Oxfam Canada receives federal funding to empower women and girls in Philippines
(Ottawa) Thanks to a contribution of $17.5 million from the Government of Canada, Oxfam Canada will empower women and girls in six disadvantaged and conflict-affected regions of the Philippines with gender-sensitive sexual and reproductive health and rights services.
The Sexual Health and Empowerment (SHE) Women’s Voice and Leadership project will reach approximately 300,000 people over a period of five years. In partnership with local civil society organizations and Jhpiego, an international, non-profit health organization affiliated with The Johns Hopkins University, SHE will address barriers that prevent women from exercising their rights – including gender inequality, sex trafficking, lack of access to resources, sexual and gender-based violence and child and early forced marriage. The project will also advocate for the implementation of existing laws and policies to safeguard the rights of women and girls.
Our goal is to strengthen local capacity to reach those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to access vital information and services, so women and girls can lead healthy and productive lives free from violence,”
Julie Delahanty, Oxfam Canada Executive Director
“Deeply-rooted social norms in the Philippines make it difficult for women and adolescent girls to make decisions about their own sexual health, and many have little choice when it comes to the number and spacing of their children. Our goal is to strengthen local capacity to reach those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to access vital information and services, so women and girls can lead healthy and productive lives free from violence,” said Julie Delahanty, Oxfam Canada Executive Director.
Teen pregnancy is a critical issue in the country, as many young women are deterred from accessing sexual health services due to the requirement for parental consent. There is also a lack of comprehensive sex education in schools.
The SHE project will train midwives and public health workers, and provide youth-friendly sexual health outreach services for girls and boys. In collaboration with our partners, Oxfam will also work with men and women to change negative attitudes on sexual and reproductive health, while strengthening the capacity of local women’s rights organizations to advocate for change.