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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
Blue box
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| 30 June 2022

IPPF's Anti-Racism Review and Programme of Action

Like much of the world, we were horrified by the murder of George Floyd in the US in May 2020. Following the global conversation on race and racism, our staff felt strongly that our own focus on equality, empowerment, ending discrimination, and poverty-eradication must extend to the workplace. This is why in 2020, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) proactively started a process of examining and addressing issues of racism and colonial legacies within IPPF.  We commissioned our Anti-Racism Review to hold IPPF accountable. The Review was not confined to just our London office; it was a full and independent interrogation of the Secretariat as we felt strongly that no one should be excluded from a conversation as critical as this. The Review's findings were shared with all IPPF secretariat staff on 26 July 2021. We included a response from management, the Anti Racism Working Group and the Board of Trustees Statement on Anti-Racism. The report was a turning point for IPPF, and as much as it was difficult to read, we hope people felt safe sharing their experiences with us. IPPF anticipated that the report would uncover some hard truths on people's experience of racism within the workplace, and we have acknowledged and are humbled by the contributions from staff. We know talking about lived experiences of racism and discrimination takes an emotional and mental toll, and we are deeply sorry to our colleagues who have experienced racism and discrimination in the workplace. IPPF remains truly grateful for their contribution, which has led to practical insights and recommendations that the management team has taken forward, with oversight from our governance.   IPPF has a duty to do better, and we are committed long-term to the principles of affirmative action and, through them, the Anti-Racism Programme of Action.  In line with some of the recommendations, we have continued to engage as a management team, with a staff working group representing all regions, and a Board of Trustees Sub Committee, thereby creating complete oversight of the implementation of the recommendations. The Anti Racism Sub Committee is led by Bience Gawanas, who has global expertise in the area and was one of the Under-Secretary Generals who supported the internal efforts to combat racism within the UN.  Currently, we feel that our management team and our governance reflect the diversity and experience necessary to decolonise the way we work. Our current Board of Trustees, formed in 2020, is made up of 15 people (including 20% young people under the age of 25) from 11 different geographies, including West Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, the Caribbean, Latin-America, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North America, Oceania and South Asia. Our Global Leadership Team comprises of ten people from nine different countries, with each of our Regional Directors, who all identify as women,  representing the diversity of the regions they lead. We were also a very high performer in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 Report and have rated a consistently high performer since 2020, achieving gender parity in our governing body and senior management in the range of 56-100% of women represented.   Our Leadership is committed to creating an organisation that has no discrimination in how it operates and the services it offers. In trying to address some of the the report's recommendations, IPPF has:  Begun a series of discussions, webinars and training to address some of the interpersonal and institutional racism that exists in the organisation. This has included training on aspects of microaggressions, unconscious bias and other pathways of racism that exist. We have interrogated our framing of issues within a more public domain through asset framing training with an anti-racism lens.   Contracted a team of anti-racism trainers to conduct training across the Secretariat for the next six months to more deeply interrogate some key issues emanating from the report.   For the last ten months, we have been working on a series of consultations focusing on our next five-year strategy, which has explicitly embedded anti-racism as central to our strategic direction.   Critically we are working on our public statement of action for Anti-Racism – co-created with Member Associations through our training to be delivered at the IPPF General Assembly in November 2022. We felt strongly that it was too easy to focus on public sentiments and that we wanted to walk the talk as an organization before this, which is why the sequencing of the Anti-Racism Program of Action is as it is. You will see that evidenced in the management response.    As part of our actions to ensure equity across the Secretariat, over the past 18 months, we have conducted a comprehensive pay and benefits review and bought a consistent approach to job evaluation, grading and pay scales at all levels and for all geographies across the Secretariat.   We share these points not to underestimate some of the report's findings but to demonstrate that we take seriously the actioning of this work.   We thank all staff who participated in the review and know that this was not easy. Still, we are grateful to have the recommendations and are committed to ensuring that we address these as holistically as possible. We look to the future with hope and commitment so that all our colleagues feel safe and valued while working for IPPF.   Sincerely, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director-General

Blue box
news_item

| 30 June 2022

IPPF's Anti-Racism Review and Programme of Action

Like much of the world, we were horrified by the murder of George Floyd in the US in May 2020. Following the global conversation on race and racism, our staff felt strongly that our own focus on equality, empowerment, ending discrimination, and poverty-eradication must extend to the workplace. This is why in 2020, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) proactively started a process of examining and addressing issues of racism and colonial legacies within IPPF.  We commissioned our Anti-Racism Review to hold IPPF accountable. The Review was not confined to just our London office; it was a full and independent interrogation of the Secretariat as we felt strongly that no one should be excluded from a conversation as critical as this. The Review's findings were shared with all IPPF secretariat staff on 26 July 2021. We included a response from management, the Anti Racism Working Group and the Board of Trustees Statement on Anti-Racism. The report was a turning point for IPPF, and as much as it was difficult to read, we hope people felt safe sharing their experiences with us. IPPF anticipated that the report would uncover some hard truths on people's experience of racism within the workplace, and we have acknowledged and are humbled by the contributions from staff. We know talking about lived experiences of racism and discrimination takes an emotional and mental toll, and we are deeply sorry to our colleagues who have experienced racism and discrimination in the workplace. IPPF remains truly grateful for their contribution, which has led to practical insights and recommendations that the management team has taken forward, with oversight from our governance.   IPPF has a duty to do better, and we are committed long-term to the principles of affirmative action and, through them, the Anti-Racism Programme of Action.  In line with some of the recommendations, we have continued to engage as a management team, with a staff working group representing all regions, and a Board of Trustees Sub Committee, thereby creating complete oversight of the implementation of the recommendations. The Anti Racism Sub Committee is led by Bience Gawanas, who has global expertise in the area and was one of the Under-Secretary Generals who supported the internal efforts to combat racism within the UN.  Currently, we feel that our management team and our governance reflect the diversity and experience necessary to decolonise the way we work. Our current Board of Trustees, formed in 2020, is made up of 15 people (including 20% young people under the age of 25) from 11 different geographies, including West Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, the Caribbean, Latin-America, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North America, Oceania and South Asia. Our Global Leadership Team comprises of ten people from nine different countries, with each of our Regional Directors, who all identify as women,  representing the diversity of the regions they lead. We were also a very high performer in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 Report and have rated a consistently high performer since 2020, achieving gender parity in our governing body and senior management in the range of 56-100% of women represented.   Our Leadership is committed to creating an organisation that has no discrimination in how it operates and the services it offers. In trying to address some of the the report's recommendations, IPPF has:  Begun a series of discussions, webinars and training to address some of the interpersonal and institutional racism that exists in the organisation. This has included training on aspects of microaggressions, unconscious bias and other pathways of racism that exist. We have interrogated our framing of issues within a more public domain through asset framing training with an anti-racism lens.   Contracted a team of anti-racism trainers to conduct training across the Secretariat for the next six months to more deeply interrogate some key issues emanating from the report.   For the last ten months, we have been working on a series of consultations focusing on our next five-year strategy, which has explicitly embedded anti-racism as central to our strategic direction.   Critically we are working on our public statement of action for Anti-Racism – co-created with Member Associations through our training to be delivered at the IPPF General Assembly in November 2022. We felt strongly that it was too easy to focus on public sentiments and that we wanted to walk the talk as an organization before this, which is why the sequencing of the Anti-Racism Program of Action is as it is. You will see that evidenced in the management response.    As part of our actions to ensure equity across the Secretariat, over the past 18 months, we have conducted a comprehensive pay and benefits review and bought a consistent approach to job evaluation, grading and pay scales at all levels and for all geographies across the Secretariat.   We share these points not to underestimate some of the report's findings but to demonstrate that we take seriously the actioning of this work.   We thank all staff who participated in the review and know that this was not easy. Still, we are grateful to have the recommendations and are committed to ensuring that we address these as holistically as possible. We look to the future with hope and commitment so that all our colleagues feel safe and valued while working for IPPF.   Sincerely, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director-General

Protest sign reads "bans off our bodies"
news item

| 24 June 2022

As the US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, global healthcare organizations call on all governments to defend access to safe and quality abortion care

