Young women leading the way: improving youth SRHR through empowering young women / Ces jeunes femmes qui dirigent : Améliorer les droits de SSR des jeunes en permettant l’autonomisation des jeunes femmes
To achieve the collective goal of enabling 120 million more women and girls to use contraception by 2020, we need to start with young people. While many of the 50 countries that have made commitments to advance the goals of FP2020 included commitments to adolescents and youth, there has been less progress in advancing these adolescent- and youth-focused goals to improve family planning services and contraception access. Often, adolescents and youth, especially young women, have been marginalized in moving the FP agenda forward. PAI’s YOUAccess fund supports youth-led organizations to advance FP policies, increase budget allocations for youth friendly health services, and strengthen organizational capacity. As part of YOUAccess, PAI has built partnerships with a variety of youth-led organizations, many of which led by empowered young women. This panel aims to highlight the work of three YOUAccess partners – all empowered young women. Yordanos Wolde from Talent Youth Association in Ethiopia is a member of the Ethiopian Youth Council for Higher Opportunities (ECHO), which is designed to develop young leaders in the areas of family planning, sexual reproductive health and global HIV and AIDS. She works with officials within the Ethiopian government to implement youth friendly health policies, ensuring that there is meaningful youth engagement. Vanessa Anyoti has been working with YWCA in Tanzania for several years. With support from her organization, she has become a effective advocate for youth SRHR. Most recently, she has worked with district level stakeholders to address gender inequality in two districts of Tanzania. Natasha Salifyanji Kaoma co-founded Copper Rose Zambia when she saw the lack of sanitary pads in her school. She has since become an advocate for adolescent and youth SRHR. Working at the community level, Natasha aims inform community members of the latest information on SRHR and encourage them to use their collective voice to change negative perceptions about youth SRHR. These three impressive young women are committed to improving SRHR outcomes for young people. They will share their successes and challenges in building their careers champions of SRHR as well as how to better support other young women to be the next generation of change-makers.
Suzanne Ehlers, CEO, Population Action International