- - -
stories

Stories

Latest stories from IPPF

Spotlight

A selection of stories from across the Federation

16 Days of Activism 2021 - Transforming Tech & Tackling Taboos
Story

16 Days of Activism 2021 - Transforming Tech & Tackling Taboos

Addressing Violence in a Digital World

Filter our stories by:

A medical officer distributes hygiene kits to clients at the clinic
story

| 01 November 2022

RESPOND Breathes New Life Into Jakarta’s ProCare Clinic

"We are extremely grateful for the RESPOND project's support, which allows us to continue providing reproductive healthcare to all, particularly women and girls, who have been disproportionately impacted by limited access to sexual and reproductive (SRH) health services,” says Dr Teza Farida, ProCare's SRH specialist.   ProCare Clinic is a sexual and reproductive healthcare facility dedicated to serving poor, marginalised, socially excluded, and underserved (PMSEU) communities in Jakarta, administered by the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association (IPPA). Services offered at the clinic include contraception, breast, and cervical cancer screening, HIV and STI (sexually transmitted infections) testing, obstetrics and gynaecology, and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) counselling.    Lockdowns and targeted mobility restrictions in Jakarta during the peak of the pandemic made it difficult for the clinic to obtain critical commodities and supplies, such as contraception and HIV-related medicines. The number of patients visiting the clinic fell, resulting in a decrease in revenue and directly impacting the clinic’s ability to provide vital SRH services to those in need.   The technical and financial assistance provided by the Australian government-funded RESPOND project came at a critical time for the struggling clinic, as demand for SRH services was evident. While district health centres (puskesmas) across Indonesia were overwhelmed by the need to respond to pandemic-related emergencies, putting enormous strain on government facilities, the ProCare team was able to get back on its feet, resolve licencing issues, hire counsellors, and ramp up its services.   “We are grateful to the ProCare team for stepping up in times of crisis to address the unmet SRH needs of underserved urban communities around the Greater Jakarta area, in accordance with the National Population and Family Planning Board's (BKKBN) strategic framework for accelerating reproductive health services,” said Dr Dina Wijayanti, Head of Community Health Unit, Puskesmas Duren Sawit district, Jakarta.     In June 2022, IPPA welcomed Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Ms Christine Clarke CSC to officiate the refurbished clinic. Ambassador Clarke spent time touring the clinic and meeting with the team delivering essential SRH services. “We are proud to support IPPA’s tireless advocacy for the fulfilment of SRHR, particularly to women, girls, and disadvantaged groups throughout Indonesia,” she said.   Since the Ambassadors' visit, services have been expanded to include vaccinations and free family planning counselling for refugees in Jakarta. Indonesia is a transit country for refugees, mostly from Afghanistan, followed by Somalia, Myanmar, Iraq, and Sudan. The Greater Jakarta metropolitan area is home to the vast majority of the country's refugee population.  "I had no idea where to turn for help. As a father with two young children, I was also afraid of going to crowded places. I appreciate the ProCare team's assistance in providing COVID-19 vaccination and free counselling," says Muhammad Yama, a Somali refugee living in Tangerang. Tangerang, located on Jakarta's western outskirts, is the third largest urban centre in Greater Jakarta.    Refugees like Muhammad face several barriers in obtaining COVID-19 vaccination and other services due to a lack of documentation, information in their native language, and fear of arrest, detention, or deportation. Too often, underserved communities fall through the cracks in the healthcare system. ProCare clinic remains committed to providing family planning and SRH services to all.      Story by Malarvili Meganathan, Communications Manager, IPPF ESEAOR [email protected] & Liska Fauziah, Communications Focal Point, IPPA [email protected]  For more updates on our work, follow IPPF ESEAOR on Facebook and Instagram

A medical officer distributes hygiene kits to clients at the clinic
story

| 25 November 2022

RESPOND Breathes New Life Into Jakarta’s ProCare Clinic

"We are extremely grateful for the RESPOND project's support, which allows us to continue providing reproductive healthcare to all, particularly women and girls, who have been disproportionately impacted by limited access to sexual and reproductive (SRH) health services,” says Dr Teza Farida, ProCare's SRH specialist.   ProCare Clinic is a sexual and reproductive healthcare facility dedicated to serving poor, marginalised, socially excluded, and underserved (PMSEU) communities in Jakarta, administered by the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association (IPPA). Services offered at the clinic include contraception, breast, and cervical cancer screening, HIV and STI (sexually transmitted infections) testing, obstetrics and gynaecology, and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) counselling.    Lockdowns and targeted mobility restrictions in Jakarta during the peak of the pandemic made it difficult for the clinic to obtain critical commodities and supplies, such as contraception and HIV-related medicines. The number of patients visiting the clinic fell, resulting in a decrease in revenue and directly impacting the clinic’s ability to provide vital SRH services to those in need.   The technical and financial assistance provided by the Australian government-funded RESPOND project came at a critical time for the struggling clinic, as demand for SRH services was evident. While district health centres (puskesmas) across Indonesia were overwhelmed by the need to respond to pandemic-related emergencies, putting enormous strain on government facilities, the ProCare team was able to get back on its feet, resolve licencing issues, hire counsellors, and ramp up its services.   “We are grateful to the ProCare team for stepping up in times of crisis to address the unmet SRH needs of underserved urban communities around the Greater Jakarta area, in accordance with the National Population and Family Planning Board's (BKKBN) strategic framework for accelerating reproductive health services,” said Dr Dina Wijayanti, Head of Community Health Unit, Puskesmas Duren Sawit district, Jakarta.     In June 2022, IPPA welcomed Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Ms Christine Clarke CSC to officiate the refurbished clinic. Ambassador Clarke spent time touring the clinic and meeting with the team delivering essential SRH services. “We are proud to support IPPA’s tireless advocacy for the fulfilment of SRHR, particularly to women, girls, and disadvantaged groups throughout Indonesia,” she said.   Since the Ambassadors' visit, services have been expanded to include vaccinations and free family planning counselling for refugees in Jakarta. Indonesia is a transit country for refugees, mostly from Afghanistan, followed by Somalia, Myanmar, Iraq, and Sudan. The Greater Jakarta metropolitan area is home to the vast majority of the country's refugee population.  "I had no idea where to turn for help. As a father with two young children, I was also afraid of going to crowded places. I appreciate the ProCare team's assistance in providing COVID-19 vaccination and free counselling," says Muhammad Yama, a Somali refugee living in Tangerang. Tangerang, located on Jakarta's western outskirts, is the third largest urban centre in Greater Jakarta.    Refugees like Muhammad face several barriers in obtaining COVID-19 vaccination and other services due to a lack of documentation, information in their native language, and fear of arrest, detention, or deportation. Too often, underserved communities fall through the cracks in the healthcare system. ProCare clinic remains committed to providing family planning and SRH services to all.      Story by Malarvili Meganathan, Communications Manager, IPPF ESEAOR [email protected] & Liska Fauziah, Communications Focal Point, IPPA [email protected]  For more updates on our work, follow IPPF ESEAOR on Facebook and Instagram

