The 4th Youth Advocacy Refresher Institute started on Monday 28th March 2016.
We started the day with some very rich sharing by the Youth Champions of their small grant project implementations.
Priskila and Pasan from Sri Lanka shared findings from their survey with young people from around the island about their attitudes towards safe abortion.
Danica from the Philippines shared the findings of her project on conducting FGDs on the Knowledge, Attitude, Behavior, and Practices of Young People on Teenage Pregnancy and Abortion. Some searing testimonies emerged from the stories shared by these young people which reflect the grievous harm and injustice that is caused by denying them sexuality education.
All the Youth Champions work in countries where speaking about abortion is a taboo and the environment is not just challenging but also hostile. It is a remarkable achievement to move forward despite this and carry out such positive interventions.
After these rich sharings, we had two very intense sessions on deeper and wider issues related to safe abortion.
Dr Amar Jesani spoke to us about ethics and conscientious objection and Mr Ravi Duggal took a session on the Political Economy of Abortion. We will be sharing more on that later on!
We closed the day with a short screening of a clip from the movie If These Walls could Talk. A powerful film on the issues faced by women in the USA with unwanted pregnancies, this segment is based in 1952. A deeply disturbing episode which had us thinking again about the injustice and discrimination that women face through the entrenched patriarchy and the repressive controls over their bodies, sexuality and choices.
We are looking forward to the 2nd day and hope that our Youth Campions from Nepal will be able to join us!