2015 IPPFAR ARO Youth Internship Program for Young Women



1. Theme: “Unleashing the Potential of Africa’s Young Women’’

2. Background (What do we want to address?)

Women account for half of any country’s population and talent base. However, as a group, they have been marginalised and their economic, social, political and environmental contributions are undermined and their great potentials remain underutilized and undervalued. It is against this background that the African Union Heads of State and Government have dedicated 2015, as the “Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”.

Several agreements, mechanisms and frameworks have been set up to better protect Women and girls rights both at international and national levels. These include, at international level, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Political Rights of Women from the UNGA1 ; the Convention on Consent to Marriage2 ; the global celebration of the International Women day on march 8th as well as the 16 days of activisms; the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) from the UNGA3 the SADC gender Protocol, among others. At national level, almost all constitutions recognize and protect women and girls rights as human rights. Majority of above mentioned international agreements has been domesticated through either ratification or signing process. In 2008, the United Nations Secretary-General launched the ‘’Unite to End Violence Against Women Campaign’’, which calls on governments, civil society, the private sector and the entire United Nations system to meet the challenge by 2015, the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agreed to its 2000 contain a commitment to achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment, including indicators and concrete targets related to girls ‘education and to maternal mortality. Yet, in this 2015, the year when the MDGs should be met by all countries, progress has been mixed. In Africa particularly, while great strides have been made in commitments to women’s rights, there is a long way to go to fully realize these rights. Poverty and HIV/AIDS still carry a female face. Young women make up more than 60% of all young people living with HIV, or 72% in sub-Saharan Africa. They are among the most affected by conflicts; Sexual and gender based violence remain a reality for many girls in the region. At least 1 in 2 women and girls are victim to gender-based violence in the region. It (Gender-based violence) takes many forms, 1 for women to vote and hold public office without discrimination (1952) 2 which set a minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriage by the UNGA (1962) 3 who among others attributes protects children from early and forced marriage, recognize of adulthood as 18 years and state rights to education, including sexuality education (1989); ranging from domestic-partner violence, rape, workplace harassment, female genital mutilation, trafficking, and in the worst case, murder. Nearly half of girls report that their first sexual encounter was coerced. 39% of girls are being married before age 18.4 And in countries such as Niger, Mali, this proportion goes beyond 50%. 54% of the 29 million children out of school children in sub-Saharan are girls; and less than a quarter of secondary school aged girls are enrolled in secondary education.5. From employment perspective, women and girls composed majority of workers in the informal sector and are therefore exposed and victims of various forms of abuse and exploitation. They still are denied equal pay and may be harassed or dismissed if they become pregnant. In the area of related to sexual and reproductive health (SRH), there are many challenges that stifle girls’ potential. Unwanted pregnancy and motherhood, for example, are a reality for many of them in the region. Often, they have less control over how and when they have sex, as well as whether or not they can utilise contraception. Girls still experience stigma. There is a lack of acceptance of girls’ sexuality and stigmatisation of any such manifestation in the region. Sexuality is still a taboo topic, particularly when it concerns unmarried girls. Teachers, parents and health professionals may all exhibit judgmental attitudes that prevent girls from asking questions about where and how they can access Sexual and Reproductive Health services. In addition, the stigma around adolescent girls’ sexuality often results in their omission from health, development policies and frameworks that relate to SRH and family planning. Girls cannot afford services. Contraceptives as well as other sexual health services are not usually free of charge and many girls do not have access to income of their own. Further, for girls in rural areas, the cost of transport to the nearest SRH clinic or service delivery point may be prohibitively expensive. Girls are not involved. Delivering services in a manner that is friendly for anyone requires knowledge of what that person needs as well as the context within which the person lives. And, the only way to find out is to ask. Yet, Girls are often not involved in programs designing and decision making process at different levels. Girls are not given enough information. Despite progress, sexuality education provided in and out of school is often lacking or, where it does exist, does not provide girls with adequate information and skills to turn decisions relating to sex, pregnancy and motherhood into a reality for their lives. Girls who have little or no access to such education are often left unable to negotiate condom use with their sexual partners or express what they find pleasurable. Girls are criminalized. In many countries, laws relating to age of consent to sex creates uncertainty amongst both girls and health professionals about whether accessing SRH services is legal. Not only do girls in such countries have to hide their sexual relationships, but they are unable to access the services they need to stay health and well. Unsafe abortion is another risk that pregnant girls face if they make the decision to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Often, laws, culture or stigma prevent a girl from accessing safe abortion related services. Girls are not trusted. Adults often doubt the capacity of girls to make autonomous decisions. At times, this doubt is encoded into laws requiring girls to seek parental consent or notification before accessing abortion or contraceptive services. 4 UNICEF, State of the World’s Children 2014, Table 9: Child Protection. 5 Ibid. However, even where not required by law, parental consent is often required by health professionals and institutions who believe they are protecting girls. For girls who do not wish to involve their parents, such laws and practices can severely limit their access to SRH services. Girls are not empowered. In many families and societies, girls have limited decision-making power, even over decisions that directly affect their health and lives. In addition, girls often have less mobility than boys, which limits their capacity to participate in youth empowerment programmes and activities. At policy and legislative levels, lack of implementation of existing policies and frameworks as well as of reporting mechanisms against existing commitments remains a challenge. In majority, resolutions and commitments for gender equality do not have time-bound targets impacting on different stakeholder’s accountability. The availability of Violence against women and girls right statistics is still sporadic and weak in almost all countries in the region. Addressing girls’ Sexual and Reproductive health and Rights (SRHR) is imperative to achieve international goals related to SRH and FP. Many governments and INGO’s including IPPFs made a strong commitment at the FP summit in July 2012 to adolescents, including girls. Also, empowering their participation in the community and the workforce will definitely and greatly contribute to increases economic growth, reduces poverty, enhances societal well-being, and helps ensure sustainable development toward the Africa Union 2063 development agenda. IPPFAR recognises that girls’ journeys do not end or begin at the doorstep of our clinics; rather, a decision to visit an IPPFAR Member association clinic or centre is part of a girl’s greater desire of empowerment to exercise control over her own health, well-being and life. Therefore, their involvement and leadership (of both young boys and girl) is crucial to enable and empower them, especially girls, to make decisions that will allow them to direct the course of their life journey in the di
rection that they would most like it to go. Their choices and opportunities define the overall present and future of the world.