photo of FPOP members providing services to clients
story

| 13 October 2022

Reproductive Health Now on The Frontlines Of SRH Response In The Philippines 

Rizal is a mountainous province located east of the Philippines' capital, Manila. Perched on the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountain, it is named after Jose Rizal, the country’s national hero.    "Most of us were unable to schedule a primary care appointment during the COVID-19 lockdown. We do not have the time or money to travel back and forth to a health facility,” says Rowen, a 26-year-old mom from Cardon, Rizal province.  Irene, a 19-year-old teenager, who also resides in Rizal province echoes the sentiment. “The pandemic has severely impacted our livelihoods. Sexual and reproductive health is not a priority for people in my community. We simply do not have the means.”   Irene’s village was identified by the Bureau of Local Health Development as a “geographically isolated and disadvantaged area” or GIDA, referring to hard-to-reach communities geographically, socially and/ or politically separated from wider society due to uneven socio-economic development. According to government data, the country has 4,317 GIDA barangays (villages).     In September 2021, the Family Planning Organisation of the Philippines (FPOP) developed and piloted ‘Reproductive Health Now (RH Now)’, a home delivery service program. RH NOW facilitates door-to-door delivery service for SRH commodities such as oral contraceptive pills, condoms, pregnancy testing kits, and medicines for use by both clients seeking support through digital and hotline services, along with regular clients unable to access in-clinic care. Guidelines in implementing the RH Now service delivery program were developed by FPOP with the technical and financial support provided by the Australian government-funded RESPOND project amid ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and protocols. The guidelines act as a tool to assist FPOP and service providers in the scale-up of essential sexual and reproductive health services to all, especially vulnerable and disadvantaged clients, including those living in GIDA areas, survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), indigenous peoples, and LGBTQ+ individuals.   The services began in Quezon City and were later expanded to Taguig City, Navotas City, Muntinlupa City, Las Pinas, and San Mateo municipality in Rizal province, with a focus on areas with a high demand for contraception based on inquiries received via the FPOP hotline and Facebook page. When a client inquires via social media, the client's needs are assessed during online counselling to determine whether the client requires self-administered family planning commodities like pills or referral to the nearest medical facility for any other SRH concerns.     FPOP's home delivery services are the only way for women like Rowen and Irene to receive quality contraceptive care and counselling. "I'm grateful to the mobile team for providing me with information on various methods of contraception. I want to have control over how many children I have and when they are born," she says.  RH NOW home delivery is now one of FPOP's primary channels for providing quality, comprehensive SRH services to clients in the comfort of their own homes. The implementation of RH NOW has also resulted in an increase in the number of clients receiving digital self-care interventions. To date, 18,011 clients have used digital self-care models to access SRH services.   “The RESPOND project has made significant contributions to the strengthening of Navotas City's family planning programme," said Dr Elenita Felipe, FP Coordinator, Navotas City Health Department. Navotas is a highly urbanised city in the National Capital Region of the Philippines.  Strong collaboration with Local Government Units (LGUs) and health departments is critical to ensuring the long-term viability of these initiatives by investing in reproductive health and providing SRH services to clients in GIDA areas. Story by: Malarvili Meganathan, Communications Manager, IPPF ESEAOR [email protected] Radzini Oledan [email protected]  For more updates on our work, follow IPPF ESEAOR on Facebook and Instagram

photo of FPOP members providing services to clients
story

| 28 October 2022

Reproductive Health Now on The Frontlines Of SRH Response In The Philippines 

Rizal is a mountainous province located east of the Philippines' capital, Manila. Perched on the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountain, it is named after Jose Rizal, the country’s national hero.    "Most of us were unable to schedule a primary care appointment during the COVID-19 lockdown. We do not have the time or money to travel back and forth to a health facility,” says Rowen, a 26-year-old mom from Cardon, Rizal province.  Irene, a 19-year-old teenager, who also resides in Rizal province echoes the sentiment. “The pandemic has severely impacted our livelihoods. Sexual and reproductive health is not a priority for people in my community. We simply do not have the means.”   Irene’s village was identified by the Bureau of Local Health Development as a “geographically isolated and disadvantaged area” or GIDA, referring to hard-to-reach communities geographically, socially and/ or politically separated from wider society due to uneven socio-economic development. According to government data, the country has 4,317 GIDA barangays (villages).     In September 2021, the Family Planning Organisation of the Philippines (FPOP) developed and piloted ‘Reproductive Health Now (RH Now)’, a home delivery service program. RH NOW facilitates door-to-door delivery service for SRH commodities such as oral contraceptive pills, condoms, pregnancy testing kits, and medicines for use by both clients seeking support through digital and hotline services, along with regular clients unable to access in-clinic care. Guidelines in implementing the RH Now service delivery program were developed by FPOP with the technical and financial support provided by the Australian government-funded RESPOND project amid ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and protocols. The guidelines act as a tool to assist FPOP and service providers in the scale-up of essential sexual and reproductive health services to all, especially vulnerable and disadvantaged clients, including those living in GIDA areas, survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), indigenous peoples, and LGBTQ+ individuals.   The services began in Quezon City and were later expanded to Taguig City, Navotas City, Muntinlupa City, Las Pinas, and San Mateo municipality in Rizal province, with a focus on areas with a high demand for contraception based on inquiries received via the FPOP hotline and Facebook page. When a client inquires via social media, the client's needs are assessed during online counselling to determine whether the client requires self-administered family planning commodities like pills or referral to the nearest medical facility for any other SRH concerns.     FPOP's home delivery services are the only way for women like Rowen and Irene to receive quality contraceptive care and counselling. "I'm grateful to the mobile team for providing me with information on various methods of contraception. I want to have control over how many children I have and when they are born," she says.  RH NOW home delivery is now one of FPOP's primary channels for providing quality, comprehensive SRH services to clients in the comfort of their own homes. The implementation of RH NOW has also resulted in an increase in the number of clients receiving digital self-care interventions. To date, 18,011 clients have used digital self-care models to access SRH services.   “The RESPOND project has made significant contributions to the strengthening of Navotas City's family planning programme," said Dr Elenita Felipe, FP Coordinator, Navotas City Health Department. Navotas is a highly urbanised city in the National Capital Region of the Philippines.  Strong collaboration with Local Government Units (LGUs) and health departments is critical to ensuring the long-term viability of these initiatives by investing in reproductive health and providing SRH services to clients in GIDA areas. Story by: Malarvili Meganathan, Communications Manager, IPPF ESEAOR [email protected] Radzini Oledan [email protected]  For more updates on our work, follow IPPF ESEAOR on Facebook and Instagram

