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News

Latest news from IPPF

Spotlight

A selection of news from across the Federation

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Uganda

News item

Ugandan LGBTQI+ organization banned by government

The Ugandan National Bureau for Non-Governmental Organizations has unfairly halted the activities of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) – a prominent LGBTQI+ rights organization
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| 08 September 2022

IPPF launches new and improved Medical Abortion Commodities Database

The International Planned Parenthood Federation has redeveloped and relaunched its Medical Abortion Commodities Database. The updated site was designed to be more user-friendly with improved accessibility on both desktop and mobile devices. MedAb.org is the only public source of information on country-level availability of quality medical abortion commodities. Launched in September 2018, MedAb.org has filled a knowledge gap and has been a reliable source of information on availability of quality medical abortion products at country level for four years. The site currently contains product information for 102 countries, including 22 brands of misoprostol, 44 brands of mifepristone and 15 brands of combipacks. In 2021, site use grew significantly, with more than 30,000 active users, so IPPF undertook multiple analyses to understand more about these users. We redesigned the site to improve user experience for a broader range of user types, including researchers and academics. With more than half of site users identifying as individuals seeking abortion care, we improved signposting to trusted partners so they can access reliable and timely information. Catherine Kilfedder, IPPF’s Senior Programme Adviser, Abortion, said: “We needed to rebuild our site to improve technical functionality, but we saw an opportunity to simultaneously improve user experience. We embarked on a human-centred design project to understand our users and design a site to better meet their needs.”  Site use continues to grow, with more than 50,000 active users in the first eight months of 2022, and IPPF is thrilled to respond to this growing user base with a new and improved MedAb.org.

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| 09 September 2022

IPPF launches new and improved Medical Abortion Commodities Database

The International Planned Parenthood Federation has redeveloped and relaunched its Medical Abortion Commodities Database. The updated site was designed to be more user-friendly with improved accessibility on both desktop and mobile devices. MedAb.org is the only public source of information on country-level availability of quality medical abortion commodities. Launched in September 2018, MedAb.org has filled a knowledge gap and has been a reliable source of information on availability of quality medical abortion products at country level for four years. The site currently contains product information for 102 countries, including 22 brands of misoprostol, 44 brands of mifepristone and 15 brands of combipacks. In 2021, site use grew significantly, with more than 30,000 active users, so IPPF undertook multiple analyses to understand more about these users. We redesigned the site to improve user experience for a broader range of user types, including researchers and academics. With more than half of site users identifying as individuals seeking abortion care, we improved signposting to trusted partners so they can access reliable and timely information. Catherine Kilfedder, IPPF’s Senior Programme Adviser, Abortion, said: “We needed to rebuild our site to improve technical functionality, but we saw an opportunity to simultaneously improve user experience. We embarked on a human-centred design project to understand our users and design a site to better meet their needs.”  Site use continues to grow, with more than 50,000 active users in the first eight months of 2022, and IPPF is thrilled to respond to this growing user base with a new and improved MedAb.org.

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| 24 August 2022

Dr Chipo Gwanzura confirmed new IMAP co-chair

IPPF would like to congratulate Dr Chipo Gwanzura who has been confirmed as the new co-chair for the International Medical Advisory Panel (IMAP), alongside the current chair Dr Michael Mbizvo. Dr Gwanzura has demonstrated expertise in scientific research at clinical and community levels on maternal and child health, and sexual and reproductive health and serves on numerous scientific, knowledge and evidence SRH partnerships. Dr Gwanzura is passionate about advancing sexual and reproductive health rights of women and adolescents globally, regionally and locally. The IPPF team is looking forward to working closely with Dr Gwanzura during her tenure and engaging with her on the strategic priorities within the Federation. Learn about the other IMAP members

