2017-22: Improved Access to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Tunisia

The aim of the project “Danish-Arab Partnership for Gender Equality and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” (SRHR) in Tunisia is to improve access to SRHR, and especially Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE), for young people in Tunisia.

ATSR and DFPA and sexual and reproductive health and right: Facts about the project

Local partner: The project is carried out by KVINFOs partner: the Danish Family Planning Association (DFPA). DFPA cooperates with Association Tunisienne de la Santé de la Reproduction (“Tunisian Association for Reproductive Health” – ATSR) through the International Planned Parenthood Federation Arab World Office (IPPF-AWRO).

Country: Tunisia.

Thematic area: Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

The project focuses on gaining support to inclusion of CSE in the official School Curriculum among targeted decision-makers through components of knowledge building.

The project is carried out by KVINFOs partner: the Danish Family Planning Association (DFPA). DFPA cooperates with Association Tunisienne de la Santé de la Reproduction (“Tunisian Association for Reproductive Health” – ATSR) through the International Planned Parenthood Federation Arab World Office (IPPF-AWRO).

Background

One of the largest challenges within the area of SRHR in Tunisia is the lack of policies, programmes and institutional mechanisms that guarantee access to SRHR services, including education and information about SRHR.

In the school curriculum, SRHR is not mentioned and the basic rights and needs of youth are therefore not met. There is a surge in early sexual practice among young people, and unemployment, social censorship, lack of information about young people’s sexuality and the poor realization of the reproductive rights of girls, encourage an environment of risky behaviours among young Tunisians.

Young people are especially exposed to sexually transmitted infections, abortions, sexual abuse, different types of sexual pressures, including conflicting messages and sources of information. And the number of young people receiving information on education and communication on the subject of reproductive health has decreased from 370.130 in 2004 to 171.549 in 2012.

Danish-Arab Partnership Programme

KVINFO's programme in the Middle East and North Africa is financed by:

 

Activities

ATSR works in the North, East and South Tunisia (Tunis, Sousse, Nabeul, Kairouan, Tataouine, and Medenine) with focus on young people between 11 and 18 years old in need of access to SRHR information such as CSE and youth friendly SRHR services in a non-discriminatory way.

Furthermore they wish to ensure that people in power live up to their duties in relation to providing knowledge and safe spaces for the children. These duty bearers are identified as the members of School Program Curriculum Revision Committee, Religious Leaders (opponents to CSE), and Parents (potential opponents to CSE), Ministries, parliamentarians, health service providers and the media.

To ensure success with the project ATSR work with partners – specifically the UNFPA, UNICEF, Arab Institute for Human Right, Dawhida Bencheikh (CSO working on CSE, health and SHR) and UPR coalition members. ATSR will coordinate and inform these actors about the project activities and advocacy for their support.

Specially, ATSR carries out three key activities:

  • They give training on SRHR, CSE and the need of young people to members of School Program Curriculum Revision Committee, Religious Leaders (opponents to CSE), and Parents (potential opponents to CSE).
  • They hold meetings with key personnel in the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, and parliamentarians presenting research based information on the importance of CSE in order to gain their support.
  • They arrange workshops that targets health service centres’ staff enabling them to provide services concerning CSE without discrimination to young people and women.