SIPPA training young people on family life education
story

| 16 August 2022

SIPPA Training Young People on Family Life Education

23 young people from rural Guadalcanal are currently being trained with the Solomon Island Planned Parenthood Association (SIPPA) on Family Life Education curriculum for out-of-school youth, a new curriculum under the Ministry of Health and Medical services - Reproductive Health Unit. SIPPA through International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has been able to support the rollout of this important facilitators training in Honiara, Guadalcanal and Malaita Provinces with support under the United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA) Pacific Transformative Agenda programme. Jack Martin Senior Program Officer Youth/CSE of the International Planned-Parenthood Federation Sub Regional office for the Pacific (SROP) who is responsible for the programme stated that this programme is implemented across six Pacific Island countries including Solomon Islands. Martin said the program is to equip young people with information about Family Life Education curriculum for out-of-school young people, the custodian of this curriculum is the Ministry of Health and Medical Service and SIPPA is piloting the rollout with young people in Solomon Islands. He said there is also a curriculum being developed to cater for the in-school program which is a joint partnership between the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Medical Service, civil society organizations in the health sector, Family Planning New South Wales which had supported development of the out-of-school curriculum is also leading the development of the in-school curriculum. Martin said Solomon Islands has a youthful population with 20-30 percent of the total population between the ages of 15 – 24 according to estimates for 2021. The annual growth rate of 2.7% from 2009 to 2019 and a 5.3% increase in the urban population confirms the intersect between youth bulge and urbanisation as highlighted by the State of Pacific Youth report of 2017, the youth bulge present both opportunities and challenges for development, including increasing competition for employment, services, and other opportunities.  So, with this training we anticipate the trained young people will be equipped to share with other young people in their own communities the important information on population and development and able to link other young people to clinical services and other referral pathways that support youth reproductive health and rights. He said the overall UNFPA Transformative Agenda programme is a result of the strong inputs and commitments made by the Solomon Islands Government through Ministry of Health and Medical services and its national stakeholders to support reduction of teenage pregnancy and related reproductive health issues for young people in Solomon Islands, without Government support this would not be possible. He further acknowledges the ongoing support and commitment of the Australia Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for supporting the project in Solomon Islands and across the Pacific region.

SIPPA training young people on family life education
story

| 16 August 2022

SIPPA Training Young People on Family Life Education

23 young people from rural Guadalcanal are currently being trained with the Solomon Island Planned Parenthood Association (SIPPA) on Family Life Education curriculum for out-of-school youth, a new curriculum under the Ministry of Health and Medical services - Reproductive Health Unit. SIPPA through International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has been able to support the rollout of this important facilitators training in Honiara, Guadalcanal and Malaita Provinces with support under the United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA) Pacific Transformative Agenda programme. Jack Martin Senior Program Officer Youth/CSE of the International Planned-Parenthood Federation Sub Regional office for the Pacific (SROP) who is responsible for the programme stated that this programme is implemented across six Pacific Island countries including Solomon Islands. Martin said the program is to equip young people with information about Family Life Education curriculum for out-of-school young people, the custodian of this curriculum is the Ministry of Health and Medical Service and SIPPA is piloting the rollout with young people in Solomon Islands. He said there is also a curriculum being developed to cater for the in-school program which is a joint partnership between the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Medical Service, civil society organizations in the health sector, Family Planning New South Wales which had supported development of the out-of-school curriculum is also leading the development of the in-school curriculum. Martin said Solomon Islands has a youthful population with 20-30 percent of the total population between the ages of 15 – 24 according to estimates for 2021. The annual growth rate of 2.7% from 2009 to 2019 and a 5.3% increase in the urban population confirms the intersect between youth bulge and urbanisation as highlighted by the State of Pacific Youth report of 2017, the youth bulge present both opportunities and challenges for development, including increasing competition for employment, services, and other opportunities.  So, with this training we anticipate the trained young people will be equipped to share with other young people in their own communities the important information on population and development and able to link other young people to clinical services and other referral pathways that support youth reproductive health and rights. He said the overall UNFPA Transformative Agenda programme is a result of the strong inputs and commitments made by the Solomon Islands Government through Ministry of Health and Medical services and its national stakeholders to support reduction of teenage pregnancy and related reproductive health issues for young people in Solomon Islands, without Government support this would not be possible. He further acknowledges the ongoing support and commitment of the Australia Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for supporting the project in Solomon Islands and across the Pacific region.

IPPF's RESPOND Team Visits Laos
story

| 04 August 2022

IPPF's RESPOND Team Visits Laos

A team from IPPF’s RESPOND Project Management Unit paid another country visit to review and observe the ongoing work on the RESPOND program – this time to Laos, where IPPF ESEAOR’s collaborating partner The Promotion of Family Health Association (PFHA) – a highly respected and leading Non-Profit Association in the country - provides vital SRH services in two northern provinces through the programme, supported by a two year grant from the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The only landlocked country in Southeast Asia, Lao People's Democratic Republic is a socialist state with a population of seven million (approx.) spread across largely mountainous and undeveloped areas, which means that many of the indigenous communities in these areas have difficulties in accessing quality healthcare. Focusing on remote rural areas in mountainous regions, RESPOND supports the strengthening of government-run health centres that services ethnic communities in hard-to-reach locations, often over difficult terrain and often with no access to running water, basic healthcare infrastructure or information. Mobile clinics help to address this by reaching out to remote villages, located many hours away by dirt road from the nearest health centre. Our team met with the enthusiastic and hospitable staff of PFHA at their head office in the capital city of Vientiane, as well as visited the rural district of Nalae in the Luang Namtha Province - a long and bumpy journey through gravel roadways in the mountains, where they witnessed first-hand the ongoing work at the district health centres, whilst also having the opportunity to meet with both the young medical officers on duty, clients and local district health officials.  #CSurge #WomensRights4Health #IPPF #RESPOND

IPPF's RESPOND Team Visits Laos
story

| 04 August 2022

IPPF's RESPOND Team Visits Laos

A team from IPPF’s RESPOND Project Management Unit paid another country visit to review and observe the ongoing work on the RESPOND program – this time to Laos, where IPPF ESEAOR’s collaborating partner The Promotion of Family Health Association (PFHA) – a highly respected and leading Non-Profit Association in the country - provides vital SRH services in two northern provinces through the programme, supported by a two year grant from the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The only landlocked country in Southeast Asia, Lao People's Democratic Republic is a socialist state with a population of seven million (approx.) spread across largely mountainous and undeveloped areas, which means that many of the indigenous communities in these areas have difficulties in accessing quality healthcare. Focusing on remote rural areas in mountainous regions, RESPOND supports the strengthening of government-run health centres that services ethnic communities in hard-to-reach locations, often over difficult terrain and often with no access to running water, basic healthcare infrastructure or information. Mobile clinics help to address this by reaching out to remote villages, located many hours away by dirt road from the nearest health centre. Our team met with the enthusiastic and hospitable staff of PFHA at their head office in the capital city of Vientiane, as well as visited the rural district of Nalae in the Luang Namtha Province - a long and bumpy journey through gravel roadways in the mountains, where they witnessed first-hand the ongoing work at the district health centres, whilst also having the opportunity to meet with both the young medical officers on duty, clients and local district health officials.  #CSurge #WomensRights4Health #IPPF #RESPOND

Love has no gender
story

| 30 June 2022

Pride 2022: What’s changed in the region since last year?