Ensuring access to safe, quality abortion is an imperative. Abortion is recognised as essential health care that must be provided by governments. Access to safe abortion is also a human right. Attacks against reproductive freedom are attacks on democracy and international human rights standards, on individual freedoms and the right to privacy, and they set back progress towards gender equality.   The United States Supreme Court decision to dismantle Roe v Wade and roll back 50 years of access to safe abortion care is a catastrophic blow to the lives of millions of women, girls and pregnant people who now face the prospect of being forced to continue pregnancies. It is a decision that will cost lives for years to come. The US joins just a handful of countries that have actively reduced access to abortion care in recent years. This is out of step with the global community’s commitment to advance human rights and fails to take into account the overwhelming global medical evidence that supports abortion as essential health care.    Around the world, progress is being made to remove restrictions to care for example Latin America’s ‘green wave’ (Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile) in Africa (Benin, Mozambique, Kenya), Asia and the Pacific (Thailand, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand) and Europe (France, Ireland, England). Governments are responding to feminist grassroots movements and acting upon evidence-based findings and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines that draw on clinical and technological advancements, including telemedicine and self-management of abortion care, in order to guarantee their populations’ rights to essential health care.    As organizations dedicated to providing and supporting health care, we know that restrictive laws do not reduce the need for abortion care. Rather, such laws increase inequities in access; nurture an environment of fear, stigmatisation and criminalisation; and put women, girls and pregnant people at risk.  Abortion laws not based on scientific evidence harm health care workers. Countries with total bans or highly restrictive abortion law prevent and criminalise the provision of essential health care services and support to those that require abortion care. Many individuals supporting abortion care experience abuse, threats and even violence. In the United States, such incidents are commonplace and have even resulted in the murder of health care professionals. Further isolating these dedicated health care workers with restrictive laws will put them at even greater risk. Lack of access to safe abortion care is one of the leading causes of preventable maternal death and disability. Each year 47,000 women in the world die as a result of unsafe abortion  and an estimated five million are hospitalised for the treatment of serious complications such as bleeding or infection.   Supporting safe and high-quality abortion care is a demonstration of a government’s commitment to reproductive and social justice. Abortion care is an integral part of comprehensive health care provision – the need for this care will not go away. Limiting access to abortion care takes the greatest toll on the lives of women, girls and pregnant people; those living in poverty; those with marginalised racial, ethnic identities; adolescents; and those living in rural areas. A denial of abortion care further exacerbates their historical discrimination and mistreatment, and places them at the greatest risk of preventable maternal death and disability.  As national, regional and global health care organizations, we urge all governments to take immediate action to:  Create and protect legal and regulatory environments that support health care professionals to provide access to safe and affordable abortion care. Access to abortion care should be protected and supported as an inalienable reproductive right.  Decriminalise abortion care and regulate it like any other health care provision. Decriminalising abortion refers to the removal of specific criminal and/or civil sanctions against abortion from the law, so that no one is punished for having, providing or supporting access to abortion.  Utilise the full benefit of the safety and efficacy of abortion medication, as well as the advancement of technology, to allow telemedicine and self-management access to abortion, as recommended by the WHO Abortion Care Guideline. Invest in robust health systems that are human rights-centred for abortion care information, counselling and services. Prioritise training on abortion care as an essential part of professional development for health care professionals – integrate it into lifelong learning to ensure health services are universally available. Such approaches should be linked to reproductive and social justice movements, and should include actions that address the needs and rights of communities that have been historically discriminated against.  Want to take action? Endorse this global statement condemning the Roe v. Wade decision Main image by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

Protest sign reads "bans off our bodies"
news_item

| 24 June 2022

As the US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, global healthcare organizations call on all governments to defend access to safe and quality abortion care

Ensuring access to safe, quality abortion is an imperative. Abortion is recognised as essential health care that must be provided by governments. Access to safe abortion is also a human right. Attacks against reproductive freedom are attacks on democracy and international human rights standards, on individual freedoms and the right to privacy, and they set back progress towards gender equality.   The United States Supreme Court decision to dismantle Roe v Wade and roll back 50 years of access to safe abortion care is a catastrophic blow to the lives of millions of women, girls and pregnant people who now face the prospect of being forced to continue pregnancies. It is a decision that will cost lives for years to come. The US joins just a handful of countries that have actively reduced access to abortion care in recent years. This is out of step with the global community’s commitment to advance human rights and fails to take into account the overwhelming global medical evidence that supports abortion as essential health care.    Around the world, progress is being made to remove restrictions to care for example Latin America’s ‘green wave’ (Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile) in Africa (Benin, Mozambique, Kenya), Asia and the Pacific (Thailand, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand) and Europe (France, Ireland, England). Governments are responding to feminist grassroots movements and acting upon evidence-based findings and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines that draw on clinical and technological advancements, including telemedicine and self-management of abortion care, in order to guarantee their populations’ rights to essential health care.    As organizations dedicated to providing and supporting health care, we know that restrictive laws do not reduce the need for abortion care. Rather, such laws increase inequities in access; nurture an environment of fear, stigmatisation and criminalisation; and put women, girls and pregnant people at risk.  Abortion laws not based on scientific evidence harm health care workers. Countries with total bans or highly restrictive abortion law prevent and criminalise the provision of essential health care services and support to those that require abortion care. Many individuals supporting abortion care experience abuse, threats and even violence. In the United States, such incidents are commonplace and have even resulted in the murder of health care professionals. Further isolating these dedicated health care workers with restrictive laws will put them at even greater risk. Lack of access to safe abortion care is one of the leading causes of preventable maternal death and disability. Each year 47,000 women in the world die as a result of unsafe abortion  and an estimated five million are hospitalised for the treatment of serious complications such as bleeding or infection.   Supporting safe and high-quality abortion care is a demonstration of a government’s commitment to reproductive and social justice. Abortion care is an integral part of comprehensive health care provision – the need for this care will not go away. Limiting access to abortion care takes the greatest toll on the lives of women, girls and pregnant people; those living in poverty; those with marginalised racial, ethnic identities; adolescents; and those living in rural areas. A denial of abortion care further exacerbates their historical discrimination and mistreatment, and places them at the greatest risk of preventable maternal death and disability.  As national, regional and global health care organizations, we urge all governments to take immediate action to:  Create and protect legal and regulatory environments that support health care professionals to provide access to safe and affordable abortion care. Access to abortion care should be protected and supported as an inalienable reproductive right.  Decriminalise abortion care and regulate it like any other health care provision. Decriminalising abortion refers to the removal of specific criminal and/or civil sanctions against abortion from the law, so that no one is punished for having, providing or supporting access to abortion.  Utilise the full benefit of the safety and efficacy of abortion medication, as well as the advancement of technology, to allow telemedicine and self-management access to abortion, as recommended by the WHO Abortion Care Guideline. Invest in robust health systems that are human rights-centred for abortion care information, counselling and services. Prioritise training on abortion care as an essential part of professional development for health care professionals – integrate it into lifelong learning to ensure health services are universally available. Such approaches should be linked to reproductive and social justice movements, and should include actions that address the needs and rights of communities that have been historically discriminated against.  Want to take action? Endorse this global statement condemning the Roe v. Wade decision Main image by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

プロジェクト開始式の様子
news item

| 10 June 2022

Palestine set to receive $600,000 from Japan to support human security and sexual and reproductive healthcare

On 8 June 2022 in Ramallah, Palestine, there was the inauguration of the project “Improving Human Security in Palestine Through Life-saving Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Services for People Most in Need," funded by the Government of Japan and implemented by the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association, which is IPPF’s Member Association in Palestine.  Recent studies indicate an increase in the number of cases of gender-based violence in Palestine, which requires rapid and timely interventions in terms of psychological and social support, medical services, women and child health services, and sexual and reproductive health services for survivors. This project will seek to address these unmet needs, by providing quality clinic-based SRHR services for women, youth and vulnerable communities in Gaza and the West Bank. It will also expand access to high-quality, life-saving sexual and reproductive health services to communities.  Mr. Masayuki Magoshi, Ambassador of Japan for Palestinian Affairs, said, “We believe that having to living in fear of violence and sexual abuse are core issues of universal human rights. Peace in the region will never be attainable or sustainable in the long term if we do not apply a gender lens to issues. This project is significant in terms of Japan’s continuous commitment toward Palestinian people, especially women. I would like to reaffirm our commitments in line with international solidarity to Palestine, to ensure the implementation of the targets for the 2030 Agenda on maternal, newborn and maternal health in emergencies and ensuring that women have access to comprehensive health care.”  Dr. Amal Hamad, the Palestinian Minister of Women Affairs, said, “the health sector plays a major role in providing comprehensive primary health care to all members of the society, especially services which are directed to women. We are committed to the SDGs especially SDG 3 and SDG 5 in particular and we will keep working to promote for them.” Mr. Sami Natsheh, the Board of Directors President for the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association, said, “The project aims at enabling vulnerable and underserved Palestinian women and girls living in difficult humanitarian environments to access and promote sexual and reproductive health services and rights, including services to reduce and combat sexual and gender-based violence by increasing the provision of high quality sexual and reproductive health services.” Dr Fadoua Bakhadda, Regional Director, IPPF Arab World Regional Office, said, ”This project is like a life jacket for women in Palestine, especially those in protracted crisis areas. This funding will ensure the continued provision of essential sexual and reproductive health services, including safe delivery, pregnancy care, family planning, HIV and disease prevention, sexually transmitted infections and their treatment, quality post abortion care, and psychosocial support for survivors of gender-based violence”. Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA): Established in Jerusalem in 1964, the PFPPA is an independent, non-profit and non-governmental organization registered locally and IPPF’s Member Association in Palestine. PFPPA has service delivery points, located in the West Bank Areas of Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and Halhoul, in addition to one in the Gaza Strip. In cooperation with local partners PFPPA is also responsible for 4 safe spaces to provide Gender Based Violence (GBV) related services in the Jerusalem area. PFPPA is focuses specifically to provide people with diverse options of SRHR services and is the only organization (GO or NGO) that provides contraceptive implants as a FP method. PFPPA is pioneer in the Harm Reduction module for the provision of Abortion Related Services and has provided Technical Assistance and shared their experience on this module with other local like minded organizations in addition to other IPPF Member Association’s as well. International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Arab World Office: IPPF is a global healthcare provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all. Led by a courageous and determined group of women, IPPF was founded in 1952. Today, we are a movement of over 120 autonomous member associations and 23 collaborative partners with a presence in 146 countries. Established in 1971 the IPPF Arab World Region (IPPF AWR) is one of IPPF’s six regional offices. Based in Tunis, it is the leading Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) service delivery organization in the North Africa and the Middle East, and the leading Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. For further information, or to arrange an interview with PFPPA’s Executive Director, Ms. Ammal Awadallah, please contact Ms. Abeer Dahbour, Communications Officer, PFPPA at [email protected]

プロジェクト開始式の様子
news_item

| 10 June 2022

Palestine set to receive $600,000 from Japan to support human security and sexual and reproductive healthcare

