments, regional development institutions and funders to properly resource and implement a robust and inclusive accountability framework that evaluates transformative impact at the grassroots level; Urgent fundraising by GEF for the work of the Feminist Action and Climate Justice AC, and a global cross-AC campaign to increase political will on climate change, ecological and gender equality; Strengthening engagement with multi-stakeholder groups across the region as the GEF process continues to be planned and implemented, including all future fora and accountability mechanisms, to ensure that no one in our region is left out in the future. We look forward to shared leadership and action in ensuring that GEF Commitments and the ACs advance gender equality and support the realization of women’s human rights for an equal, just, peaceful and ecologically sustainable future across all regions of the world, including Asia and the Pacific. [1] The World Health Organization, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and South African Medical Research Council (2013). ‘Global and regional estimates of violence against women: Prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence’ p 16, 20 [2] The lack of political will and financial commitments belies CEDAW General Recommendation 37 (2018) which acknowledges that climate change is a core women’s human rights issue, linked to all aspects of socio-economic and environmental rights, gender-based violence, conflict, migration and displacement. Read our Media Release

Generation Equality Forum
news_item

| 10 September 2021

Generation Equality Forum: Open Letter to UN Women

International Planned Parenthood Federation East & South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR), Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (APA), and Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) sent an open letter to UN Women on behalf of 92 civil society organizations based and/or working in the Asia and the Pacific to express concerns about the accessibility and inclusivity of the Paris Generation Equality Forum (GEF). This open letter is an outcome action from a regional civil society debrief following the Paris GEF, and developed through a consultative process. We welcome conversations with UN Women to establish inclusive and accessible channels of engagement and means of support for Generation Equality as we focus on implementation and accountability. Our open letter: English version with the full list of signatories, Bahasa Indonesia, Japanese, Mandarin, Hindi   Asia Pacific Sign On Letter: Accountability for the GEF Commitments and Civil Society Engagement We write to you as 92 intersectional feminist civil society (CS) organizations based and working in Asia and the Pacific. We are encouraged by the recent Generation Equality Forum (GEF) opportunity to build momentum and strengthen commitments to gender equality and empowerment across the globe. We are pleased to see 40 billion USD raised from multiple stakeholders towards this goal and towards achieving the targets and commitments of the GEF Action Coalition (AC) blueprints. However, we wish to express our strong concern that Asia and the Pacific was not prioritized, with a lack of engagement and a lack of resources for the region in the GEF and its development. Asia Pacific is home to the world's largest population, with over 60% of the world's youth. It is the most vulnerable to climate-related disasters, disproportionately affecting women and marginalized groups. Almost 40% of women in South-East Asia and up to 68% of women in the Pacific experience sexual and gender-based violence from intimate partners [1]. The Pacific region has some of the lowest rates of women in national legislative bodies across the globe. GEF was envisioned as a space to position some of these issues with our governments and we expected the Paris Forum would provide a platform to raise our critical collective advocacy issues. Yet, we observed that no government from Asia or the Pacific took part in the Paris opening or closing ceremonies; feminist leadership was not well represented throughout the forum and specific groups like sex workers and trans people were excluded. This is a huge missed opportunity to advance the gender equality agenda across our region and accurately represent global Generation Equality realities. We call urgent attention to the disappointing lack of financial commitments at GEF to the Feminist Action and Climate Justice AC, as Asia and the Pacific are already dealing daily with massive loss and damage from the climate and ecological emergency [2]. We are also deeply concerned about the lack of accessibility of the online platform – the timing and languages of GEF events posed a barrier for feminists from our region, and the platform technology didn’t take into account accessibility from regions far away from Europe. There was an unacceptable lack of disability-related accessibility, including sign language interpretation, closed captioning or screen reader accessibility (in multiple languages). Language is a substantial barrier to participation for women, girls and others who do not understand either English or French. The GEF Paris platform did not work well overall, and many sessions were severely disrupted by buffering, moderator issues, back-end technical staff being overheard during the sessions, and other technical issues. If Generation Equality truly seeks to be more inclusive, such barriers must be removed. Without guaranteeing the participation of those marginalized by ableism, heteronormativity, patriarchy and colonial legacies, we shall never achieve gender equality, and “leaving no one behind” will simply be empty rhetoric. The GEF must adhere to and exemplify the core AC principles of “intersectionality, feminist leadership and transformation”. In moving the process forward, we shall continue to engage in good faith but require increased accountability and transparency in content, structure and process. We feel that by working collectively, we can ensure that countries in Asia and the Pacific are mobilized to build momentum for gender equality, and ensure accountability for GEF commitments and ensure they are speedily devolved to grassroots, indigenous and local women and feminist-led groups, on the ground. We recommend: Transforming the Action Coalitions into inclusive Communities of Practice with full accessibility, and establishing regional Communities of Practice with resources for regional UN offices and development institutions to support engagement of intersectional feminists and women in all their diversity, including those in urban poor, informal settlements, rural and maritime areas, sex workers, LGBTQI+, non-binary people and people living with disabilities, from across the region; Making available adequate, sustainable and flexible funding to civil society, feminist, women, community and grass-roots, and youth-led organisations; Establishing a strong and effective accountability framework at regional, national and global levels by the end of the year to monitor commitments made by all AC leaders and commitment-makers; Engaging with intersectional feminists and civil society groups in the region to advocate with governments, regional development institutions and funders to properly resource and implement a robust and inclusive accountability framework that evaluates transformative impact at the grassroots level; Urgent fundraising by GEF for the work of the Feminist Action and Climate Justice AC, and a global cross-AC campaign to increase political will on climate change, ecological and gender equality; Strengthening engagement with multi-stakeholder groups across the region as the GEF process continues to be planned and implemented, including all future fora and accountability mechanisms, to ensure that no one in our region is left out in the future. We look forward to shared leadership and action in ensuring that GEF Commitments and the ACs advance gender equality and support the realization of women’s human rights for an equal, just, peaceful and ecologically sustainable future across all regions of the world, including Asia and the Pacific. [1] The World Health Organization, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and South African Medical Research Council (2013). ‘Global and regional estimates of violence against women: Prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence’ p 16, 20 [2] The lack of political will and financial commitments belies CEDAW General Recommendation 37 (2018) which acknowledges that climate change is a core women’s human rights issue, linked to all aspects of socio-economic and environmental rights, gender-based violence, conflict, migration and displacement. Read our Media Release

youth from China Member Association (CFPA)
news item

| 12 May 2022

Building Inclusive, Resilient, Gender Equal Societies through Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE): The 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Education Ministers’ Conference (APREMC II) Side Event

Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is a pillar in delivering high-quality gender-transformative education and crucial to achieving SDG 4 on education. Likewise, it contributes to the fulfillment of SDG 3 on health and SDG 5 on gender equality. CSE protects young people and helps build a safer, inclusive society. CSE also has the potential to prevent and reduce gender-based and intimate partner violence. Our panel speakers will highlight the importance of CSE and its critical role to give young people the knowledge and skills they need to manage their health and form equal, fulfilling, and safe relationships free from discrimination, coercion, and violence. This session will be an inclusive dialogue among multiple stakeholder groups in South-East Asia and the Pacific on the implementation of the Goal 4 – specifically Comprehensive Sexuality Education - to exchange good practices and innovation, and to reflect on recommendations to accelerate progress.   Date: Friday, 3 June 2022 Time: 10am – 11.30am BKK / 11am – 12.30pm KL / 3pm – 4.30pm Suva (check your timezone here) Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMpce-gqTsvGtcKSoH3Mf1439uxJ4Ko5Dkw Organizers: International Planned Parenthood Federation ESEAOR (IPPF ESEAOR), UNFPA Asia Pacific and UNESCO Topics: Results of the Regional CSE Review: Brayant Gonzales, IPPF ESEAOR and Brian Kironde, UNFPA Pacific Building CSE into national education curriculums: Dr Somolireasmey Saphon, Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia (RHAC) Age- and developmentally appropriate sexuality education for people with disability: Sera Ratu, Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF) Delivering sexuality education in humanitarian settings: Louria Joy Paragon, Family Planning Organisation of the Philippines (FPOP) Digital solutions to Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE): Jack Martin IPPF ESEAOR Sub-Regional Office for the Pacific (SROP)

youth from China Member Association (CFPA)
news_item

| 12 May 2022

Building Inclusive, Resilient, Gender Equal Societies through Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE): The 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Education Ministers’ Conference (APREMC II) Side Event

Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is a pillar in delivering high-quality gender-transformative education and crucial to achieving SDG 4 on education. Likewise, it contributes to the fulfillment of SDG 3 on health and SDG 5 on gender equality. CSE protects young people and helps build a safer, inclusive society. CSE also has the potential to prevent and reduce gender-based and intimate partner violence. Our panel speakers will highlight the importance of CSE and its critical role to give young people the knowledge and skills they need to manage their health and form equal, fulfilling, and safe relationships free from discrimination, coercion, and violence. This session will be an inclusive dialogue among multiple stakeholder groups in South-East Asia and the Pacific on the implementation of the Goal 4 – specifically Comprehensive Sexuality Education - to exchange good practices and innovation, and to reflect on recommendations to accelerate progress.   Date: Friday, 3 June 2022 Time: 10am – 11.30am BKK / 11am – 12.30pm KL / 3pm – 4.30pm Suva (check your timezone here) Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMpce-gqTsvGtcKSoH3Mf1439uxJ4Ko5Dkw Organizers: International Planned Parenthood Federation ESEAOR (IPPF ESEAOR), UNFPA Asia Pacific and UNESCO Topics: Results of the Regional CSE Review: Brayant Gonzales, IPPF ESEAOR and Brian Kironde, UNFPA Pacific Building CSE into national education curriculums: Dr Somolireasmey Saphon, Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia (RHAC) Age- and developmentally appropriate sexuality education for people with disability: Sera Ratu, Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF) Delivering sexuality education in humanitarian settings: Louria Joy Paragon, Family Planning Organisation of the Philippines (FPOP) Digital solutions to Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE): Jack Martin IPPF ESEAOR Sub-Regional Office for the Pacific (SROP)

photos of adolescent girl
news item

| 09 May 2022

Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development side event: Build Back Equal for Adolescent Girls

