I Decide - Spotlight on Rutgers, IPPF EN’s Dutch Member Association

13th May 2014
I decide my rights Netherlands campaign

“We in the Netherlands think that it goes without saying that you have control over your own body. That you receive sexual education either from your parents or at school. That you have access to the information you need to decide what contraceptive best suits you, and that you are able to purchase it. That you can choose your own boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife.

However, things are entirely different in some countries, and developing nations in particular.

  • In Uganda, you face serious risks if you are gay; homosexuality is a punishable offence there, with a prison sentence of between 14 years and life. In five countries, including Iran, you may even face the death penalty.
  • If you become pregnant in Pakistan, then you may not be allowed to make an appointment to see a doctor. Your spouse or your family decide.
  • Have you had an abortion because your neighbour raped you? In El Salvador, this could land you in prison for seven years.
  • Just turned eleven years old in Afghanistan? If so, then there is a good chance that the next party you celebrate will be your marriage to a blushing 40-year-old groom.

For the IPPF Global Day of Action on 13 May, many politicians and passersby had their pictures taken on the Plein in The Hague to show their support for “I decide”. Meanwhile, at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a large number of policy-makers were photographed holding a picture frame containing one of the four I Decide campaign messages: 

Ik beslis.. I decide:

  • over mijn eigen lijf (about my own body);

  • of ik kinderen wil (if I want to have children);

  • wie ik liefheb (who I love);

  • over mijn toekomst (my future)."

 

Pictures of I Decide around the European Network region

See here a snapshot of the great I Decide events and photo shoots organised by IPPF EN Member Associations and our regional office on 13 May 2014, our global day of action.

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13 May IPPF Global Day of Action – I Decide campaign launches in Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia

 

I decide about my own body. I decide who I share my life with. I decide the size of my family. I decide about my future. Around the world, millions of people, particularly women and girls, are denied the freedom to make their own life decisions.

On 13 May, 18 of IPPF EN’s Member Associations will join their counterparts around the world in a Global Day of Action to launch the I Decide campaign. I Decide aims to bring citizens and parliamentarians together to call on world leaders to prioritise sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This is especially crucial as governments work towards creating new international development goals that will start in 2015.

IPPF EN’s regional office in Brussels is holding a reception to launch the petition at the centre of I Decide, and celebrate its longstanding SRHR advocacy collaboration with a number of civil society partners and representatives from the EU institutions. EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassiliou and UK MEP Michael Cashman are among the campaign’s supporters.

Meanwhile, around the EN region, almost 20 of our national Member Associations are organising a wealth of activities, including film screenings, conferences and photo shoots with Parliamentarians, youth groups and the general public.

Below is a taster of what some of our Member Associations have planned for the Global Day of Action. For more information follow us on twitter at @ippfen.

Please add your support at
www.ippf.org/idecide

 

Sensoa, Belgium

I Decide has been endorsed by Parliamentarians from across the politician spectrum in Belgium, where around 30 MPs gathered for a photoshoot ahead of the campaign launch, holding boards with messages and pictograms highlighting the importance of SRHR in the post-2015 agenda – see picture.

The images captured reflect the strong political consensus on SRHR in a country that takes a progressive approach to reimbursement of contraceptives for young people, to gay marriage and to the provision of sexuality education in schools. Belgium is also an active champion of SRHR in international development fora.

To find out more, visit Sensoa’s website: www.sensoa.be.

Family Planning Association, UK

In the UK, FPA will launch I Decide together with MPs in the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health at an event to which key ministers have been invited.  Participants will pose for photos outside the Houses of Parliament. FPA’s youth network has also called on local MEPs and MPs to take part and sign the petition.

For FPA, including SRHR as essential priorities is not just something that we need to remind people about in other countries. In the UK there are also often cases where these rights are being undermined by system change, short term funding decisions and the anti-choice movement, and it is as important at national level as it is abroad that politicians are seen to champion these rights.

To see pictures and read about the UK launch of I Decide, visit www.fpa.org.uk.

Family Planning Association of Albania, Albania

Young volunteers, FPAA staff, politicians and partner CSOs will gather for launch events in Tirana and Vlora, calling on the government and decision-makers to put SRHR and gender equality at the heart of the post-2015 international development framework. The events, featuring interviews with participants, will be filmed for national and local TV news. Meetings with national and local politicians are also planned.

In Albania, comprehensive sexuality education is missing from the health education system and SRHR services for young people are not youth centre oriented. There is an urgent need to address these issues and to promote healthy sexual development of young people through sexual and reproductive services that are youth center-oriented and sexuality education that is rights-based and gender sensitive.

To find out more about the I Decide campaign in Albania, go to: www.http://acpd-al.org.

Towarzystwo Rozwoju Rodziny (TRR), Poland

Poland’s Family Planning Association will hold a celebration of the I Decide launch with partner NGOs and liberal MEP candidates from the European Parliament’s Socialist Group. TRR has also created a dedicated website about Vision 2020. SRHR is not yet part of mainstream political debate in Poland, so an event like I Decide is a great chance to speak loudly about these issues and raise awareness.

 To find out more about the launch of I Decide in Poland, go to: www.idecide.pl  

Kazakhstan Association on Sexual and Reproductive Health (KMPA), Kazakhstan

KMPA kicked off I Decide with a roundtable event on Vision 2020 in Astana on 12 May, involving MPs, Ministry officials, civil society, UN representatives, healthcare facilities and other partners and volunteers. KMPA presented its work and participation in the UN Commission on Population and Development (CPD), and screened an IPPF film on the campaign.

 The roundtable debate included burning SRHR issues in Kazakhstan, including: gender inequalities; combating violence; high prices as a key obstacle to take-up of contraceptives; the need to decrease the age of consent (16) to improve young people’s access to SRH services and commodities; and training of health professionals on safe abortion care. Special discussion was devoted to comprehensive sexuality education and the need to make this part of the formal curriculum in schools.

Politicians and young volunteers are having their photos taken to support I Decide, and media interviews with KMPA and parliamentarians will help to further raise awareness of the campaign. More meetings with health authorities and civil society representatives will take place in other cities around the country throughout this week.

To follow the ‘I decide campaign’ in Kazakhstan, please visit: www.kmpakaz.org

Family Planning Association of Albania, Albania

 Young volunteers, FPAA staff, politicians and partner CSOs will gather for launch events in Tirana and Vlora, calling on the government and decision-makers to put SRHR and gender equality at the heart of the post-2015 international development framework. The events, featuring interviews with participants, will be filmed for national and local TV news. Meetings with national and local politicians are also planned.

 In Albania, comprehensive sexuality education is missing from the health education system and SRHR services for young people are not youth centre oriented. There is an urgent need to address these issues and to promote healthy sexual development of young people through sexual and reproductive services that are youth center-oriented and sexuality education that is rights-based and gender sensitive.

 To find out more about the I Decide campaign in Albania, go to: www.http://acpd-al.org.