image image Follow Us:

Astra youth

HERA trained peer educators in the field of comprehensive sexuality education

In February, the ASTRA Youth member from Macedonia, the Health Education and Research Association, implemented a process of accreditation for peer educators in the field of Comprehensive Sexual Education. In the previous month they launched a call for young people who want to become CSE educators, who later went through a process of certifying their experience. The initiative was promoted in the social media. HERA accepted 22 out of 40 applications according to the criteria. The selected young people had to pass two days of theoretical and interactive training in Skopje in all seven components of CSE. Afterward, they had two weeks for studying and consultation with the more experienced educators - the coordinator of the youth program and the program director of HERA.

The trainees were placed in teams of two and had to pass an oral exam in one of the CSE components in a Skopje hotel where the three-day-long examination process was organized. The first part of the examination consisted of implementing practical skills in one of the seven components in the form of randomly chosen workshops. The second part required passing a written exam that measured the participants’ knowledge, and the third part was to estimate the attitudes to the issues from the seven components.

Apart from the examination process, the second part of the training also covered communication and risk assessment workshops.

You can see photos from the training HERE.

International Women's Strike on 8 March

The International Women’s Strike is a grassroots movement established by women from different parts of the world as a response to the current social, legal, political, moral and verbal violence experienced by contemporary women at various latitudes.

On 8 March 2017 the International Women’s Strike is going to take place. The idea was initiated by the Polish Women’s Strike coalition - an informal, nonpartisan initiative of feminist organizations and activist groups that was created after the Black Monday protests on 3 October 2016 that happened in over 200 cities in Poland and abroad. The Black Protests resulted in the ruling party withdrawing from the parliamentary proceedings of the draft bill introducing a total ban on abortion.

The Polish Women’s Strike started a series of women’s protests in different countries – soon after women from South Korea and many countries in Latin America took to the streets. 

Women are a powerful force that is capable of stemming the tide of populism and that is flooding the world – after all, we are everywhere. The International Women’s Strike coalition consists of women from over 30 countries and on 8 March 2017 they will engage in various events under the slogan “Solidarity Is Our Weapon.”

How do we protest? An open form of protesting is suggested. All depends on your decision:

● total strike - stopping work or housework and social roles as caregivers for whole workday

● part-time strike – stopping production/work for 1 or 2 hours

● in case you can’t stop your work use black elements – black clothes, black ribbon or any other element decided

● boycott of companies using sexism in their advertisements or approach to workers

● boycott of chosen local misogynists (to be selected by you) 

● sex strike

● shopping strike

● blockage of roads and streets

● demonstrations, pickets, marches

● install auto-reply "out of office" and explain why

● public acts of apostasy from the Catholic church

At 6 pm of your local time all of us make one more common act - read the IWS manifest (to be announced) and make noise to shake the planet.

Want to join and organize a protest in your nation? Information and support at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Countries currently involved in the protests:

Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, South Korea, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Guatemala, Germany, Honduras, North Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Togo, Turkey, Uruguay, UK, USA.

Empower Women holding online consultation for the Youth Forum at CSW61

The Youth Forum is a critical opportunity for young people in all their diversities to openly and strategically discuss the challenges and opportunities for achieving gender equality and sustainable development in our local, national, regional, and global contexts, and to amplify common concerns and advocacy efforts in advance of CSW61. 

Recognizing that many young people will not be attending the Youth Forum and CSW61 in person, all young people and
stakeholders from around the world are invited to participate in this online consultation and provide their input on the key themes of the Youth Forum: Young Women’s Leadership, Young Women’s Economic Empowerment, Partnerships with Young
Men in Gender Equality, and Inter-generational Partnerships.

Between February and March, young people and stakeholders from across the globe will be invited to contribute to the discussion using the Empower Women’s web platform and respond to prompts related to the four main themes of the Youth CSW61.

Young people aged 18-35 are encouraged to add their voices!

Week I (8 - 14 February 2017)

Topic of consultation: Young Women’s Leadership

Questions for discussion:

1. How can young women foster a leadership model that is inclusive and intersectional, which embraces diversity and varying identities? Please provide concrete examples

2. How can young women leaders become active agents of change for their communities? Please provide concrete examples

3. Do schools, businesses and public and private institutions need to change to create better leadership pathways for young women, and if so, how?

4. What do you see as are the main barriers to young women's leadership in your community? Can you elaborate with examples / stories?

5. What role can you currently play in order to improve the lives and empower young women and girls in your community?

 

Week II (15 - 21 February 2017)

Topic of consultation: Young Women’s Economic Empowerment

Questions for discussion:

1. What needs to happen for women and girls to reach economic parity by 2030? Is it realistic? And what strategies do you suggest governments, businesses, NGOs, civil society and individuals implement to get there?

