Weekly Domingo reported on 24 June that the Girls Diary was launched in Nampula province and youngsters were happy to receive their copies. "I had a diary, but not as rich as this one. In this one I can record my personal stories and learn more about reproductive health, domestic violence and human rights," says Carolina Rufino, an 18-year-old student who received a diary. The report notes that the UNFPA-supported Geracao Biz Programme produced the diaries. Ms. Astrid Bant is quoted as saying, "Thanks to the Geracao Biz programme, we see encouraging signs of change in terms of gender equity among boys and girls, but we must continue working to end early pregnancies, forced marriages and curb the incidence of HIV."
Kristelig Dagblad published on 23 June an op-ed by UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin on sex selection, highlighting that gender discrimination begins before birth. The article talked about the socio-economical reasons that created a pressure on women to give birth to boys. Examples illustrating UNFPA's work in partnership with others to address the human rights, health and social aspects of sex selection were included. The article was earlier published in India's Tribune. Read in Dutch: Kristelig Dagblad
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
Ghana New Agency on 22 June reported on the release of a new study by the Guttmacher Institute and UNFPA, which found that the number of women in developing countries who do not want to get pregnant but are not using modern contraception declined minimally from 226 to 222 million between 2008 and 2012. Read in English: Ghana News Agency
Yemen Times on 21 June published an interview with UNFPA’s fistula surgeon, Dr. Geert Morren. In the interview, they mentioned the two fistula centers in Yemen supported by UNFPA. Read in English: Yemen Times
Multiple media outlets reported on 21 June that the United Nations Population Fund in Georgia, in partnership with the all-party MDG Group, the Healthcare and Social Issues Committee, and Center “Tanadgoma”, organized a seminar for members and staffers of the Parliament of Georgia on the topic of “Reproductive Health and Rights.”
Participants in the seminar were welcomed by Deputy Chairman Mr. Giorgi Tsereteli, Deputy Chairperson, Ms. Rusudan Kervalishvili, Chairperson of the Gender Equality Council, Mr. Otar Toidze, Chairman of the Healthcare and Social Issues Committee, and UNFPA Assistant Representative Ms. Tamar Khomasuridze. The participants discussed the sexual and reproductive health policy and the role of the Parliament of Georgia in advancing the reproductive health and rights of the population. The high level officials underlined the importance and effectiveness of UNFPA’s support to Georgia. First Lady of Georgia and Chairperson of the National Reproductive Health Council, Mrs. Sandra Elisabeth Roelofs, highlighted the priorities in the area of reproductive health and shared her suggestions and recommendations concerning further improvements to be achieved in this field.
The seminar was conducted within the framework of the UN Joint Programme “To Enhance Gender Equality in Georgia,” implemented by a close collaboration of the three UN agencies - United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Women’s Fund (UN Women), and UNFPA - through the generous support of the Swedish International Agency for Development (Sida). Read in English: Inter Press News Read in Georgian: Pirweli Watch in Georgian: My Video and GurjaaniTV
Jordan Times reported on 21 June that UNFPA arranged a visit for the Norwegian Ambassador in Jordan His Excellency Mr. Petter Olberg, and other Embassy officials, on 20 June to the Cyber City complex to check the health services provided Syrian refugees. UNFPA Assistant Representative Muna Idris accompanied the Ambassador. Read in English: Jordan Times
Sidwaya on 20 June reported on the organization of a Pan-African Congress to fight against obstetric fistula. The meeting will be from 6-8 September in Ouagadougou in partnership with UNFPA and the NGO Equilibre et populations. The Prime Minister of Burkina Faso will chair the meeting. It will bring together over 200 participants and provide an opportunity for several experts and resource persons from Africa, Europe and America to reflect on ways to improve the fight against fistula.