On 8 June 2022 in Ramallah, Palestine, there was the inauguration of the project “Improving Human Security in Palestine Through Life-saving Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Services for People Most in Need," funded by the Government of Japan and implemented by the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association, which is IPPF’s Member Association in Palestine.  Recent studies indicate an increase in the number of cases of gender-based violence in Palestine, which requires rapid and timely interventions in terms of psychological and social support, medical services, women and child health services, and sexual and reproductive health services for survivors. This project will seek to address these unmet needs, by providing quality clinic-based SRHR services for women, youth and vulnerable communities in Gaza and the West Bank. It will also expand access to high-quality, life-saving sexual and reproductive health services to communities.  Mr. Masayuki Magoshi, Ambassador of Japan for Palestinian Affairs, said, “We believe that having to living in fear of violence and sexual abuse are core issues of universal human rights. Peace in the region will never be attainable or sustainable in the long term if we do not apply a gender lens to issues. This project is significant in terms of Japan’s continuous commitment toward Palestinian people, especially women. I would like to reaffirm our commitments in line with international solidarity to Palestine, to ensure the implementation of the targets for the 2030 Agenda on maternal, newborn and maternal health in emergencies and ensuring that women have access to comprehensive health care.”  Dr. Amal Hamad, the Palestinian Minister of Women Affairs, said, “the health sector plays a major role in providing comprehensive primary health care to all members of the society, especially services which are directed to women. We are committed to the SDGs especially SDG 3 and SDG 5 in particular and we will keep working to promote for them.” Mr. Sami Natsheh, the Board of Directors President for the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association, said, “The project aims at enabling vulnerable and underserved Palestinian women and girls living in difficult humanitarian environments to access and promote sexual and reproductive health services and rights, including services to reduce and combat sexual and gender-based violence by increasing the provision of high quality sexual and reproductive health services.” Dr Fadoua Bakhadda, Regional Director, IPPF Arab World Regional Office, said, ”This project is like a life jacket for women in Palestine, especially those in protracted crisis areas. This funding will ensure the continued provision of essential sexual and reproductive health services, including safe delivery, pregnancy care, family planning, HIV and disease prevention, sexually transmitted infections and their treatment, quality post abortion care, and psychosocial support for survivors of gender-based violence”. Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA): Established in Jerusalem in 1964, the PFPPA is an independent, non-profit and non-governmental organization registered locally and IPPF’s Member Association in Palestine. PFPPA has service delivery points, located in the West Bank Areas of Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and Halhoul, in addition to one in the Gaza Strip. In cooperation with local partners PFPPA is also responsible for 4 safe spaces to provide Gender Based Violence (GBV) related services in the Jerusalem area. PFPPA is focuses specifically to provide people with diverse options of SRHR services and is the only organization (GO or NGO) that provides contraceptive implants as a FP method. PFPPA is pioneer in the Harm Reduction module for the provision of Abortion Related Services and has provided Technical Assistance and shared their experience on this module with other local like minded organizations in addition to other IPPF Member Association’s as well. International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Arab World Office: IPPF is a global healthcare provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all. Led by a courageous and determined group of women, IPPF was founded in 1952. Today, we are a movement of over 120 autonomous member associations and 23 collaborative partners with a presence in 146 countries. Established in 1971 the IPPF Arab World Region (IPPF AWR) is one of IPPF’s six regional offices. Based in Tunis, it is the leading Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) service delivery organization in the North Africa and the Middle East, and the leading Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. For further information, or to arrange an interview with PFPPA’s Executive Director, Ms. Ammal Awadallah, please contact Ms. Abeer Dahbour, Communications Officer, PFPPA at [email protected]

A healthcare worker in India tends to a child - Amitava Chandra
news item

| 30 March 2022

IPPF recognized as a very high scorer in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 Report

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has been recognized as a very high scorer in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 Report entitled Boards for All? A review of power, policy and people on the boards of organisations active in global health.  This is the first time Global Health 50/50 have included an analysis board membership across 147 global health organizations, alongside their annual analysis of gender-related policies and practices of 200 organizations. IPPF obtained the highest possible score for board diversity of G based on a review of our board policies and practices that have specific measures in place to promote diversity, inclusion and representation that are publicly available. IPPF’s current board has nine women, one-third are young people under 25 years of age, and over half are nationals from low-and middle-income countries. In addition, for the first time this year, Global Health 50/50 2022 have accessed and consolidated organizations performances across the past 3-5 years. IPPF is one of 19 organizations recognized as a very high scorer, and places IPPF in the top 10% of sample organizations used in the report.  IPPF’s Seri Wendoh, Global Lead for Gender & Inclusion said: “Once again, IPPF has been recognised as a very high scorer in the Global Health 50/50 for our gender-related policies and practices. Once again, this is a testament to the dedication of colleagues and the work that is being done behind the scenes at IPPF to meaningfully include and implement gender equality, diversity and inclusion at the core of organization. As always there is more we need to do, but I have no doubt that we will continue to listen, to learn, and to act deliberately to ensure IPPF is an even more inclusive, feminist and diverse organization where everyone feels seen and valued.” Kate Gilmore, IPPF’s Board of Trustees chair said:  “Nothing makes me prouder when sitting in an IPPF board meeting to look across at my fellow trustees in all our diversity, with our different lived experiences, at different stages of life, with our mix of expertise and our global reach and relevance. That’s what makes IPPF such a unique and special place to be a part of. It’s why it is a privilege to chair such a board.  It is also why I am very proud that Global Health 50/50 has given us the highest possible score for our Board’s dedication to diversity, inclusion and global representation, as well as identifying IPPF as a consistent very high scorer for our gender-related policies and practices.” IPPF’s Director-General Dr Alvaro Bermejo said: “I’m pleased to see that IPPF is a very high scorer in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 report and received the highest possible score for our board diversity, inclusion and representation. Our diversity allows us to keep challenging ourselves and committing to improving how we center people in our care and help them exercise their full sexual and reproductive rights and freedoms. For global membership organizations, maximising diversity and inclusion at all levels is investing in a richness of knowledge, expertise and lived experiences, which can accelerate our common goal of providing the best possible care to those who walk through our doors.” Professor Sarah Hawkes and Professor Kent Buse, Co-Directors, Global Health 50/50  said: Congratulations to IPPF on their strong performance in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 Report. Through commitment, learning and action IPPF showcases that progress towards gender equality and the more equitable sharing of power and opportunity in global health is possible in the collective effort to deliver health for all. Bravo!” Read the report in full Main image courtesy of Amitava Chandra

A healthcare worker in India tends to a child - Amitava Chandra
news_item

| 30 March 2022

IPPF recognized as a very high scorer in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 Report

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has been recognized as a very high scorer in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 Report entitled Boards for All? A review of power, policy and people on the boards of organisations active in global health.  This is the first time Global Health 50/50 have included an analysis board membership across 147 global health organizations, alongside their annual analysis of gender-related policies and practices of 200 organizations. IPPF obtained the highest possible score for board diversity of G based on a review of our board policies and practices that have specific measures in place to promote diversity, inclusion and representation that are publicly available. IPPF’s current board has nine women, one-third are young people under 25 years of age, and over half are nationals from low-and middle-income countries. In addition, for the first time this year, Global Health 50/50 2022 have accessed and consolidated organizations performances across the past 3-5 years. IPPF is one of 19 organizations recognized as a very high scorer, and places IPPF in the top 10% of sample organizations used in the report.  IPPF’s Seri Wendoh, Global Lead for Gender & Inclusion said: “Once again, IPPF has been recognised as a very high scorer in the Global Health 50/50 for our gender-related policies and practices. Once again, this is a testament to the dedication of colleagues and the work that is being done behind the scenes at IPPF to meaningfully include and implement gender equality, diversity and inclusion at the core of organization. As always there is more we need to do, but I have no doubt that we will continue to listen, to learn, and to act deliberately to ensure IPPF is an even more inclusive, feminist and diverse organization where everyone feels seen and valued.” Kate Gilmore, IPPF’s Board of Trustees chair said:  “Nothing makes me prouder when sitting in an IPPF board meeting to look across at my fellow trustees in all our diversity, with our different lived experiences, at different stages of life, with our mix of expertise and our global reach and relevance. That’s what makes IPPF such a unique and special place to be a part of. It’s why it is a privilege to chair such a board.  It is also why I am very proud that Global Health 50/50 has given us the highest possible score for our Board’s dedication to diversity, inclusion and global representation, as well as identifying IPPF as a consistent very high scorer for our gender-related policies and practices.” IPPF’s Director-General Dr Alvaro Bermejo said: “I’m pleased to see that IPPF is a very high scorer in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 report and received the highest possible score for our board diversity, inclusion and representation. Our diversity allows us to keep challenging ourselves and committing to improving how we center people in our care and help them exercise their full sexual and reproductive rights and freedoms. For global membership organizations, maximising diversity and inclusion at all levels is investing in a richness of knowledge, expertise and lived experiences, which can accelerate our common goal of providing the best possible care to those who walk through our doors.” Professor Sarah Hawkes and Professor Kent Buse, Co-Directors, Global Health 50/50  said: Congratulations to IPPF on their strong performance in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 Report. Through commitment, learning and action IPPF showcases that progress towards gender equality and the more equitable sharing of power and opportunity in global health is possible in the collective effort to deliver health for all. Bravo!” Read the report in full Main image courtesy of Amitava Chandra

An illustration of a group of healthcare workers talking
news item

| 28 March 2022

IPPF launches medical abortion course

IPPF and HowToUse have developed a free online medical abortion training for the full range of healthcare workers, including physicians, midwives, pharmacists, medical students and community health workers. The training will equip health workers with the necessary skills to provide care for women seeking medical abortion up to 13 weeks’ gestation. The training is focused on person-centered care and includes a module on supporting women in medical abortion self-care. As abortion care continues to be left off medical training curriculums, this training will fill a critical gap in the education of many health workers. It has the potential to significantly increase the number of health workers with the skills and knowledge to provide abortion care, especially in low-resource settings, and thereby increase the number of women supported to safely end a pregnancy.  The updated WHO Abortion Care Guideline includes recommendations to make most abortions - especially early abortions - a simple primary care level intervention. The guideline recommends that medical abortion up to 12 weeks can be managed by a range of trained health workers including community health workers, pharmacists and pharmacy workers and midwives, as well as by the pregnant individuals.  The training, which is a video series available for free in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese and Russian, is designed to equip these health workers with the relevant skills to provide medical abortion care. The course can be accessed from desktop or mobile and is structured to be an interactive learning experience, complete with quizzes and an option to download a certificate upon successful completion. To access the course, click here.