  On March 30, 2022, the Asia Pacific Working Group on Adolescent Girls (AP WGAG),  hosted a virtual side event alongside the 9th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development. The AP WGAG co-chairs, IPPF ESEAOR and Plan International Asia-Pacific, along with the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and other partners, organized Build Back Equal for Adolescent Girls.   The session aimed to highlight the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises on adolescent girls’ health, education and well-being and to share best practices and policy recommendations.    Anh Duong, a GPE youth leader and Plan International youth advisor from Vietnam, moderated the panel consisting of youth activists and decision makers.   The pandemic is impacting adolescent girls in many ways   Adolescent girls from around the region called attention to the varied impacts of the pandemic. We heard repeatedly that the pandemic is creating a mental health crisis. Applesta Maryann da Costa from India’s Human Touch Foundation pointed out that education disruption, rising unemployment and inaccessibility to basic amenities are some of the key factors creating anxiety and depression among youth: “The digital divide has further excluded vulnerable communities that do not have access to technology and contributed to elevated levels of anxiety and stress.”  Adolescent girls are also impacted by humanitarian crises and climate change and play a role in addressing them  In November 2021, during the riots in the Solomon Islands, Larisha from the Young Women's Christian Association used the training she received through the Girls Rise Up program to help her community. She said, “We must put adolescent girls and adolescent girls with disabilities at the forefront of all our interventions.”  Ridhima, a young climate activist and president of Save the Children’s Red Alert Network, is fighting the climate crisis in India. She spoke of solutions by women leaders to mitigate the impacts of climate change and emphasized, “It is important to provide a platform and give girls and women [equal] opportunities.”   She added, “We have to change the gain maximization for a few, to risk minimization for all. We need to work together as a collective and solve these problems based on the advice given by the experts.”    Some governments and organizations are finding solutions that work  Gender-responsive education planning     Dr. Hari Lamsal, joint secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, shared Nepal’s success in reaching gender parity in school. However, despite national-level progress, disparities persist at the subnational level and across different communities. “We realized there is a need to develop a composite index, which can trigger resource allocation and strategic interventions.” The ministry, with support from UNICEF, the World Bank and GPE, developed the Equity Index to capture disparities in education. The ministry used the index to identify the most disadvantaged areas and provided additional resources for targeted local government efforts, including the (re)enrollment of girls in school through the Girls’ Access To Education (GATE) program.   Comprehensive sexuality education for all   “Education is the backbone and driving force for achieving all development goals,” said Dr. Yung Kunthearith from the Ministry of Education, Cambodia, who shared his government’s commitment to ensuring education policies are inclusive and equal. “Comprehensive sexuality education will be taught from grades 5 to 12. The Cambodian government is also focused on promoting hygiene and sanitation in schools, focusing on menstrual health care for girls.” He also highlighted that even though the education budgets have been under strain during the pandemic, Cambodia still prioritizes the importance of investing in education for all.   Supporting mental health, food security and menstrual hygiene  Applesta shared Human Touch Foundation’s support for adolescent girls during the pandemic, such as telephonic and in-person counseling, door-to-door delivery of anti-retrovirals (ARVs) and scaling up food security programs with support from the Youth Lead Young Key Population Small Grants Program. The foundation also initiated the EcoSwitch Campaign to support adolescent girls and young menstruators from rural communities across Goa with access to sustainable menstrual products.   At the end of the session, the audience shared their reflections and recommendations, with several key themes emerging: opportunities for adolescent girls to engage meaningfully with decision makers, supportive laws, policies and investment at the country level and the need for urgent cross-sectoral action.   Tomoko Fukuda, regional director of IPPF ESEAOR, remarked, “Adolescent girls are the future … Your voices and needs matter. We recognize that adolescent girls are in so many diverse situations, and when they want to make a decision, [it] is influenced by their environment. We need financial commitments and accessible systems for adolescent girls.”  Anh Duong emphasized, “It is time for us to act now for adolescent girls. Policies and programs must be intersectional and address all forms of discrimination faced by them.”    As Larisha aptly said, “…Please think of our needs. We are here, ready to be consulted on how to ensure responses capture the needs of adolescent girls and girls with disabilities.”  Watch the recording here.  *This blog was published on the Global Partnership for Education website.  About the Asia Pacific Working Group on Adolescent Girls   The Asia Pacific Working Group on Adolescent Girls is co-chaired by the International Planned Parenthood Federation East and South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR) and Plan International Asia-Pacific. Members include Asia Safe Abortion Partnership, CREA, Care Asia, Save the Children Asia, ECPAT International, GPE, Girls Not Brides, IPPF South Asia, Pacific Girl, Terre des Hommes, UNICEF, UN Women Asia and the Pacific Regional Office, UNFPA Asia and the Pacific Regional Office, YouthLead and YPEER Asia Pacific.    Contact Persons:  Natassha Kaur, IPPF ESEAOR, AP WGAG Co-Chair: [email protected]  Deepali Gupta, GPE, AP WGAG Member: [email protected] 

photos of adolescent girl
news_item

| 09 May 2022

Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development side event: Build Back Equal for Adolescent Girls

  On March 30, 2022, the Asia Pacific Working Group on Adolescent Girls (AP WGAG),  hosted a virtual side event alongside the 9th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development. The AP WGAG co-chairs, IPPF ESEAOR and Plan International Asia-Pacific, along with the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and other partners, organized Build Back Equal for Adolescent Girls.   The session aimed to highlight the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises on adolescent girls’ health, education and well-being and to share best practices and policy recommendations.    Anh Duong, a GPE youth leader and Plan International youth advisor from Vietnam, moderated the panel consisting of youth activists and decision makers.   The pandemic is impacting adolescent girls in many ways   Adolescent girls from around the region called attention to the varied impacts of the pandemic. We heard repeatedly that the pandemic is creating a mental health crisis. Applesta Maryann da Costa from India’s Human Touch Foundation pointed out that education disruption, rising unemployment and inaccessibility to basic amenities are some of the key factors creating anxiety and depression among youth: “The digital divide has further excluded vulnerable communities that do not have access to technology and contributed to elevated levels of anxiety and stress.”  Adolescent girls are also impacted by humanitarian crises and climate change and play a role in addressing them  In November 2021, during the riots in the Solomon Islands, Larisha from the Young Women's Christian Association used the training she received through the Girls Rise Up program to help her community. She said, “We must put adolescent girls and adolescent girls with disabilities at the forefront of all our interventions.”  Ridhima, a young climate activist and president of Save the Children’s Red Alert Network, is fighting the climate crisis in India. She spoke of solutions by women leaders to mitigate the impacts of climate change and emphasized, “It is important to provide a platform and give girls and women [equal] opportunities.”   She added, “We have to change the gain maximization for a few, to risk minimization for all. We need to work together as a collective and solve these problems based on the advice given by the experts.”    Some governments and organizations are finding solutions that work  Gender-responsive education planning     Dr. Hari Lamsal, joint secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, shared Nepal’s success in reaching gender parity in school. However, despite national-level progress, disparities persist at the subnational level and across different communities. “We realized there is a need to develop a composite index, which can trigger resource allocation and strategic interventions.” The ministry, with support from UNICEF, the World Bank and GPE, developed the Equity Index to capture disparities in education. The ministry used the index to identify the most disadvantaged areas and provided additional resources for targeted local government efforts, including the (re)enrollment of girls in school through the Girls’ Access To Education (GATE) program.   Comprehensive sexuality education for all   “Education is the backbone and driving force for achieving all development goals,” said Dr. Yung Kunthearith from the Ministry of Education, Cambodia, who shared his government’s commitment to ensuring education policies are inclusive and equal. “Comprehensive sexuality education will be taught from grades 5 to 12. The Cambodian government is also focused on promoting hygiene and sanitation in schools, focusing on menstrual health care for girls.” He also highlighted that even though the education budgets have been under strain during the pandemic, Cambodia still prioritizes the importance of investing in education for all.   Supporting mental health, food security and menstrual hygiene  Applesta shared Human Touch Foundation’s support for adolescent girls during the pandemic, such as telephonic and in-person counseling, door-to-door delivery of anti-retrovirals (ARVs) and scaling up food security programs with support from the Youth Lead Young Key Population Small Grants Program. The foundation also initiated the EcoSwitch Campaign to support adolescent girls and young menstruators from rural communities across Goa with access to sustainable menstrual products.   At the end of the session, the audience shared their reflections and recommendations, with several key themes emerging: opportunities for adolescent girls to engage meaningfully with decision makers, supportive laws, policies and investment at the country level and the need for urgent cross-sectoral action.   Tomoko Fukuda, regional director of IPPF ESEAOR, remarked, “Adolescent girls are the future … Your voices and needs matter. We recognize that adolescent girls are in so many diverse situations, and when they want to make a decision, [it] is influenced by their environment. We need financial commitments and accessible systems for adolescent girls.”  Anh Duong emphasized, “It is time for us to act now for adolescent girls. Policies and programs must be intersectional and address all forms of discrimination faced by them.”    As Larisha aptly said, “…Please think of our needs. We are here, ready to be consulted on how to ensure responses capture the needs of adolescent girls and girls with disabilities.”  Watch the recording here.  *This blog was published on the Global Partnership for Education website.  About the Asia Pacific Working Group on Adolescent Girls   The Asia Pacific Working Group on Adolescent Girls is co-chaired by the International Planned Parenthood Federation East and South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR) and Plan International Asia-Pacific. Members include Asia Safe Abortion Partnership, CREA, Care Asia, Save the Children Asia, ECPAT International, GPE, Girls Not Brides, IPPF South Asia, Pacific Girl, Terre des Hommes, UNICEF, UN Women Asia and the Pacific Regional Office, UNFPA Asia and the Pacific Regional Office, YouthLead and YPEER Asia Pacific.    Contact Persons:  Natassha Kaur, IPPF ESEAOR, AP WGAG Co-Chair: [email protected]  Deepali Gupta, GPE, AP WGAG Member: [email protected] 

