The Young Activist Network for Abortion Advocacy (YANAA) is a part of the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion.
Forming a youth network was proposed at the young women’s workshop at the Campaign’s International Forum in Lisbon in October 2018. After the Forum, a Steering Committee was formed who met in June 2019 and developed a strategic plan, and YANAA was launched publicly by the Steering Committee. We held our first Twitter chat to coincide with International Safe Abortion Day on 28 September 2019.
The current Steering Committee consists of young women from India, Malaysia, South Africa, Sudan and the Netherlands, who are regional representatives.
YANAA is committed to advancing abortion rights in all world regions, exploring the wide range of youth perspectives, and building advocacy strategies on all aspects of abortion, from access to abortion pills to decriminalisation of abortion in law and policy.
Our aim is to build a movement that highlights the intersectional issues around abortion that girls and young women around the world consider important, including the freedom to choose one’s partner, and the freedom to decide whether/when/who to marry and if/when/how many children to have. Other important issues are the intersection of abortion rights with digital rights of young women, and the intersection of abortion rights with issues of climate justice.
Why is YANAA important?
- Adolescents suffer the most from the negative consequences of unsafe abortion. Forty-one per cent of unsafe abortions in developing regions are among young women aged 15–24 years – 15% among those aged 15–19 years and 26% among those aged 20–24 years. (Shah and Ahman, 2012)
- Age alone creates a barrier to accessing sexual and reproductive health services, including abortion, due to cultural and social expectations on girls and young women. As a result, accurate information on abortion and youth-friendly services are often not available or accessible to them.
- Girls and young women are often judged for seeking or having abortions, even when sex was without their consent or coerced.
- Laws and policies on abortion in some countries are highly restrictive, including the requirement of parental consent for abortion. Girls and young women are often seen as incapable of making their own informed decisions, a belief that is largely driven by conservative cultural and religious values around sexual rights and reproductive autonomy.
- To campaign for the decriminalisation of abortion with a specific focus on how laws and policies affect young people.
- To highlight the lack of evidence about the need for abortion, especially among young girls, and promote universal access to safe abortion as a health and human right issue.
- To promote inter-generational dialogue between feminists on safe abortion activism and develop a platform for young people to share their specific issues and experiences.
- To promote the leadership of young feminists on the abortion issue and support the participation of young leaders on global platforms.
Our vision for change
- To make girls’ and young women’s activism and advocacy work more visible by supporting and promoting their work.
- To ensure that girls’ and young women’s issues become part of new research within the mainstream abortion research agenda.
- To ensure that youth-led research by girls and young women is a part of research and policy initiatives at global, regional and national levels.
What we do
- Collaborate and partner with other organisations
- Undertake advocacy internationally
- Organise events to amplify the voices of young activists
- Organise youth-led trainings and workshops to build the capacities of young people
- Undertake youth-led research.
YANAA is a strong, supportive group of organisations and individuals among young abortion advocates who want to share their experiences and learn from each other.
We welcome young feminist activists below the age of 35 who are already working for safe abortion or interested in promoting safe abortion.
To apply to join YANAA, fill out the form here with your details. We will ask you for a reference who can vouch for you, to ensure the network remains a secure space.
As a member of YANAA, you will get an opportunity to learn about the international movement for abortion rights, be part of promoting inter-generational feminist dialogue on abortion, and be part of a young activist movement.
Follow us on social media at:
YouTube: @YANAA Global, where we share our audio-visual resources
Read our reports:
- Values Clarification and Attitude Transformation: An Online Workshop, 2021 at: https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/10-nov-2021?e=8b8d302b7c
- Roundtable Discussion: Young People’s Activism and Safe Abortion, 2022
For any enquiries, please contact us at e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org