3. What are objectives of the 2015 Youth internship programme? The objective of the Youth internship programme in 2015 is to promote Adolescents and Young people as key agents for social change and economic growth through Girls empowerment, thus within international, regional and national coalitions by strengthening their involvement, leadership and titillating their energy for creativity &innovation. The 2015 Youth Internship seeks to funds individual youth projects that aim to contribute to girl’s empowerment to exercise control over their own health, wellbeing and life by contributing to: – hold governments accountable for implementation of commitments pledge in the area gender equality and adolescents sexual and reproductive health and rights; – enact existing positive laws in the area; – address legal, social and cultural barriers that affect girl’s participation, empowerment and access to SRHR, including by promoting boys involvement (for ex: legislation, including customary laws, policies and institutionalized practices that authorise marriage before the age of 18; those that fixe an age of consent to sex, those that condition access of Young people to number of services by parental consent, those that prevent access to education for pregnant or mother adolescents and girls, etc.. – improve access and quality of services for girls , especially the most underserved; – improve knowledge of communities, particularly adolescents and young boys and girls on adolescents girls rights; – mobilise additional resources for girls empowerment & girls access to services; – disseminate IPPF gender equality policy and strengthen capacities of YAM in his role of advocate for gender equality and girls empowerment at local, national and/or regional levels; . The above list of sub-themes or areas is indicative. Applicants are encouraged to identify others gaps to girl’s empowerment and access to SRHR’s and propose innovative ways of addressing them at different levels: regional, national, sub national and local.