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| 24 August 2022

Dr Chipo Gwanzura confirmed new IMAP co-chair

IPPF would like to congratulate Dr Chipo Gwanzura who has been confirmed as the new co-chair for the International Medical Advisory Panel (IMAP), alongside the current chair Dr Michael Mbizvo. Dr Gwanzura has demonstrated expertise in scientific research at clinical and community levels on maternal and child health, and sexual and reproductive health and serves on numerous scientific, knowledge and evidence SRH partnerships. Dr Gwanzura is passionate about advancing sexual and reproductive health rights of women and adolescents globally, regionally and locally. The IPPF team is looking forward to working closely with Dr Gwanzura during her tenure and engaging with her on the strategic priorities within the Federation. Learn about the other IMAP members

pride flag in rainbow colours
news item

| 18 August 2022

Ugandan LGBTQI+ organization banned by government

On 3 August 2022, the Ugandan National Bureau for Non-Governmental Organizations unfairly halted the activities of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) – a prominent lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQI+) rights organization – for failing to meet the bureau's registration requirements. SMUG has provided sexuality education and advocated for LGBTQI+ healthcare since 2004 and is well-known for providing services and guidance to the LGBTQI+ community in Uganda. The organization also contributes to Uganda's health goals, including the country's HIV/AIDS strategy, which includes the provision of healthcare to vulnerable and marginalized populations. Although SMUG applied to the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) in 2012, the URSB declined the organization's request on the grounds that SMUG was "operating illegally", a position the organization petitioned with no positive response. In a clear case of harassment and restrictions against Ugandan rights groups working on LGBTQI+ rights, the URSB further asserted that registering SMUG's name would be difficult, calling it "undesirable and un-registrable". In response to the ban the Africa Regional Director for the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) urged the Ugandan government to review its decision to suspend SMUG and to work towards accommodating the organization's mandate of advancing the rights of the LGBTQI+ community in Uganda. Marie-Evelynne-Petrus-Barry said: "As a global human rights organization and the world's largest sexual and reproductive healthcare provider, the International Planned Parenthood Federation upholds the rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. "The Ugandan government's ban of SMUG has created huge anxiety among health service providers, human rights defenders, and members of the LGBTQI+ community, who risk their lives daily so that LGBTQI+ people can access healthcare and information just as any other person would. "We ask the Ugandan government to urgently reconsider its decision to suspend SMUG and to put an end to laws and policies that criminalize, target and endanger members of the LGBTQI+ community and the organizations that advocate for their rights." Petrus-Barry added: "IPPF works to ensure that people with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) – including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex people have access to the full set of human rights enshrined in international human rights laws. IPPF is willing to work with the Ugandan government and other stakeholders to ensure that all Ugandan people can access these rights without restraint." For media enquiries, please contact Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist – Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) on [email protected] or +254 704 626 920 ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organizations in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women, in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent's growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-sensitive services. We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, and United Nations bodies, among others, to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about the IPPF Africa Region on their website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  

pride flag in rainbow colours
news_item

| 18 August 2022

Ugandan LGBTQI+ organization banned by government

On 3 August 2022, the Ugandan National Bureau for Non-Governmental Organizations unfairly halted the activities of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) – a prominent lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQI+) rights organization – for failing to meet the bureau's registration requirements. SMUG has provided sexuality education and advocated for LGBTQI+ healthcare since 2004 and is well-known for providing services and guidance to the LGBTQI+ community in Uganda. The organization also contributes to Uganda's health goals, including the country's HIV/AIDS strategy, which includes the provision of healthcare to vulnerable and marginalized populations. Although SMUG applied to the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) in 2012, the URSB declined the organization's request on the grounds that SMUG was "operating illegally", a position the organization petitioned with no positive response. In a clear case of harassment and restrictions against Ugandan rights groups working on LGBTQI+ rights, the URSB further asserted that registering SMUG's name would be difficult, calling it "undesirable and un-registrable". In response to the ban the Africa Regional Director for the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) urged the Ugandan government to review its decision to suspend SMUG and to work towards accommodating the organization's mandate of advancing the rights of the LGBTQI+ community in Uganda. Marie-Evelynne-Petrus-Barry said: "As a global human rights organization and the world's largest sexual and reproductive healthcare provider, the International Planned Parenthood Federation upholds the rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. "The Ugandan government's ban of SMUG has created huge anxiety among health service providers, human rights defenders, and members of the LGBTQI+ community, who risk their lives daily so that LGBTQI+ people can access healthcare and information just as any other person would. "We ask the Ugandan government to urgently reconsider its decision to suspend SMUG and to put an end to laws and policies that criminalize, target and endanger members of the LGBTQI+ community and the organizations that advocate for their rights." Petrus-Barry added: "IPPF works to ensure that people with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) – including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex people have access to the full set of human rights enshrined in international human rights laws. IPPF is willing to work with the Ugandan government and other stakeholders to ensure that all Ugandan people can access these rights without restraint." For media enquiries, please contact Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist – Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) on [email protected] or +254 704 626 920 ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organizations in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women, in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent's growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-sensitive services. We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, and United Nations bodies, among others, to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about the IPPF Africa Region on their website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  

