Share-Net Jordan Begins Regional Working


August 14, 2023

Share-Net Jordan

Share-Net Jordan (SN-JO) was established in 2016, and is hosted by the Higher Population Council (HPC), as one of Share-Net International’s (SNI’s) country hubs, and is a knowledge platform on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights (SRH&RR) in Jordan. In spring 2023, SN-JO began a regional working approach, as outlined below.

In 2021 SN-JO conducted a study entitled Examining the role and added value/unique selling point of expanding Share-Net in the Arab region, starting with a piloting project in Egypt and Lebanon. This ambitious project aims to achieve:

  • Regional working approaches
  • Expand work to strengthen regional partnerships with the networks SN-JO are engaged with
  • Facilitate regional learning
  • Exchange information to influence SRHR work
  • Improve policy and practice in SRHR
  • Increase the visibility and recognition of SNI and SN-JO in the region
  • To strengthen and expand the SNI network by involving more members and building strategic partnerships, exchanging best practices and accumulate knowledge to connect and link members in the region to work on context-relevant SRHR topics. 

In early 2023, SN-JO conducted their first regional meeting in Egypt, hosted by the Information and Research Center at the American University in Cairo. This included presentations on research, awareness, service, and training activities for reproductive and sexual health, and was presented by specialized experts representing civil, international and academic bodies in the Egyptian society.

The second regional meeting was held in Lebanon in April 2023, focusing on networking with organisations concerned with SRHR issues, and expanding the scope of work of SN-Jo at the regional level. SN-JO met at the headquarter of the Economic and Social Commission of the United Nations for Western Asia (ESCWA) with Dr. Sarah Salman, where a study on international migration to and from Jordan was discussed, followed by meetings with the regional coordinator of the Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network (EDAN) Fadi Al-Halabi. This centered on programs related to health, reproductive and sexual rights that target people with disabilities in Lebanon. 

Lastly, a meeting was held with the Population and Health Research Center, at the College of Health Sciences/American University of Beirut, hosted an extensive meeting with 26 academic experts, representatives of active civil, and international organizations in the field of reproductive and sexual health in the Lebanon. The agenda included presentations on research, awareness, service and training activities in the areas of reproductive and sexual health, presented by specialized experts representing civil, international and academic bodies in the Lebanese society.

Based on the two visits, a regional meeting followed in Jordan in June, in which priorities, programs, and challenges related to SRH were addressed within the framework of expanding the scope of work of SN-JO regionally. The meeting aimed to assess and review issues, priorities, challenges and the current situation of sexual and reproductive health in Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon.

Three working papers were presented. Prof. Dr. Issa Al-Masarweh, HPC  Secretary General, presented the first paper: ‘Reproductive and Sexual Health in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan: Issues and Needs.’ This addressed features of SRH through a comprehensive perspective for all population groups distributed over three life phases: pre-marriage, marriage and starting a family, and older age. The paper intends to identify issues related to SRH & RR in Jordan, shows needs in the field of services and research related to reproductive health, while addressing shortages in the implementation of relevant policies, programs and legislation. 

Prof. Dr.  Hassan Zaki from the American University in Cairo (AUC) presented the second paper which dealt with the current situation and trends in SRH dimensions in Egypt. The paper addressed the main strategies related to SRH issues, in addition to the main stakeholders working in this field.  Prof. Dr. Jocelyn DeJong  at the Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut (AUB) , presented the third paper which gave an overview of a comprehensive outlook of the state of sexual and reproductive health in Lebanon highlighting the priorities of sexual and reproductive health, and the progress achieved over the past few years. Lastly, moderator Dr. Sawsan Majali, concluded the workshop with a dialogue session to discuss regional SRH priorities.

The workshop concluded with the following recommendations and suggestions: 

  • The importance of exchanging experiences and lessons learned amongst countries of the region in raising the level of SRH of the population at all stages of the life cycle of individuals of different biological sexes. 
  • The importance of making accurate and comprehensive data and information available for research and study.
  • Improving access to SRH information and services for adolescents. 
  • Working on common issues in the field of SRH
  • Forming regional committees of expert practitioners to study these issues and develop practical measures to address them
  • Focus on the importance of exchanging experiences on how to integrate the concepts of SRH in the school curriculum at appropriate educational stages. 

In 2023-2024, SN-JO will hold a regional Co-Creation conference on comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), based on the recommendations of the regional meetings in Jordan. The conference aims to achieve this by developing culturally appropriate knowledge products, identifying areas for change, and providing small grants for knowledge product implementation. Moreover, it seeks to foster regional learning and networking opportunities on CSE in Jordan, Qatar, Egypt, Tunisia, and Lebanon. 

Read the full report on Share-Net Jordan’s approached to regional working here.

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