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Mexico City Policy will have a devastating impact for International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) with its extension far beyond family planning. Restrictions into support for HIV, maternal health and infectious diseases programmes will mean that millions will be denied lifesaving healthcare they need. The policy will hit hardest, the women living at the margins of society – the poorest, the most remote and those under 25.
In some areas of Pakistan, girls and women are vulnerable to harmful traditional practices, like swara (now illegal, a form of reconciliation where a girl or woman is given in marriage to settle a dispute) and early marriage, and many of them face tremendous obstacles to basic services, including sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services.
Every year the IPPF awards grants to its young volunteers from around the world to support youth-led projects on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
For 2015, the projects were focused on tackling abortion stigma.
“I was given in Swara when I was 14 years old. The man I was given to has married another woman. He has sold my daughters and would beat me regularly for resisting prostitution.” (Project beneficiary)
Swara, is traditionally practiced in north-west Pakistan where women and girls are given in marriage to settle disputes. Although outlawed in 2005, informal tribal elders still consider it a legitimate form of justice (known as Jirga).