An illustration of a group of healthcare workers talking
news_item

| 28 March 2022

IPPF launches medical abortion course

IPPF and HowToUse have developed a free online medical abortion training for the full range of healthcare workers, including physicians, midwives, pharmacists, medical students and community health workers. The training will equip health workers with the necessary skills to provide care for women seeking medical abortion up to 13 weeks’ gestation. The training is focused on person-centered care and includes a module on supporting women in medical abortion self-care. As abortion care continues to be left off medical training curriculums, this training will fill a critical gap in the education of many health workers. It has the potential to significantly increase the number of health workers with the skills and knowledge to provide abortion care, especially in low-resource settings, and thereby increase the number of women supported to safely end a pregnancy.  The updated WHO Abortion Care Guideline includes recommendations to make most abortions - especially early abortions - a simple primary care level intervention. The guideline recommends that medical abortion up to 12 weeks can be managed by a range of trained health workers including community health workers, pharmacists and pharmacy workers and midwives, as well as by the pregnant individuals.  The training, which is a video series available for free in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese and Russian, is designed to equip these health workers with the relevant skills to provide medical abortion care. The course can be accessed from desktop or mobile and is structured to be an interactive learning experience, complete with quizzes and an option to download a certificate upon successful completion. To access the course, click here.

The Kenyan flag - black, red and green horizontal stripes with a shield in the middle
news item

| 28 March 2022

Kenyan High Court makes landmark ruling on safe abortion care

In a landmark verdict today, the High Court of Malindi has ruled that safe abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers, for seeking or offering such services, is completely illegal. Specifically, the Court ruled that: Abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers seeking or offering such services is illegal. Protecting access to abortion impacts vital Constitutional values, including dignity, autonomy, equality, and bodily integrity. Criminalizing abortion under Penal Code without Constitutional statutory framework is an impairment to the enjoyment of women’s reproductive right. For years, women and girls in Kenya have faced sustained and pervasive discrimination hampering their access to seeking reproductive healthcare services; the 1963 Penal Code criminalizes all abortion care, including those allowed under the Constitution 2010, which guarantees the right to healthcare, including access to reproductive health services. The Constitution only permits safe abortion if in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is at risk/in danger. The court case in question, filed in November 2020, involved PAK, a minor 16 years of age from Kilifi County. PAK experienced complications during pregnancy and immediately sought medical care at a nearby clinic where a trained clinical officer attended to her. Upon examining her, the clinical officer determined that she had lost the pregnancy and proceeded to provide her with essential and life-saving post-abortion care. Policy officers stormed the clinic, in the midst of the treatment, stopping the medical procedure and confiscating PAK’s treatment records. They then proceeded to illegally arrest both PAK and the clinical officer. Both were taken to Ganze Police Patrol Base where PAK was not allowed to access further medical care for the next two days and was forced to sign a statement which was contrary to PAK’s description of the events. The police also forced PAK to undergo another detailed medical examination at Kilifi County Hospital to obtain evidence to prove the alleged offence of abortion. The clinical officer was detained for one week while PAK was remanded to a juvenile remand for more than a month, whilst she and her family sought to secure the cash bail for her release. The Malindi High Court has further directed the Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Kenyan Constitution. Additionally, the Court has confirmed that communication between a patient and the healthcare provider is confidential, which is guaranteed and protected under the Constitution and other enabling laws, save for where the disclosure is consented to by the patient or is in the public interest in line with the limitations as provided for in the Constitution. In its decision, the Court also ruled that PAK was recovering from medical procedure and police did not have the medical qualifications to determine and confirm that she was medically-fit to leave the clinic, regardless of her admission status at the clinic. Additionally, the Court found that PAK’s arrest was inhuman and degrading, and being a minor, she ought not to have been interrogated without legal representation. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Africa Regional Director from the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “We are absolutely delighted to hear this news and applaud the High Court of Malindi's ruling confirming that abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers for seeking or offering such services is illegal. We are also very pleased to hear that the Court has directed Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Constitution. This is a victory for women and girls not only in Kenya, but across Africa! Access to quality abortion is essential to guarantee the health and reproductive rights of women and girls everywhere. At IPPF, we are committed to reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods for fear of arrests and harassment. We will continue to supply and support safe and legal abortion services and care for women and girls everywhere.” The petitioners were represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights a network of reproductive health providers whose member was the second petitioner in this case and a collaborative partner of IPPF. The advocates were Martin Onyango, Head of Legal Strategies for Africa, and Prudence Mutiso, Legal Advisor for Africa. Nelly Munyasia, Executive Director of Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK), , welcomed the court’s decision: “Many qualified reproductive healthcare practitioners continue to be arrested, detained, and prosecuted for providing legal medical care. The court’s decision confirms that prosecution against health providers cannot hold where the prosecution has not established that; the health professional in question was unqualified to conduct the procedure; the life or health of the woman was not in danger or the woman was not in need of emergency treatment,” Ms. Munyasia said. Evelyne Opondo, Senior Regional Director for Africa at Center for Reproductive Rights said: “Today’s victory is for all women, girls, and healthcare providers who have been treated as criminals for seeking and providing abortion care. The court has vindicated our position by affirming that forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term or to seek out an unsafe abortion is a gross violation of her rights to privacy and bodily autonomy. Further, the continued restrictive abortion laws inhibit quality improvement possible to protect women with unintended pregnancies.” Center fact sheet: “The Impact of the Misalignment Between Kenya’s Constitution and the Penal Code on Access to Reproductive Health Care”

The Kenyan flag - black, red and green horizontal stripes with a shield in the middle
news_item

| 26 March 2022

Kenyan High Court makes landmark ruling on safe abortion care

In a landmark verdict today, the High Court of Malindi has ruled that safe abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers, for seeking or offering such services, is completely illegal. Specifically, the Court ruled that: Abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers seeking or offering such services is illegal. Protecting access to abortion impacts vital Constitutional values, including dignity, autonomy, equality, and bodily integrity. Criminalizing abortion under Penal Code without Constitutional statutory framework is an impairment to the enjoyment of women’s reproductive right. For years, women and girls in Kenya have faced sustained and pervasive discrimination hampering their access to seeking reproductive healthcare services; the 1963 Penal Code criminalizes all abortion care, including those allowed under the Constitution 2010, which guarantees the right to healthcare, including access to reproductive health services. The Constitution only permits safe abortion if in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is at risk/in danger. The court case in question, filed in November 2020, involved PAK, a minor 16 years of age from Kilifi County. PAK experienced complications during pregnancy and immediately sought medical care at a nearby clinic where a trained clinical officer attended to her. Upon examining her, the clinical officer determined that she had lost the pregnancy and proceeded to provide her with essential and life-saving post-abortion care. Policy officers stormed the clinic, in the midst of the treatment, stopping the medical procedure and confiscating PAK’s treatment records. They then proceeded to illegally arrest both PAK and the clinical officer. Both were taken to Ganze Police Patrol Base where PAK was not allowed to access further medical care for the next two days and was forced to sign a statement which was contrary to PAK’s description of the events. The police also forced PAK to undergo another detailed medical examination at Kilifi County Hospital to obtain evidence to prove the alleged offence of abortion. The clinical officer was detained for one week while PAK was remanded to a juvenile remand for more than a month, whilst she and her family sought to secure the cash bail for her release. The Malindi High Court has further directed the Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Kenyan Constitution. Additionally, the Court has confirmed that communication between a patient and the healthcare provider is confidential, which is guaranteed and protected under the Constitution and other enabling laws, save for where the disclosure is consented to by the patient or is in the public interest in line with the limitations as provided for in the Constitution. In its decision, the Court also ruled that PAK was recovering from medical procedure and police did not have the medical qualifications to determine and confirm that she was medically-fit to leave the clinic, regardless of her admission status at the clinic. Additionally, the Court found that PAK’s arrest was inhuman and degrading, and being a minor, she ought not to have been interrogated without legal representation. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Africa Regional Director from the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “We are absolutely delighted to hear this news and applaud the High Court of Malindi's ruling confirming that abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers for seeking or offering such services is illegal. We are also very pleased to hear that the Court has directed Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Constitution. This is a victory for women and girls not only in Kenya, but across Africa! Access to quality abortion is essential to guarantee the health and reproductive rights of women and girls everywhere. At IPPF, we are committed to reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods for fear of arrests and harassment. We will continue to supply and support safe and legal abortion services and care for women and girls everywhere.” The petitioners were represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights a network of reproductive health providers whose member was the second petitioner in this case and a collaborative partner of IPPF. The advocates were Martin Onyango, Head of Legal Strategies for Africa, and Prudence Mutiso, Legal Advisor for Africa. Nelly Munyasia, Executive Director of Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK), , welcomed the court’s decision: “Many qualified reproductive healthcare practitioners continue to be arrested, detained, and prosecuted for providing legal medical care. The court’s decision confirms that prosecution against health providers cannot hold where the prosecution has not established that; the health professional in question was unqualified to conduct the procedure; the life or health of the woman was not in danger or the woman was not in need of emergency treatment,” Ms. Munyasia said. Evelyne Opondo, Senior Regional Director for Africa at Center for Reproductive Rights said: “Today’s victory is for all women, girls, and healthcare providers who have been treated as criminals for seeking and providing abortion care. The court has vindicated our position by affirming that forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term or to seek out an unsafe abortion is a gross violation of her rights to privacy and bodily autonomy. Further, the continued restrictive abortion laws inhibit quality improvement possible to protect women with unintended pregnancies.” Center fact sheet: “The Impact of the Misalignment Between Kenya’s Constitution and the Penal Code on Access to Reproductive Health Care”