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| 08 July 2022

IPPF Statement on the White House Executive Order to Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Services

Today’s Executive Order Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Care Services signed by President Biden signals the US government’s intent to protect women, girls, and all people who may be denied an abortion or criminalized for seeking one.   IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo said:   "Sadly, these efforts provide scant actual protection. The Biden administration is surely sincere in their desire to help women, but today’s meagre offerings demonstrate a shocking lack of imagination and preparation in advance of the current reality. We’ve had over eight months to prepare for the outcome of this Supreme Court."   "Today’s Executive Order should have been the starting line when the judgement first dropped. It should have offered a clear, tangible pathway. It should not be a statement of work in progress, weeks after the loss of constitutional protections. Much of what is being proposed is already being done by non-state actors, many of whom have long been signalling this reality."  The announcement of the Interagency Task Force on Reproductive Health Care Access is also another missed opportunity. We are asking the White House to share how it will direct the State Department and USAID to mitigate the impact of the denial of rights to those who need them further afield. Though the focus on ensuring abortion services within the US remains critical, the Administration must begin work right now with its partners to ensure that the impact on those most vulnerable outside of the US will be mitigated.    Main image by Paul Weaver on Unsplash

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| 08 July 2022

IPPF Statement on the White House Executive Order to Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Services

Today’s Executive Order Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Care Services signed by President Biden signals the US government’s intent to protect women, girls, and all people who may be denied an abortion or criminalized for seeking one.   IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo said:   "Sadly, these efforts provide scant actual protection. The Biden administration is surely sincere in their desire to help women, but today’s meagre offerings demonstrate a shocking lack of imagination and preparation in advance of the current reality. We’ve had over eight months to prepare for the outcome of this Supreme Court."   "Today’s Executive Order should have been the starting line when the judgement first dropped. It should have offered a clear, tangible pathway. It should not be a statement of work in progress, weeks after the loss of constitutional protections. Much of what is being proposed is already being done by non-state actors, many of whom have long been signalling this reality."  The announcement of the Interagency Task Force on Reproductive Health Care Access is also another missed opportunity. We are asking the White House to share how it will direct the State Department and USAID to mitigate the impact of the denial of rights to those who need them further afield. Though the focus on ensuring abortion services within the US remains critical, the Administration must begin work right now with its partners to ensure that the impact on those most vulnerable outside of the US will be mitigated.    Main image by Paul Weaver on Unsplash

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| 08 July 2022

Tribute to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, father of Global Universal Health Coverage (UHC)

We are speechless, angry and profoundly saddened by the news that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was brutally gunned down while delivering a public speech in support of his party’s candidate for the forthcoming Japanese election. The assassination of Mr Abe represents a shocking and cowardly act of violence that threatens the core values of humanity which he spent his entire life defending. Our thoughts go to his wife Akie and the people of Japan at this extraordinarily challenging time. During the Tokyo UHC Summit held in December 2017, IPPF delivered a message to Mr Abe saying, "Just as your grandfather was the father of UHC in Japan, we hope that you will continue to lead global UHC and be the father of global UHC". Mr Abe responded to IPPF’s message with passion and energy. He put UHC promotion at the heart of Japan's Global Health Diplomacy Strategy and became a genuine global leader in UHC, becoming an example for other world leaders. He also held the World Assembly for Women (WAW!) in Tokyo with the aim of building a 'society where women would shine' in Japan and worked tirelessly to promote the empowerment of women. Through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) 5 to 7, Mr Abe created global momentum for improved development cooperation in Africa. Dr Alvaro Bermeo, IPPF’s Director General, notes: "IPPF will continue to honour the work of former Prime Minister Abe and advance his commitment to universal health coverage that includes comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services. May he rest in peace." Ms Tomoko Fukuda, Regional Director of IPPF East, South-East Asia and Oceania Regional Office, recalls: 'I will never forget the way former Prime Minister Abe spoke with enthusiasm about the realisation of a society where women would shine at the WAW! We still have a long way to go to realise women's empowerment in Japan and around the world, but we will continue to build on the foundation of Mr Abe's efforts." Main photo by Roméo A. on Unsplash

