A trusted entity in the SRHR policy landscape: Youth engagement and policy influencing in Jordan

Posted by Nicole Moran on January 21, 2020 at 12:25 pm

Young people in Jordan generally feel that family planning services fail to take their concerns seriously and fear being stigmatised by sexual and reproductive health service providers. The crisis has made young girls increasingly vulnerable to early pregnancy, child marriage, gender-based violence and sexual assault. Yet until recently, the needs of the youth in Jordan did not figure prominently in government policy.

Youth account for a fifth of Jordan’s overall population. Yet a national survey conducted among youth in 2011 discovered that over a quarter of the young women and just under half of young men were unaware of the meaning of reproductive health. What’s more, the conflict in neighbouring Syria seems to be aggravating the problem. Almost fifteen per cent of Jordan’s population are Syrian refugees, yet Syrian youth lack basic reproductive health knowledge and don’t know where to turn for help when they need it.

The NWO-WOTRO-funded collaborative research project in Jordan, in which American academics and Jordanian academics and practitioners joined forces, has played a key role in feeding the development of a national sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) strategy that also targets the youth. The project, entitled ‘Understanding and meeting the sexual and reproductive health needs of Jordanian and Syrian youth’ and led by Dr Ana Langer, professor of the practice of public health at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, focused on identifying the SRHR needs of youth in Jordan and developing policy recommendations to cater to these needs. Along the way, the project has established itself as a known and trusted entity in the SRHR policy landscape.

To read the full case study, please click here

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