According to Indvuna Michael Magongo, “The norm that a man should marry a very young girl because women age fast is no longer supported in our community.”
“We as traditional leaders cannot watch young girls acquire HIV and be exposed to sexual abuse in the name of marriage.”
Michael Magongo lives in a deeply rural village in Swaziland known as Bhadzeni Chiefdom. He, like the rest of the villagers, is a subsistence farmer growing corn and beans. He is married and, somewhat unusually, has only one wife.
Halima Shariff, Director, Advance Family Planning Tanzania, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, leads a panel with donors at the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition reception at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington.
Last week, along with several other colleagues from the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP), I attended the 17th General Membership Meeting of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC) in Seattle, Washington. In addition to collecting interviews for the Family Planning Voices initiative, which we co-lead with Family Planning 2020 (FP2020), we also had the opportunity to think about how communication fits within the complex world of supply chain management.
The Family Planning Youth Ambassador Program in Burkina Faso focuses on raising awareness about family planning and reproductive health services among our country’s youth. We’ve engaged a lot of young people on the topic, but, as this testimonial from a young woman named Chantal shows, we were unintentionally leaving out many young people, namely married adolescents and out-of-school youth.
BAITADI DISTRICT, Nepal – A girl’s astrological birth chart can hold the keys to her future in this remote corner of Far Western Nepal. And in the right hands, this is a good thing.
When parents bring their daughter’s “cheena,” a chart made according to the Hindu astrological calendar, to 66-year-old astrologer and priest Dev Dutta Bhatta, he pays close attention to the birth year. If the girl is underage, he advocates for her parents to wait until she is an adult before arranging her marriage.
Integrated approaches to development are gaining traction, especially as the global development community observes the one-year commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which highlight the interrelated relationships between many development sectors. One such integrated approach is known as Population, Health, and Environment (PHE), which seeks to provide voluntary family planning, improve people’s health, and conserve the environment in rural communities in an integrated, multisectoral manner.