Several media outlets reported on 19 and 20 February on the validation meeting currently underway in order to adopt the national plan of action pertaining to the National Strategy for Women in Lebanon developed by the National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW) with the support of UNFPA.
Earlier, on 22 June the Council of Ministers endorsed the National Strategy for Women in Lebanon through which the Council requested relevant ministries and public administrations to mainstream gender equality aspects across all sectors based on the strategic objectives. Since 2009, and with the support of UNFPA, a thorough, inclusive and participatory review process with civic society, governmental and public administrations as well as grassroots organizations and under the leadership of the National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW) led to the updating of the 10-year strategy. The adoption of such updated national women's strategy reflecting emerging needs and priorities would constitute a major step towards a change in policies and laws to effectively fulfill gender equality in Lebanon. Read in Arabic: Lebanon Files, Tripoli scope, National News Agency, Al Markazia.
Several media outlets reported on 16 February on the UN humanitarian response to the Syrian refugees’ crisis. The articles mention UNFPA’s proactive role in the reproductive health sector. They specifically mention the assessments, conducted by UNFPA, of reproductive health (RH) services at primary health care centres across Lebanon to determine RH gaps and needs, and subsequently distribute RH kits accordingly. The articles also mention UNFPA’s preparations to launch an awareness campaign targeting women/girls from host communities. The campaign messages will revolve around nutrition during pregnancy, antenatal/post natal care, family planning, reproductive tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases, and gender-based violence. UNFPA will be partnering with key NGOs to provide psycho-social support and mental health services for women and youth. Read in Arabic: National News Agency, As Safir.
Several media outlets reported on 4 January on the official German government granting $19 Million to UNHCR, UNICEF and UNFPA to support their humanitarian response to the Syrian displaced in Lebanon. Earlier, a joint proposal was submitted to the German government and $140,000 was approved for UNFPA Lebanon. Read in Arabic: Al Mustaqbal, Al Jadeed, Al Liwaa, Al Markazia, National News Agency, KUNA, Al Watan News, Al Ankabout, EnNahar Online, Arabic News, LCRC, Al Ahed News, Arabs Today, Lebanon 24. Watch in Arabic: Al Jadeed TV
Several media outlets reported on 23 December on the German government granting funds to UNHCR, UNICEF and UNFPA to support their humanitarian response to the Syrian displaced in Lebanon. Earlier, a joint proposal was submitted to the German government and $140,000 was approved for UNFPA Lebanon. Read in Arabic: LCRC, Wal News, Al Manar
Several media outlets reported on 14 December on the announcement of winners of an article-writing contest on gender-based violence (GBV) among Lebanese University – Faculty of Information and Documentation students. This event was organized by UNFPA in collaboration with the Documentation and Information Faculty at the Lebanese University and the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Italian Cooperation. This groundbreaking initiative aimed at sensitizing young journalists on GBV and enabling them to take a proactive role and become effective agents in the fight against GBV. The articles detail the context of the GBV training and article-writing contest, the results of the study on media and GBV some featured the 3 wining articles. Read in Arabic: Al Akhbar, Al Jaras, Al Liwaa, An Nahar, UCIP, Saida City; As Safir; Al Intichar, Lebanon Files, El Nashra, Al Liwaa, National News Agency, Al Jaras 2.
Several media outlets reported on 27 November on UNFPA’s participation in the national workshop on young child feeding in emergencies. This workshop falls in the context of the joint statement issued by UN agencies in Lebanon and endorsed by international and local NGOs, which was adopted as a national policy to support appropriate infant and young child feeding in the current refugee situation in Lebanon. It also cautioned about unnecessary and potentially harmful donations and use of breast-milk substitute. UNFPA took part in the workshop whose objective was to help strengthen partnerships and coordination between NGOs assisting vulnerable populations in Lebanon. Read in Arabic: Al Binaa, Sada Akkar
AUSTRALIA: ABC Radio Australia on 15 November featured an interview with William Ryan, UNFPA's regional communications adviser for Asia and the Pacific, to discuss the 2012 UNFPA report entitled, "By Choice, Not By Chance." Read and listen in English: ABC Radio Australia
BELARUS: Multiple media outlets from 13-15 November reported on the release of the State of the World Population report. UNFPA experts have concluded that women who use contraceptives, tend to have better health, better education and better-paid career. As stated by UNFPA, the availability of contraceptives should not be a privilege, but a right for any person. Read in Russian: Belfamily, Femina.by, rosbalt.ru
BRAZIL: O Globo and G1 published on 14 November that Brazil ranked 79 among 188 countries and territories in terms of maternal mortality rate, remaining among the countries with the highest rate of women dying during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum, according to UNFPA’s State of the World Population 2012 report. With 56 women dying for every 100,000 live births - in last year's report, this rate was 58 - Brazil is behind nations like China, with a rate of 37; Iran, 21; and Turkey, 20. A special envoy was sent to Quito, Ecuador, to cover the launching of the report, which addressed family planning this year. In terms of adolescent pregnancy, the Brazilian situation (79 births per thousand women aged 15 to 19 years) is slightly better than the average for Latin America and the Caribbean: 71 births every thousand. The UNFPA report warned that 222 million women in developing countries have no access to contraception methods such as the pill. UNFPA also estimates that 80 million women have been victims of unwanted pregnancy through the end of 2012. Read in Portuguese: O Globo/G1, Agencia Brasil, Terra Portal, R7 Portal, BBC Brasil
CAMBODIA: The Phnom Penh Post reported on 19 November that,according to a UN report, additional investments in family planning yield economic benefits and would save developing countries more than US$ 11 billion annually. Better access to family planning in developing countries would reduce costs for maternal and newborn health care. “This applies also to Cambodia,” UNFPA Representative Marc Derveeuw said. “The clear economic gains from investment in reproductive health including family planning benefits the country economy as a whole through the reductions in healthcare-related costs incurred by maternal and infant mortality and morbidity and mortality." Read in English: The Phnom Penh Post
CANADA: The Globe and Mail on 15 November reported on the release of the State of the World Population report. The report, “calling on developed countries to invest massively in family planning is raising questions about Canada's international aid priorities as its landmark Muskoka Initiative on maternal and child health enters its third year…despite a $1.1-billion commitment to maternal and child health over five years, Canada's aid agency does not place a significant emphasis on family planning.”