IPPF's Member Association IPPA in Advocacy Action
news item

| 13 April 2022

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. Perkumpulan Keluarga Berencana Indonesia (PKBI) (also known as the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association (IPPA)), IPPF member in Indonesia, has been actively advocating for this bill since 2017 and has been part of the formal drafting of the bill in the past two (2) years. Eko Maryadi, PKBI’s Executive Director offered these words, “Congratulations to the PKBI Advocacy Team who consistently guarded the draft Bill until it became the Criminal Acts of Sexual Violence Law. The struggle is not over. We still must oversee the operationalisation of the law, and our advocacy and the fight against sexual violence will not stop until it does.” “We welcome the passing of the sexual violence bill in Indonesia and congratulate PKBI, Komnas Perempuan and countless activists and advocates in Indonesia for your tireless fight to ensure all people are safe from sexual and gender-based violence, and survivors have access to justice and support. This is a great win for the sexual and reproductive rights of all Indonesians, especially women and girls”, said Tomoko Fukuda, IPPF ESEAOR Regional Director.

IPPF's Member Association IPPA in Advocacy Action
news_item

| 13 April 2022

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. Perkumpulan Keluarga Berencana Indonesia (PKBI) (also known as the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association (IPPA)), IPPF member in Indonesia, has been actively advocating for this bill since 2017 and has been part of the formal drafting of the bill in the past two (2) years. Eko Maryadi, PKBI’s Executive Director offered these words, “Congratulations to the PKBI Advocacy Team who consistently guarded the draft Bill until it became the Criminal Acts of Sexual Violence Law. The struggle is not over. We still must oversee the operationalisation of the law, and our advocacy and the fight against sexual violence will not stop until it does.” “We welcome the passing of the sexual violence bill in Indonesia and congratulate PKBI, Komnas Perempuan and countless activists and advocates in Indonesia for your tireless fight to ensure all people are safe from sexual and gender-based violence, and survivors have access to justice and support. This is a great win for the sexual and reproductive rights of all Indonesians, especially women and girls”, said Tomoko Fukuda, IPPF ESEAOR Regional Director.

A call for gender-inclusive, climate-resilient and equitable seuxal and reproductive healthcare from advocates in South-East Asia and the Pacific.
news item

| 05 April 2022

A call for gender-inclusive, climate-resilient and equitable sexual and reproductive healthcare from advocates in Southeast Asia and the Pacific

23 March 2022 - On the sides of the 66th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66), Health Care Without Harm South East Asia (HCWH SEA) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation East & South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR) publicly announced a strategic partnership promoting gender-sensitive, climate-resilient women’s and girls’ health agenda across South East Asia and the Pacific. “The climate crisis and the current COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impact women and girls in the Asia Pacific region, aggravate their situation, restrain their capacity, and expose the weaknesses of the current economic, social and political system as reflected on their health and well-being.” expressed Ramon San Pascual, HCWH South East Asia’s Executive Director.  San Pascual adds that, “the COVID-19 pandemic has not only exposed these challenges but also multiplied the hazards faced by women and girls who often lack access to health services and are left out of formal policy and social protection measures. Even before the pandemic, gender inequity  is also  observed in the healthcare system as well. 70% of the workforce in the healthcare sector are women, and yet the leadership and the specialist roles are assumed by men.” According to Tomoko Fukuda, Regional Director of IPPF ESEAOR, “In climate-disaster situations, women, girls and people with diverse Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) are among the most vulnerable not only to the social and environmental impacts of these climate-related disasters, but also from the lack of sexual and reproductive health services.” Fukuda adds that “In the spirit of CSW66, gender equality must be at the center of solutions. Therefore, through joint project initiatives at the country level, this regional partnership aims to provide communities and health facilities with information, skills, and resources to advance the climate, gender, sexual and reproductive health and rights agenda in South East Asia and the Pacific.” As part of the tasks ahead, both organizations are committed to exchanging knowledge and  tools among respective members and partner networks. The partnership launched a pilot project in collaboration with the Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia (RHAC) and Solomon Islands Planned Parenthood Association (SIPPA) to contribute to building climate-resilient, equitable, and sustainable sexual and reproductive healthcare in both countries. In a joint CSW66 statement released by HCWH South East Asia and IPPF ESEAOR , they call on governments in Asia Pacific to address gender inequality and recognize the important role of SRHR in reducing vulnerability to human-induced climate-related disasters and enhancing resilience to climate change.  International Planned Parenthood Federation East & South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. We are a worldwide movement of national organizations working with and for communities and individuals. IPPF ESEAOR supports 23 Member Associations and 2 Collaborating Partners in a total of 25 countries to empower women, men and young people in the most vulnerable situations to access life-saving services and programmes, and live with dignity. Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) in South East Asia Health Care Without Harm - South East Asia (HCWH-SEA) is part of a global nonprofit organization that seeks to transform health care worldwide so the sector reduces its environmental footprint and becomes a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice. HCWH-SEA is working with hospitals, health ministries, medical professionals, and climate advocates in Indonesia, Viet Nam, the Philippines, Malaysia, South Korea, and Taiwan.

