Kuala Lumpur, 21 October 2021 - In the weeks leading up to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), Health Care Without Harm Southeast Asia and the International Planned Parenthood Federation East & South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF ESEAOR) announce a strategic partnership that aims to promote gender-sensitive, climate-resilient women’s and girls’ health agenda across South East Asia and the Pacific.
Through joint project ideas, the regional partnership will provide communities/health facilities with information, skills, and resources on how to advance the climate, gender, sexual and reproductive health agenda in South East Asia and the Pacific. As part of the tasks ahead, both organizations shall facilitate the exchange of knowledge, tools, and build capacity among respective constituencies.
Women and girls especially in climate-vulnerable communities in countries in South East Asia and the Pacific region will disproportionately experience climate-related disasters, not only because of the immediate health impacts but on top of that, they are already experiencing the challenges of an ill-equipped healthcare system.
Message from Tomoko Fukuda, Regional Director, IPPF ESEAOR
“The climate crisis can affect the realization of SRHR in a range of ways. Clean and safe water is critical for ensuring the provision of safe and quality SRH services, including during pregnancy and childbirth and for the administration of certain contraceptive methods.
As the threat of climate change continues to grow rather than diminish, we, IPPF ESEAOR, look forward to partnering with HCWH SE Asia to advance climate actions and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women and girls in South East Asia and the Pacific.
This partnership will enable us to accelerate action to achieve the full realisation of SRHR and gender equality, and improve the resilience of our communities to changing climates. Inter-thematic cooperation has long been talked about, but rarely put into action. With this partnership, we envision cultivating cross-learning and communications and advancing joint advocacy projects and research opportunities. Together we will serve to address the myriad of climate-related SRHR challenges faced by women and girls in our region.”
Message From Ramon San Pascual, Executive Director, HCWH SE Asia
“The occurrence of climate-related disasters in Southeast Asia greatly impacts the SRHR of women and girls. For instance, extreme weather events will result in decrease in the already constrained SRH services, and will increase health risks for pregnancy and childbirth.
The gender inequalities present in society further exacerbate their vulnerability. They are often left out in the policy and decision-making process for disaster resilience and climate change governance. They are also heavily burdened with care and household work which might leave them immobilized. Violence against women and their children is also prevalent among many households.
In this light, healthcare climate-resiliency in the form of access to renewable energy, procurement of green medical equipment, existence of WASH facilities to name a few, works at an essential level for the empowerment of women and girls’ SRHR, thus, strengthening communities against the disruption of healthcare services during climate-related disasters.”
The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. We are a worldwide movement of national organizations working with and for communities and individuals. IPPF ESEAOR is supporting 23 Member Associations and two (2) Collaborating Partners in a total of twenty-five countries.
Health Care Without Harm
Health Care Without Harm in Southeast Asia is part of a global nonprofit organization that seeks to transform health care worldwide so the sector reduces its environmental footprint and becomes a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice. HCWH SE Asia is working with hospitals, health ministries and medical professionals in Indonesia, Viet Nam, the Philippines, Malaysia, S. Korea, and Taiwan.