Blue box
news item

| 30 June 2022

IPPF's Anti-Racism Review and Programme of Action

Like much of the world, we were horrified by the murder of George Floyd in the US in May 2020. Following the global conversation on race and racism, our staff felt strongly that our own focus on equality, empowerment, ending discrimination, and poverty-eradication must extend to the workplace. This is why in 2020, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) proactively started a process of examining and addressing issues of racism and colonial legacies within IPPF.  We commissioned our Anti-Racism Review to hold IPPF accountable. The Review was not confined to just our London office; it was a full and independent interrogation of the Secretariat as we felt strongly that no one should be excluded from a conversation as critical as this. The Review's findings were shared with all IPPF secretariat staff on 26 July 2021. We included a response from management, the Anti Racism Working Group and the Board of Trustees Statement on Anti-Racism. The report was a turning point for IPPF, and as much as it was difficult to read, we hope people felt safe sharing their experiences with us. IPPF anticipated that the report would uncover some hard truths on people's experience of racism within the workplace, and we have acknowledged and are humbled by the contributions from staff. We know talking about lived experiences of racism and discrimination takes an emotional and mental toll, and we are deeply sorry to our colleagues who have experienced racism and discrimination in the workplace. IPPF remains truly grateful for their contribution, which has led to practical insights and recommendations that the management team has taken forward, with oversight from our governance.   IPPF has a duty to do better, and we are committed long-term to the principles of affirmative action and, through them, the Anti-Racism Programme of Action.  In line with some of the recommendations, we have continued to engage as a management team, with a staff working group representing all regions, and a Board of Trustees Sub Committee, thereby creating complete oversight of the implementation of the recommendations. The Anti Racism Sub Committee is led by Bience Gawanas, who has global expertise in the area and was one of the Under-Secretary Generals who supported the internal efforts to combat racism within the UN.  Currently, we feel that our management team and our governance reflect the diversity and experience necessary to decolonise the way we work. Our current Board of Trustees, formed in 2020, is made up of 15 people (including 20% young people under the age of 25) from 11 different geographies, including West Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, the Caribbean, Latin-America, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North America, Oceania and South Asia. Our Global Leadership Team comprises of ten people from nine different countries, with each of our Regional Directors, who all identify as women,  representing the diversity of the regions they lead. We were also a very high performer in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 Report and have rated a consistently high performer since 2020, achieving gender parity in our governing body and senior management in the range of 56-100% of women represented.   Our Leadership is committed to creating an organisation that has no discrimination in how it operates and the services it offers. In trying to address some of the the report's recommendations, IPPF has:  Begun a series of discussions, webinars and training to address some of the interpersonal and institutional racism that exists in the organisation. This has included training on aspects of microaggressions, unconscious bias and other pathways of racism that exist. We have interrogated our framing of issues within a more public domain through asset framing training with an anti-racism lens.   Contracted a team of anti-racism trainers to conduct training across the Secretariat for the next six months to more deeply interrogate some key issues emanating from the report.   For the last ten months, we have been working on a series of consultations focusing on our next five-year strategy, which has explicitly embedded anti-racism as central to our strategic direction.   Critically we are working on our public statement of action for Anti-Racism – co-created with Member Associations through our training to be delivered at the IPPF General Assembly in November 2022. We felt strongly that it was too easy to focus on public sentiments and that we wanted to walk the talk as an organization before this, which is why the sequencing of the Anti-Racism Program of Action is as it is. You will see that evidenced in the management response.    As part of our actions to ensure equity across the Secretariat, over the past 18 months, we have conducted a comprehensive pay and benefits review and bought a consistent approach to job evaluation, grading and pay scales at all levels and for all geographies across the Secretariat.   We share these points not to underestimate some of the report's findings but to demonstrate that we take seriously the actioning of this work.   We thank all staff who participated in the review and know that this was not easy. Still, we are grateful to have the recommendations and are committed to ensuring that we address these as holistically as possible. We look to the future with hope and commitment so that all our colleagues feel safe and valued while working for IPPF.   Sincerely, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director-General

Blue box
news_item

| 30 June 2022

IPPF's Anti-Racism Review and Programme of Action

Like much of the world, we were horrified by the murder of George Floyd in the US in May 2020. Following the global conversation on race and racism, our staff felt strongly that our own focus on equality, empowerment, ending discrimination, and poverty-eradication must extend to the workplace. This is why in 2020, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) proactively started a process of examining and addressing issues of racism and colonial legacies within IPPF.  We commissioned our Anti-Racism Review to hold IPPF accountable. The Review was not confined to just our London office; it was a full and independent interrogation of the Secretariat as we felt strongly that no one should be excluded from a conversation as critical as this. The Review's findings were shared with all IPPF secretariat staff on 26 July 2021. We included a response from management, the Anti Racism Working Group and the Board of Trustees Statement on Anti-Racism. The report was a turning point for IPPF, and as much as it was difficult to read, we hope people felt safe sharing their experiences with us. IPPF anticipated that the report would uncover some hard truths on people's experience of racism within the workplace, and we have acknowledged and are humbled by the contributions from staff. We know talking about lived experiences of racism and discrimination takes an emotional and mental toll, and we are deeply sorry to our colleagues who have experienced racism and discrimination in the workplace. IPPF remains truly grateful for their contribution, which has led to practical insights and recommendations that the management team has taken forward, with oversight from our governance.   IPPF has a duty to do better, and we are committed long-term to the principles of affirmative action and, through them, the Anti-Racism Programme of Action.  In line with some of the recommendations, we have continued to engage as a management team, with a staff working group representing all regions, and a Board of Trustees Sub Committee, thereby creating complete oversight of the implementation of the recommendations. The Anti Racism Sub Committee is led by Bience Gawanas, who has global expertise in the area and was one of the Under-Secretary Generals who supported the internal efforts to combat racism within the UN.  Currently, we feel that our management team and our governance reflect the diversity and experience necessary to decolonise the way we work. Our current Board of Trustees, formed in 2020, is made up of 15 people (including 20% young people under the age of 25) from 11 different geographies, including West Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, the Caribbean, Latin-America, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North America, Oceania and South Asia. Our Global Leadership Team comprises of ten people from nine different countries, with each of our Regional Directors, who all identify as women,  representing the diversity of the regions they lead. We were also a very high performer in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 Report and have rated a consistently high performer since 2020, achieving gender parity in our governing body and senior management in the range of 56-100% of women represented.   Our Leadership is committed to creating an organisation that has no discrimination in how it operates and the services it offers. In trying to address some of the the report's recommendations, IPPF has:  Begun a series of discussions, webinars and training to address some of the interpersonal and institutional racism that exists in the organisation. This has included training on aspects of microaggressions, unconscious bias and other pathways of racism that exist. We have interrogated our framing of issues within a more public domain through asset framing training with an anti-racism lens.   Contracted a team of anti-racism trainers to conduct training across the Secretariat for the next six months to more deeply interrogate some key issues emanating from the report.   For the last ten months, we have been working on a series of consultations focusing on our next five-year strategy, which has explicitly embedded anti-racism as central to our strategic direction.   Critically we are working on our public statement of action for Anti-Racism – co-created with Member Associations through our training to be delivered at the IPPF General Assembly in November 2022. We felt strongly that it was too easy to focus on public sentiments and that we wanted to walk the talk as an organization before this, which is why the sequencing of the Anti-Racism Program of Action is as it is. You will see that evidenced in the management response.    As part of our actions to ensure equity across the Secretariat, over the past 18 months, we have conducted a comprehensive pay and benefits review and bought a consistent approach to job evaluation, grading and pay scales at all levels and for all geographies across the Secretariat.   We share these points not to underestimate some of the report's findings but to demonstrate that we take seriously the actioning of this work.   We thank all staff who participated in the review and know that this was not easy. Still, we are grateful to have the recommendations and are committed to ensuring that we address these as holistically as possible. We look to the future with hope and commitment so that all our colleagues feel safe and valued while working for IPPF.   Sincerely, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director-General

Protest sign reads "bans off our bodies"
news item

| 24 June 2022

As the US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, global healthcare organizations call on all governments to defend access to safe and quality abortion care