A call for gender-inclusive, climate-resilient and equitable seuxal and reproductive healthcare from advocates in South-East Asia and the Pacific.
news_item

| 23 March 2022

A call for gender-inclusive, climate-resilient and equitable sexual and reproductive healthcare from advocates in Southeast Asia and the Pacific

23 March 2022 - On the sides of the 66th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66), Health Care Without Harm South East Asia (HCWH SEA) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation East & South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR) publicly announced a strategic partnership promoting gender-sensitive, climate-resilient women’s and girls’ health agenda across South East Asia and the Pacific. “The climate crisis and the current COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impact women and girls in the Asia Pacific region, aggravate their situation, restrain their capacity, and expose the weaknesses of the current economic, social and political system as reflected on their health and well-being.” expressed Ramon San Pascual, HCWH South East Asia’s Executive Director.  San Pascual adds that, “the COVID-19 pandemic has not only exposed these challenges but also multiplied the hazards faced by women and girls who often lack access to health services and are left out of formal policy and social protection measures. Even before the pandemic, gender inequity  is also  observed in the healthcare system as well. 70% of the workforce in the healthcare sector are women, and yet the leadership and the specialist roles are assumed by men.” According to Tomoko Fukuda, Regional Director of IPPF ESEAOR, “In climate-disaster situations, women, girls and people with diverse Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) are among the most vulnerable not only to the social and environmental impacts of these climate-related disasters, but also from the lack of sexual and reproductive health services.” Fukuda adds that “In the spirit of CSW66, gender equality must be at the center of solutions. Therefore, through joint project initiatives at the country level, this regional partnership aims to provide communities and health facilities with information, skills, and resources to advance the climate, gender, sexual and reproductive health and rights agenda in South East Asia and the Pacific.” As part of the tasks ahead, both organizations are committed to exchanging knowledge and  tools among respective members and partner networks. The partnership launched a pilot project in collaboration with the Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia (RHAC) and Solomon Islands Planned Parenthood Association (SIPPA) to contribute to building climate-resilient, equitable, and sustainable sexual and reproductive healthcare in both countries. In a joint CSW66 statement released by HCWH South East Asia and IPPF ESEAOR , they call on governments in Asia Pacific to address gender inequality and recognize the important role of SRHR in reducing vulnerability to human-induced climate-related disasters and enhancing resilience to climate change.  International Planned Parenthood Federation East & South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. We are a worldwide movement of national organizations working with and for communities and individuals. IPPF ESEAOR supports 23 Member Associations and 2 Collaborating Partners in a total of 25 countries to empower women, men and young people in the most vulnerable situations to access life-saving services and programmes, and live with dignity. Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) in South East Asia Health Care Without Harm - South East Asia (HCWH-SEA) is part of a global nonprofit organization that seeks to transform health care worldwide so the sector reduces its environmental footprint and becomes a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice. HCWH-SEA is working with hospitals, health ministries, medical professionals, and climate advocates in Indonesia, Viet Nam, the Philippines, Malaysia, South Korea, and Taiwan.