COSTA RICA: Several media outlets reported from 14 to 19 November, on the launch of the State of the World Population 2012. “The report draws attention to an issue that has been neglected because almost no one would question that the right to family planning is a human right and that everyone has the right to exercise it. However, about 222 million women who are of reproductive age in the world, have an unmet need for family planning, this means about one of four women are not having access to contraception,” said Oscar Valverde, UNFPA’s Reproductive Health Officer. Listen in Spanish: Nuestra Voz, Radio Monumental, Radio ADN, Noticias Radio Nacional, Noticias Radio Nacional, Watch in Spanish: Canal 11, Canal 42 T.V, Telenoticias, Canal 7, RTN Noticias, Canal 13, Read in Spanish: La Nación, La Prensa Libre, Al Día, La Nación, Aldea Global, , La Nación, Sección Internacionales.
DENMARK: Politiken reported on 14 November that USD 5.7 billion could be saved by increasing access to family planning according to UNFPA’s SWOP report. Read in Danish: Politiken
Politiken featured an op-ed by UNFPA Executive Director on 19 November, in which the Executive Director states that providing women in developing countries access to family planning is not only a basic human right, but also an effective investment in economic growth and development.
Kristeligt Dagblad published an article on 16 November stressing that access to contraceptives is a human right. The newspaper further quotes a philosopher arguing that this statement might be considered as controversial. Read in Danish: Kristeligt Dagblad
Kristlig Dagblad published a comprehensive interview with UNFPA Executive Director on 21 November, highlighting that it is a human right for women to decide how many children they want. Read in Danish: Kristeligt Dagblad
Berlingske published an article on 17 November under the headline: There is a need for USD 4.6 billion to provide access to condoms. The article further mentions that there are 222 million women in developing countries who lack access to family planning. Read in Danish: Berlingske
U-landsnyt featured an article quoting UNFPA Executive Director saying that “there is indisputable evidence that when family planning is integrated into broader economic and social development initiatives, it can have a positive multiplier effect on human development and the well-being of entire nations”. Read in Danish: U-landsnyt
FINLAND: Helsingin Sanomat published on 15 November an article regarding the State of the World Population launch in Helsinki.
GERMANY: aerzteblatt on 14 November ad derwesten on 13 November reported that more than 220 million women in developing countries have no means of family planning, due to poverty, social pressures and persistent discrimination. Of the 80 million women with unwanted pregnancies, 80,000 of them die as a result of pregnancy, as it showed in the SWOP report by the UN Population Fund. “Family planning is a human right and one of the most effective and cost-effective measures to reduce poverty," said Werner Haug, the regional director of UNFPA EECA. Read in German: aerzteblatt and derwesten
GUATEMALA: Prensa Libre, Reportaje de, Publinews, La Hora and CERIGUA on 15 November reported that family planning is a women’s right that leads others such as access to health, education and development. According to the UNFPA's State of the World Population, women with fewer resources and greater poverty are those with more children, which limits their progress. The publication also indicates that 42% of Guatemalan woman do not use contraception. Access to contraception is a universal human right which could significantly improve the lives of women and children in poor countries. Read in Spanish: Prensa Libre, La Hora, CERIGUA, Reportaje de
GUYANA: Stabroek on 15 November reported on the release of the 2012 State of the World Population report which found that, "81% of young Guyanese men are likelier to engage in such behaviour [risky], compared with 40% of young Guyanese females from the same age group." Such practices have been linked to high cases of unwanted pregnancies, infections and sexually-transmitted diseases. Read in English: Stabroek
JAMAICA: Multiple media outlets in between 15 and 16 November reported on the launch of the State of the World Population report, which took place on 14 November. Read in English: Jamaica Observer, Jamaica Information Service, Jamaica Information Service, Jamaica Gleaner
KYRGYZSTAN: KTRK, CA-news, Akipress, 24 KG, Namba, For KG reported on 14 November, that UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, in the Kyrgyz Republic launched this year’s State of World Population Report with the theme focused on access to family planning, human rights and development. The press conference took place at the Family Planning Center “Marriage and Family” under the National Mother and Child Health Center. Speakers were Mr. Kaliev M., Deputy Minister of Health, Mr. Avanessov A., UN Resident Coordinator, UNFPA Representative in the Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Omurzakov M., UNFPA Assistant Representative and Mr. Uzakbaev. K., Director of the National Mother and Child Health Center.
“Access to modern contraception is a fundamental human right” the UN Resident Coordinator, and UNDP Resident Representative to the Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Alexander Avanessov said. “Hand-in-hand with this right is a need to provide individuals and couples a range of family planning options that would give them the freedom to make their own personal choice.” Dr. Meder Omurzakov, Assistant Representative of UNFPA Kyrgyzstan, concluded that, “This year’s State of World Population report and today’s event is about listening to couples and individuals, about meeting their aspirations, and giving them the power to create a better life for themselves and their families.” Read in Russian: 24KG, 24KG, KTRK , Namba, CA-News, For KG, CA-News, Newsfiber, centrasia.ru
LEBANON: Several media outlets reported on 15 November on the launch of UNFPA’s SWOP 2012 message, notably that access to family planning is a human right. The articles focus on the themes of the report and provided statistics on the global use of contraceptives. They also quoted the UNFPA Executive Director on the need to invest in family planning to promote economic development. Read in Arabic: Bayynat. Read in English: Naharnet
Several media outlets reported on November 15 on the launch of SWOP 2012. UNFPA ASRO and the League of Arab States, in Beirut, organized the high-level event jointly. The launch marked the opening of the 14th Meeting of Heads of Population Councils for Population Affairs in Arab States. The launch was held under the patronage and in the presence of the Lebanese Minister of Social Affairs and attended by high-level government representatives, international organizations, CSO, academia and media. Read in Arabic: PSP, Sidonia News 1, Sidonia News 2, Lebanon 24, Lebanon Debate, Now Lebanon, National News Agency.