Ensuring access to safe, quality abortion is an imperative. Abortion is recognised as essential health care that must be provided by governments. Access to safe abortion is also a human right. Attacks against reproductive freedom are attacks on democracy and international human rights standards, on individual freedoms and the right to privacy, and they set back progress towards gender equality.   The United States Supreme Court decision to dismantle Roe v Wade and roll back 50 years of access to safe abortion care is a catastrophic blow to the lives of millions of women, girls and pregnant people who now face the prospect of being forced to continue pregnancies. It is a decision that will cost lives for years to come. The US joins just a handful of countries that have actively reduced access to abortion care in recent years. This is out of step with the global community’s commitment to advance human rights and fails to take into account the overwhelming global medical evidence that supports abortion as essential health care.    Around the world, progress is being made to remove restrictions to care for example Latin America’s ‘green wave’ (Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile) in Africa (Benin, Mozambique, Kenya), Asia and the Pacific (Thailand, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand) and Europe (France, Ireland, England). Governments are responding to feminist grassroots movements and acting upon evidence-based findings and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines that draw on clinical and technological advancements, including telemedicine and self-management of abortion care, in order to guarantee their populations’ rights to essential health care.    As organizations dedicated to providing and supporting health care, we know that restrictive laws do not reduce the need for abortion care. Rather, such laws increase inequities in access; nurture an environment of fear, stigmatisation and criminalisation; and put women, girls and pregnant people at risk.  Abortion laws not based on scientific evidence harm health care workers. Countries with total bans or highly restrictive abortion law prevent and criminalise the provision of essential health care services and support to those that require abortion care. Many individuals supporting abortion care experience abuse, threats and even violence. In the United States, such incidents are commonplace and have even resulted in the murder of health care professionals. Further isolating these dedicated health care workers with restrictive laws will put them at even greater risk. Lack of access to safe abortion care is one of the leading causes of preventable maternal death and disability. Each year 47,000 women in the world die as a result of unsafe abortion  and an estimated five million are hospitalised for the treatment of serious complications such as bleeding or infection.   Supporting safe and high-quality abortion care is a demonstration of a government’s commitment to reproductive and social justice. Abortion care is an integral part of comprehensive health care provision – the need for this care will not go away. Limiting access to abortion care takes the greatest toll on the lives of women, girls and pregnant people; those living in poverty; those with marginalised racial, ethnic identities; adolescents; and those living in rural areas. A denial of abortion care further exacerbates their historical discrimination and mistreatment, and places them at the greatest risk of preventable maternal death and disability.  As national, regional and global health care organizations, we urge all governments to take immediate action to:  Create and protect legal and regulatory environments that support health care professionals to provide access to safe and affordable abortion care. Access to abortion care should be protected and supported as an inalienable reproductive right.  Decriminalise abortion care and regulate it like any other health care provision. Decriminalising abortion refers to the removal of specific criminal and/or civil sanctions against abortion from the law, so that no one is punished for having, providing or supporting access to abortion.  Utilise the full benefit of the safety and efficacy of abortion medication, as well as the advancement of technology, to allow telemedicine and self-management access to abortion, as recommended by the WHO Abortion Care Guideline. Invest in robust health systems that are human rights-centred for abortion care information, counselling and services. Prioritise training on abortion care as an essential part of professional development for health care professionals – integrate it into lifelong learning to ensure health services are universally available. Such approaches should be linked to reproductive and social justice movements, and should include actions that address the needs and rights of communities that have been historically discriminated against.  Want to take action? Endorse this global statement condemning the Roe v. Wade decision Main image by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

Protest sign reads "bans off our bodies"
news_item

| 24 June 2022

As the US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, global healthcare organizations call on all governments to defend access to safe and quality abortion care

Ensuring access to safe, quality abortion is an imperative. Abortion is recognised as essential health care that must be provided by governments. Access to safe abortion is also a human right. Attacks against reproductive freedom are attacks on democracy and international human rights standards, on individual freedoms and the right to privacy, and they set back progress towards gender equality.   The United States Supreme Court decision to dismantle Roe v Wade and roll back 50 years of access to safe abortion care is a catastrophic blow to the lives of millions of women, girls and pregnant people who now face the prospect of being forced to continue pregnancies. It is a decision that will cost lives for years to come. The US joins just a handful of countries that have actively reduced access to abortion care in recent years. This is out of step with the global community’s commitment to advance human rights and fails to take into account the overwhelming global medical evidence that supports abortion as essential health care.    Around the world, progress is being made to remove restrictions to care for example Latin America’s ‘green wave’ (Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile) in Africa (Benin, Mozambique, Kenya), Asia and the Pacific (Thailand, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand) and Europe (France, Ireland, England). Governments are responding to feminist grassroots movements and acting upon evidence-based findings and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines that draw on clinical and technological advancements, including telemedicine and self-management of abortion care, in order to guarantee their populations’ rights to essential health care.    As organizations dedicated to providing and supporting health care, we know that restrictive laws do not reduce the need for abortion care. Rather, such laws increase inequities in access; nurture an environment of fear, stigmatisation and criminalisation; and put women, girls and pregnant people at risk.  Abortion laws not based on scientific evidence harm health care workers. Countries with total bans or highly restrictive abortion law prevent and criminalise the provision of essential health care services and support to those that require abortion care. Many individuals supporting abortion care experience abuse, threats and even violence. In the United States, such incidents are commonplace and have even resulted in the murder of health care professionals. Further isolating these dedicated health care workers with restrictive laws will put them at even greater risk. Lack of access to safe abortion care is one of the leading causes of preventable maternal death and disability. Each year 47,000 women in the world die as a result of unsafe abortion  and an estimated five million are hospitalised for the treatment of serious complications such as bleeding or infection.   Supporting safe and high-quality abortion care is a demonstration of a government’s commitment to reproductive and social justice. Abortion care is an integral part of comprehensive health care provision – the need for this care will not go away. Limiting access to abortion care takes the greatest toll on the lives of women, girls and pregnant people; those living in poverty; those with marginalised racial, ethnic identities; adolescents; and those living in rural areas. A denial of abortion care further exacerbates their historical discrimination and mistreatment, and places them at the greatest risk of preventable maternal death and disability.  As national, regional and global health care organizations, we urge all governments to take immediate action to:  Create and protect legal and regulatory environments that support health care professionals to provide access to safe and affordable abortion care. Access to abortion care should be protected and supported as an inalienable reproductive right.  Decriminalise abortion care and regulate it like any other health care provision. Decriminalising abortion refers to the removal of specific criminal and/or civil sanctions against abortion from the law, so that no one is punished for having, providing or supporting access to abortion.  Utilise the full benefit of the safety and efficacy of abortion medication, as well as the advancement of technology, to allow telemedicine and self-management access to abortion, as recommended by the WHO Abortion Care Guideline. Invest in robust health systems that are human rights-centred for abortion care information, counselling and services. Prioritise training on abortion care as an essential part of professional development for health care professionals – integrate it into lifelong learning to ensure health services are universally available. Such approaches should be linked to reproductive and social justice movements, and should include actions that address the needs and rights of communities that have been historically discriminated against.  Want to take action? Endorse this global statement condemning the Roe v. Wade decision Main image by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

プロジェクト開始式の様子
news item

| 10 June 2022

Palestine set to receive $600,000 from Japan to support human security and sexual and reproductive healthcare

On 8 June 2022 in Ramallah, Palestine, there was the inauguration of the project “Improving Human Security in Palestine Through Life-saving Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Services for People Most in Need," funded by the Government of Japan and implemented by the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association, which is IPPF’s Member Association in Palestine.  Recent studies indicate an increase in the number of cases of gender-based violence in Palestine, which requires rapid and timely interventions in terms of psychological and social support, medical services, women and child health services, and sexual and reproductive health services for survivors. This project will seek to address these unmet needs, by providing quality clinic-based SRHR services for women, youth and vulnerable communities in Gaza and the West Bank. It will also expand access to high-quality, life-saving sexual and reproductive health services to communities.  Mr. Masayuki Magoshi, Ambassador of Japan for Palestinian Affairs, said, “We believe that having to living in fear of violence and sexual abuse are core issues of universal human rights. Peace in the region will never be attainable or sustainable in the long term if we do not apply a gender lens to issues. This project is significant in terms of Japan’s continuous commitment toward Palestinian people, especially women. I would like to reaffirm our commitments in line with international solidarity to Palestine, to ensure the implementation of the targets for the 2030 Agenda on maternal, newborn and maternal health in emergencies and ensuring that women have access to comprehensive health care.”  Dr. Amal Hamad, the Palestinian Minister of Women Affairs, said, “the health sector plays a major role in providing comprehensive primary health care to all members of the society, especially services which are directed to women. We are committed to the SDGs especially SDG 3 and SDG 5 in particular and we will keep working to promote for them.” Mr. Sami Natsheh, the Board of Directors President for the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association, said, “The project aims at enabling vulnerable and underserved Palestinian women and girls living in difficult humanitarian environments to access and promote sexual and reproductive health services and rights, including services to reduce and combat sexual and gender-based violence by increasing the provision of high quality sexual and reproductive health services.” Dr Fadoua Bakhadda, Regional Director, IPPF Arab World Regional Office, said, ”This project is like a life jacket for women in Palestine, especially those in protracted crisis areas. This funding will ensure the continued provision of essential sexual and reproductive health services, including safe delivery, pregnancy care, family planning, HIV and disease prevention, sexually transmitted infections and their treatment, quality post abortion care, and psychosocial support for survivors of gender-based violence”. Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA): Established in Jerusalem in 1964, the PFPPA is an independent, non-profit and non-governmental organization registered locally and IPPF’s Member Association in Palestine. PFPPA has service delivery points, located in the West Bank Areas of Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and Halhoul, in addition to one in the Gaza Strip. In cooperation with local partners PFPPA is also responsible for 4 safe spaces to provide Gender Based Violence (GBV) related services in the Jerusalem area. PFPPA is focuses specifically to provide people with diverse options of SRHR services and is the only organization (GO or NGO) that provides contraceptive implants as a FP method. PFPPA is pioneer in the Harm Reduction module for the provision of Abortion Related Services and has provided Technical Assistance and shared their experience on this module with other local like minded organizations in addition to other IPPF Member Association’s as well. International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Arab World Office: IPPF is a global healthcare provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all. Led by a courageous and determined group of women, IPPF was founded in 1952. Today, we are a movement of over 120 autonomous member associations and 23 collaborative partners with a presence in 146 countries. Established in 1971 the IPPF Arab World Region (IPPF AWR) is one of IPPF’s six regional offices. Based in Tunis, it is the leading Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) service delivery organization in the North Africa and the Middle East, and the leading Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. For further information, or to arrange an interview with PFPPA’s Executive Director, Ms. Ammal Awadallah, please contact Ms. Abeer Dahbour, Communications Officer, PFPPA at [email protected]

プロジェクト開始式の様子
news_item

| 10 June 2022

Palestine set to receive $600,000 from Japan to support human security and sexual and reproductive healthcare