woman seeking srh healthcare
news item

| 14 March 2022

JOINT STATEMENT ON CSW WITH HCWH

The climate crisis and the current COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impact women and girls in the Asia Pacific region, aggravate their situation, restrains their capacity, and exposes the weaknesses of the current economic, social and political system as reflected on their health and well-being.   Countries in the Asia Pacific region are among those bearing the heaviest burden of climate change. More than 87% of its population were affected by disasters that occurred in the last 40 years. The region - exposed to recurring hazards brought about by climate change and now with the spread of COVID-19 - is prone to cascading and multiple disasters. This is further compounded by high levels of inequity, low levels of social protection, and weak systems, among others. Within this context, deeply ingrained, systemic discrimination means that women and girls are at a higher risk of experiencing harmful effects of the climate crisis.   The climate crisis is a gendered crisis as it has major impacts on the advancement of gender equality. Gender inequality, in turn, affects women’s and girls’ capacity to anticipate, adapt, and recover from disasters, and to contribute effectively to resilience building. Where women and girls experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, such as on account of their gender, education, ethnicity, disability or migrant status, or any other status, their vulnerability is heightened even more. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only exposed these challenges but also multiplied the risks faced by women and girls who often lack access to health services and are left out of formal policy and social protection measures.  The sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women and girls also suffer in the context of the climate crisis. It not only impacts their access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services but also increases the incidence of sexual and gender‑based violence and trafficking, poses harmful impacts on maternal and child health, among others. Realization of sexual and reproductive health and rights is critical in the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.   The recently published report of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has highlighted these deepening inequalities and unless we take transformational action NOW, we will have even more devastating impacts, further exacerbating the suffering of billions of women and girls across the region.  Addressing gender inequality and recognizing the important role of SRHR are crucial in reducing vulnerability to natural disasters and enhancing resilience to climate change. Therefore, we call on governments in the Asia Pacific region to:  Address underlying systemic causes of vulnerabilities to the climate crisis, and prioritize gender equality and women’s empowerment in the planning and funding of inclusive and sustainable development.   Ensure gender-equitable participation, access to information, and influence in planning and decision-making processes around climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and management, in particular inclusion of indigenous and rural women, LGBTQI+ communities, and other marginalized populations.    Recognizing the potential for multiple gains in health outcomes, using a human rights-based approach, integrate a broad range of SRH services and sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls, and other marginalised populations, in all other climate change and sustainable development plans such as national development plans, health sector plans, National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) as well as into climate change adaptation and resilience measures.   Invest in meaningful engagement and inclusion of youth to ensure their SRHR and health needs are being addressed, increase their resilience, and increase empowerment and autonomy.    States must respect, protect and fulfill their sexual and reproductive health and rights, including through eliminating female genital mutilation, child, early and forced marriage, sexual and gender-based violence against children, ending impunity for those who perpetrate these human rights violations, and ensuring access to SRH services and comprehensive sexuality education.    Commit more funds to climate change mitigation and adaptation, including resources to enable health systems to decarbonize, strengthen sustainability, and build resilience to respond to existing and future climate impacts and disasters, explicitly supporting SRHR within this.    Prioritize life-saving SRH services  during extreme weather events and other climate-related disasters, by integrating the minimum initial services package (MISP) for SRH in crisis situations in emergency preparedness and disaster risk reduction strategies as well as into emergency responses.    Coordinate and share disaggregated data, including digital and spatial, between climate and SRHR with better analysis and interpretation, which is critical to understand existing risks and vulnerabilities when it comes to health and SRHR, to inform effective strategies and policies.    Incorporate poverty, gender equality, age-related factors, and human rights, including the right to health and sexual and reproductive rights, in government’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), reports as a strategy to deliver on their commitments to the Paris Agreement.    Promote and establish regional forums and processes, with meaningful engagement of women’s and youth groups as well as of groups working with and representative of marginalized populations, to identify regional priority issues and current systemic challenges and come up with very specific solutions and actions.   In the weeks leading up to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), HCWH-SEA and IPPF ESEAOR announced a strategic partnership that aims to promote gender-sensitive, climate-resilient women’s and girls’ health agenda across South East Asia and the Pacific. Through joint project ideas, the regional partnership will provide communities/health facilities with information, skills, and resources on how to advance the climate, gender, sexual and reproductive health agenda in South East Asia and the Pacific. As part of the tasks ahead, both organizations shall facilitate the exchange of knowledge, tools, and build capacity among respective constituencies.  International Planned Parenthood Federation East & South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR) | The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. We are a worldwide movement of national organizations working with and for communities and individuals. IPPF ESEAOR supports 23 Member Associations and 2 Collaborating Partners in a total of 25 countries to empower women, men and young people in the most vulnerable situations to access life-saving services and programmes, and live with dignity. Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) in Southeast Asia (HCWH-SEA) is part of a global nonprofit organization that seeks to transform health care worldwide so the sector reduces its environmental footprint and becomes a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice. HCWH-SEA is working with hospitals, health ministries, medical professionals, and climate advocates in Indonesia, Viet Nam, the Philippines, Malaysia, South Korea, and Taiwan.

woman seeking srh healthcare
news_item

| 14 March 2022

JOINT STATEMENT ON CSW WITH HCWH

The climate crisis and the current COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impact women and girls in the Asia Pacific region, aggravate their situation, restrains their capacity, and exposes the weaknesses of the current economic, social and political system as reflected on their health and well-being.   Countries in the Asia Pacific region are among those bearing the heaviest burden of climate change. More than 87% of its population were affected by disasters that occurred in the last 40 years. The region - exposed to recurring hazards brought about by climate change and now with the spread of COVID-19 - is prone to cascading and multiple disasters. This is further compounded by high levels of inequity, low levels of social protection, and weak systems, among others. Within this context, deeply ingrained, systemic discrimination means that women and girls are at a higher risk of experiencing harmful effects of the climate crisis.   The climate crisis is a gendered crisis as it has major impacts on the advancement of gender equality. Gender inequality, in turn, affects women’s and girls’ capacity to anticipate, adapt, and recover from disasters, and to contribute effectively to resilience building. Where women and girls experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, such as on account of their gender, education, ethnicity, disability or migrant status, or any other status, their vulnerability is heightened even more. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only exposed these challenges but also multiplied the risks faced by women and girls who often lack access to health services and are left out of formal policy and social protection measures.  The sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women and girls also suffer in the context of the climate crisis. It not only impacts their access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services but also increases the incidence of sexual and gender‑based violence and trafficking, poses harmful impacts on maternal and child health, among others. Realization of sexual and reproductive health and rights is critical in the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.   The recently published report of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has highlighted these deepening inequalities and unless we take transformational action NOW, we will have even more devastating impacts, further exacerbating the suffering of billions of women and girls across the region.  Addressing gender inequality and recognizing the important role of SRHR are crucial in reducing vulnerability to natural disasters and enhancing resilience to climate change. Therefore, we call on governments in the Asia Pacific region to:  Address underlying systemic causes of vulnerabilities to the climate crisis, and prioritize gender equality and women’s empowerment in the planning and funding of inclusive and sustainable development.   Ensure gender-equitable participation, access to information, and influence in planning and decision-making processes around climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and management, in particular inclusion of indigenous and rural women, LGBTQI+ communities, and other marginalized populations.    Recognizing the potential for multiple gains in health outcomes, using a human rights-based approach, integrate a broad range of SRH services and sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls, and other marginalised populations, in all other climate change and sustainable development plans such as national development plans, health sector plans, National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) as well as into climate change adaptation and resilience measures.   Invest in meaningful engagement and inclusion of youth to ensure their SRHR and health needs are being addressed, increase their resilience, and increase empowerment and autonomy.    States must respect, protect and fulfill their sexual and reproductive health and rights, including through eliminating female genital mutilation, child, early and forced marriage, sexual and gender-based violence against children, ending impunity for those who perpetrate these human rights violations, and ensuring access to SRH services and comprehensive sexuality education.    Commit more funds to climate change mitigation and adaptation, including resources to enable health systems to decarbonize, strengthen sustainability, and build resilience to respond to existing and future climate impacts and disasters, explicitly supporting SRHR within this.    Prioritize life-saving SRH services  during extreme weather events and other climate-related disasters, by integrating the minimum initial services package (MISP) for SRH in crisis situations in emergency preparedness and disaster risk reduction strategies as well as into emergency responses.    Coordinate and share disaggregated data, including digital and spatial, between climate and SRHR with better analysis and interpretation, which is critical to understand existing risks and vulnerabilities when it comes to health and SRHR, to inform effective strategies and policies.    Incorporate poverty, gender equality, age-related factors, and human rights, including the right to health and sexual and reproductive rights, in government’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), reports as a strategy to deliver on their commitments to the Paris Agreement.    Promote and establish regional forums and processes, with meaningful engagement of women’s and youth groups as well as of groups working with and representative of marginalized populations, to identify regional priority issues and current systemic challenges and come up with very specific solutions and actions.   In the weeks leading up to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), HCWH-SEA and IPPF ESEAOR announced a strategic partnership that aims to promote gender-sensitive, climate-resilient women’s and girls’ health agenda across South East Asia and the Pacific. Through joint project ideas, the regional partnership will provide communities/health facilities with information, skills, and resources on how to advance the climate, gender, sexual and reproductive health agenda in South East Asia and the Pacific. As part of the tasks ahead, both organizations shall facilitate the exchange of knowledge, tools, and build capacity among respective constituencies.  International Planned Parenthood Federation East & South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR) | The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. We are a worldwide movement of national organizations working with and for communities and individuals. IPPF ESEAOR supports 23 Member Associations and 2 Collaborating Partners in a total of 25 countries to empower women, men and young people in the most vulnerable situations to access life-saving services and programmes, and live with dignity. Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) in Southeast Asia (HCWH-SEA) is part of a global nonprofit organization that seeks to transform health care worldwide so the sector reduces its environmental footprint and becomes a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice. HCWH-SEA is working with hospitals, health ministries, medical professionals, and climate advocates in Indonesia, Viet Nam, the Philippines, Malaysia, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Generation Equality Forum
news item