Japan flag
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| 08 July 2022

Tribute to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, father of Global Universal Health Coverage (UHC)

We are speechless, angry and profoundly saddened by the news that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was brutally gunned down while delivering a public speech in support of his party’s candidate for the forthcoming Japanese election. The assassination of Mr Abe represents a shocking and cowardly act of violence that threatens the core values of humanity which he spent his entire life defending. Our thoughts go to his wife Akie and the people of Japan at this extraordinarily challenging time. During the Tokyo UHC Summit held in December 2017, IPPF delivered a message to Mr Abe saying, "Just as your grandfather was the father of UHC in Japan, we hope that you will continue to lead global UHC and be the father of global UHC". Mr Abe responded to IPPF’s message with passion and energy. He put UHC promotion at the heart of Japan's Global Health Diplomacy Strategy and became a genuine global leader in UHC, becoming an example for other world leaders. He also held the World Assembly for Women (WAW!) in Tokyo with the aim of building a 'society where women would shine' in Japan and worked tirelessly to promote the empowerment of women. Through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) 5 to 7, Mr Abe created global momentum for improved development cooperation in Africa. Dr Alvaro Bermeo, IPPF’s Director General, notes: "IPPF will continue to honour the work of former Prime Minister Abe and advance his commitment to universal health coverage that includes comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services. May he rest in peace." Ms Tomoko Fukuda, Regional Director of IPPF East, South-East Asia and Oceania Regional Office, recalls: 'I will never forget the way former Prime Minister Abe spoke with enthusiasm about the realisation of a society where women would shine at the WAW! We still have a long way to go to realise women's empowerment in Japan and around the world, but we will continue to build on the foundation of Mr Abe's efforts." Main photo by Roméo A. on Unsplash

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| 07 July 2022

IPPF celebrates UNHRC decision on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

IPPF celebrates the decision of the UN Human Rights Council to renew the Mandate of the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity on July 7th, at its 50th session. IPPF was actively involved in advocating for the renewal of this important mandate, working closely with a large coalition of civil society organizations, activists and Member States to encourage support for the renewal. It is fitting that this renewal comes on the heels of Pride Month in June. First established in 2016, this is the second time the mandate has been renewed, solidifying the commitment of the international community against discrimination and violence based on SOGI and unequivocal support to LGBTQI+ people. In addition to renewing the mandate of the Independent Expert to continue country visits and thematic reports, for the first time, this resolution expresses strong concern at existing laws, policies and practices criminalizing consensual same-sex conducts and relations and calls upon Member States to amend or repeal laws and policies that discriminate against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. IPPF works actively to advocate for all people’s human right to live free from violence and discrimination on any grounds, including real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. We look forward to continuing to support the work of the Independent Expert over the next three years. Main image by Cecilie Johnsen on Unsplash

Pride flag
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| 07 July 2022

IPPF celebrates UNHRC decision on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

IPPF celebrates the decision of the UN Human Rights Council to renew the Mandate of the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity on July 7th, at its 50th session. IPPF was actively involved in advocating for the renewal of this important mandate, working closely with a large coalition of civil society organizations, activists and Member States to encourage support for the renewal. It is fitting that this renewal comes on the heels of Pride Month in June. First established in 2016, this is the second time the mandate has been renewed, solidifying the commitment of the international community against discrimination and violence based on SOGI and unequivocal support to LGBTQI+ people. In addition to renewing the mandate of the Independent Expert to continue country visits and thematic reports, for the first time, this resolution expresses strong concern at existing laws, policies and practices criminalizing consensual same-sex conducts and relations and calls upon Member States to amend or repeal laws and policies that discriminate against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. IPPF works actively to advocate for all people’s human right to live free from violence and discrimination on any grounds, including real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. We look forward to continuing to support the work of the Independent Expert over the next three years. Main image by Cecilie Johnsen on Unsplash

