Roel Deseyn, federal MP and chair of the Parliamentarians for the 2030 Agenda travelled to Tanzania in late June as part of a delegation of European politicians. He spoke to Tanzanian MPs, policy makers, NGO staff and youth activists about the many challenges relating to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
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.”
Upcoming event 26 April: ‘Beyond the stigma: fistula and safe delivery in the South’, Federal Parliament, Brussels
Date: Thursday 26 April 2018, 12:30-14:00
Place: Belgium's federal parliament, Room Jacques Brel, Leuvenseweg 13, 1000 Brussels.
Dr. Shershah Syed, well known fistula surgeon from Pakistan, Wendy Marijnissen, photographer and
Felipe Sere, Public Health Officer at Memisa, the Belgian NGO dedicated to the right to primary health care.
Despite the progress in safe deliveries, 830 women a day die due to birth or pregnancy related complications. 99% of these deaths occur in developing countries. In addition, millions of women suffer from health problems as a result of these complications.
Fistula is one of the most serious delivery complications. Every year there are an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 new cases and an estimated 2 million women are living with the complication. Especially women living in remote areas where health care services are absent run the risk of fistula. Fistula can lead to stillbirth, incontinence, shame, stigma and social exclusion and in some cases death. With the 2030 Agenda we committed to substantially decrease the number of maternal deaths and to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
This lunch seminar is organised by the Parliamentarians for the 2030 Agenda in the run-up to Mothers’ Day. The seminar is free and open to all interested parties but requires registration by Friday April 20th the latest. For practical reasons, the language of this seminar will be English.
Sandwiches will be provided.
On 17 May 2018, the Belgian platforms Be-cause health and Educaid.be jointly organise an international conference on the intersection between health and education in international cooperation at the Egmont Palace, Brussels.
Ten years following the first edition, UNESCO published an updated version of its International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education. UNESCO developed the guidance in collaboration with UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNWOMEN and the WHO. Sensoa interviewed Karin Nilsson (RFSU, Sweden) who was part of this process.
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.
How to ensure medicines of good quality and much needed reproductive health supplies? On November 8, the Belgian development cooperation and Be-cause health, the Belgian platform on international health, organised a seminar on access to quality medicines and supplies for sexual reproductive health and rights. Some key take aways.
Our world is increasingly unequal, with sharp differences in terms of wealth, power, rights and opportunities. That is the focus of this year’s UNFPA report The State of World Population 2017 – WORLDS APART: reproductive health and rights in an age of inequality. On 25 October, Nadine Krysostan from the UNFPA Brussels Office, presented the report in the Belgian parliament.
The federal development aid for health and reproductive health increased from €141 million in 2015 to €146 million in 2016. The support is still well below the level of 2014 though. €164 million was spent on these sectors in 2014. The total expenditure of the Directorate-General for Development (DGD) increased with 11.8% in 2016. This means the federal government is investing relatively less in development aid for health and reproductive health because the proportion of aid dedicated to these sectors decreased from 14% in 2015 to 12.7% in 2016. Sensoa discussed these results in an analysis of the federal development aid for health and reproductive health.
On the 18th of July 2017, Belgium presented its first Voluntary National Review on how it is implementing the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development at the United Nations’ High Level Political Forum.