| 10 September 2021

Generation Equality Forum: Open Letter to UN Women

International Planned Parenthood Federation East & South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR), Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (APA), and Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) sent an open letter to UN Women on behalf of 92 civil society organizations based and/or working in the Asia and the Pacific to express concerns about the accessibility and inclusivity of the Paris Generation Equality Forum (GEF). This open letter is an outcome action from a regional civil society debrief following the Paris GEF, and developed through a consultative process. We welcome conversations with UN Women to establish inclusive and accessible channels of engagement and means of support for Generation Equality as we focus on implementation and accountability. Our open letter: English version with the full list of signatories, Bahasa Indonesia, Japanese, Mandarin, Hindi   Asia Pacific Sign On Letter: Accountability for the GEF Commitments and Civil Society Engagement We write to you as 92 intersectional feminist civil society (CS) organizations based and working in Asia and the Pacific. We are encouraged by the recent Generation Equality Forum (GEF) opportunity to build momentum and strengthen commitments to gender equality and empowerment across the globe. We are pleased to see 40 billion USD raised from multiple stakeholders towards this goal and towards achieving the targets and commitments of the GEF Action Coalition (AC) blueprints. However, we wish to express our strong concern that Asia and the Pacific was not prioritized, with a lack of engagement and a lack of resources for the region in the GEF and its development. Asia Pacific is home to the world's largest population, with over 60% of the world's youth. It is the most vulnerable to climate-related disasters, disproportionately affecting women and marginalized groups. Almost 40% of women in South-East Asia and up to 68% of women in the Pacific experience sexual and gender-based violence from intimate partners [1]. The Pacific region has some of the lowest rates of women in national legislative bodies across the globe. GEF was envisioned as a space to position some of these issues with our governments and we expected the Paris Forum would provide a platform to raise our critical collective advocacy issues. Yet, we observed that no government from Asia or the Pacific took part in the Paris opening or closing ceremonies; feminist leadership was not well represented throughout the forum and specific groups like sex workers and trans people were excluded. This is a huge missed opportunity to advance the gender equality agenda across our region and accurately represent global Generation Equality realities. We call urgent attention to the disappointing lack of financial commitments at GEF to the Feminist Action and Climate Justice AC, as Asia and the Pacific are already dealing daily with massive loss and damage from the climate and ecological emergency [2]. We are also deeply concerned about the lack of accessibility of the online platform – the timing and languages of GEF events posed a barrier for feminists from our region, and the platform technology didn’t take into account accessibility from regions far away from Europe. There was an unacceptable lack of disability-related accessibility, including sign language interpretation, closed captioning or screen reader accessibility (in multiple languages). Language is a substantial barrier to participation for women, girls and others who do not understand either English or French. The GEF Paris platform did not work well overall, and many sessions were severely disrupted by buffering, moderator issues, back-end technical staff being overheard during the sessions, and other technical issues. If Generation Equality truly seeks to be more inclusive, such barriers must be removed. Without guaranteeing the participation of those marginalized by ableism, heteronormativity, patriarchy and colonial legacies, we shall never achieve gender equality, and “leaving no one behind” will simply be empty rhetoric. The GEF must adhere to and exemplify the core AC principles of “intersectionality, feminist leadership and transformation”. In moving the process forward, we shall continue to engage in good faith but require increased accountability and transparency in content, structure and process. We feel that by working collectively, we can ensure that countries in Asia and the Pacific are mobilized to build momentum for gender equality, and ensure accountability for GEF commitments and ensure they are speedily devolved to grassroots, indigenous and local women and feminist-led groups, on the ground. We recommend: Transforming the Action Coalitions into inclusive Communities of Practice with full accessibility, and establishing regional Communities of Practice with resources for regional UN offices and development institutions to support engagement of intersectional feminists and women in all their diversity, including those in urban poor, informal settlements, rural and maritime areas, sex workers, LGBTQI+, non-binary people and people living with disabilities, from across the region; Making available adequate, sustainable and flexible funding to civil society, feminist, women, community and grass-roots, and youth-led organisations; Establishing a strong and effective accountability framework at regional, national and global levels by the end of the year to monitor commitments made by all AC leaders and commitment-makers; Engaging with intersectional feminists and civil society groups in the region to advocate with governments, regional development institutions and funders to properly resource and implement a robust and inclusive accountability framework that evaluates transformative impact at the grassroots level; Urgent fundraising by GEF for the work of the Feminist Action and Climate Justice AC, and a global cross-AC campaign to increase political will on climate change, ecological and gender equality; Strengthening engagement with multi-stakeholder groups across the region as the GEF process continues to be planned and implemented, including all future fora and accountability mechanisms, to ensure that no one in our region is left out in the future. We look forward to shared leadership and action in ensuring that GEF Commitments and the ACs advance gender equality and support the realization of women’s human rights for an equal, just, peaceful and ecologically sustainable future across all regions of the world, including Asia and the Pacific. [1] The World Health Organization, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and South African Medical Research Council (2013). ‘Global and regional estimates of violence against women: Prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence’ p 16, 20 [2] The lack of political will and financial commitments belies CEDAW General Recommendation 37 (2018) which acknowledges that climate change is a core women’s human rights issue, linked to all aspects of socio-economic and environmental rights, gender-based violence, conflict, migration and displacement. Read our Media Release