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| 08 September 2022

IPPF launches new and improved Medical Abortion Commodities Database

The International Planned Parenthood Federation has redeveloped and relaunched its Medical Abortion Commodities Database. The updated site was designed to be more user-friendly with improved accessibility on both desktop and mobile devices. MedAb.org is the only public source of information on country-level availability of quality medical abortion commodities. Launched in September 2018, MedAb.org has filled a knowledge gap and has been a reliable source of information on availability of quality medical abortion products at country level for four years. The site currently contains product information for 102 countries, including 22 brands of misoprostol, 44 brands of mifepristone and 15 brands of combipacks. In 2021, site use grew significantly, with more than 30,000 active users, so IPPF undertook multiple analyses to understand more about these users. We redesigned the site to improve user experience for a broader range of user types, including researchers and academics. With more than half of site users identifying as individuals seeking abortion care, we improved signposting to trusted partners so they can access reliable and timely information. Catherine Kilfedder, IPPF’s Senior Programme Adviser, Abortion, said: “We needed to rebuild our site to improve technical functionality, but we saw an opportunity to simultaneously improve user experience. We embarked on a human-centred design project to understand our users and design a site to better meet their needs.”  Site use continues to grow, with more than 50,000 active users in the first eight months of 2022, and IPPF is thrilled to respond to this growing user base with a new and improved MedAb.org.

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news_item

| 09 September 2022

IPPF launches new and improved Medical Abortion Commodities Database

The International Planned Parenthood Federation has redeveloped and relaunched its Medical Abortion Commodities Database. The updated site was designed to be more user-friendly with improved accessibility on both desktop and mobile devices. MedAb.org is the only public source of information on country-level availability of quality medical abortion commodities. Launched in September 2018, MedAb.org has filled a knowledge gap and has been a reliable source of information on availability of quality medical abortion products at country level for four years. The site currently contains product information for 102 countries, including 22 brands of misoprostol, 44 brands of mifepristone and 15 brands of combipacks. In 2021, site use grew significantly, with more than 30,000 active users, so IPPF undertook multiple analyses to understand more about these users. We redesigned the site to improve user experience for a broader range of user types, including researchers and academics. With more than half of site users identifying as individuals seeking abortion care, we improved signposting to trusted partners so they can access reliable and timely information. Catherine Kilfedder, IPPF’s Senior Programme Adviser, Abortion, said: “We needed to rebuild our site to improve technical functionality, but we saw an opportunity to simultaneously improve user experience. We embarked on a human-centred design project to understand our users and design a site to better meet their needs.”  Site use continues to grow, with more than 50,000 active users in the first eight months of 2022, and IPPF is thrilled to respond to this growing user base with a new and improved MedAb.org.

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news item

| 24 August 2022

Dr Chipo Gwanzura confirmed new IMAP co-chair

IPPF would like to congratulate Dr Chipo Gwanzura who has been confirmed as the new co-chair for the International Medical Advisory Panel (IMAP), alongside the current chair Dr Michael Mbizvo. Dr Gwanzura has demonstrated expertise in scientific research at clinical and community levels on maternal and child health, and sexual and reproductive health and serves on numerous scientific, knowledge and evidence SRH partnerships. Dr Gwanzura is passionate about advancing sexual and reproductive health rights of women and adolescents globally, regionally and locally. The IPPF team is looking forward to working closely with Dr Gwanzura during her tenure and engaging with her on the strategic priorities within the Federation. Learn about the other IMAP members