In the year since the last Pride Month, there have been substantial developments for LGBTQ+ communities all around the world. See what’s changed in the region since the last Pride in June 2021: New Zealand In the same month, New Zealand also banned conversion practices, in a nearly unanimous vote among lawmakers. The legislation makes it an offence to perform conversion practices on anyone under 18, or with impaired decision-making capacity. Anyone doing so faces up to three years in prison. It is also an offence to perform conversion practices that cause “serious harm”, irrespective of age, carrying a sentence of up to five years’ imprisonment. Japan And finally, also just last month Japan’s capital city Tokyo announced it will recognize same-sex partnerships as of this November. However, couples will still not be granted the same rights as married couples, and so IPPF urges Japan to implement fair laws for all. In the Asia region, Taiwan is currently the only place with marriage equality, having taken the unprecedented step of legalizing same-sex unions in 2019. To keep up with more global changes, follow ILGA World – the international lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex association.

Love has no gender
story

| 30 June 2022

Pride 2022: What’s changed in the region since last year?

In the year since the last Pride Month, there have been substantial developments for LGBTQ+ communities all around the world. See what’s changed in the region since the last Pride in June 2021: New Zealand In the same month, New Zealand also banned conversion practices, in a nearly unanimous vote among lawmakers. The legislation makes it an offence to perform conversion practices on anyone under 18, or with impaired decision-making capacity. Anyone doing so faces up to three years in prison. It is also an offence to perform conversion practices that cause “serious harm”, irrespective of age, carrying a sentence of up to five years’ imprisonment. Japan And finally, also just last month Japan’s capital city Tokyo announced it will recognize same-sex partnerships as of this November. However, couples will still not be granted the same rights as married couples, and so IPPF urges Japan to implement fair laws for all. In the Asia region, Taiwan is currently the only place with marriage equality, having taken the unprecedented step of legalizing same-sex unions in 2019. To keep up with more global changes, follow ILGA World – the international lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex association.

banner of people holding signs
story

| 20 April 2022

Youth-led GBV (Gender-Based Violence) Responses: Call for Collaborative Action

During the 16 Days of Activism 2021, youth activists from IPPF ESEAOR (East and Southeast Asia and Oceania Region), SheDecides and FRIDA Fund came together to demand collaborative action to end GBV in the Asia Pacific. The young feminists shared their lived experiences and knowledge to eliminate gender-based violence collectively and empower girls, women, and non-binary people using an intersectional lens. The dialogue highlighted the urgent need to meaningfully engage the youth in key decision-making processes. They eloquently discussed themes such as intergenerational collaboration, active accountability mechanisms, and engaging the youth in these spaces to demand equality.   The session was moderated by Jona Claire Turalde and the panelists included Sabina Omengan from SheDecides Philippines, Hereiti File from CIFWA, Thyaz Widuri from Jaringan Muda Melawan Kekerasan Seksual (Youth Network Against Sexual Violence), and Zahrah Rizwan representing Frida Fund. Each panelist shared their expertise on the relevant subject. Sabina elaborated on the role of intergenerational equality and collaboration. She said, “Educating the youth for the emancipation of systemic oppression, which also aims to make youth the leader of movements. In SheDecides, youth volunteers from all backgrounds conduct peer-to-peer learning and share their different contexts/ experiences.” IPPF Cook Islands Youth Volunteer, Hereiti File brought an important intersectional lens to our discussion. She reiterated the importance of inclusion and stated, “GBV impact on marginalized groups is different (based on location, socio-economic class, etc.), there are many layers to the discrimination that people face. Young People should be included in the planning and implementation of GBV programs not just in the delivery, if we want to make a true change, we need to include all groups, especially the marginalized groups."   Thyaz Widuri, a pioneer in fighting sexual violence in campus spaces in Indonesia demanded accountability from the stakeholders. Her powerful words, “‘DON’T WAIT, DON’T HESITATE” became central to our discussion. She shared her experience, “the journey of the grassroots movements that were active before any national regulation found it difficult to advocate for supportive policies. It is required to introduce sensitization and awareness on sexual harassment, access to support and care that is non-discriminatory, private, and confidential.”   Our final panelist, Zahrah Rizwan concluded our discussion by sharing practical knowledge about the advocacy process. In her words, “The importance of research on GBV has been increased following the recent COVID-19 pandemic. The youth activists should focus on the promotion of multi-country research work, coalition building and mapping out grant partners who support feminist initiatives.” She also further emphasized self-care and reiterated FRIDA Fund’s guide to self-love and well-being.     The key takeaways from the session included keep moving forward and demanding accountability. Self-care is political and is an essential part of our activism and finally echo Hereiti’s words, “you are NOT alone in this fight!”     Watch the full recording of the dialogue here.

banner of people holding signs
story

| 07 December 2021

Youth-led GBV (Gender-Based Violence) Responses: Call for Collaborative Action

During the 16 Days of Activism 2021, youth activists from IPPF ESEAOR (East and Southeast Asia and Oceania Region), SheDecides and FRIDA Fund came together to demand collaborative action to end GBV in the Asia Pacific. The young feminists shared their lived experiences and knowledge to eliminate gender-based violence collectively and empower girls, women, and non-binary people using an intersectional lens. The dialogue highlighted the urgent need to meaningfully engage the youth in key decision-making processes. They eloquently discussed themes such as intergenerational collaboration, active accountability mechanisms, and engaging the youth in these spaces to demand equality.   The session was moderated by Jona Claire Turalde and the panelists included Sabina Omengan from SheDecides Philippines, Hereiti File from CIFWA, Thyaz Widuri from Jaringan Muda Melawan Kekerasan Seksual (Youth Network Against Sexual Violence), and Zahrah Rizwan representing Frida Fund. Each panelist shared their expertise on the relevant subject. Sabina elaborated on the role of intergenerational equality and collaboration. She said, “Educating the youth for the emancipation of systemic oppression, which also aims to make youth the leader of movements. In SheDecides, youth volunteers from all backgrounds conduct peer-to-peer learning and share their different contexts/ experiences.” IPPF Cook Islands Youth Volunteer, Hereiti File brought an important intersectional lens to our discussion. She reiterated the importance of inclusion and stated, “GBV impact on marginalized groups is different (based on location, socio-economic class, etc.), there are many layers to the discrimination that people face. Young People should be included in the planning and implementation of GBV programs not just in the delivery, if we want to make a true change, we need to include all groups, especially the marginalized groups."   Thyaz Widuri, a pioneer in fighting sexual violence in campus spaces in Indonesia demanded accountability from the stakeholders. Her powerful words, “‘DON’T WAIT, DON’T HESITATE” became central to our discussion. She shared her experience, “the journey of the grassroots movements that were active before any national regulation found it difficult to advocate for supportive policies. It is required to introduce sensitization and awareness on sexual harassment, access to support and care that is non-discriminatory, private, and confidential.”   Our final panelist, Zahrah Rizwan concluded our discussion by sharing practical knowledge about the advocacy process. In her words, “The importance of research on GBV has been increased following the recent COVID-19 pandemic. The youth activists should focus on the promotion of multi-country research work, coalition building and mapping out grant partners who support feminist initiatives.” She also further emphasized self-care and reiterated FRIDA Fund’s guide to self-love and well-being.     The key takeaways from the session included keep moving forward and demanding accountability. Self-care is political and is an essential part of our activism and finally echo Hereiti’s words, “you are NOT alone in this fight!”     Watch the full recording of the dialogue here.

