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By Alison Spillane, Irish Family Planning Association. Ireland has taken important steps in recent years in the fight to end female genital mutilation (FGM). At the domestic level, the Criminal Justice (Female Genital Mutilation) Act was introduced in 2012 to ...
Two years ago, when he was just 21 years old, Bojan’s life changed forever. His long-term partner revealed that he had been diagnosed with HIV.
Young people in Macedonia are some of the worst affected by HIV. Around 0.1 per cent of people aged 15-24 are HIV positive, 14 times more than the general population. A lack of sexuality education, media silence around HIV, taboos about sex and sexuality, staunchly conservative social norms, and discrimination towards LGBTI people play a role in disrupting access to knowledge and services.
“I remember when I was little, there was one very stigmatising ad on Macedonian TV about how to protect yourself from HIV,” recalls philosophy student Bojan. “It was really scary."
Tucked away behind a line of trees in the grounds of Skopje’s University Hospital, lies a modest concrete building. This is the Clinic for Infectious Diseases, where people newly diagnosed with HIV come to access treatment and support.
Whether marginalised because of sexuality, gender identity, occupation or ethnicity, many vulnerable people in Macedonia turn to NGOs for sexual health services, as well as legal advice and support, education, employment guidance, food and clothes.
Being young and gay in Macedonia is to live in fear of your safety. Like many Balkan countries, Macedonia is notoriously patriarchal and conservative, and homophobia is systemic.
In the last year, increased political attacks on the safety and dignity of women, within the EU and beyond, have made human rights a hot topic in the European public sphere, writes IPPF EN's Regional Director Caroline Hickson. It has ...
By Gina Wharton, Advocacy Advisor at IPPF European Network Civil Society Organisations must be seen as integral partners in decision-making processes was the resounding message at the Third Africa-EU Civil Society Organisation Forum, in Tunis, Tunisia (11-13 July 2017). I ...
By Fiona Coyle, Global and Sustainable Development Lead at the IPPF European Network Regional Office. On 11 July, over 700 people from around the world (leaders, Minister, advocates, policymakers, youth activists, and researchers) descended upon London for the 2nd Family ...