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| 24 August 2022

Dr Chipo Gwanzura confirmed new IMAP co-chair

IPPF would like to congratulate Dr Chipo Gwanzura who has been confirmed as the new co-chair for the International Medical Advisory Panel (IMAP), alongside the current chair Dr Michael Mbizvo. Dr Gwanzura has demonstrated expertise in scientific research at clinical and community levels on maternal and child health, and sexual and reproductive health and serves on numerous scientific, knowledge and evidence SRH partnerships. Dr Gwanzura is passionate about advancing sexual and reproductive health rights of women and adolescents globally, regionally and locally. The IPPF team is looking forward to working closely with Dr Gwanzura during her tenure and engaging with her on the strategic priorities within the Federation. Learn about the other IMAP members

pride flag in rainbow colours
news item

| 18 August 2022

Ugandan LGBTQI+ organization banned by government

On 3 August 2022, the Ugandan National Bureau for Non-Governmental Organizations unfairly halted the activities of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) – a prominent lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQI+) rights organization – for failing to meet the bureau's registration requirements. SMUG has provided sexuality education and advocated for LGBTQI+ healthcare since 2004 and is well-known for providing services and guidance to the LGBTQI+ community in Uganda. The organization also contributes to Uganda's health goals, including the country's HIV/AIDS strategy, which includes the provision of healthcare to vulnerable and marginalized populations. Although SMUG applied to the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) in 2012, the URSB declined the organization's request on the grounds that SMUG was "operating illegally", a position the organization petitioned with no positive response. In a clear case of harassment and restrictions against Ugandan rights groups working on LGBTQI+ rights, the URSB further asserted that registering SMUG's name would be difficult, calling it "undesirable and un-registrable". In response to the ban the Africa Regional Director for the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) urged the Ugandan government to review its decision to suspend SMUG and to work towards accommodating the organization's mandate of advancing the rights of the LGBTQI+ community in Uganda. Marie-Evelynne-Petrus-Barry said: "As a global human rights organization and the world's largest sexual and reproductive healthcare provider, the International Planned Parenthood Federation upholds the rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. "The Ugandan government's ban of SMUG has created huge anxiety among health service providers, human rights defenders, and members of the LGBTQI+ community, who risk their lives daily so that LGBTQI+ people can access healthcare and information just as any other person would. "We ask the Ugandan government to urgently reconsider its decision to suspend SMUG and to put an end to laws and policies that criminalize, target and endanger members of the LGBTQI+ community and the organizations that advocate for their rights." Petrus-Barry added: "IPPF works to ensure that people with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) – including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex people have access to the full set of human rights enshrined in international human rights laws. IPPF is willing to work with the Ugandan government and other stakeholders to ensure that all Ugandan people can access these rights without restraint." For media enquiries, please contact Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist – Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) on [email protected] or +254 704 626 920 ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organizations in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women, in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent's growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-sensitive services. We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, and United Nations bodies, among others, to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about the IPPF Africa Region on their website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  

pride flag in rainbow colours
news_item

| 18 August 2022

Ugandan LGBTQI+ organization banned by government

On 3 August 2022, the Ugandan National Bureau for Non-Governmental Organizations unfairly halted the activities of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) – a prominent lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQI+) rights organization – for failing to meet the bureau's registration requirements. SMUG has provided sexuality education and advocated for LGBTQI+ healthcare since 2004 and is well-known for providing services and guidance to the LGBTQI+ community in Uganda. The organization also contributes to Uganda's health goals, including the country's HIV/AIDS strategy, which includes the provision of healthcare to vulnerable and marginalized populations. Although SMUG applied to the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) in 2012, the URSB declined the organization's request on the grounds that SMUG was "operating illegally", a position the organization petitioned with no positive response. In a clear case of harassment and restrictions against Ugandan rights groups working on LGBTQI+ rights, the URSB further asserted that registering SMUG's name would be difficult, calling it "undesirable and un-registrable". In response to the ban the Africa Regional Director for the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) urged the Ugandan government to review its decision to suspend SMUG and to work towards accommodating the organization's mandate of advancing the rights of the LGBTQI+ community in Uganda. Marie-Evelynne-Petrus-Barry said: "As a global human rights organization and the world's largest sexual and reproductive healthcare provider, the International Planned Parenthood Federation upholds the rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. "The Ugandan government's ban of SMUG has created huge anxiety among health service providers, human rights defenders, and members of the LGBTQI+ community, who risk their lives daily so that LGBTQI+ people can access healthcare and information just as any other person would. "We ask the Ugandan government to urgently reconsider its decision to suspend SMUG and to put an end to laws and policies that criminalize, target and endanger members of the LGBTQI+ community and the organizations that advocate for their rights." Petrus-Barry added: "IPPF works to ensure that people with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) – including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex people have access to the full set of human rights enshrined in international human rights laws. IPPF is willing to work with the Ugandan government and other stakeholders to ensure that all Ugandan people can access these rights without restraint." For media enquiries, please contact Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist – Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) on [email protected] or +254 704 626 920 ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organizations in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women, in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent's growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high-quality, youth-focused and gender-sensitive services. We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, and United Nations bodies, among others, to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about the IPPF Africa Region on their website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  