A medical officer distributes hygiene kits to clients at the clinic
story

| 01 November 2022

RESPOND Breathes New Life Into Jakarta’s ProCare Clinic

"We are extremely grateful for the RESPOND project's support, which allows us to continue providing reproductive healthcare to all, particularly women and girls, who have been disproportionately impacted by limited access to sexual and reproductive (SRH) health services,” says Dr Teza Farida, ProCare's SRH specialist.   ProCare Clinic is a sexual and reproductive healthcare facility dedicated to serving poor, marginalised, socially excluded, and underserved (PMSEU) communities in Jakarta, administered by the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association (IPPA). Services offered at the clinic include contraception, breast, and cervical cancer screening, HIV and STI (sexually transmitted infections) testing, obstetrics and gynaecology, and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) counselling.    Lockdowns and targeted mobility restrictions in Jakarta during the peak of the pandemic made it difficult for the clinic to obtain critical commodities and supplies, such as contraception and HIV-related medicines. The number of patients visiting the clinic fell, resulting in a decrease in revenue and directly impacting the clinic’s ability to provide vital SRH services to those in need.   The technical and financial assistance provided by the Australian government-funded RESPOND project came at a critical time for the struggling clinic, as demand for SRH services was evident. While district health centres (puskesmas) across Indonesia were overwhelmed by the need to respond to pandemic-related emergencies, putting enormous strain on government facilities, the ProCare team was able to get back on its feet, resolve licencing issues, hire counsellors, and ramp up its services.   “We are grateful to the ProCare team for stepping up in times of crisis to address the unmet SRH needs of underserved urban communities around the Greater Jakarta area, in accordance with the National Population and Family Planning Board's (BKKBN) strategic framework for accelerating reproductive health services,” said Dr Dina Wijayanti, Head of Community Health Unit, Puskesmas Duren Sawit district, Jakarta.     In June 2022, IPPA welcomed Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Ms Christine Clarke CSC to officiate the refurbished clinic. Ambassador Clarke spent time touring the clinic and meeting with the team delivering essential SRH services. “We are proud to support IPPA’s tireless advocacy for the fulfilment of SRHR, particularly to women, girls, and disadvantaged groups throughout Indonesia,” she said.   Since the Ambassadors' visit, services have been expanded to include vaccinations and free family planning counselling for refugees in Jakarta. Indonesia is a transit country for refugees, mostly from Afghanistan, followed by Somalia, Myanmar, Iraq, and Sudan. The Greater Jakarta metropolitan area is home to the vast majority of the country's refugee population.  "I had no idea where to turn for help. As a father with two young children, I was also afraid of going to crowded places. I appreciate the ProCare team's assistance in providing COVID-19 vaccination and free counselling," says Muhammad Yama, a Somali refugee living in Tangerang. Tangerang, located on Jakarta's western outskirts, is the third largest urban centre in Greater Jakarta.    Refugees like Muhammad face several barriers in obtaining COVID-19 vaccination and other services due to a lack of documentation, information in their native language, and fear of arrest, detention, or deportation. Too often, underserved communities fall through the cracks in the healthcare system. ProCare clinic remains committed to providing family planning and SRH services to all.      Story by Malarvili Meganathan, Communications Manager, IPPF ESEAOR [email protected] & Liska Fauziah, Communications Focal Point, IPPA [email protected]  For more updates on our work, follow IPPF ESEAOR on Facebook and Instagram

A medical officer distributes hygiene kits to clients at the clinic
story

| 25 November 2022

RESPOND Breathes New Life Into Jakarta’s ProCare Clinic

"We are extremely grateful for the RESPOND project's support, which allows us to continue providing reproductive healthcare to all, particularly women and girls, who have been disproportionately impacted by limited access to sexual and reproductive (SRH) health services,” says Dr Teza Farida, ProCare's SRH specialist.   ProCare Clinic is a sexual and reproductive healthcare facility dedicated to serving poor, marginalised, socially excluded, and underserved (PMSEU) communities in Jakarta, administered by the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association (IPPA). Services offered at the clinic include contraception, breast, and cervical cancer screening, HIV and STI (sexually transmitted infections) testing, obstetrics and gynaecology, and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) counselling.    Lockdowns and targeted mobility restrictions in Jakarta during the peak of the pandemic made it difficult for the clinic to obtain critical commodities and supplies, such as contraception and HIV-related medicines. The number of patients visiting the clinic fell, resulting in a decrease in revenue and directly impacting the clinic’s ability to provide vital SRH services to those in need.   The technical and financial assistance provided by the Australian government-funded RESPOND project came at a critical time for the struggling clinic, as demand for SRH services was evident. While district health centres (puskesmas) across Indonesia were overwhelmed by the need to respond to pandemic-related emergencies, putting enormous strain on government facilities, the ProCare team was able to get back on its feet, resolve licencing issues, hire counsellors, and ramp up its services.   “We are grateful to the ProCare team for stepping up in times of crisis to address the unmet SRH needs of underserved urban communities around the Greater Jakarta area, in accordance with the National Population and Family Planning Board's (BKKBN) strategic framework for accelerating reproductive health services,” said Dr Dina Wijayanti, Head of Community Health Unit, Puskesmas Duren Sawit district, Jakarta.     In June 2022, IPPA welcomed Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Ms Christine Clarke CSC to officiate the refurbished clinic. Ambassador Clarke spent time touring the clinic and meeting with the team delivering essential SRH services. “We are proud to support IPPA’s tireless advocacy for the fulfilment of SRHR, particularly to women, girls, and disadvantaged groups throughout Indonesia,” she said.   Since the Ambassadors' visit, services have been expanded to include vaccinations and free family planning counselling for refugees in Jakarta. Indonesia is a transit country for refugees, mostly from Afghanistan, followed by Somalia, Myanmar, Iraq, and Sudan. The Greater Jakarta metropolitan area is home to the vast majority of the country's refugee population.  "I had no idea where to turn for help. As a father with two young children, I was also afraid of going to crowded places. I appreciate the ProCare team's assistance in providing COVID-19 vaccination and free counselling," says Muhammad Yama, a Somali refugee living in Tangerang. Tangerang, located on Jakarta's western outskirts, is the third largest urban centre in Greater Jakarta.    Refugees like Muhammad face several barriers in obtaining COVID-19 vaccination and other services due to a lack of documentation, information in their native language, and fear of arrest, detention, or deportation. Too often, underserved communities fall through the cracks in the healthcare system. ProCare clinic remains committed to providing family planning and SRH services to all.      Story by Malarvili Meganathan, Communications Manager, IPPF ESEAOR [email protected] & Liska Fauziah, Communications Focal Point, IPPA [email protected]  For more updates on our work, follow IPPF ESEAOR on Facebook and Instagram