MEXICO: Multiple media outlets reported on 15 November on the Mexican launch of UNFPA's State of the World Population report. UNFPA Representative Diego Palacios noted that while Mexico has reduced its demographic growth from 3.6 per year, in the 1970's, to 1.1 per year at present, gaps in health access still exist and lead to hospitalization derived from abortion, maternal deaths and unwanted pregnancies. It is estimated that 800,000 abortions are registered each year and in the last 10 years, two million hospitalizations were registered for the same cause. In addition, he highlighted the lack of attention currently given to indigenous and rural populations and youth. Latin America is has the second highest rate of pregnancies among adolescents. At the launch, UNFPA Representative Palacios stressed that while, advances have been made in demographic growth and fertility reduction, family planning is a human right that needs to be assumed as a priority for the public agenda of the country. Read in Spanish: La Jornada, El Economista, Reforma, Reforma, El Diario, Reforma, CIMAC, Milenio, Noticias, MVS, Azteca, Nocitias MVS, Once TV, El Sol de Mexico, CIMAC
CIMAC on 16 November reported that UNFPA Representative Diego Palacios mentioned that the next government administration, chaired by Enrique Peña Nieto from the Revolutionary Institutional Party, should consider updating Mexico’s population policy to be able to take advantage of the “the demographic bonus” and prioritize investment in reproductive and sexual health for adolescents, in addition to education and employment opportunities.
MOLDOVA: Info-Prim Neo wrote on 14 November about the launch of the State of World Population 2012 report. UNFPA Country Director for Moldova and Albania, Mr. Ian McFarlane, was quoted in the news, saying that “men’s involvement in family planning as partners in the relation and in life, the ensuring of greater access to information on reproductive health commodities and equal access to services of a high quality are simple actions that can bring extraordinary results. We underline our commitment to work together with the government and our partners so as to promote family planning in the development strategies and ensure the country’s sustainable development.” Read in Romanian and English: Info-Prim Neo.
The launch of the State of World Population 2012 report was discussed on 16 November, at Radio Moldova, program “Pro şi Contra”, where the guests discussed reproductive health and family planning issues. Mr. Boris Gilca, UNFPA Programme Coordinator raised the importance of trainings and family planning services for individuals and couples, budgeting resources from the Ministry of Health for contraceptives and access to life skills based education. Watch in Romanian Privesc.eu.
Ziarul de gardă on 15 November published a material “Boris Galca: fiecare sarcină, să fie dorită” (Boris Gilca: each pregnancy should be wanted), where they wrote about the launch of the State of World Population 2012 report. UNFPA Country Director for Moldova and Albania, Mr. Ian McFarlane, is quoted saying: “We underline our commitment to work together with the government and our partners so as to promote family planning in the development strategies and ensure the country’s sustainable development”.
MYANMAR: The New Light of Myanmar on 18 November reported on the launch of the State of the World Population report launch. UNFPA Representative Mr. Abdel-Ahad is quoted saying, "Nearly one quarter of Myanmar women of reproductive age have expressed desire to practice birth spacing but do not have access to contraceptives."
PARAGUAY: Multiple media outlets reported on 14 November that the right of adolescents and young people to have access to family planning services is addressed in the UNFPA's State of the World Population 2012. In Paraguay in recent years there has been an increase in contraceptive use in the sexually active adolescent population. According to the National Demographic and Reproductive Health 2008 (ENDSSR 2008), less than 60% of women who had their first sexual experience during marriage or first union have used a contraceptive. The percentage varies according to the area of residence. Read in spanish: La Nación , Última Hora , ABC Color, Neike , Radio 970
Multiple media outlets reported on 14 November that it is estimated that in developing countries there are 222 million women who lack access to reliable and quality services for family planning, according to The State of World Population 2012, released today by the UNFPA. Read in spanish: Diario La Nación Digital , ABC Color , Diario Fedecámaras , Radio Viva , SC Noticias , IP Paraguay
Radio Ñanduti reported on 15 November that, according to The State of World Population 2012, released on 14 November by UNFPA, lack of access to contraceptives and family planning services are some of the reasons why there are still millions of people who do not exercise their rights to family planning. This applies especially to women living in poverty, who are most vulnerable to discrimination and inequality. Read in Spanish: Radio Ñanduti
ABC Colour reported on 16 November that through various stories, The State of World Population 2012 UNFPA, released worldwide on 14 November, shows that when a woman is able to exercise her reproductive rights, she is more likely to exercise her other rights, such as education. As a result, there is more income, better health for women and their children. Read in Spanish: ABC Color digital
SOUTH AFRICA: Business Day on 14 November and Media 24 on 20 November reported on the South African launch of UNFPA's State of the World Population report.
SWAZILAND: The Swazi Observer reported on 15 November that, globally, out of the 80 million unintended pregnancies projected to have occurred in 2012, an estimated 40 million will likely end in abortion. The newspaper was reporting on the UNFPA's State of the World Population Report 2012, which was launched in Swaziland on the 14 November, by the Minister of Economic Planning and Development, Prince Hlangusemphi.
SWEDEN: Sveriges Radio, aired an interview with UNFPA Deputy Executive Director Ms. Kate Gilmore on 16 November. In the interview, Ms. Gilmore suggests that it makes good business sense to have family planning as a key priority in troubling economic times.
Bloggen om utvecklingspolitik from the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, reported on 20 November from the launch stating that many women still lack access to family planning. Read in Swedish: Sveriges Radio and Bloggen om utvecklingspolitik
TIMOR-LESTE: Suara Timor Lorosae reported on 16 November on the launch of the State of the World Population report in Dili. UNFPA Representative Pornchai Suchitta is quoted saying, “UNFPA supports voluntary family planning or birth spacing so individuals and couples can decide when and how often to have children. When women are able to exercise their right to family planning, they are healthier, more economically productive, and are better equipped to rise out of poverty."
