Image for post
Image for post

With the seasons changing, and the pandemic (don’t worry, we won’t mention it again) rendering many of us still confined to our homes, now is an ideal time to lose yourself in a great book! So we’ve compiled a list of recommendations that touch on various aspects of sex, relationships, reproductive rights, and plenty more. Enjoy!

The Mothers, Brit Bennet

Bennet’s exciting debut novel tells the story of a young Black couple in California who experience an unintended pregnancy. …


an illustration of a group of diverse women. copyright: IPPF
an illustration of a group of diverse women. copyright: IPPF
Image copyright: IPPF

Let us start by stating the facts: Unintended pregnancy and abortion are common experiences; abortions take place every day in every part of the world. WHO reports that over half of all unintended pregnancies end in abortion, with around 56 million abortions taking place globally each year. In addition, over 190 million women worldwide want to avoid pregnancies but are not using any contraceptive method, highlighting the massive unmet need for contraception at a global scale. In many countries in Africa, the numbers are disproportionately higher.

The right to decide if and when to have a child is a basic human right, and central to reproductive justice and exercising choice. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic however, the forced closure of clinics, disrupted supply chains and limits placed on movement have created massive disruptions to Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services including abortion and contraception in several countries. In the United States, some states have gone as far as tagging safe abortion as non-essential, with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) asking WHO to stop describing SRHR as an essential service. …


a silhouette of a woman looks out of a window
a silhouette of a woman looks out of a window
Photo by Jorge Salvador on Unsplash

Access to abortion care in parts of Italy has always been difficult, but with the coronavirus outbreak, the situation has become even more dire and urgent.

Abortion in Italy was legalized in 1974. It was the result of a power struggle for safe abortion between the women’s movement, conservative forces and the Vatican. The text of the Law (N 194) seems liberal and quite progressive but in reality, the feminist victory was not enough to ensure women’s access to the service.

Conscientious objection’ of healthcare providers has emerged as a serious obstacle to the effective exercise of the right to abortion care over the past forty years. Doctors refusing care account for approximately 70% of all gynaecologists in Italy — leaving a small number of providers in public hospitals willing to provide the service. …


An illustration of a worker in full protective clothing — Ebola
An illustration of a worker in full protective clothing — Ebola
Image copyright by IPPF

“Our people are still prepared to come to work knowing that life on the frontline isn’t straightforward.”

I was sent to Liberia in West Africa to respond to an outbreak of Ebola, a form of hemorrhagic fever that is very severe. The outbreak started in December 2013 in the country next door to Liberia. By March of the next year, it had made its way to the capital, and by September things were completely out of control. Ebola had been mistaken as a severe form of malaria and several health workers had become sick and were dying.

There was worry in the informal settlements as there was no access to formal healthcare, and heartbreakingly, in this day and age, despite calling for international assistance and the aid community doing our very best, some days there just wasn’t enough beds to care for the patients. …


An illustration of a hand holding a mobile phone with a doctor on the screen, surround by medicine
An illustration of a hand holding a mobile phone with a doctor on the screen, surround by medicine
Image copyright: IPPF

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we do everything — including how we provide sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH) services.

From Japan to Albania to Venezuela, healthcare providers are turning to digital platforms such as Zoom, Facetime and WhatsApp to deliver services that have traditionally been provided face-to-face. These include comprehensive sex education, counselling and consultations for emergency contraceptive.

To put it into perspective, a recent survey of IPPF’s European Network (EN) found that 50% of the EN Members surveyed reported that they are providing SRH programmes through innovative approaches like telemedicine.

These changes may have been ‘forced’ upon healthcare professionals and patients alike but many service providers are starting to wonder what changes this move to telemedicine will have in the long term. …


Image for post
Image for post
Image from Unsplash

This pandemic ‘is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.’ — Arundhati Roy

Social distancing, such a double-edged metaphor. Billions of us have been instructed to stay physically distanced from one another to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, but have we ever been close? Close enough to feel the pain of fellow human beings experiencing poverty, violence, discrimination, injustice, as our own pain? …


An illustration of a woman in a yoga pose
An illustration of a woman in a yoga pose
Image source: Canva

Much of the world has been jolted into a new way of life following the outbreak of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). With so much uncertainty, fear and anxiety going around, many of us are wondering what we can and should be doing to keep ourselves safe and healthy right now. With that in mind, we’ve put together a few recommendations which might help you out!

Sexual health is still a priority

  • During this turbulent time, you should be maintaining your usual contraception routine — whatever that is for you.
  • As a tip, condoms are great at both helping to prevent pregnancy and the transmission of STIs (including HIV), and are available at most pharmacies and supermarkets. …

Image for post
Image for post

Officially known as COVID-19, a new strain of coronavirus has now been detected in 159 countries around the world and has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). The illness has already caused thousands of deaths and will have a continued impact on global health systems and economies. One healthcare issue which will certainly be affected is access to safe abortion.

We already know that abortions happen every day, in every country of the world.


Image for post
Image for post

“You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.” — Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to the United States Congress

Women have always been pivotal in the fight for human rights, but women of color are often overlooked in our history books. That’s why this International Women’s Day, we’re sharing the striking stories of five unique women of color who you might not have heard of — women who refused to stand on the sidelines, and instead implemented their ambitious ideas, shaping history in the process.

  1. Sophia Duleep Singh
Image for post
Image for post

Princess Sophia Alexandrovna Duleep Singh, goddaughter to Queen Victoria, was a women’s rights activist associated with the suffragette movement. The wealthy socialite (whose father was a deposed Indian maharajah exiled to England), was not particularly politically inclined until a visit to India when she was around 30. …


Image for post
Image for post
Image is taken from the spoof short ‘Who Wants To Be A Volunteer?’ — commissioned for Radi-Aid / Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ Assistance Fund

Words by Amber Henshaw, Planning & Commissioning Advisor

Charities have long been scorned for using stigmatizing images in their communications, often for fundraising purposes. Rightly so, as a society, we are moving beyond damaging stereotypes — stereotypes that are harmful and often perpetuate a narrative that does not elevate the people, culture, or country the charity serves.

Organizations must start realize the power imbalance between them and the people they use in the communications — who are often service users and, in some cases, minors.

At IPPF, we want not only the people we serve, but the people on the ground doing the work (who are part of the communities they serve), at the forefront of our storytelling. We want to tell their story using their own words with dignity and respect. …

About

IPPF Global

Around the world, International Planned Parenthood Federation provides healthcare & protects people's health and lives from sexual and reproductive coercion.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store