photo of FPOP members providing services to clients
story

| 13 October 2022

Reproductive Health Now on The Frontlines Of SRH Response In The Philippines 

Rizal is a mountainous province located east of the Philippines' capital, Manila. Perched on the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountain, it is named after Jose Rizal, the country’s national hero.    "Most of us were unable to schedule a primary care appointment during the COVID-19 lockdown. We do not have the time or money to travel back and forth to a health facility,” says Rowen, a 26-year-old mom from Cardon, Rizal province.  Irene, a 19-year-old teenager, who also resides in Rizal province echoes the sentiment. “The pandemic has severely impacted our livelihoods. Sexual and reproductive health is not a priority for people in my community. We simply do not have the means.”   Irene’s village was identified by the Bureau of Local Health Development as a “geographically isolated and disadvantaged area” or GIDA, referring to hard-to-reach communities geographically, socially and/ or politically separated from wider society due to uneven socio-economic development. According to government data, the country has 4,317 GIDA barangays (villages).     In September 2021, the Family Planning Organisation of the Philippines (FPOP) developed and piloted ‘Reproductive Health Now (RH Now)’, a home delivery service program. RH NOW facilitates door-to-door delivery service for SRH commodities such as oral contraceptive pills, condoms, pregnancy testing kits, and medicines for use by both clients seeking support through digital and hotline services, along with regular clients unable to access in-clinic care. Guidelines in implementing the RH Now service delivery program were developed by FPOP with the technical and financial support provided by the Australian government-funded RESPOND project amid ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and protocols. The guidelines act as a tool to assist FPOP and service providers in the scale-up of essential sexual and reproductive health services to all, especially vulnerable and disadvantaged clients, including those living in GIDA areas, survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), indigenous peoples, and LGBTQ+ individuals.   The services began in Quezon City and were later expanded to Taguig City, Navotas City, Muntinlupa City, Las Pinas, and San Mateo municipality in Rizal province, with a focus on areas with a high demand for contraception based on inquiries received via the FPOP hotline and Facebook page. When a client inquires via social media, the client's needs are assessed during online counselling to determine whether the client requires self-administered family planning commodities like pills or referral to the nearest medical facility for any other SRH concerns.     FPOP's home delivery services are the only way for women like Rowen and Irene to receive quality contraceptive care and counselling. "I'm grateful to the mobile team for providing me with information on various methods of contraception. I want to have control over how many children I have and when they are born," she says.  RH NOW home delivery is now one of FPOP's primary channels for providing quality, comprehensive SRH services to clients in the comfort of their own homes. The implementation of RH NOW has also resulted in an increase in the number of clients receiving digital self-care interventions. To date, 18,011 clients have used digital self-care models to access SRH services.   “The RESPOND project has made significant contributions to the strengthening of Navotas City's family planning programme," said Dr Elenita Felipe, FP Coordinator, Navotas City Health Department. Navotas is a highly urbanised city in the National Capital Region of the Philippines.  Strong collaboration with Local Government Units (LGUs) and health departments is critical to ensuring the long-term viability of these initiatives by investing in reproductive health and providing SRH services to clients in GIDA areas. Story by: Malarvili Meganathan, Communications Manager, IPPF ESEAOR [email protected] Radzini Oledan [email protected]  For more updates on our work, follow IPPF ESEAOR on Facebook and Instagram

photo of FPOP members providing services to clients
story

| 28 October 2022

Reproductive Health Now on The Frontlines Of SRH Response In The Philippines 

Rizal is a mountainous province located east of the Philippines' capital, Manila. Perched on the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountain, it is named after Jose Rizal, the country’s national hero.    "Most of us were unable to schedule a primary care appointment during the COVID-19 lockdown. We do not have the time or money to travel back and forth to a health facility,” says Rowen, a 26-year-old mom from Cardon, Rizal province.  Irene, a 19-year-old teenager, who also resides in Rizal province echoes the sentiment. “The pandemic has severely impacted our livelihoods. Sexual and reproductive health is not a priority for people in my community. We simply do not have the means.”   Irene’s village was identified by the Bureau of Local Health Development as a “geographically isolated and disadvantaged area” or GIDA, referring to hard-to-reach communities geographically, socially and/ or politically separated from wider society due to uneven socio-economic development. According to government data, the country has 4,317 GIDA barangays (villages).     In September 2021, the Family Planning Organisation of the Philippines (FPOP) developed and piloted ‘Reproductive Health Now (RH Now)’, a home delivery service program. RH NOW facilitates door-to-door delivery service for SRH commodities such as oral contraceptive pills, condoms, pregnancy testing kits, and medicines for use by both clients seeking support through digital and hotline services, along with regular clients unable to access in-clinic care. Guidelines in implementing the RH Now service delivery program were developed by FPOP with the technical and financial support provided by the Australian government-funded RESPOND project amid ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and protocols. The guidelines act as a tool to assist FPOP and service providers in the scale-up of essential sexual and reproductive health services to all, especially vulnerable and disadvantaged clients, including those living in GIDA areas, survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), indigenous peoples, and LGBTQ+ individuals.   The services began in Quezon City and were later expanded to Taguig City, Navotas City, Muntinlupa City, Las Pinas, and San Mateo municipality in Rizal province, with a focus on areas with a high demand for contraception based on inquiries received via the FPOP hotline and Facebook page. When a client inquires via social media, the client's needs are assessed during online counselling to determine whether the client requires self-administered family planning commodities like pills or referral to the nearest medical facility for any other SRH concerns.     FPOP's home delivery services are the only way for women like Rowen and Irene to receive quality contraceptive care and counselling. "I'm grateful to the mobile team for providing me with information on various methods of contraception. I want to have control over how many children I have and when they are born," she says.  RH NOW home delivery is now one of FPOP's primary channels for providing quality, comprehensive SRH services to clients in the comfort of their own homes. The implementation of RH NOW has also resulted in an increase in the number of clients receiving digital self-care interventions. To date, 18,011 clients have used digital self-care models to access SRH services.   “The RESPOND project has made significant contributions to the strengthening of Navotas City's family planning programme," said Dr Elenita Felipe, FP Coordinator, Navotas City Health Department. Navotas is a highly urbanised city in the National Capital Region of the Philippines.  Strong collaboration with Local Government Units (LGUs) and health departments is critical to ensuring the long-term viability of these initiatives by investing in reproductive health and providing SRH services to clients in GIDA areas. Story by: Malarvili Meganathan, Communications Manager, IPPF ESEAOR [email protected] Radzini Oledan [email protected]  For more updates on our work, follow IPPF ESEAOR on Facebook and Instagram

