Do sex and pleasure belong in a classroom? Destemwijzer.be guides voters through their views on sex, gender and well-being
Which Belgian (Flemish) political parties want free childcare? Does your identity card have to mention your gender? And according to which political parties do 'enjoyment and pleasure' belong in sexuality education classes? In the run-up to the Belgian and European elections of 26 May, Sensoa, the Belgian member association of IPPF, çavaria, the Flemish LGBT+ umbrella organisation and the Flemish Women's Council developed a unique vote advice application.
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
According to Professor in bio-ethics Peter Singer (DM, 7 July) population growth has become a taboo due to “a bizarre coalition of the Vatican, which has always been against anticonception and birth control, on the one hand, and radical feminists on the other, who gave priority to women’s freedom to choose how many children they want.” I choked in my coffee. Peter Singer is not an opponent of women’s rights, quite the contrary. And indeed, immediately after, the professor stated that these feminists “had a point, namely that family planning is a women’s right”. “But”, he continued, “at the level of the collective this leads to problems they forget to take into account, as an increase of young children equally increases the need for more schools, hospitals, jobs, etcetera.”
Member of Flemish parliament Piet De Bruyn received an award from LGBTI umbrella organisation Çavaria for his political work as rapporteur for the rights of LGBTI people in the Council of Europe. In this European political forum the MP presented the first extensive European report that defends and promotes the rights of intersex people. Piet De Bruyn is grateful for this award: "It is a privilege to work with the LGBTI community towards an inclusive society. In the coming years I will continue to work for all LGBTI people. The more I travel around Europe, the more I realise how important it is to continue to work for equality and freedom for every LGBTI."
The report on intersex people will be guiding for LGBTI activists across Europe as it embeds intersex rights within the international human rights framework. For many years, the Flemish Member of parliament has been an active member of the ‘Parliamentarians for the 2030 Agenda’, the Belgian All-Party Parliamentary Group advocating sexual and reproductive health and rights for which Sensoa functions as the secretariat.
Eighty-nine parliamentarians from 57 countries called on G7 governments to urgently address the challenges of migration, particularly as it affects women and girls. Their appeal came at an international parliamentarians' conference in Rome ahead of the G7 summit in Italy. Belgian Members of Parliament Petra De Sutter, Sabien Lahaye-Battheu and Daniel Seneseal were amongst the participants.
Body & Rights, the e-tutorial developed by Sensoa the expertise centre for sexual health and member association of IPPF in Belgium and commissioned by the Institute of Tropical Medicine and Be-cause Health, the Belgian platform for international health is now available in English.
Thursday May 11th, Federal Parliament, Belgium. MPs played ‘snakes and ladders’, a life-size game on the health and rights of girls worldwide. The MPs were the pawns in the game and found themselves confronted with the obstacles girls in developing countries face.
There are about 1 billion girls in the world, many of which face discrimination and inequalities. Each year 16 million girls between 15 and 19 give birth. Complications related to pregnancies and delivery are the 2nd most important cause of death for girls in that age group. Every year 3 million girls run the risk of mutilation and every day 39,000 girls are subject to child or forced marriage.
The Parliamentarians for the 2030 Agenda want girls’ health and rights to be high on the political agenda. They call upon the Belgian development cooperation to continue focusing on this particular group.
At the Commission’s 50th session, the UN Member States failed to reach an agreement. The Commission for Population and Development is the most important UN Commission for the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The theme of the Commission’s 50th session was ‘Changing population age structures and sustainable development’. Special attention was thus going to the needs of over 1.8 billion young people in the world.
Member states spent more than 10 days negotiating. The final version of the draft resolution contained important references to the sexual and reproductive health needs of young people and comprehensive sexuality education. The final version was rejected though when the US and a number of African countries, more particularly Egypt, Cameroon and Djibouti wanted to have sections on SRHR deleted.
The Trump-Pence administration has decided to cease all support to the United Nations Population Fund UNFPA. In 2016 only US support to UNFPA helped to prevent 2.340 maternal deaths, 947.000 unplanned pregnancies and 295.000 unsafe abortions. It allowed an estimated 800.000 people to freely decide about their number of children. US support to UNFPA also reached no less than 9 million people in humanitarian emergencies and refugee camps, where the organization provides sexual and reproductive health services and tries to prevent genderbased violence.