On 8 June 2022 in Ramallah, Palestine, there was the inauguration of the project “Improving Human Security in Palestine Through Life-saving Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Services for People Most in Need," funded by the Government of Japan and implemented by the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association, which is IPPF’s Member Association in Palestine.  Recent studies indicate an increase in the number of cases of gender-based violence in Palestine, which requires rapid and timely interventions in terms of psychological and social support, medical services, women and child health services, and sexual and reproductive health services for survivors. This project will seek to address these unmet needs, by providing quality clinic-based SRHR services for women, youth and vulnerable communities in Gaza and the West Bank. It will also expand access to high-quality, life-saving sexual and reproductive health services to communities.  Mr. Masayuki Magoshi, Ambassador of Japan for Palestinian Affairs, said, “We believe that having to living in fear of violence and sexual abuse are core issues of universal human rights. Peace in the region will never be attainable or sustainable in the long term if we do not apply a gender lens to issues. This project is significant in terms of Japan’s continuous commitment toward Palestinian people, especially women. I would like to reaffirm our commitments in line with international solidarity to Palestine, to ensure the implementation of the targets for the 2030 Agenda on maternal, newborn and maternal health in emergencies and ensuring that women have access to comprehensive health care.”  Dr. Amal Hamad, the Palestinian Minister of Women Affairs, said, “the health sector plays a major role in providing comprehensive primary health care to all members of the society, especially services which are directed to women. We are committed to the SDGs especially SDG 3 and SDG 5 in particular and we will keep working to promote for them.” Mr. Sami Natsheh, the Board of Directors President for the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association, said, “The project aims at enabling vulnerable and underserved Palestinian women and girls living in difficult humanitarian environments to access and promote sexual and reproductive health services and rights, including services to reduce and combat sexual and gender-based violence by increasing the provision of high quality sexual and reproductive health services.” Dr Fadoua Bakhadda, Regional Director, IPPF Arab World Regional Office, said, ”This project is like a life jacket for women in Palestine, especially those in protracted crisis areas. This funding will ensure the continued provision of essential sexual and reproductive health services, including safe delivery, pregnancy care, family planning, HIV and disease prevention, sexually transmitted infections and their treatment, quality post abortion care, and psychosocial support for survivors of gender-based violence”. Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA): Established in Jerusalem in 1964, the PFPPA is an independent, non-profit and non-governmental organization registered locally and IPPF’s Member Association in Palestine. PFPPA has service delivery points, located in the West Bank Areas of Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and Halhoul, in addition to one in the Gaza Strip. In cooperation with local partners PFPPA is also responsible for 4 safe spaces to provide Gender Based Violence (GBV) related services in the Jerusalem area. PFPPA is focuses specifically to provide people with diverse options of SRHR services and is the only organization (GO or NGO) that provides contraceptive implants as a FP method. PFPPA is pioneer in the Harm Reduction module for the provision of Abortion Related Services and has provided Technical Assistance and shared their experience on this module with other local like minded organizations in addition to other IPPF Member Association’s as well. International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Arab World Office: IPPF is a global healthcare provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all. Led by a courageous and determined group of women, IPPF was founded in 1952. Today, we are a movement of over 120 autonomous member associations and 23 collaborative partners with a presence in 146 countries. Established in 1971 the IPPF Arab World Region (IPPF AWR) is one of IPPF’s six regional offices. Based in Tunis, it is the leading Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) service delivery organization in the North Africa and the Middle East, and the leading Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. For further information, or to arrange an interview with PFPPA’s Executive Director, Ms. Ammal Awadallah, please contact Ms. Abeer Dahbour, Communications Officer, PFPPA at [email protected]

A healthcare worker in India tends to a child - Amitava Chandra
news item

| 30 March 2022

IPPF recognized as a very high scorer in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 Report

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has been recognized as a very high scorer in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 Report entitled Boards for All? A review of power, policy and people on the boards of organisations active in global health.  This is the first time Global Health 50/50 have included an analysis board membership across 147 global health organizations, alongside their annual analysis of gender-related policies and practices of 200 organizations. IPPF obtained the highest possible score for board diversity of G based on a review of our board policies and practices that have specific measures in place to promote diversity, inclusion and representation that are publicly available. IPPF’s current board has nine women, one-third are young people under 25 years of age, and over half are nationals from low-and middle-income countries. In addition, for the first time this year, Global Health 50/50 2022 have accessed and consolidated organizations performances across the past 3-5 years. IPPF is one of 19 organizations recognized as a very high scorer, and places IPPF in the top 10% of sample organizations used in the report.  IPPF’s Seri Wendoh, Global Lead for Gender & Inclusion said: “Once again, IPPF has been recognised as a very high scorer in the Global Health 50/50 for our gender-related policies and practices. Once again, this is a testament to the dedication of colleagues and the work that is being done behind the scenes at IPPF to meaningfully include and implement gender equality, diversity and inclusion at the core of organization. As always there is more we need to do, but I have no doubt that we will continue to listen, to learn, and to act deliberately to ensure IPPF is an even more inclusive, feminist and diverse organization where everyone feels seen and valued.” Kate Gilmore, IPPF’s Board of Trustees chair said:  “Nothing makes me prouder when sitting in an IPPF board meeting to look across at my fellow trustees in all our diversity, with our different lived experiences, at different stages of life, with our mix of expertise and our global reach and relevance. That’s what makes IPPF such a unique and special place to be a part of. It’s why it is a privilege to chair such a board.  It is also why I am very proud that Global Health 50/50 has given us the highest possible score for our Board’s dedication to diversity, inclusion and global representation, as well as identifying IPPF as a consistent very high scorer for our gender-related policies and practices.” IPPF’s Director-General Dr Alvaro Bermejo said: “I’m pleased to see that IPPF is a very high scorer in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 report and received the highest possible score for our board diversity, inclusion and representation. Our diversity allows us to keep challenging ourselves and committing to improving how we center people in our care and help them exercise their full sexual and reproductive rights and freedoms. For global membership organizations, maximising diversity and inclusion at all levels is investing in a richness of knowledge, expertise and lived experiences, which can accelerate our common goal of providing the best possible care to those who walk through our doors.” Professor Sarah Hawkes and Professor Kent Buse, Co-Directors, Global Health 50/50  said: Congratulations to IPPF on their strong performance in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 Report. Through commitment, learning and action IPPF showcases that progress towards gender equality and the more equitable sharing of power and opportunity in global health is possible in the collective effort to deliver health for all. Bravo!” Read the report in full Main image courtesy of Amitava Chandra

A healthcare worker in India tends to a child - Amitava Chandra
news_item

| 30 March 2022

IPPF recognized as a very high scorer in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 Report

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has been recognized as a very high scorer in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 Report entitled Boards for All? A review of power, policy and people on the boards of organisations active in global health.  This is the first time Global Health 50/50 have included an analysis board membership across 147 global health organizations, alongside their annual analysis of gender-related policies and practices of 200 organizations. IPPF obtained the highest possible score for board diversity of G based on a review of our board policies and practices that have specific measures in place to promote diversity, inclusion and representation that are publicly available. IPPF’s current board has nine women, one-third are young people under 25 years of age, and over half are nationals from low-and middle-income countries. In addition, for the first time this year, Global Health 50/50 2022 have accessed and consolidated organizations performances across the past 3-5 years. IPPF is one of 19 organizations recognized as a very high scorer, and places IPPF in the top 10% of sample organizations used in the report.  IPPF’s Seri Wendoh, Global Lead for Gender & Inclusion said: “Once again, IPPF has been recognised as a very high scorer in the Global Health 50/50 for our gender-related policies and practices. Once again, this is a testament to the dedication of colleagues and the work that is being done behind the scenes at IPPF to meaningfully include and implement gender equality, diversity and inclusion at the core of organization. As always there is more we need to do, but I have no doubt that we will continue to listen, to learn, and to act deliberately to ensure IPPF is an even more inclusive, feminist and diverse organization where everyone feels seen and valued.” Kate Gilmore, IPPF’s Board of Trustees chair said:  “Nothing makes me prouder when sitting in an IPPF board meeting to look across at my fellow trustees in all our diversity, with our different lived experiences, at different stages of life, with our mix of expertise and our global reach and relevance. That’s what makes IPPF such a unique and special place to be a part of. It’s why it is a privilege to chair such a board.  It is also why I am very proud that Global Health 50/50 has given us the highest possible score for our Board’s dedication to diversity, inclusion and global representation, as well as identifying IPPF as a consistent very high scorer for our gender-related policies and practices.” IPPF’s Director-General Dr Alvaro Bermejo said: “I’m pleased to see that IPPF is a very high scorer in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 report and received the highest possible score for our board diversity, inclusion and representation. Our diversity allows us to keep challenging ourselves and committing to improving how we center people in our care and help them exercise their full sexual and reproductive rights and freedoms. For global membership organizations, maximising diversity and inclusion at all levels is investing in a richness of knowledge, expertise and lived experiences, which can accelerate our common goal of providing the best possible care to those who walk through our doors.” Professor Sarah Hawkes and Professor Kent Buse, Co-Directors, Global Health 50/50  said: Congratulations to IPPF on their strong performance in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 Report. Through commitment, learning and action IPPF showcases that progress towards gender equality and the more equitable sharing of power and opportunity in global health is possible in the collective effort to deliver health for all. Bravo!” Read the report in full Main image courtesy of Amitava Chandra

An illustration of a group of healthcare workers talking
news item

| 28 March 2022

IPPF launches medical abortion course

IPPF and HowToUse have developed a free online medical abortion training for the full range of healthcare workers, including physicians, midwives, pharmacists, medical students and community health workers. The training will equip health workers with the necessary skills to provide care for women seeking medical abortion up to 13 weeks’ gestation. The training is focused on person-centered care and includes a module on supporting women in medical abortion self-care. As abortion care continues to be left off medical training curriculums, this training will fill a critical gap in the education of many health workers. It has the potential to significantly increase the number of health workers with the skills and knowledge to provide abortion care, especially in low-resource settings, and thereby increase the number of women supported to safely end a pregnancy.  The updated WHO Abortion Care Guideline includes recommendations to make most abortions - especially early abortions - a simple primary care level intervention. The guideline recommends that medical abortion up to 12 weeks can be managed by a range of trained health workers including community health workers, pharmacists and pharmacy workers and midwives, as well as by the pregnant individuals.  The training, which is a video series available for free in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese and Russian, is designed to equip these health workers with the relevant skills to provide medical abortion care. The course can be accessed from desktop or mobile and is structured to be an interactive learning experience, complete with quizzes and an option to download a certificate upon successful completion. To access the course, click here.