SIPPA training young people on family life education
story

| 16 August 2022

SIPPA Training Young People on Family Life Education

23 young people from rural Guadalcanal are currently being trained with the Solomon Island Planned Parenthood Association (SIPPA) on Family Life Education curriculum for out-of-school youth, a new curriculum under the Ministry of Health and Medical services - Reproductive Health Unit. SIPPA through International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has been able to support the rollout of this important facilitators training in Honiara, Guadalcanal and Malaita Provinces with support under the United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA) Pacific Transformative Agenda programme. Jack Martin Senior Program Officer Youth/CSE of the International Planned-Parenthood Federation Sub Regional office for the Pacific (SROP) who is responsible for the programme stated that this programme is implemented across six Pacific Island countries including Solomon Islands. Martin said the program is to equip young people with information about Family Life Education curriculum for out-of-school young people, the custodian of this curriculum is the Ministry of Health and Medical Service and SIPPA is piloting the rollout with young people in Solomon Islands. He said there is also a curriculum being developed to cater for the in-school program which is a joint partnership between the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Medical Service, civil society organizations in the health sector, Family Planning New South Wales which had supported development of the out-of-school curriculum is also leading the development of the in-school curriculum. Martin said Solomon Islands has a youthful population with 20-30 percent of the total population between the ages of 15 – 24 according to estimates for 2021. The annual growth rate of 2.7% from 2009 to 2019 and a 5.3% increase in the urban population confirms the intersect between youth bulge and urbanisation as highlighted by the State of Pacific Youth report of 2017, the youth bulge present both opportunities and challenges for development, including increasing competition for employment, services, and other opportunities.  So, with this training we anticipate the trained young people will be equipped to share with other young people in their own communities the important information on population and development and able to link other young people to clinical services and other referral pathways that support youth reproductive health and rights. He said the overall UNFPA Transformative Agenda programme is a result of the strong inputs and commitments made by the Solomon Islands Government through Ministry of Health and Medical services and its national stakeholders to support reduction of teenage pregnancy and related reproductive health issues for young people in Solomon Islands, without Government support this would not be possible. He further acknowledges the ongoing support and commitment of the Australia Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for supporting the project in Solomon Islands and across the Pacific region.

SIPPA training young people on family life education
story

| 16 August 2022

SIPPA Training Young People on Family Life Education

23 young people from rural Guadalcanal are currently being trained with the Solomon Island Planned Parenthood Association (SIPPA) on Family Life Education curriculum for out-of-school youth, a new curriculum under the Ministry of Health and Medical services - Reproductive Health Unit. SIPPA through International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has been able to support the rollout of this important facilitators training in Honiara, Guadalcanal and Malaita Provinces with support under the United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA) Pacific Transformative Agenda programme. Jack Martin Senior Program Officer Youth/CSE of the International Planned-Parenthood Federation Sub Regional office for the Pacific (SROP) who is responsible for the programme stated that this programme is implemented across six Pacific Island countries including Solomon Islands. Martin said the program is to equip young people with information about Family Life Education curriculum for out-of-school young people, the custodian of this curriculum is the Ministry of Health and Medical Service and SIPPA is piloting the rollout with young people in Solomon Islands. He said there is also a curriculum being developed to cater for the in-school program which is a joint partnership between the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Medical Service, civil society organizations in the health sector, Family Planning New South Wales which had supported development of the out-of-school curriculum is also leading the development of the in-school curriculum. Martin said Solomon Islands has a youthful population with 20-30 percent of the total population between the ages of 15 – 24 according to estimates for 2021. The annual growth rate of 2.7% from 2009 to 2019 and a 5.3% increase in the urban population confirms the intersect between youth bulge and urbanisation as highlighted by the State of Pacific Youth report of 2017, the youth bulge present both opportunities and challenges for development, including increasing competition for employment, services, and other opportunities.  So, with this training we anticipate the trained young people will be equipped to share with other young people in their own communities the important information on population and development and able to link other young people to clinical services and other referral pathways that support youth reproductive health and rights. He said the overall UNFPA Transformative Agenda programme is a result of the strong inputs and commitments made by the Solomon Islands Government through Ministry of Health and Medical services and its national stakeholders to support reduction of teenage pregnancy and related reproductive health issues for young people in Solomon Islands, without Government support this would not be possible. He further acknowledges the ongoing support and commitment of the Australia Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for supporting the project in Solomon Islands and across the Pacific region.

IPPF's RESPOND Team Visits Laos
story

| 04 August 2022

IPPF's RESPOND Team Visits Laos

A team from IPPF’s RESPOND Project Management Unit paid another country visit to review and observe the ongoing work on the RESPOND program – this time to Laos, where IPPF ESEAOR’s collaborating partner The Promotion of Family Health Association (PFHA) – a highly respected and leading Non-Profit Association in the country - provides vital SRH services in two northern provinces through the programme, supported by a two year grant from the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The only landlocked country in Southeast Asia, Lao People's Democratic Republic is a socialist state with a population of seven million (approx.) spread across largely mountainous and undeveloped areas, which means that many of the indigenous communities in these areas have difficulties in accessing quality healthcare. Focusing on remote rural areas in mountainous regions, RESPOND supports the strengthening of government-run health centres that services ethnic communities in hard-to-reach locations, often over difficult terrain and often with no access to running water, basic healthcare infrastructure or information. Mobile clinics help to address this by reaching out to remote villages, located many hours away by dirt road from the nearest health centre. Our team met with the enthusiastic and hospitable staff of PFHA at their head office in the capital city of Vientiane, as well as visited the rural district of Nalae in the Luang Namtha Province - a long and bumpy journey through gravel roadways in the mountains, where they witnessed first-hand the ongoing work at the district health centres, whilst also having the opportunity to meet with both the young medical officers on duty, clients and local district health officials.  #CSurge #WomensRights4Health #IPPF #RESPOND

IPPF's RESPOND Team Visits Laos
story

| 04 August 2022

IPPF's RESPOND Team Visits Laos

A team from IPPF’s RESPOND Project Management Unit paid another country visit to review and observe the ongoing work on the RESPOND program – this time to Laos, where IPPF ESEAOR’s collaborating partner The Promotion of Family Health Association (PFHA) – a highly respected and leading Non-Profit Association in the country - provides vital SRH services in two northern provinces through the programme, supported by a two year grant from the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The only landlocked country in Southeast Asia, Lao People's Democratic Republic is a socialist state with a population of seven million (approx.) spread across largely mountainous and undeveloped areas, which means that many of the indigenous communities in these areas have difficulties in accessing quality healthcare. Focusing on remote rural areas in mountainous regions, RESPOND supports the strengthening of government-run health centres that services ethnic communities in hard-to-reach locations, often over difficult terrain and often with no access to running water, basic healthcare infrastructure or information. Mobile clinics help to address this by reaching out to remote villages, located many hours away by dirt road from the nearest health centre. Our team met with the enthusiastic and hospitable staff of PFHA at their head office in the capital city of Vientiane, as well as visited the rural district of Nalae in the Luang Namtha Province - a long and bumpy journey through gravel roadways in the mountains, where they witnessed first-hand the ongoing work at the district health centres, whilst also having the opportunity to meet with both the young medical officers on duty, clients and local district health officials.  #CSurge #WomensRights4Health #IPPF #RESPOND

Love has no gender
story

| 30 June 2022

Pride 2022: What’s changed in the region since last year?