Timor Post on 17 November reported that, "The population, especially young, Timorese people should plan their family before they are married and be responsible based on UNFPA data which shows that the population in the world increased quickly in 2012. According to the UNFPA data, one in four sexually active women aged 15 to 49— 222 million women in total—have an unmet need for family planning. Most unintended pregnancies happen in developing countries. Addressing this unmet need for family planning worldwide would avert 54 million unintended pregnancies and 26 million abortions." UNFPA Representative Pornchai Suchitta is quoted in the piece.
TURKEY: haber turk, haberler, euronews, haberx, and kmu.gov from 13- 15 November reported on the UNFPA's launch of the State of the World Population Report. Read in Turkish: Haber turk, Haberler, Euronews, Haberx, and HDN
UKRAINE: Multiple media outlets from 14-16 November reported on the launch of the State of the World Population report in Ukraine. UNFPA ECCARO director Werner Haug, who was at the regional launch, noted that contraceptive prevalence in Ukraine and Moldova is low compared to the EU countries leading to a high rate of adolescent pregnancies, particularly in rural areas. Ignoring family planning can cause poverty, morbidity and a high rate of mortality for women. About 100 girls younger than 14 give birth in Ukraine each year and 100 more abort. According to the Ministry of Health, unplanned pregnancies account for 65% of the country’s abortions.
UNFPA Representative Nuzhat Ehsan is quoted saying the, “UNFPA State of world population report proves that family planning has a multiplying positive impact on countries’ development. And the government in Ukraine declared it will guarantee a right for family planning to Ukrainian people.” Investments in family planning can help developing countries save resources for development. According to UNFPA report, women who use contraception are generally healthier, have higher income and are more productive economically.
Read in Ukrainian: UNIAN agency, Voice of America (Ukrainian service), Korrespondent, Gazeta, UNIAN agency, BBC (Ukrainian service), Podrobnosti, Liga Watch in Ukrainian: 1+1 TV, National television of Ukraine
UNITED STATES: Multiple media outlets, including The Associated Press, Huffington Post, Inter Press Service, CBS News and others, on 14 and 15 November reported on the launch of UNFPA's State of the World Population report. The Christian Science Monitor on 15 November reported on the release of the State of the World Population report. “It is the first time the U.N. Population Fund's annual report explicitly describes family planning as a human right. It effectively declares that legal, cultural, and financial barriers to accessing contraception and other family planning measures are an infringement of women's rights." Read in English: Huffington Post, The Associated Press, Inter Press Service, Voice of America, UPI, US News & World Report.
Several media outlets reported on 11 November on the organization of a 5-day training in November 2012 targeting 24 graduate students from the Documentation and Information Faculty at the Lebanese University with the objective of strengthening their knowledge, understanding and communication on the issue of gender-based violence (GBV) in order to find new angles for effectively and ethically reporting and covering GBV issues. The training was conducted with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Italian Cooperation. This groundbreaking initiative aimed at sensitizing young journalists on GBV and enabling them to take a proactive role and become efficient agents in the fight against GBV. It came in response to the recommendations of the “Assessment of Media Coverage of GBV in Lebanon” carried out in 2011 and which stressed the vital role of media in fighting GBV, and called for sensitizing and training journalists and professionals from all types of media (print, electronic, audio-visual) to acquire the necessary skills and know-how of investigating, researching, processing, and presenting the issue of GBV, in a constructive way. Read in Arabic: As Safir, El Nashra
Several media outlets reported on 11 November on the UN humanitarian response to the Syrian refugees’ crisis. UNFPA’s role in raising awareness on the benefits of natural breastfeeding, in collaboration with WHO, UNICEF, FAO as well as the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Social Affairs was mentioned. Read in Arabic: Lebanese Forces, Al Mustaqbal
Several media outlets reported on 17 October on the UN humanitarian response to the Syrian refugees’ crisis. The articles mention UNFPA’s proactive role in fighting gender-based violence (GBV) among displaced communities in collaboration with UNICEF and UNHCR. They specifically mention the assessment conducted by UNFPA on reproductive health and GBV. The articles also mention the distribution of dignity kits to displaced Syrian women and girls. Read in Arabic: Al Markazia; PSP; As Safir; National News Agency; Now Lebanon.
BELARUS: The Interfax News Agency on 13 October reported on the family and early marriage situation in Kazakhstan quoting UNFPA Sub-regional director Nikolai Botev saying that “In the world, out of young women that are currently in the age group 20-24 there are about 10% that got married before 15 years of age. For some regions of the world, especially in Africa and India this percent reaches 30.” Read in Russian: Interfax News Agency
CAMEROON: Cameroon Tribune reported on 11 October and CRTV on 8 October an interview with UNFPA Representative Alain Sibenaler about the celebration of the first International Day of the Girl Child in Cameroon. He says that UNFPA will organize very soon a campaign to tackle one the consequences of early marriage, that is, obstetric fistula for which the youngest patient is only 11 years old.
COSTA RICA: Multiple media outlets, reported on 10, 11 and 12 October on the first International Day of the Girl Child, drawing attention to the fact that child marriage could affect 142 million girls in 2020. In Costa Rica, new data on early marriages or unions, from the 2011 Census, was released. “There is a significant proportion of girls between 12 and 18 who are entering early marriages and relationships, generally with adult men,” said Oscar Valverde, UNFPA’s SRH Officer. Listen and watch in Spanish: Nuetra Voz, Monumental, Escuchar Radio ADN, Radio Nacional, Radio Reloj, Noticias Reloj, Noticias ADN, Escuchar Radio Nacional, Noticias Columbia , Ver Telenoticias, Canal 7 , Ver RTN Noticias, Canal 13 , Ver NC Once , Ver Telenoticias , Ver Canal 9 , Ver Telenoticias , Escuchar Noticias Nacional, Escuchar Noticias Nacional, Radio Columbia, Ver Programa Giros , Ver Canal 9 Read: La Nación, 11 Octubre 2012, La Nación, 12 Octubre 2012, Opinión en Diario Extra, and Diario Extra.
