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16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence


Nov 25, 2014

Join Advocates for Youth in speaking out!

Today is the International Day Against Violence Against Women, and the first day of 2014’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, an international campaign originating from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991, that runs through December 10 (International Human Rights Day). During the 16 Days of Action, Advocates for Youth and our allies highlight violence against women as a human rights issue and call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women. This year, the theme of the …


Nov 26, 2014

This blog is part of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Based Violence, which runs from November 25th through December 10th, 2014. The 16 Days of Activism are an international campaign that highlights violence against women as a human rights issues and calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women. Throughout the 16 Days, Amplify will be featuring one blog each day from youth activists who sit on our International Youth Leadership Council and Girl Engagement Advisory Boards.

by Christal, Member of the Girl …


Nov 23, 2014

I’ve been listening to Beyoncé’s 7/11 all day, because this morning I woke up feeling free! I’ve already seen the narrative floating around saying that Bey is a little cray cray for this one, well I fundamentally disagree. Folks, this is Beyoncé’s performance of what it feels like to be a carefree Black girl and I am here for every minute of it. Here are 4 reasons why you should be too:

  1. Dancing in your underwear is so freeing…

We’ve all done it, and if you are going to …


Nov 21, 2014

Last night, President Obama announced actions that he is taking to grant relief to many young immigrants and families currently stuck in our unjust immigration system.  Millions of currently undocumented immigrants can now apply for protection from deportation and work legally in the country. It is a big deal that the President is taking these actions – in doing so he is standing up for the rights of immigrants across the country, and bringing them one step closer to full citizenship. However, the President’s actions are far from enough to guarantee …


Nov 20, 2014

What started as mild and snarky criticism of a casually sexist shirt from some scientists, science enthusiasts, and a few people on Twitter grew into another vitriolic discussion on how feminists are offended by the smallest issues and are reacting wildly.  But that’s not quite what #ShirtStorm is, forget what most of the Internet tries to tell you.  Cathy Young’s teeth grinding, eyebrow raising editorial on Time, “How To Turn a Cool Moment into a #ShirtStorm” is another piece I wouldn’t trust.  I recommend reading it only …


Nov 19, 2014

As a sophomore at the University of Maine, I am an active member of the Student Women’s Associate, I am a campus representative of a national abortion campaign, the 1 in 3 Campaign, and I started a new student organization about sexual health rights and issues for college students. So, why is it so hard for me to write an article about abortion? I have come at this article from a handful of different angles, but still it is hard for me to find the one that relates abortion …


Nov 16, 2014

On October 28th, Hollaback!, the anti street harassment organization, released a video that sparked a worldwide conversation about street harassment. While this video has sparked an important conversation on the prevalence of street harassment, it has been heavily criticized for centering the experience of a white woman being harassed by men of color. All experiences of street harassment are valid, but it’s important for us to recognize that there are many different types of harassment, such as:

1.Harassment of people of color.

The video that was create for Hollaback …


Nov 15, 2014

Election time is intimidating for young people. There is a lot of pressure on us. Pressure from our passionate peers (ahem, me) to go out and vote, from our parents to follow in their footsteps, and from our communities and nation to forge a path into the future that will make everyone proud. There is no denying that we have a big impact on the outcome of an election. Politicians target young people for a reason: we make a big difference. We matter. We have the ability to change …


Oct 31, 2014

Recently, Emma Watson has come forward with powerful speeches presenting her personal beliefs about feminism and the role each person has in progressing this movement forward. Her UN speech, which can be seen here, http://bit.ly/1rB2PGG, discussed the HeForShe campaign and was a beautiful start, but recently she has also come out to Elle UK to discuss what feminism specifically means to her. Time has quoted Watson as saying, “Feminism is not here to dictate you… All we are here to do is give you a choice,” (http://ti.me/13eYpMS) which …


Oct 31, 2014

After reading a beautiful article written by two Harvard College students, Brianna and Kirin, about their experience at Advocates for Youth’s Urban Retreat 2014 and their involvement with “the movement” for sexual health justice for young people (http://bit.ly/1nAOKZH), I decided to reflect on my own experiences and activism work. Here are five of the most important things I have learned by joining “the movement” that I think other people would learn, too. I’m sure the list will grow.

5. Friends will support you, but not always agree with you.


Oct 30, 2014

Just because it’s Halloween, don’t let Amendment 67 trick you. It would ban all abortions and severely limit women’s access to reproductive health care services.

Check out this video made by our partners over at Colorado Youth Matter and the CREATE Council that shows how scary Amendment 67 actually is.

Remember to Vote No on Amendment 67 next week to truly protect women’s reproductive care in the state of Colorado.

Learn more about the No on 67 Campaign.


Tweet now!We’re not fooled by your costume, Amendment 67. Learn how scary


Oct 29, 2014

This article was written by a youth activist with Advocates for Youth, who wished to share her story anonymously.

