Breaking the Silence on Infertility

Posted by Charlotte van Tuijl on February 2, 2021 at 5:08 pm



The project ‘Breaking the Silence on Infertility’ received a small grant at the Share-Net International Co-Creation Conference that took place in Amsterdam in October 2019. As the title of the conference suggests, this project is a co-creation among representatives from four different countries- Bangladesh, Jordan, Burundi and the United Kingdom. With this project, the team has created a video to document the real-life experiences of people living with infertility in different countries and raise people’s awareness on this subject.

In this article, YuHsin Huang Senior Technical Advisor, IPPF UK, talks about her experience working on this project.

Infertility has been part of WHO conversation for a very long time, yet it has not been part of the mainstream SRHR agenda. In a previous Lancet commission report, they have highlighted infertility as ‘one missing piece in the SRHR conversation’. With this video, the team wants to highlight that infertility is not just a medical issue, but also a social issue, economic issue, gender issue, mental health issue and human rights issue. A condition like infertility can happen to anyone, and this discussion should not be brushed under the carpet. YuHsin says, ‘We want people to start talking about it and encourage people to conduct more research. That is why we called this project ‘Breaking the Silence’.

Infertility affects different genders in different ways, however, it affects women the most as they are solely blamed and shamed when a couple does not have children many years after marriage. In this film, men too come forward to tell stories of how their lives have been affected by infertility. With this video, the team wants to reach out to policymakers and donors to help spread awareness among them. Additionally, this video will also tell men, women and other people who are suffering from infertility, that they are not alone.

Talking about challenges that were faced during the making of this video, YuHsin says that it was very difficult to convince people to narrate their story in front of the camera, in spite of being promised that their identities will be kept confidential. The second challenge was the COVID-19 pandemic. At the inception stage, it was decided that the team from RedOrange will travel to the countries of Jordan and Burundi to shoot the videos. However, after the travel restrictions, local teams were hired from each of the countries to shoot the stories.

YuHsin describes the Share-Net International Co-Creation Conference as ‘a very smart approach of bringing people together from different countries where they can share their ideas and co-create a product. It was exciting to meet people with similar ideas who had different strengths and came from different backgrounds and different countries. There were people who were trying to make IVF affordable, there were policymakers and so many more. For me, all of this was quite exciting.’

This project is a partnership between IPPF UK, RedOrange Media and Communications (Bangladesh) and Royal Medical Services (Jordan).

Did You Know?

The Share-Net International Co-Creation Conference 2021 took place virtually in January. Check out the recordings on our YouTube channel!


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