CUBA: Multiple media outlets between 11 and 15 reported on the first International Day of the Girl Child. The reports referred to the participation of UNICEF and UNFPA in the commemoration, and cited the presence of Jesus Robles, International Programme Coordinator of UNFPA in Cuba. Read in Spanish: Juventud Rebeide, CubaTV, Revista Mujeres, Tribuna de La Habana, SEMlac, IPS
EL SALVADOR: La Prensa Grafica on 12 October interviewed UNFPA Representative Elena Zuniga who described the situation of girl and adolescents in the country and described the state's role in protecting them. Read in Spanish: La Prensa Grafica
ETHIOPIA: The Daily Monitor, Sub Saharan Informer, Addis Admas and The Reporter from 13-14 October reported that if current trends continue, the number of girl child marriages will increase dramatically over the next 10 years, according to “Marrying too young: End Early Marriage,” a news report released on by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, on the inaugural International Day of the Girl Child.
The report also finds that despite laws to prevent its practice, child marriage has remained mostly constant in developing countries over the past decade. “No social, cultural or religious rationale for child marriage can possibly justify the damages these marriages do to young girls and their potential,” said UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin. “A girl should have the right to choose whom she marries and when. Since many parents and communities also want the very best for their daughters, we must work together to end child marriage. It is the only course by which we can avert what otherwise is the human tragedy of child marriage.” In 2010 a total of 158 countries reported that 18 years was the minimum legal age for marriage for women without parental consent or approval by a pertinent authority. Still, in 2010, one in three girls or 67 million girls were married before their 18th birthday in developing countries (excluding China). Progress has been made and the report finds that child marriage has declined in some developing countries, including Armenia, Bolivia, Ethiopia and Nepal, among other countries.
GUATEMALA: Prensa Libre on 13 October reported that the vulnerability and exclusion faced by millions of children and adolescents in the world, led the United Nations to make the decision to commemorate 11 October as the Day of the Girl. Leonor Calderon, UNFPA Representative in Guatemala indicates that there are many reasons. The International Day of the Girl Child is a call for reflection on the situation of vulnerability and risk that many girls have just for being girls. There are countless examples in Guatemala where the girl is subjected to many injustices: human trafficking, sex trafficking, exploitation and abuse. Until July this year, 11 girls 10 years of age have been mothers. The number of mothers under 14 years is 448,000. Read in Spanish: Prensa Libre
GUYANA: Multiple media outlets reported on 11 October on UNFPA's celebrations for the International Day of the Girl Child. The event was held at the Duke Lodge in Georgetown Guyana and was facilitated by UNFPA and the Ministry of Labour and Human Services and Social Security. Read in English: GINA and Guyana Chronicle
JAMAICA: The Jamaica Information Service reported on 13 October that, "on 11 October, the first International Day of the Girl Child, the UNFPA Sub-regional Office for the Caribbean (SRO), in partnership with the Ministry of Youth in Jamaica, hosted a public forum on sexual violence under the theme: 'Ending Impunity for Sexual Violence: Breaking the Silence.’ In her welcome remarks, Ms. Geeta Sethi, Director, UNFPA SRO explained that although the global focus was on child marriage, based on recent events in Jamaica (an upsurge in cases of sexual violence against women and girls) the decision was taken to focus on sexual violence. She said the forum was the first in a series of conversations and discussions, "because this is an issue that we all need to talk about more, so that we can all understand what’s happening better and understand how we can find solutions to this.” Read in English: Jamaica Information Service
The Jamaica Observer reported on 13 October that girls were the focus of a high level panel discussion at the United Nations headquarters in New York where UN Women, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and Girls Not Brides, focused on ways to end child marriage. The article also mentioned a public forum put on by the UNFPA sub-regional office for the caribbean to mark the day. Read in English: Jamaica Observer
JORDAN: All local daily newspapers and different news agencies reported on 11 October that UNFPA Jordan , as part of the International Day of Girl Child activities, has organized an awareness interactive session for Syrians in Za’tri camp in Mafraq, on the risks of early marriages, especially its effect on both young girl’s health and future.
The session was conducted for girls aged 15-19 and their mothers, where a sketch on early marriage was presented by two Syrian young girls followed by a discussion on health implications and problems that this issue might cause. Media reporters were invited to attend, and a brief was done to them on UNFPA’s services in the camp. Read in English: Jordan Times Read in Arabic: Al Rai, Petra, Almadenah News, Hasadjo, Addustour
KAZAKHSTAN: Multiple media outlets reported on 11-12 October on the issue of child marriage in Kazakhstan and the press conference held to mark International Day of the Girl Child in Almaty. The event was organized by the United Nations Population Fund, UN children fund (UNICEF) and Sub-Regional office of UN Women in EECA. Nikolai Botev, Director of UNFPA Sub-regional office for Central Asia and Country Director in Kazakhstan, quoted a passage from the Secretary General’s message, “Investing in girls is a moral imperative – a matter of basic justice and equality. It is an obligation under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.” Read in Russian: kazinform, kloop.kz, Express K, and Kazakhstan Today
KYRGYZSTAN: Kabar, Knews, 24KG, VB, Mir24TV, Central Asia.ru reported on 11 October that UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund called today for a national campaign to end the harmful traditional practice of child marriage in Kyrgyzstan. The call made on the International Day of the Girl Child, is part of the day’s observance and also includes the opening of “TOO YOUNG TO MARRY - The sold childhood,” a photo exhibition hosted by UNFPA. Featuring photography and video, the multimedia show highlights the personal narratives of six Kyrgyz girls married against their will at early ages. The photo exhibition aims to renew local attention to the critical issue and promote accountability from decision makers in Kyrgyzstan.
The UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Alexander Avanessov described the impact of child marriage as, “a practice that would diminish girls’ chances of completing their education because new brides are usually forced to drop out of school to bear children and to provide household labour.” "On behalf of girls in Kyrgyzstan, we ask for your full engagement in helping us to end child marriage...We all want the best for our children and your support is crucial. It is time for policy makers, parliamentarians, communities, families and young people to address this issue head on. It is time to break the silence. Together!” said Mr. Avanessov. Read in Russian: Kabar, Knews, Knews,Knews, 24KG, 24KG, VB, Open Line, for.kg, Mir24TV and Central Asia.ru
LAO PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC: KPL on 11 October, reported on the first ever celebration of the International Day of the Girl Child. The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), with support from the United Nations Population Fund, UNICEF and UN Women in Lao PDR, organized a drawing competition for young adolescents to raise awareness about the importance of education for Lao girls. Read in French: KPL
LEBANON: Several media outlets reported on 16 and 17 October on the release of the UNFPA report “Marrying too Young: End Child Marriage,” on the inaugural International Day of the Girl Child. The articles feature the press advisory released by UNFPA, featured quotes by UNFPA Executive Director Dr Babatunde Osotimehin and provided global statistics on early marriage. Read in Arabic: As Safir, An Nahar, UPI, Al Jaras, Al Wifaq, Lebanon Files. Read in English: Al Jaras 2
PARAGUAY: ABC Colour online reported on 12 October that, on the International Day of the Girl Child, according to UNFPA, the habit of marrying minors who have not attained the age of majority is deeply rooted in Jordanian society and has increased with the arrival in the country of refugees. Read in Spanish: ABC online
ABC Colour, in its print edition, reported on 12 October that UNFPA noted that each year 16 million adolescents between 15 and 19 give birth, which make up 11% of births in the world. 95% of these births occur in developing countries. Read in Spanish: ABC
Radio Ñanduti reported on 11 October that according to the emergency programme coordinator of the UNFPA, Shible Sahbani, several Syrian parents have forced their daughters to marry Jordanian men. These statements were made in the context of the International Day of the Girl Child, commemorated worldwide. Read in Spanish: Radio Ñanduti
Última Hora reported in its online edition on 11 October that during the presentation of a report by the UNFPA, to mark the first International Day of the Girl, the Executive Director of UNFPA, Babatunde Osotimehin emphasized that “child marriage is a terrible violation of human rights and robs girls their education, their health and their future prospects." Read in Spanish: Última Hora
RUSSIAN FEDERATION: Metronews.ru on 14 October published a column on the attitudes and issues of child marriage in Russia and surrounding countries. The column cited UNFPA data saying, “The UNFPA reports that in 2012, 14 million 200 thousand girls under the age of 18 were married.” Read in Russian: Metronews.ru
SIERRA LEONE: The New Citizen, New Vision and several other outlets reported on 15 October that the Ministry of Social Welfare Gender, and Children’s Affairs and other development partners including UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, Restless Development and Plan International, on 11 October, launched the first ever International Day of the Girl Child at the Family Kingdom Hall in Freetown. UNFPA Country Representative, Ratidzai Ndhlovu, on behalf of the UN family, articulated the significance of the day and encouraged all hands on deck to support government for the safety and empowerment of girls and pledged the UN’s commitment to ensure that girls go to school and at least get basic education. She also stressed the UN will continue to play a major role in enhancing girls’ empowerment and development.
TAJIKISTAN: Tajik Mama and Asia Plus reported on 9 October that the UNFPA will mark the International Day of the Girl Child in Tajikistan. The main event - open debate/discussions with the involvement of young leaders, journalists, activists, governmental officials, religious leaders and parliamentarians - will be held in Dushanbe on 10 October. Campaigns in social and traditional media will be conducted with youth involvement. Read in Russian: Asia Plus and Tajik Mama
Tajik Mama reported on 7 October that Mavzuna Chorieva, bronze medalist of London 2012 Olympic Games from Tajikistan, participated in a UNFPA event devoted to the International Day of the Girl Child and delivered a speech with a call to action to support girls’ rights to education and self-actualization. Read in Russian: Tajik Mama
Asia Plus and Khovar reported on 11 October that in an effort to promote the rights of girls and to address the unique challenges that they face around the world, the International Day of the Girl Child, designated by the United Nations in 2011 is commemorated in Tajikistan by UNFPA in partnership with governmental, non-governmental and international partners. Read in Rusisan: Khovar and Asia Plus
Ozodi, the Tajikistan branch of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, reported on 10 October that issues of early marriage were addressed during the UNFPA conference devoted to the International Day of the Girl Child in Dushanbe. Read in Russian: Ozodi
TURKEY: Multiple media agencies on 11 October reported on the moves by UNFPA and its partners to raise awareness about child marriage in the region. Werner Haug, UNFPA’s director of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia regional office, agreed that unlisted marriages are common throughout the region. "[Child marriage] is certainly unreported across the region as the marriages themselves occur in community ceremonies but are not officially registered with the state," he said.
“Compared to 1990, we see a surprising increase, not decrease as one might expect, in child marriage in the region,” Haug said of a recently released study of 10 countries including Turkey. He cited the rise or return of traditional views of the role of women and economic, political and ethnic turmoil as well as conflict in the region as key drivers of the rise in child marriage. Read in English: Southeastern Europe Times, Today’s Zaman, and Today’s Zaman
UNITED STATES: Multiple media outletson 10-12 October reported on UNFPA and the International Day of the Girl Child. Read in English: The Associated Press, Washington Post, The New York Times, Mitchell Reports, Voice of America, Inter Press Service,
Saida Gate reported on 8 and 9 September on the organization of an awareness session on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) for young members of the Red Cross in Tyre in South Lebanon. This outreach session was organized by the NGO “Think +”and with the support of UNFPA and the Y-PEER network in Lebanon. This session falls in line with UNFPA Lebanon’s youth component of the emergency response to the Syrian crisis aimed at empowering young people to act as factors of change in their communities. Prior to this session, UNFPA had supported 8 young people affiliated with NGOs to attend a training of trainers on “Trainers of Peer Educators on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Empowerment and Life Skills for Young People in Humanitarian Settings” that took place 2-7 July in Amman, Jordan. Upon their return, these young people developed a peer-to-peer action plan for awareness raising and outreach in humanitarian settings within their respective communities. Read in Arabic: Sawt el Balad, Ya Sour.