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| 08 July 2022

IPPF Statement on the White House Executive Order to Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Services

Today’s Executive Order Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Care Services signed by President Biden signals the US government’s intent to protect women, girls, and all people who may be denied an abortion or criminalized for seeking one.   IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo said:   "Sadly, these efforts provide scant actual protection. The Biden administration is surely sincere in their desire to help women, but today’s meagre offerings demonstrate a shocking lack of imagination and preparation in advance of the current reality. We’ve had over eight months to prepare for the outcome of this Supreme Court."   "Today’s Executive Order should have been the starting line when the judgement first dropped. It should have offered a clear, tangible pathway. It should not be a statement of work in progress, weeks after the loss of constitutional protections. Much of what is being proposed is already being done by non-state actors, many of whom have long been signalling this reality."  The announcement of the Interagency Task Force on Reproductive Health Care Access is also another missed opportunity. We are asking the White House to share how it will direct the State Department and USAID to mitigate the impact of the denial of rights to those who need them further afield. Though the focus on ensuring abortion services within the US remains critical, the Administration must begin work right now with its partners to ensure that the impact on those most vulnerable outside of the US will be mitigated.    Main image by Paul Weaver on Unsplash

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| 08 July 2022

IPPF Statement on the White House Executive Order to Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Services

Today’s Executive Order Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Care Services signed by President Biden signals the US government’s intent to protect women, girls, and all people who may be denied an abortion or criminalized for seeking one.   IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo said:   "Sadly, these efforts provide scant actual protection. The Biden administration is surely sincere in their desire to help women, but today’s meagre offerings demonstrate a shocking lack of imagination and preparation in advance of the current reality. We’ve had over eight months to prepare for the outcome of this Supreme Court."   "Today’s Executive Order should have been the starting line when the judgement first dropped. It should have offered a clear, tangible pathway. It should not be a statement of work in progress, weeks after the loss of constitutional protections. Much of what is being proposed is already being done by non-state actors, many of whom have long been signalling this reality."  The announcement of the Interagency Task Force on Reproductive Health Care Access is also another missed opportunity. We are asking the White House to share how it will direct the State Department and USAID to mitigate the impact of the denial of rights to those who need them further afield. Though the focus on ensuring abortion services within the US remains critical, the Administration must begin work right now with its partners to ensure that the impact on those most vulnerable outside of the US will be mitigated.    Main image by Paul Weaver on Unsplash

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| 08 July 2022

Tribute to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, father of Global Universal Health Coverage (UHC)

We are speechless, angry and profoundly saddened by the news that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was brutally gunned down while delivering a public speech in support of his party’s candidate for the forthcoming Japanese election. The assassination of Mr Abe represents a shocking and cowardly act of violence that threatens the core values of humanity which he spent his entire life defending. Our thoughts go to his wife Akie and the people of Japan at this extraordinarily challenging time. During the Tokyo UHC Summit held in December 2017, IPPF delivered a message to Mr Abe saying, "Just as your grandfather was the father of UHC in Japan, we hope that you will continue to lead global UHC and be the father of global UHC". Mr Abe responded to IPPF’s message with passion and energy. He put UHC promotion at the heart of Japan's Global Health Diplomacy Strategy and became a genuine global leader in UHC, becoming an example for other world leaders. He also held the World Assembly for Women (WAW!) in Tokyo with the aim of building a 'society where women would shine' in Japan and worked tirelessly to promote the empowerment of women. Through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) 5 to 7, Mr Abe created global momentum for improved development cooperation in Africa. Dr Alvaro Bermeo, IPPF’s Director General, notes: "IPPF will continue to honour the work of former Prime Minister Abe and advance his commitment to universal health coverage that includes comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services. May he rest in peace." Ms Tomoko Fukuda, Regional Director of IPPF East, South-East Asia and Oceania Regional Office, recalls: 'I will never forget the way former Prime Minister Abe spoke with enthusiasm about the realisation of a society where women would shine at the WAW! We still have a long way to go to realise women's empowerment in Japan and around the world, but we will continue to build on the foundation of Mr Abe's efforts." Main photo by Roméo A. on Unsplash

