All around the world, individuals and organisations stand up for gender equality, for equal rights despite one’s sexual identity or behaviour, for better access to family planning services, etc. With CHanGE we want to highlight and amplify these initiatives.

We strongly believe in the expertise of these local and regional organisations. Under the impetus of our CHanGEmakers, we celebrate their work and show how gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights are first and foremost global challenges.

Campaign 2018

‘SexWorks?!’

Sex work consists of more than only window prostitution and private brothels which we pass by, looking away, on our way home. It is a buzzword of which different aspects stay underexposed and are too often linked to criminality.

In the fall of 2018, the CHanGEmakers of UCOS organized the SexWorks?! festival to break with taboos surrounding sex work. With stories of sex workers and caregivers from Uganda, Cuba and India they make the connection with the reality in Belgium.

COLLABORATIONS 2018

>> The Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum (UYAHF) is an organisation for and by youngsters who campaign for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), gender equality and the prevention of violence against women and girls.

>> The national centre for sexual education, Centro Nacional de Educación Sexual (CENESEX), is a research and educational institute in Cuba that focusses on gender and sexuality. One of their objectives is to narrow the gap between activists and policy makers.

>> The humanist organisation Arthik Samata Mandal (Union for Economical Equality) is situated in Vijayawada, one of the biggest cities in the southern Indian state Andhra Pradesh. Inspired by the ideas of Gandhi, they assembled as aid workers in 1977 to help victims after a heavy hurricane and tsunami.

Campaign 2017

LGBT+-RIGHTS

We all have the right to be treated as equals, regardless of our gender identity or sexuality. However, many people have to face discrimination or violence on the basis of who they are. Being lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transsexual or queer is in many places worldwide still perceived as a crime.

Fighting for freedom to express one’s sexual orientation, often involves risks and dangers. However, both in the South as in Belgium there are individuals and organisations who strive everyday to make sure that this right is guaranteed and taboos are being broken.

PERIOD.

Most women at their reproductive age menstruate every month. It is a very natural part of life, though in many places worldwide it is associated with taboos and sociocultural or religious boundaries. Due to this, girls participate less in education during their menstruation, unsanitary practices can lead to health risks, and menstruation is accompanied with experiences of pain and shame. Moreover, often there is limited access to affordable products for feminine hygiene.

To break with taboos and to get access to products for feminine hygiene, it is essential to make sure women are not excluded. When striving for gender equality it is important to guarantee affordable access to (sustainable) alternatives, to share correct information and to break the silence, both in Belgium as in the South.

COLLABORATIONS 2017

>> The Maison de la Laicité de Kinshasa (MLK) is a humanist forum in Kinshasa (DR Congo). It is an umbrella organisation with many members, including different women groups and health organisations.

>> Our partner in Kampala (Uganda) is HALEA (Humanist Association for Leadership, Equity and Accountability), which works around strengthening the life skills of young people and supporting teenage mothers.

>> TARSHI (Talking about Reproductive and Sexual Health Issues) is an Indian NGO based in New Delhi. Through trainings, publications, and awareness raising, they enable people to expand their sexual and reproductive freedom of choice from a rights-based perspective.

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