Saida Gate reported on 7 September, on the organization of an awareness session on sexual and reproductive health for young people in Saida in South Lebanon. This outreach session was organized by the NGO “Think +” with the support of UNFPA and the Y-PEER network in Lebanon. This session falls in line with UNFPA Lebanon’s youth component of the emergency response to the Syrian crisis and aiming at empowering young people to act as factor of change in their communities. Read in Arabic: Saida Gate.
Several media outlets reported on 5-7 September on the UN humanitarian response to the Syrian refugees’ crisis. UNFPA’s distribution of sanitary pads for women and girls refugees was mentioned. Read in Arabic: Tayyar, Al Jadeed, National News Agency, El Telegraph
Multiple media outlets reported on 27 August on the UN humanitarian response to the Syrian refugees’ crisis. UNFPA’s distribution of sanitary pads for women and girls refugees was mentioned. Read in Arabic: Lebanon Files, Tayyar, National News Agency, Moheet
Several media outlets reported on 18 August on the UN humanitarian response to the Syrian refugees’ crisis. UNFPA’s distribution of sanitary pads for women and girls refugees was again mentioned. Read in Arabic: An Nahar; Al Ankabout; Tayyar; Al Moustaqbal; Lebanon Files
As Safir reported on 15 August about the civic engagement of young people in Lebanon involved in various UNFPA-related interventions. Published on the occasion of International Youth Day, the article consisted of a compilation of testimonials by young volunteers engaged in civic issues within their respective communities and NGOs. Ghinwa Samahat, a Y-PEER educator is one of those young people, and she describes her work within the UNFPA-supported youth peer education network and her involvement in spreading awareness on sexual and reproductive health issues among her peers. Read in Arabic: As Safir
Several media outlets reported on 14-18 August on the UN humanitarian response to Syrian refugees’ crisis. Again, UNFPA’s distribution of sanitary pads for women and girls refugees is mentioned. Read in Arabic: An Nahar, Lebanon Files, Al Mustaqbal, Tayyar, Lebanon Files, Al Ankabout
Multiple media outlets reported on 13 August on the closure of the UNFPA-supported project entitled "Yes for Facing Violence Together." Implemented by the Safadi Foundation, the project was aimed at raising gender-based violence awareness among residents of old neighbourhoods in Tripoli through the implementation of sensitization events as well as the learning of basic martial arts skills for empowering women and girls on a psychological, social ad physical level. The project was be implemented in three centers of the Safadi Foundation. This projects fell within the joint MDG-F Programme on Conflict Prevention and Peace Building in North Lebanon, within which UNFPA is entrusted with the women empowerment and gender component. Read in Arabic: An Nahar, National News Agency, Al Markazia, Al Wifaq News, Al Bayan
Several media outlets published on 12-18 August two articles written by young women. These articles were published in the context of International Youth Day. To mark the day, UNFPA Lebanon asked young people involved in UNFPA-supported advocacy projects run and targeting youth, to write about the reason behind their involvement in civil society and how they perceive the challenges of their communities as well as possible solutions. UNFPA selected two articles from the submissions. The first one, “Above the Clouds” is a breathtaking testimonial of a 21-year old young woman from Saida who refused to quit school for an arranged early marriage, whose brothers are drug addicts and violent, and who is now a university student and an activist in NGOs. The second article, “We have solutions, Hope you’ll Listen,” describes a 21-year old Iraqi woman refugee’s perception of the main problems affecting communities in refugees camps in Lebanon, notably housing and education. The author also provides her opinion on how young refugees themselves could help. Read in Arabic: Al Jaras, Al Hayat 1, Al Hayat 2, Al Hayat 3, Sauress
Several media outlets reported on 9 August on the launching of two studies on sexual and reproductive health among Lebanese army soldiers. This launching event was organized by the Lebanon Family Planning Association and UNFPA Lebanon on the occasion of World Population Day and of National Army Day. The launching event was held in the Central Military Academy and attended by high level officials from the military, government, academia, medical associations, UN, embassies, NGOs and media.
The studies are the result of collaboration between UNFPA and the Lebanon Family Planning Association and were conducted with the technical support of the Lebanese Health Association. The first one consisted of “Knowledge, Attitudes, Beliefs and Practices of Lebanese Army Soldiers Regarding RH, STI/HIV/AIDS” whereas the second one consisted of an “Assessment of Women’s Satisfaction with RH Services in Health Facilities of The Lebanese Army” and aimed at assessing the quality of services such as contraceptive methods, pre- and post-natal care, health awareness, RTI/STI/HIV/AIDS prevention, in addition to assessing the condition of the health facility and its personnel. By raising a number of relevant and important issues and by formulating a series of recommendations, these studies provide the necessary baseline information on various RH aspects within the Army institution, a matter the UNFPA CO and its partners shall pursue by advocating for the incorporation of SRH/HIV/AIDS education in the formal army curricula. Read in Arabic: National News Agency, Al Markazia, National News Agency 2, Lebanese Army Portal, Sidonia, National News Agency 3
Several media outlets published on 14 July the UNFPA Executive Director’s message for World Population Day 2012 on universal access to reproductive health services. The articles displayed the ED’s message in its integral version. Read in Arabic: Al Moustaqbal, Al Wifaq News
Several media outlets reported on 4-7 July on the launch by the Safadi Foundation of a new UNFPA-supported project entitled, "Yes for Facing Violence Together." The project aims to raise awareness on gender-based violence prevention among residents of old neighbourhoods in the Northern city of Tripoli, through the implementation of sensitization events as well as learning basic martial arts skills for empowering women and girls on psychological, social, physical levels. The project will be implemented in three Safadi Foundation centers located in Tripoli and its surroundings.