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| 08 July 2022

Tribute to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, father of Global Universal Health Coverage (UHC)

We are speechless, angry and profoundly saddened by the news that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was brutally gunned down while delivering a public speech in support of his party’s candidate for the forthcoming Japanese election. The assassination of Mr Abe represents a shocking and cowardly act of violence that threatens the core values of humanity which he spent his entire life defending. Our thoughts go to his wife Akie and the people of Japan at this extraordinarily challenging time. During the Tokyo UHC Summit held in December 2017, IPPF delivered a message to Mr Abe saying, "Just as your grandfather was the father of UHC in Japan, we hope that you will continue to lead global UHC and be the father of global UHC". Mr Abe responded to IPPF’s message with passion and energy. He put UHC promotion at the heart of Japan's Global Health Diplomacy Strategy and became a genuine global leader in UHC, becoming an example for other world leaders. He also held the World Assembly for Women (WAW!) in Tokyo with the aim of building a 'society where women would shine' in Japan and worked tirelessly to promote the empowerment of women. Through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) 5 to 7, Mr Abe created global momentum for improved development cooperation in Africa. Dr Alvaro Bermeo, IPPF’s Director General, notes: "IPPF will continue to honour the work of former Prime Minister Abe and advance his commitment to universal health coverage that includes comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services. May he rest in peace." Ms Tomoko Fukuda, Regional Director of IPPF East, South-East Asia and Oceania Regional Office, recalls: 'I will never forget the way former Prime Minister Abe spoke with enthusiasm about the realisation of a society where women would shine at the WAW! We still have a long way to go to realise women's empowerment in Japan and around the world, but we will continue to build on the foundation of Mr Abe's efforts." Main photo by Roméo A. on Unsplash

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| 07 July 2022

IPPF celebrates UNHRC decision on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

IPPF celebrates the decision of the UN Human Rights Council to renew the Mandate of the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity on July 7th, at its 50th session. IPPF was actively involved in advocating for the renewal of this important mandate, working closely with a large coalition of civil society organizations, activists and Member States to encourage support for the renewal. It is fitting that this renewal comes on the heels of Pride Month in June. First established in 2016, this is the second time the mandate has been renewed, solidifying the commitment of the international community against discrimination and violence based on SOGI and unequivocal support to LGBTQI+ people. In addition to renewing the mandate of the Independent Expert to continue country visits and thematic reports, for the first time, this resolution expresses strong concern at existing laws, policies and practices criminalizing consensual same-sex conducts and relations and calls upon Member States to amend or repeal laws and policies that discriminate against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. IPPF works actively to advocate for all people’s human right to live free from violence and discrimination on any grounds, including real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. We look forward to continuing to support the work of the Independent Expert over the next three years. Main image by Cecilie Johnsen on Unsplash

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| 07 July 2022

IPPF celebrates UNHRC decision on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

IPPF celebrates the decision of the UN Human Rights Council to renew the Mandate of the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity on July 7th, at its 50th session. IPPF was actively involved in advocating for the renewal of this important mandate, working closely with a large coalition of civil society organizations, activists and Member States to encourage support for the renewal. It is fitting that this renewal comes on the heels of Pride Month in June. First established in 2016, this is the second time the mandate has been renewed, solidifying the commitment of the international community against discrimination and violence based on SOGI and unequivocal support to LGBTQI+ people. In addition to renewing the mandate of the Independent Expert to continue country visits and thematic reports, for the first time, this resolution expresses strong concern at existing laws, policies and practices criminalizing consensual same-sex conducts and relations and calls upon Member States to amend or repeal laws and policies that discriminate against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. IPPF works actively to advocate for all people’s human right to live free from violence and discrimination on any grounds, including real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. We look forward to continuing to support the work of the Independent Expert over the next three years. Main image by Cecilie Johnsen on Unsplash