image image Follow Us:

Astra youth

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!

Joint statement on the planned restrictions on the availability of emergency contraception in Poland

ASTRA together with ASTRA Youth, as part of coalition of civil society organizations working on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights – You Act, CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality and the European Consortium for Emergency Contraception, sent a letter to the representatives of the European Commission, to voice our concern on the current developments in Poland with regards to women and girls’ reproductive health and rights.

The Polish Minister of Health recently announced the plan to restrict access to emergency contraception which became freely available in pharmacies as a result of the C(2015)51 ruling from the European Commission last year. This step greatly contributed to the advancement of women’s and girls’ reproductive health and rights in Poland and across the European Union. The planned restrictions would greatly impede the lives of women and girls and contribute to the sales of this product from unsafe sources and also cause a rise in the number of unplanned pregnancies and abortions.

ASTRA Network, ASTRA Youth, CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, European Consortium on Emergency Contraception and YouAct call on the European Commission to encourage the EU Member States to follow the recommendations of the European Medicines Agency in regards to emergency contraception  in order to secure women's and girls’ reproductive rights and improve access to reproductive health services and supplies.

The joint statement is available HERE.

“Turn me on” - Hungarian sexuality education project

The main objective of the project run by PATENT from Budapest, Hungary, is to reach out to Hungarian youth, educate them in SRHR and Gender and Sexuality Equality and mobilize them in awareness-raising and activism in these areas. The long-term goal of the project is to establish a sustainable and comprehensive social network and a popular platform for discussing gender and sexuality, which can become the cradle and the motor of a young SRHR movement in Hungary, and through which the movement will be able to organize and coordinate itself.

Participants will be trained and encouraged to take action in response to the strengthening anti-SRHR and anti-SE campaigns by international and local conservative religious and right-wing movements. After the training, recruited young volunteers will launch and run a blog and connected social media forums, targeting the wider age group of 13-19. Through online engagement, they will conduct an innovative form of peer education.

The project aims to counteract the general context of backlash against ideas of gender equality and LGB rights, policies aiming for gender and sexual equality never gained sufficient traction in Hungarian politics, and in the past years there are increasingly clear messages from the political arena for maintaining traditional gender norms and roles and traditional, religious Christian conceptions of the family. This agenda is also manifest in general policy-making directions, from educational policy (such as introducing the so-called “Family Life Education” into the curriculum) to national cultural and media initiatives (such as introducing the National Marriage Week) and family, social and labour policies incentivising traditional family models and refusing to implement gender-mainstreaming.

Young People’s Sexual and Reproductive Health: Towards Improved Standards for Sexual Education in Europe

Thursday 12th January 2017, 10:00am — 4:30pm
Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre

Key Speakers: Ana Rizescu, You Act & Rachel Andras, INDERA

According to the European Commission, sexual health can be related to a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being related to sexuality and is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. As a sensitive area, it involves multiple levels of educational, ethical, medical, social and cultural customs, which vary considerably across Europe.

Established in 2011, the European Regional World Health Organization's strategy on sexual and reproductive health achieved progress in health national policies, particularly in the development of preventive measures for unsafe abortions and with the introduction of sexual and reproductive health in the national agendas. However, several challenges still remain to be tackled: a recent report on adolescent health and well-being, from the Lancet Commission Group (May 2016), revealed that sexual health and sexually transmitted infections remain a significant public health problem in Europe, with two-thirds of young people growing up in countries where preventable and treatable health problems like unsafe sex, STIs, unwanted pregnancies, injury, violence and depression are an ongoing threat to their development and well-being.

The ongoing regional consultation on the development of the European action plan for sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) 2017-2021 stresses the importance of investing in a comprehensive and appropriate sexuality education for children available to all age groups. It also stresses the need of including children and adolescents as well as their parents, through an inclusive European policy strategy that embraces the importance of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), especially for the vulnerable groups such as LGTB and refugees. The action plan also highlighted the key role of health professionals in achieving an inclusive, high quality sexual health prevention system.

This timely symposium provides an opportunity to discuss different strategies aimed at improving young people’s access to information, contraception and advice services. This symposium will also examine the importance of addressing the challenges related to young adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health through a multilevel approach that encompasses developing youth-friendly health services, parental capability, health-promoting schools as well as empowering young people to participate in the decisions that affect their lives. 

More information and programme HERE.

Youth in Power: Developing a Youth Strategy for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for Europe and Central Asia

New youth-led initiative “Youth in Power: Developing a Youth Strategy for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for Europe and Central Asia” is led by YouAct, in partnership with ASTRA Youth, Y-PEER and YSAFE, with support of Council of Europe European Youth Foundation, UNFPA EECARO and IPPF EN.

The initiative’s overall aim is to develop an up-to-date strategy based on the input, experience, needs and ideas of young people, which will serve as an advocacy and awareness raising tool on SRHR of young people from Council of Europe and Central Asia countries on the national, regional and international level.

As a first step the organizations are gathering inputs via an online survey that collects youth views on the current gaps and challenges regarding the realization of SRHR and their feedback on recommendations, measures and actions that need to be taken by youth-led networks and policy and decision-makers.

The survey is open to young people aged 15-30 years old from Council of Europe and Central Asia countries and is available HERE.

European youth advocates urge MEPs to do more to combat anti-abortion legislation throughout Europe

Brussels, 11th October 2016 // European Youth advocates welcome the decision by the Polish parliament last week to dismiss the “Stop Abortion” bill , but stress that the European Parliament needs to do more to monitor legislative developments and increasing restrictions to sexual and reproductive rights and services across Europe.

Read more...

Restrictions in the law on abortion in Armenia

Just this month the Armenian Government introduced several changes in the law on abortion without any consultations with civil society and other medical or women’s groups. Abortion remains accessible until the 12th week yet a separate provision is added to the Article 10 of the Law on Reproductive Health and Rights, which bans sex-selective abortion from 12th to 22nd week of pregnancy. A mandatory 3 day waiting period had been added in the same Article. During this time a gynecologists will provide the woman with information on abortion.

The approach of the Armenian Ministry of Health is quite worrying as one of its representatives confidently stated that the Ministry aims to prevent women from performng abortions with the use of this new 3 day waiting period.  At the same time the Ministry claims that these new legal changes will not question the right and access to legal abortion.

The Women’s Resource Center published a statement on the issue, it is available here.

Changes in the law accepted on 29.06.2016, in Armenian, can be found under this link.

Source: Women’s Rights CenterWomen’s Resource CenterSociety Without Violence

Statement from UN rights experts on International Safe Abortion Day

Speaking ahead of the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, a group of United Nations human rights experts* called on States across the world to repeal restrictive abortion laws and policies, and all punitive measures and discriminatory barriers to access safe reproductive health services.

The experts also expressed their support for the call of several non-governmental organisations to make 28 September an official UN day for safe abortion worldwide, to urge Governments to decriminalise abortion and provide reproductive health services in a legal, safe and affordable manner.

See more HERE

Page 2 of 35