2. Do you think discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes act as a barrier for girls’ and women’ economic empowerment? Can you bring examples? What can governments do address this?

3. What institutional changes need to be made in order for women to access initiatives that promote their own economic growth?

4.  How can we change the narrative and perception of girls and women in leadership roles? And how can we transform the education system to promote young women’s entrepreneurship and innovation and encourage involvement with STEM subjects?

5.  What role can men play in removing gendered discrimination and harassment in the workplace?

 

Week III (22-28 February 2017)

Topic of consultation: Partnerships with Young Men in Gender Equality

Questions for discussion:

1. Why should young men care about gender equality and what? What prevents young men from supporting gender equality?

2. How can young men promote young women’s economic empowerment? Please share specific examples.

3. How can governments, civil society, and other organizations encourage young men to support gender equality? Please share specific examples of policies, programs, and initiatives.

4. How can young men partner with LGBTQI organizations to achieve gender equality?

5. How can young men work within their own spaces and communities to promote gender equality? Please share specific examples.

 

Week IV (1-7 March 2017)

Topic of consultation: Intergenerational Partnerships

Questions for discussion:

1. What are the biggest challenges faced by young people,when attempting to working with people from older generations?

2. In what ways can intergenerational leadership and partnership promote gender equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment?

3. How might young female leaders approach "established" leaders re: the creation of pathways for leadership opportunities & situations for the young generation?

4. How might established leaders approach the young generation of leaders re: the creation of pathways for leadership opportunities & situations for the young generation?

5. How can we ensure dialogues and collaborations between generations that provide enrichment/growth/learning for all?

 

Hashtags used on social media: #YouthCSW61 

source: empowerwomen.org 

European youth advocates urge MEPs to act NOW to combat attacks on sexual reproductive health and rights in Poland and throughout Europe

European youth advocates concerned by recent developments in Poland travel to Brussels to call on the European Parliament to act now to monitor legislative developments and increasing restrictions to sexual and reproductive rights and services across Europe.

Recent developments in Poland have served to highlight the precarious state of women’s health and rights in Europe with rising political support for increased restrictions to women’s reproductive health such as access to contraceptives and abortion services. We are alarmed by statements being made by senior Polish government officials about the intention of the Polish government to withdraw from the Council of Europe Convention “Istanbul Convention” on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

Driven by their commitment to human rights and concerns over increased restrictions to reproductive health and services; youth advocates from ASTRA, ASTRA Youth, YouAct and CHOICE for Youth & Sexuality will be meeting with MEPs and policy-makers on Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th January to demand a stronger European parliamentary response to increasingly regressive legislation in Poland and throughout Europe.

Read more...

Webinar on youth-led advocacy for abortion rights in Poland

On behalf of ASTRA Youth, ASTRA, YouAct and CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality we would like to invite you to a webinar which will take place this Tuesday, December 20th at 5pm (CET) – sharing experiences and lessons learned from the youth-led advocacy for abortion rights in Poland. 

Join the Facebook event HERE.

AGENDA:
• Reproductive Rights in Poland (Marta, ASTRA Network Coordinator / Federation for Women and Family Planning)
• Sexuality Education in Poland (Joanna, ASTRA Youth / PONTON Group of Sex Educators
• The genesis of the initiative in support of Polish pro-choice moblilization (Ana, YouAct)
• Advocates in Action and key challenges and lessons learned (Jelena / CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality; Eimear / YouAct)
• What’s next
• Questions & Answers

CONNECTION DETAILS
Please note the planned online webinar will be organized through an online system called Bluejeans, provided with support from UNFPA EECARO. Please read below the instructions for software download and joining. Ana from YouAct (ana(at)youact.org) will be online with 15 min before to test the connection so please join a little bit in advance to manage any technical issues that might come up!

Bluejeans Connection Instructions:
1. To get the Bluejeans software, please download the application from http://bluejeans.com/downloads and install it to your computer.
2. After the software is installed, run the program, enter your name and click “JOIN AS A GUEST” button.
3. And then, click “JOIN A MEETING”, and choose “PARTICIPANT” option. You will need to enter your meeting ID: 805582100 and click “LETS GO” button.
4. In next window, click “COMPUTER” option and make sure that your microphone (and camera)is switched to ON mode.

If you already have the Bluejeans software, you can join directly at https://bluejeans.com/805582100/browser

To join via phone :
1) Dial:
+1.408.740.7256
+1.888.240.2560
(see all numbers – http://bluejeans.com/numbers)
2) Enter Conference ID : 805582100

We are looking forward to connecting!

Page 2 of 70