Belgium put sexual and reproductive rights in the spotlight during the ‘European Sustainability Week’ in Berlin, June 2019. Sensoa participated in a panel with Moroccan documentary maker Mohammed Nabil and human rights activist Katrin Erlingsen of the NGO Deutsche Stiftung Weltvölkerung (DSW) at the Belgian Embassy in Berlin.
New Lancet Series on Gender Equality, Norms, and Health exposes failures by governments and health institutions to make progress towards gender equality, despite compelling evidence on impact of gender - and the spoken and unspoken rules of societies about acceptable gender behaviours - on health.
UNFPA launched the State of the World Population 2019 in Brussels, May 7th, entitled ‘Unfinished Business. The pursuit of rights and choices for all’. Marking the 25th anniversary of the ICPD Programme of Action (PoA) as well as the 50th birthday of UNFPA itself, the report highlights the progress made, and the challenges ahead.
Belgium’s Directorate General for Development (DGD) Deputy Director Guy Rayée opened the launch, reminding everyone about the milestone the Cairo Programme of Action was. Tremendous progress has been made since, particular for women and their access to family planning.
The UN Security Council adopted a weak resolution on the uptake of sexual violence in conflict. The Americans insisted on deleting any reference to sexual and reproductive health care for victims of rape and sexual violence from the text.
The Trump administration is systematically undermining the consensus on sexual and reproductive health and rights. The administration wants to prevent any possible reference to abortion. With his entry into office the administration reintroduced the Mexico City Policy which prohibits American development aid to organisations which provide information on abortion or referrals to other organisations, even where abortion is allowed by law.
On April 1st the UN Commission on Population and Development unanimously adopted a political declaration reaffirming the importance of the ICPD Program of Action. 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development by 179 UN Member States in Cairo, Egypt in 1994.
To date, no fundamental change in governance has been seen, Perspective 2030, the Belgian coalition of NGOs monitoring the realisation of the 2030 Agenda of which Sensoa is a member, stated. The coalition published a critical report that took stock of Belgium’s efforts since signing on to the Agenda in 2015.
The 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women took place on March 11th-22nd at the UN Headquarters in New York. The Agreed Conclusions, focusing on the theme of social protection, access to public services, and sustainable infrastructure were adopted after a week of long and late negotiations.
On Thursday the 28th of February in Brussels, the ‘The State of African Women’ report was presented on the eve of International Women’s Day at the federal parliament. Gina Wharton, policy advisory at IPPF European Network presented the research report by the Dutch KIT Royal Tropical Institute, a report that is part of an awareness project that goes by the title ‘Right by Her’. The research report maps the realisations as well as the gaps in the ratification and implementation of the Maputo Protocol by African states. This protocol is a legally binding instrument in which the rights of African women have been recognised by the member states of the African Union.
For International Women’s Day the Advisory Commitee for Societal Emancipation of the Chamber of People’s Respresentatives and the 'Parliamentarians for the 2030 Agenda' co-organize a lunch seminar to present and discuss the report ‘the State of African Women’, on Thursday 28 February.
In 'the State of African Women' report the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) of the Netherlands has mapped the implementation of African countries’ commitments to women’s rights. The report inquires into the uptake of gender-based violence, harmful practices and the sexual and reproductive health and rights of African women.
Gina Wharton, policy advisor at IPPF European Network will present the findings of the report, followed by an exchange with Mme Wharton and Anouka Eerdewijk, KIT's leading researcher on this report.
A sandwich lunch and translation from English to French and Dutch is provided. We will close at 13:45 with a network coffee.
Entrance is free, but registration is required. If you would like to participate, mail your full name, title and organization to Marlies.Casier@sensoa.be by Monday 25th February the latest.
Date & time: Thursday 28th February, 12h30-14h. Please present yourself by 12:15 at the reception with your ID card.
Venue: Room Popelin, Forumgebouw, 2nd floor, Leuvensweg 48, 1000 Brussels
For Valentine’s Day, the European Parliamentary Forum on population and development launched its third edition of the European Contraception Atlas in the European Parliament. The Atlas is a map that marks 46 countries throughout geographical Europe on access to modern contraception. The Atlas reveals a very uneven picture across Europe.
Belgium top of the list
From the 46 countries surveyed, Belgium ranks first, in joint position with France, thanks to its reimbursement schemes, including for long-term contraception, special arrangements for young people and government supported websites such as the multilingual website zanzu.be for migrants and allesoverseks.be (everythingaboutsex.be) a website that specifically addresses the needs of young people. Compared to the Benelux, France and the UK, contraception policies are weak in Latvia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Italy and Denmark.