4. Who can apply for the Youth Internship project? The application to the Youth Internship programme is individual. To be eligible the applicant must: i) Been active youth volunteer and a member of his/her Member Association’s YAM; ii) Be at the age of 24 years of age or below on the date of the application. The applicant will be required to provide evidence of the age and MAs of origin to validate the evidence of their recommended nominee. iii) Have attained tertiary education at a recognized institution of higher learning in the home country; a first or second level degree (Masters) is an added advantage. iv) Be self-supporting in basic computer skills (Word, Excel, Power Point etc.) v) Be in possession of a valid travel document (passport) with at least 12 months to the date of expiry from the date of appointment. vi) Be willing to work in multicultural environment and to share accommodation with members of the opposite sex. vii) Be fluent in one of IPPFAR official languages, preferably the MA hosting spoken language (English, French or Portuguese); fluency in a second IPPFAR language will be an added advantage.

5. What is the geographical scope of the project? A Youth internship project can be regional (addressing gaps of at least 2 countries), national or sub national. An applicant can aim to address gaps of a country which is not necessarily his/her county of origin. The Youth Internship committee will therefore assess the necessity of relocating successful candidates to the most relevant station to facilitate the implementation of the project.

6. How long will the programme last? The Internship program will last 6 months. However there is room for flexibility subject to the internship project work plan and chronogram without exceeding a maximum duration of 9 months.

7. How much money is available? Each applicant can apply for a maximum of 5.000 US$ for national or sub national projects and 7.000 US$ for regional projects

8. What will be the reporting and supervisory mechanisms? Interns will work under the supervision of ARO Youth Adviser & Hosting MA Executive Director or his delegate. A small written report will be due at midterm. Final reports (both narrative and financial) and/or other creative end-of-project documentation are due at the end of the project. The Intern will be required to document at least one success with the support of Hosting MA and ARO. Six months after return to home MA, former intern shall be required to submit a report on how they are using the experience gained to further the work of his/her YAM & MA. When necessary, IPPFARO will required and facilitate participation of active intern to the Regional Youth Forum and others international conferences to share experiences and good practices.

9. How will submitted projects be evaluated? The strength of applications will be evaluated against the following criteria:

 Understanding of Country / local area context in the field gender equity, girls empowerment & access to SRHR as well as

 Knowledge of global, country and IPPF initiatives and policies in the same area

 Creativity and innovation

 Potentiality for project replication in another country or area

 Potentiality for sharing/learning with other young people across the region

 Use of social media to share project achievements

 Number of young people/ beneficiaries likely to be reached by the project

 Partnership with existing youth led initiatives

 Budget (is it realistic?)

 Timeline (is it achievable?)

 Quality of the application (response to objectives and gaps identified )

10. Do you want to propose a project? –

Document yourself about sub-Saharan countries context on

o Gender equality,

Girls empowerment and access to SRHR;

o Gender equality related initiatives in the region,

commitments pledges by countries in the area and their actual level of implementation;

o IPPF gender policy, IPPF vision 2020 and Girls empowerment initiatives

– Identify gaps you want to address. Be realistic and do not embrace too much. You cannot change the world with ONE project but you can definitely add your little bit

– Use the specific application form attached to this concept note. Pull together a budget and prepare a chronogram/ work plan too.

You’ll also want to think about how you’re going to measure whether your project is successful or not (measurable indicators)

– Ensure that you have collected & filled all required information and/or documents necessary for the application

– Submit your application to hroffice@ippfaro.org by April 6th , 2015 11.

Application files must contain

– Motivation letter

– Completed Application form

– Photocopy of Applicant Passport

USE THIS LINK TO APPLY: http://www.ippfar.org/sites/default/files/ARO%20Internship%20Programme%20-%20Call%20for%20Applications%20%202015.pdf


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