An illustration of a group of healthcare workers talking
news_item

| 28 March 2022

IPPF launches medical abortion course

IPPF and HowToUse have developed a free online medical abortion training for the full range of healthcare workers, including physicians, midwives, pharmacists, medical students and community health workers. The training will equip health workers with the necessary skills to provide care for women seeking medical abortion up to 13 weeks’ gestation. The training is focused on person-centered care and includes a module on supporting women in medical abortion self-care. As abortion care continues to be left off medical training curriculums, this training will fill a critical gap in the education of many health workers. It has the potential to significantly increase the number of health workers with the skills and knowledge to provide abortion care, especially in low-resource settings, and thereby increase the number of women supported to safely end a pregnancy.  The updated WHO Abortion Care Guideline includes recommendations to make most abortions - especially early abortions - a simple primary care level intervention. The guideline recommends that medical abortion up to 12 weeks can be managed by a range of trained health workers including community health workers, pharmacists and pharmacy workers and midwives, as well as by the pregnant individuals.  The training, which is a video series available for free in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese and Russian, is designed to equip these health workers with the relevant skills to provide medical abortion care. The course can be accessed from desktop or mobile and is structured to be an interactive learning experience, complete with quizzes and an option to download a certificate upon successful completion. To access the course, click here.

The Kenyan flag - black, red and green horizontal stripes with a shield in the middle
news item

| 28 March 2022

Kenyan High Court makes landmark ruling on safe abortion care

In a landmark verdict today, the High Court of Malindi has ruled that safe abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers, for seeking or offering such services, is completely illegal. Specifically, the Court ruled that: Abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers seeking or offering such services is illegal. Protecting access to abortion impacts vital Constitutional values, including dignity, autonomy, equality, and bodily integrity. Criminalizing abortion under Penal Code without Constitutional statutory framework is an impairment to the enjoyment of women’s reproductive right. For years, women and girls in Kenya have faced sustained and pervasive discrimination hampering their access to seeking reproductive healthcare services; the 1963 Penal Code criminalizes all abortion care, including those allowed under the Constitution 2010, which guarantees the right to healthcare, including access to reproductive health services. The Constitution only permits safe abortion if in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is at risk/in danger. The court case in question, filed in November 2020, involved PAK, a minor 16 years of age from Kilifi County. PAK experienced complications during pregnancy and immediately sought medical care at a nearby clinic where a trained clinical officer attended to her. Upon examining her, the clinical officer determined that she had lost the pregnancy and proceeded to provide her with essential and life-saving post-abortion care. Policy officers stormed the clinic, in the midst of the treatment, stopping the medical procedure and confiscating PAK’s treatment records. They then proceeded to illegally arrest both PAK and the clinical officer. Both were taken to Ganze Police Patrol Base where PAK was not allowed to access further medical care for the next two days and was forced to sign a statement which was contrary to PAK’s description of the events. The police also forced PAK to undergo another detailed medical examination at Kilifi County Hospital to obtain evidence to prove the alleged offence of abortion. The clinical officer was detained for one week while PAK was remanded to a juvenile remand for more than a month, whilst she and her family sought to secure the cash bail for her release. The Malindi High Court has further directed the Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Kenyan Constitution. Additionally, the Court has confirmed that communication between a patient and the healthcare provider is confidential, which is guaranteed and protected under the Constitution and other enabling laws, save for where the disclosure is consented to by the patient or is in the public interest in line with the limitations as provided for in the Constitution. In its decision, the Court also ruled that PAK was recovering from medical procedure and police did not have the medical qualifications to determine and confirm that she was medically-fit to leave the clinic, regardless of her admission status at the clinic. Additionally, the Court found that PAK’s arrest was inhuman and degrading, and being a minor, she ought not to have been interrogated without legal representation. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Africa Regional Director from the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “We are absolutely delighted to hear this news and applaud the High Court of Malindi's ruling confirming that abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers for seeking or offering such services is illegal. We are also very pleased to hear that the Court has directed Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Constitution. This is a victory for women and girls not only in Kenya, but across Africa! Access to quality abortion is essential to guarantee the health and reproductive rights of women and girls everywhere. At IPPF, we are committed to reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods for fear of arrests and harassment. We will continue to supply and support safe and legal abortion services and care for women and girls everywhere.” The petitioners were represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights a network of reproductive health providers whose member was the second petitioner in this case and a collaborative partner of IPPF. The advocates were Martin Onyango, Head of Legal Strategies for Africa, and Prudence Mutiso, Legal Advisor for Africa. Nelly Munyasia, Executive Director of Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK), , welcomed the court’s decision: “Many qualified reproductive healthcare practitioners continue to be arrested, detained, and prosecuted for providing legal medical care. The court’s decision confirms that prosecution against health providers cannot hold where the prosecution has not established that; the health professional in question was unqualified to conduct the procedure; the life or health of the woman was not in danger or the woman was not in need of emergency treatment,” Ms. Munyasia said. Evelyne Opondo, Senior Regional Director for Africa at Center for Reproductive Rights said: “Today’s victory is for all women, girls, and healthcare providers who have been treated as criminals for seeking and providing abortion care. The court has vindicated our position by affirming that forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term or to seek out an unsafe abortion is a gross violation of her rights to privacy and bodily autonomy. Further, the continued restrictive abortion laws inhibit quality improvement possible to protect women with unintended pregnancies.” Center fact sheet: “The Impact of the Misalignment Between Kenya’s Constitution and the Penal Code on Access to Reproductive Health Care”

The Kenyan flag - black, red and green horizontal stripes with a shield in the middle
news_item

| 26 March 2022

Kenyan High Court makes landmark ruling on safe abortion care

In a landmark verdict today, the High Court of Malindi has ruled that safe abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers, for seeking or offering such services, is completely illegal. Specifically, the Court ruled that: Abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers seeking or offering such services is illegal. Protecting access to abortion impacts vital Constitutional values, including dignity, autonomy, equality, and bodily integrity. Criminalizing abortion under Penal Code without Constitutional statutory framework is an impairment to the enjoyment of women’s reproductive right. For years, women and girls in Kenya have faced sustained and pervasive discrimination hampering their access to seeking reproductive healthcare services; the 1963 Penal Code criminalizes all abortion care, including those allowed under the Constitution 2010, which guarantees the right to healthcare, including access to reproductive health services. The Constitution only permits safe abortion if in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is at risk/in danger. The court case in question, filed in November 2020, involved PAK, a minor 16 years of age from Kilifi County. PAK experienced complications during pregnancy and immediately sought medical care at a nearby clinic where a trained clinical officer attended to her. Upon examining her, the clinical officer determined that she had lost the pregnancy and proceeded to provide her with essential and life-saving post-abortion care. Policy officers stormed the clinic, in the midst of the treatment, stopping the medical procedure and confiscating PAK’s treatment records. They then proceeded to illegally arrest both PAK and the clinical officer. Both were taken to Ganze Police Patrol Base where PAK was not allowed to access further medical care for the next two days and was forced to sign a statement which was contrary to PAK’s description of the events. The police also forced PAK to undergo another detailed medical examination at Kilifi County Hospital to obtain evidence to prove the alleged offence of abortion. The clinical officer was detained for one week while PAK was remanded to a juvenile remand for more than a month, whilst she and her family sought to secure the cash bail for her release. The Malindi High Court has further directed the Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Kenyan Constitution. Additionally, the Court has confirmed that communication between a patient and the healthcare provider is confidential, which is guaranteed and protected under the Constitution and other enabling laws, save for where the disclosure is consented to by the patient or is in the public interest in line with the limitations as provided for in the Constitution. In its decision, the Court also ruled that PAK was recovering from medical procedure and police did not have the medical qualifications to determine and confirm that she was medically-fit to leave the clinic, regardless of her admission status at the clinic. Additionally, the Court found that PAK’s arrest was inhuman and degrading, and being a minor, she ought not to have been interrogated without legal representation. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Africa Regional Director from the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “We are absolutely delighted to hear this news and applaud the High Court of Malindi's ruling confirming that abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers for seeking or offering such services is illegal. We are also very pleased to hear that the Court has directed Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Constitution. This is a victory for women and girls not only in Kenya, but across Africa! Access to quality abortion is essential to guarantee the health and reproductive rights of women and girls everywhere. At IPPF, we are committed to reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods for fear of arrests and harassment. We will continue to supply and support safe and legal abortion services and care for women and girls everywhere.” The petitioners were represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights a network of reproductive health providers whose member was the second petitioner in this case and a collaborative partner of IPPF. The advocates were Martin Onyango, Head of Legal Strategies for Africa, and Prudence Mutiso, Legal Advisor for Africa. Nelly Munyasia, Executive Director of Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK), , welcomed the court’s decision: “Many qualified reproductive healthcare practitioners continue to be arrested, detained, and prosecuted for providing legal medical care. The court’s decision confirms that prosecution against health providers cannot hold where the prosecution has not established that; the health professional in question was unqualified to conduct the procedure; the life or health of the woman was not in danger or the woman was not in need of emergency treatment,” Ms. Munyasia said. Evelyne Opondo, Senior Regional Director for Africa at Center for Reproductive Rights said: “Today’s victory is for all women, girls, and healthcare providers who have been treated as criminals for seeking and providing abortion care. The court has vindicated our position by affirming that forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term or to seek out an unsafe abortion is a gross violation of her rights to privacy and bodily autonomy. Further, the continued restrictive abortion laws inhibit quality improvement possible to protect women with unintended pregnancies.” Center fact sheet: “The Impact of the Misalignment Between Kenya’s Constitution and the Penal Code on Access to Reproductive Health Care”