In the year since the last Pride Month, there have been substantial developments for LGBTQ+ communities all around the world. See what’s changed in the region since the last Pride in June 2021: New Zealand In the same month, New Zealand also banned conversion practices, in a nearly unanimous vote among lawmakers. The legislation makes it an offence to perform conversion practices on anyone under 18, or with impaired decision-making capacity. Anyone doing so faces up to three years in prison. It is also an offence to perform conversion practices that cause “serious harm”, irrespective of age, carrying a sentence of up to five years’ imprisonment. Japan And finally, also just last month Japan’s capital city Tokyo announced it will recognize same-sex partnerships as of this November. However, couples will still not be granted the same rights as married couples, and so IPPF urges Japan to implement fair laws for all. In the Asia region, Taiwan is currently the only place with marriage equality, having taken the unprecedented step of legalizing same-sex unions in 2019. To keep up with more global changes, follow ILGA World – the international lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex association.

Love has no gender
story

| 30 June 2022

Pride 2022: What’s changed in the region since last year?

In the year since the last Pride Month, there have been substantial developments for LGBTQ+ communities all around the world. See what’s changed in the region since the last Pride in June 2021: New Zealand In the same month, New Zealand also banned conversion practices, in a nearly unanimous vote among lawmakers. The legislation makes it an offence to perform conversion practices on anyone under 18, or with impaired decision-making capacity. Anyone doing so faces up to three years in prison. It is also an offence to perform conversion practices that cause “serious harm”, irrespective of age, carrying a sentence of up to five years’ imprisonment. Japan And finally, also just last month Japan’s capital city Tokyo announced it will recognize same-sex partnerships as of this November. However, couples will still not be granted the same rights as married couples, and so IPPF urges Japan to implement fair laws for all. In the Asia region, Taiwan is currently the only place with marriage equality, having taken the unprecedented step of legalizing same-sex unions in 2019. To keep up with more global changes, follow ILGA World – the international lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex association.

banner of people holding signs
story

| 20 April 2022

Youth-led GBV (Gender-Based Violence) Responses: Call for Collaborative Action

During the 16 Days of Activism 2021, youth activists from IPPF ESEAOR (East and Southeast Asia and Oceania Region), SheDecides and FRIDA Fund came together to demand collaborative action to end GBV in the Asia Pacific. The young feminists shared their lived experiences and knowledge to eliminate gender-based violence collectively and empower girls, women, and non-binary people using an intersectional lens. The dialogue highlighted the urgent need to meaningfully engage the youth in key decision-making processes. They eloquently discussed themes such as intergenerational collaboration, active accountability mechanisms, and engaging the youth in these spaces to demand equality.   The session was moderated by Jona Claire Turalde and the panelists included Sabina Omengan from SheDecides Philippines, Hereiti File from CIFWA, Thyaz Widuri from Jaringan Muda Melawan Kekerasan Seksual (Youth Network Against Sexual Violence), and Zahrah Rizwan representing Frida Fund. Each panelist shared their expertise on the relevant subject. Sabina elaborated on the role of intergenerational equality and collaboration. She said, “Educating the youth for the emancipation of systemic oppression, which also aims to make youth the leader of movements. In SheDecides, youth volunteers from all backgrounds conduct peer-to-peer learning and share their different contexts/ experiences.” IPPF Cook Islands Youth Volunteer, Hereiti File brought an important intersectional lens to our discussion. She reiterated the importance of inclusion and stated, “GBV impact on marginalized groups is different (based on location, socio-economic class, etc.), there are many layers to the discrimination that people face. Young People should be included in the planning and implementation of GBV programs not just in the delivery, if we want to make a true change, we need to include all groups, especially the marginalized groups."   Thyaz Widuri, a pioneer in fighting sexual violence in campus spaces in Indonesia demanded accountability from the stakeholders. Her powerful words, “‘DON’T WAIT, DON’T HESITATE” became central to our discussion. She shared her experience, “the journey of the grassroots movements that were active before any national regulation found it difficult to advocate for supportive policies. It is required to introduce sensitization and awareness on sexual harassment, access to support and care that is non-discriminatory, private, and confidential.”   Our final panelist, Zahrah Rizwan concluded our discussion by sharing practical knowledge about the advocacy process. In her words, “The importance of research on GBV has been increased following the recent COVID-19 pandemic. The youth activists should focus on the promotion of multi-country research work, coalition building and mapping out grant partners who support feminist initiatives.” She also further emphasized self-care and reiterated FRIDA Fund’s guide to self-love and well-being.     The key takeaways from the session included keep moving forward and demanding accountability. Self-care is political and is an essential part of our activism and finally echo Hereiti’s words, “you are NOT alone in this fight!”     Watch the full recording of the dialogue here.

banner of people holding signs
story

| 07 December 2021

Youth-led GBV (Gender-Based Violence) Responses: Call for Collaborative Action

During the 16 Days of Activism 2021, youth activists from IPPF ESEAOR (East and Southeast Asia and Oceania Region), SheDecides and FRIDA Fund came together to demand collaborative action to end GBV in the Asia Pacific. The young feminists shared their lived experiences and knowledge to eliminate gender-based violence collectively and empower girls, women, and non-binary people using an intersectional lens. The dialogue highlighted the urgent need to meaningfully engage the youth in key decision-making processes. They eloquently discussed themes such as intergenerational collaboration, active accountability mechanisms, and engaging the youth in these spaces to demand equality.   The session was moderated by Jona Claire Turalde and the panelists included Sabina Omengan from SheDecides Philippines, Hereiti File from CIFWA, Thyaz Widuri from Jaringan Muda Melawan Kekerasan Seksual (Youth Network Against Sexual Violence), and Zahrah Rizwan representing Frida Fund. Each panelist shared their expertise on the relevant subject. Sabina elaborated on the role of intergenerational equality and collaboration. She said, “Educating the youth for the emancipation of systemic oppression, which also aims to make youth the leader of movements. In SheDecides, youth volunteers from all backgrounds conduct peer-to-peer learning and share their different contexts/ experiences.” IPPF Cook Islands Youth Volunteer, Hereiti File brought an important intersectional lens to our discussion. She reiterated the importance of inclusion and stated, “GBV impact on marginalized groups is different (based on location, socio-economic class, etc.), there are many layers to the discrimination that people face. Young People should be included in the planning and implementation of GBV programs not just in the delivery, if we want to make a true change, we need to include all groups, especially the marginalized groups."   Thyaz Widuri, a pioneer in fighting sexual violence in campus spaces in Indonesia demanded accountability from the stakeholders. Her powerful words, “‘DON’T WAIT, DON’T HESITATE” became central to our discussion. She shared her experience, “the journey of the grassroots movements that were active before any national regulation found it difficult to advocate for supportive policies. It is required to introduce sensitization and awareness on sexual harassment, access to support and care that is non-discriminatory, private, and confidential.”   Our final panelist, Zahrah Rizwan concluded our discussion by sharing practical knowledge about the advocacy process. In her words, “The importance of research on GBV has been increased following the recent COVID-19 pandemic. The youth activists should focus on the promotion of multi-country research work, coalition building and mapping out grant partners who support feminist initiatives.” She also further emphasized self-care and reiterated FRIDA Fund’s guide to self-love and well-being.     The key takeaways from the session included keep moving forward and demanding accountability. Self-care is political and is an essential part of our activism and finally echo Hereiti’s words, “you are NOT alone in this fight!”     Watch the full recording of the dialogue here.