This project falls within the joint MDG-F Programme on Conflict Prevention and Peace Building in North Lebanon, within which UNFPA is entrusted with the Women Empowerment and Gender Component. The project It comes as a result of a two-staged training workshop targeting social workers and women leaders: first stage revolves around GBV concepts, definitions and implication, and second stage addresses project development and results based management; after which participating NGOs submitted small proposals to implement local initiatives aiming at empowering women and providing support to reduce GBV vulnerability in targeted areas. Safadi Foundation and is one of the 4 NGOs recipients of such small grants. Read in Arabic: Al Bayan; Tripoli scope.
Several media outlets reported on 2 July on the launching, by the Safadi Foundation, of a new UNFPA-supported project entitled "Yes for Facing Violence Together." The project aims to raise awareness about gender-based violence prevention among residents of old neighborhoods in Tripoli through the implementation of sensitization events, as well as learning basic martial arts skills, for empowering women and girls at the psychological, social and physical levels. The project will be implemented in three centers of the Safadi Foundation located in Tripoli and its surroundings.
This project falls within Multi-agency MDG-F Programme on Conflict Prevention and Peace Building in North Lebanon, within which UNFPA is entrusted with the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Component. It comes as a follow up to a training workshop targeting social workers and women leaders on GBV concepts as well as on project development and results based management after which they submitted small proposals to implement local initiatives aiming at empowering women and providing support to reduce GBV vulnerability in targeted areas. The Safadi Foundation is one of the 4 NGOs recipients of such small grants. Read in Arabic: National News Agency, Al Liwaa, Al Markazia, Lebanon Files
The National News Agency reported on 22 June on the Council of Ministers’ preliminary approval of the National Strategy for Women in Lebanon. Earlier in April 2011, a participatory validation of the draft ten-year national women strategy, developed with the support of UNFPA, was led by the National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW), in partnership with civic society, governmental and public administrations as well as grassroots organizations.
The adoption of the updated national women strategy reflecting emerging needs and priorities would constitute a major step towards a change in policies and laws to effectively establish gender equality in Lebanon. In 2012, UNFPA will continue supporting NCLW for the elaboration of an action plan for the strategy. Read in Arabic: National News Agency
Several media outlets reported on 15 December on the launching of UNFPA’s State of World Population report 2011 as well as a 7B national statistical booklet entitled “Lebanon in a World of Seven Billion: New Figures … Pending Issues.” This double event was held in the presence of the Minister of Social Affairs. The various sections of the 2011 SWOP were briefly presented in the event with key highlights and examples from the Arab States. The national statistical booklet was developed by the Population and Development Project, a joint collaboration between the Ministry of Social Affairs (MOSA) and UNFPA, in an effort to contribute to the promotion of the theme for the World Population Day 2011 “Seven billion people counting on each other.” The booklet includes key indicators/statistics on a number of population and development themes relevant to Lebanon and seeks to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues and on the need to find solutions. It also includes national data pertaining to the 7B Campaign themes. It also aims to serve as an advocacy tool targeting primarily media professionals however could also be addressed to key stakeholders such as parliamentarians, officials in public administrations, researchers, and NGOs, to draw their attention on priority population issues in Lebanon. As such, the booklet is meant to act as an important source of concise, friendly and quick information on main indicators/statistics at the national level. Read in Arabic: Lebanon Files, National News Agency, Al Balad, As Safir, El Nashra, Al Moustaqbal.
Multiple media outlets reported on 9 December on the rise of HIV/AIDS in the MENA countries. The article provides statistics on HIV/AIDS prevalence and trends in the region. Entitled “Secretive Arab world faces HIV epidemic: experts say”, the article focuses on the cultural taboos surrounding the virus and how it hinders an efficient tackling by governments and societies. The article quotes UNFPA’s Arab States Regional Technical Advisor on HIV/AIDS and mentions the UNFPA-supported Let’s Talk Campaign implemented in Lebanon as an example of action. The article was originally authored by AFP in Beirut in French and then relayed in numerous (more than 50) outlets, in more than 5 languages. Read in English: AFP. Read in French: News of Tunisia. Read in Arabic: Al Arab Net. Read in Portuguese: Folha. Read in Czech: ZDN. Read in Slovak: Spravy Pravda.
Multiple media outlets reported on 8 December on the launch of the “Gender-Sensitive Life Skills Reproductive Health Curriculum Development, A Best Practice Documentation”. The guide documents UNFPA’s successful collaboration with the Educational Center for Research and Development (ECRD) and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) which resulted in the development and issuance of the long awaited “Gender-sensitive Life Skills Reproductive Health (RH) Education” curriculum in a ministerial communiqué number 18/م/ 2009 (August 26, 2009). The Best Practice Documentation provides tips on the successful participative and culturally-sensitive approach adopted throughout the process. The integration of the curricula in currently underway and it will develop students’ skills and knowledge on a range of topics in reproductive health. Read in Arabic: National News Agency, As Safir, Lebanon Files and Ministry of Education and Higher Education portal.
Multiple media outlets reported on 3 December on the GBV-awareness workshop conducted on the occasion of International Day to Combat Violence against women. The workshop was conducted by the local NGO Safadi Foundation with support of UNFPA Lebanon. It targeted a number of women from Tripoli’s neighborhood committees. The meeting falls within the context of the gender equality and women empowerment component of the MDG-F on Peace Building and Conflict Resolution, a joint programme implemented by 6 UN agencies included UNFPA in North Lebanon. Read in Arabic: El Minieh, Lebanon Files, Al Markazia.
As Safir Arabic-speaking newspaper reported on 1 December on the HIV/AIDS situation in Lebanon. Entitled “100% anonymity is your right”, the article adopts a scientific and health oriented approach to the issue and provides national statistics of prevalence, means of infection and access to medication. The article overviews analyses the implications of the virus on PLHIV’s health, as well as the recent trends in medical research for preventive medications. The article also addresses the gaps in prevention policies on the national level and mention UNFPA supported Let’s Talk Campaign as an illustration. Read in Arabic: As Safir.