Generation Equality Forum
news_item

| 10 September 2021

Generation Equality Forum: Open Letter to UN Women

International Planned Parenthood Federation East & South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR), Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (APA), and Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) sent an open letter to UN Women on behalf of 92 civil society organizations based and/or working in the Asia and the Pacific to express concerns about the accessibility and inclusivity of the Paris Generation Equality Forum (GEF). This open letter is an outcome action from a regional civil society debrief following the Paris GEF, and developed through a consultative process. We welcome conversations with UN Women to establish inclusive and accessible channels of engagement and means of support for Generation Equality as we focus on implementation and accountability. Our open letter: English version with the full list of signatories, Bahasa Indonesia, Japanese, Mandarin, Hindi   Asia Pacific Sign On Letter: Accountability for the GEF Commitments and Civil Society Engagement We write to you as 92 intersectional feminist civil society (CS) organizations based and working in Asia and the Pacific. We are encouraged by the recent Generation Equality Forum (GEF) opportunity to build momentum and strengthen commitments to gender equality and empowerment across the globe. We are pleased to see 40 billion USD raised from multiple stakeholders towards this goal and towards achieving the targets and commitments of the GEF Action Coalition (AC) blueprints. However, we wish to express our strong concern that Asia and the Pacific was not prioritized, with a lack of engagement and a lack of resources for the region in the GEF and its development. Asia Pacific is home to the world's largest population, with over 60% of the world's youth. It is the most vulnerable to climate-related disasters, disproportionately affecting women and marginalized groups. Almost 40% of women in South-East Asia and up to 68% of women in the Pacific experience sexual and gender-based violence from intimate partners [1]. The Pacific region has some of the lowest rates of women in national legislative bodies across the globe. GEF was envisioned as a space to position some of these issues with our governments and we expected the Paris Forum would provide a platform to raise our critical collective advocacy issues. Yet, we observed that no government from Asia or the Pacific took part in the Paris opening or closing ceremonies; feminist leadership was not well represented throughout the forum and specific groups like sex workers and trans people were excluded. This is a huge missed opportunity to advance the gender equality agenda across our region and accurately represent global Generation Equality realities. We call urgent attention to the disappointing lack of financial commitments at GEF to the Feminist Action and Climate Justice AC, as Asia and the Pacific are already dealing daily with massive loss and damage from the climate and ecological emergency [2]. We are also deeply concerned about the lack of accessibility of the online platform – the timing and languages of GEF events posed a barrier for feminists from our region, and the platform technology didn’t take into account accessibility from regions far away from Europe. There was an unacceptable lack of disability-related accessibility, including sign language interpretation, closed captioning or screen reader accessibility (in multiple languages). Language is a substantial barrier to participation for women, girls and others who do not understand either English or French. The GEF Paris platform did not work well overall, and many sessions were severely disrupted by buffering, moderator issues, back-end technical staff being overheard during the sessions, and other technical issues. If Generation Equality truly seeks to be more inclusive, such barriers must be removed. Without guaranteeing the participation of those marginalized by ableism, heteronormativity, patriarchy and colonial legacies, we shall never achieve gender equality, and “leaving no one behind” will simply be empty rhetoric. The GEF must adhere to and exemplify the core AC principles of “intersectionality, feminist leadership and transformation”. In moving the process forward, we shall continue to engage in good faith but require increased accountability and transparency in content, structure and process. We feel that by working collectively, we can ensure that countries in Asia and the Pacific are mobilized to build momentum for gender equality, and ensure accountability for GEF commitments and ensure they are speedily devolved to grassroots, indigenous and local women and feminist-led groups, on the ground. We recommend: Transforming the Action Coalitions into inclusive Communities of Practice with full accessibility, and establishing regional Communities of Practice with resources for regional UN offices and development institutions to support engagement of intersectional feminists and women in all their diversity, including those in urban poor, informal settlements, rural and maritime areas, sex workers, LGBTQI+, non-binary people and people living with disabilities, from across the region; Making available adequate, sustainable and flexible funding to civil society, feminist, women, community and grass-roots, and youth-led organisations; Establishing a strong and effective accountability framework at regional, national and global levels by the end of the year to monitor commitments made by all AC leaders and commitment-makers; Engaging with intersectional feminists and civil society groups in the region to advocate with governments, regional development institutions and funders to properly resource and implement a robust and inclusive accountability framework that evaluates transformative impact at the grassroots level; Urgent fundraising by GEF for the work of the Feminist Action and Climate Justice AC, and a global cross-AC campaign to increase political will on climate change, ecological and gender equality; Strengthening engagement with multi-stakeholder groups across the region as the GEF process continues to be planned and implemented, including all future fora and accountability mechanisms, to ensure that no one in our region is left out in the future. We look forward to shared leadership and action in ensuring that GEF Commitments and the ACs advance gender equality and support the realization of women’s human rights for an equal, just, peaceful and ecologically sustainable future across all regions of the world, including Asia and the Pacific. [1] The World Health Organization, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and South African Medical Research Council (2013). ‘Global and regional estimates of violence against women: Prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence’ p 16, 20 [2] The lack of political will and financial commitments belies CEDAW General Recommendation 37 (2018) which acknowledges that climate change is a core women’s human rights issue, linked to all aspects of socio-economic and environmental rights, gender-based violence, conflict, migration and displacement. Read our Media Release