Multiple media outlets reported on 20-21 June that the Ministry of Public Health, UNFPA Madagascar and TELMA (Malagasy Telecommunications Company) via its Foundation launched the Short Message Service (SMS) project to curb maternal mortality. This project will be implemented in four rural districts. The objective of this two-year project is to use SMS for the monitoring of maternal and neonatal mortality as well as the stock level of essential reproductive medicines and contraceptives. Using SMS can provide rapid and appropriate response to maternal and neonatal deaths. A designated person will send all SMS to the central Ministry of Public Health immediately after each death and every month for reproductive health commodities. Read in French: Midi Madagasikara, La Gazette, newsmada and Africareview
PANET on 20 June reported on the maternal mortality workshop held under the patronage of the Palestinian Medical Relief Committee and funded by UNFPA. Dr. Khadeja Jarrar, in her speech and detailed presentation, underlined the importace of the partnership between the health sector and the civil society institutions, basing her argument from the human rights perspective. She also presented facts and figures on maternal mortality worldwide and in Palestine, its impact, the challenges to reducing maternal mortality in Palestine, and, most importantly, raising women’s awareness of the importance of pre and post natal care. Read in Arabic: PANET
PANET on 20 June reported on a refined law against honour killings endorsed by President Mahmoud Abbas – Abu Mazen. Gaza has recently witnessed a number of honour killings, some of which occurred because of weak legal consequences. A discussion was held between 20 institutions working under the Culture and Free Thought Association, through a project that is funded by UNFPA. Participants welcomed this positive step from Abu Mazen. “There is a dire need to work harder to ensure the implementation of Presidential Decree and advocate and put pressure towards a final and just decision to be taken by the Legislative Council against honour killings,” Osama Abueita, UNFPA Coordinator in Gaza, said. “Institutions should organize awareness campaigns on violence against women with the community, define penal law, and work for the provision of protection systems for battered women,” he continued. Read in Arabic: PANET
Multiple media outlets reported 19-20 June that last week, Malagasy Ministry of Youth and Leisure and UNFPA Madagascar launched Tanora Garan’teen, a virtual network for young people via Facebook. Tanora Garan’teen aims to raise young people’s awareness on adolescent and youth reproductive health issues by using Facebook. The network also aims to reinforce peer educator actions. A group of 20 peer educators from all over the country will train in life skills to animate the network. Read in French: La Gazette, Midi Madagasikara, L’observateur and L’Express
Several media outlets reported on 19-21 June that the “Ciudad Vieja” public health centre in Montevideo was inaugurated as the first service in Uruguay whose health professionals have been trained to avoid discriminatory practices that may hinder the health rights of lesbian, gay, trans, bisexual and intersex persons (LGTIB). The initiative, started in 2010 following specific regulations approved by the Minister of Public Health (MoH), is the result of the cooperation among the Republic University, MoH, UNFPA, ASSE and the civil society organization Ovejas Negras (in Spanish, “Black Sheeps”). In a homophobia-free health centre, professionals consider the diverse sexual and gender identities without preconceptions or discrimination and aim to remove barriers to accessing the health system. In addition, a series of short videos, titled “What's the difference?” has also been prepared to show how discriminatory approaches can lead to wrong diagnoses. Representatives from Argentina and Peru also participated in the ceremony, sharing similar experiences and challenges. Read and view in Spanish: La diaria, ALC Noticias, VTV
New Light of Myanmar on 19 June reported on UNFPA’s rapid response to the humanitarian emergency in Rakhine state. UNFPA provided 2,000 dignity kits for distribution to vulnerable women, particularly those in Buthidaung, Maugndaw and Sittway. The article also mentioned the five mobile clinics UNFPA, in collaboration with the Myanmar Medical Association and township health authorities, supports which provide maternal, obstetric and new born care. Read in English: UNFPA Myanmar (text of New Light of Myanmar article)
KPL News on 19 June reported that, in order for all provinces to be able to take part in celebrating the International Day of the Midwife and because of the graduation of the second batch of community midwives, the Ministry of Health (MoH) designated the entire month of June as, “Month of Midwives.” During June, the MoH, in collaboration with UNFPA and other development partners, is organizing a number of events. A high-level event held in Savannaketh on 15 June saw MoH award the national midwifery certificates of accreditation of competences to the 80 midwives in second batch trained in the Khammouane, Champasack and Vientiane Provinces. The event brought together senior level officials from MOH at the central and provincial level, representatives from key line ministries such as the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and the Ministry of Education and Sports, the Lao Women's Union and government officials from UN supported districts.
MEXICO: UNFPA Signs Co-Financing Agreement With Ireland Embassy for Contraception and Family Planning Project
Cimac Noticias reported on 18 June that UNFPA Mexico and the Embassy of Ireland signed an agreement to increase contraception access and use among adolescents in rural communities by providing culturally-appropriate, age-appropriate education, reducing ignorance and misinformation about abortion, and conducting a public education campaign on reproductive choice. The Embassy of Ireland will provide financial support, and UNFPA Mexico will provide technical assistance for the programmatic implementation. Read in Spanish: Cimac Noticias
The Daily Observer on 18 June reported on a day's sensitization and dissemination workshop for journalists, drawn from both print and electronic media, on the revised National Population Policy 2007-2015. UNFPA Representative Bintou Suso is quoted as stating that sharing the revised policy with the journalists is important, given their status as partners in development.
Heritage on 18 June reported on the national youth conference in the city of Gbarnga in Bong County. The objective of the conference is the validate the national youth policy and a proposed youth bill. UNFPA, the Youth and Sports Ministry, and UNESCO are committing nearly $200,000 toward the process.
Le Pays on 18 June published an article on the celebration of the International Day of the Midwife, which is held every year on 5 May. The celebration was held from 12 to 14 June in Dédougou with the theme, “The world needs a midwife now, more than ever.” The Association Burkinabè des Sages-femmes et Maïeuticiens d’Etat (ABSF/ME) organized the celebration with the support of UNFPA.