[Trigger Warning: rape, sexual assault]

When I was a senior in high school, I was raped. My rapist was my most recent ex-boyfriend at the time and my rape was one of the many facets of an emotionally manipulative and abusive relationship. Despite my interest in feminism and advocating for survivors of sexual assault, it took me an incredibly long time to realize what had happened to me was rape, …


Oct 27, 2014

October is National “Let’s Talk About Sex” month, so being educated on how to protect yourself and your partner is nothing short of essential knowledge! From research done by the Guttmacher Institute, we know that condoms are the most common contraceptive method used during first intercourse, with 68% of females and 80% of males having used it the first time they have sex.

Some common misconceptions and myths around Condoms:

1. “Using two condoms is more effective than using one.”

It’s actually a lot less effective. If you’re using …


Oct 24, 2014

October 242014 marks the 69th anniversary of the charter of the United Nations (UN) .The purpose of the UN, with its 193 member countries, is to promote and maintain global peace, prosperity, and justice. (Check it out: http://www.un.org/en/events/unday/)

Although the UN Day is not a federally recognized holiday here in the U.S., it is a global observance day to highlight the progress of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Because the MDGs expire in September 2015, the UN will reflect on how it should improve moving forward …


Oct 23, 2014

Courts play a pretty big role in shaping the ways that we can – and can’t – make decisions about our lives, including about how we want to build our families and if we are able to access healthcare or to exercise our right to vote. But, a lot of these decisions can fall under the radar. Here’s a quick round-up of recent court decisions and how some of those decisions are playing out.

Hobby Lobby’s Fallout:

As you may remember, in June the Supreme Court decided Hobby


Oct 23, 2014

Yana is a young single mother living in a refugee camp in Lebanon. When she was 15, she married a man 20 years older than her, because her parents wanted to protect her from sexual violence. Due to resettlement and chaos surrounding Yana’s refugee status, she has been separated from her close family. Now Yana and her very young child live alone with little health care services.
Young women and girls are often at a higher risk for sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy due to a lack of …


Oct 19, 2014

We’re all just human, right?

When you live in the US, from the time you are born, you often hear messages about our nation’s obsession with equality and justice.

America is a melting pot.

We all bleed red.

Freedom and justice for all.

We take pride in our country because it is so diverse, and because we have overcome challenges related to race. Lincoln freed the slaves, and Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks ended whatever racism was left over from that. We have come so far that even …


Oct 19, 2014

Like a shark, I am a person who must constantly be moving. In high school I had the access and ability to be incredibly involved in LGBTQ activism in my state and my life became a blur of committee meetings and organizing. I am so thankful for that part of my life but in retrospect there are some things I wish I could go back and tell myself.
Organizing might be empowering and fun, but it’s not necessarily the same as self-care. For a long time, I refused to …


Oct 19, 2014

As an Asian-American person, particularly a South Asian-American, I often find myself fighting an internal battle with the part of myself that still clings on to the idea that any representation is good representation. I grew in the early 2000s, when the only Indian on TV was Apu from The Simpsons, and when post-9/11 fear sometimes makes living in this country with brown skin a fatal experience. Despite the fact that Indian-American representation in the media has dramatically increased in recent years, I often get the feeling that Indian-America …


Oct 15, 2014

When we invest in the education of young girls, we invest in families, in communities and in a brighter future. That is the message of the “Let Girls Learn” campaign. #LetGirlsLean is a movement to invest in the 62 million girls in the world who are currently not in school.




Currently, there are 250 million adolescent girls living in poverty today. While there have been important strides towards increasing access to education for girls, there are still 31 million girls who are denied education. The lived …


Oct 14, 2014

Catcalling and street harassment is an act of sexual violence that is often forgotten in the greater discussion of sexual violence. While there has been much more work in recent years to shed light on his issue and fight back, the Hollaback! campaign is a great example, but the issue remains and is getting worse in my community. Mississippi University for Women is not, as the name suggests, an all woman school. It was created as the first public university for women only, but has been coed since 1982. …


Oct 12, 2014

Last week’s episode of Doctor Who, ‘Kill the Moon,’ was blatantly anti-abortion.

The episode begins with Clara confronting the Doctor about being rude to one of her students, Courtney, by telling her that she isn’t special. Even to the girl’s face he won’t apologize. We’re left to wonder what happened to the Doctor’s old belief, voiced by Matt Smith, that in 900 years he’d never met anyone who wasn’t important before. Seemingly to appease them, he asks Courtney if she’d like to be the first woman on the …


Oct 11, 2014

Today the world celebrates the third annual International Day of the Girl Child, a day to recognize the position of the girl and her unique challenges she faces around the world. This year, the focus is on ending the cycle of violence.

But why focus on violence? Don’t girls face other problems around the world?

Yes, they do. Girls lack access to basic rights, such as education, access to health, political and economic opportunities, amongst others. However, violence against girls intersects all other disparities girls may face. As the …


Oct 10, 2014

Tomorrow, October 11, marks the 3rd annual International Day of the Girl! This day highlights, celebrates, and advances young women’s and girls’ lives and opportunities across the globe.

Add your name in support of girls’ health and rights!

Let’s continue to ensure that young women and girls are agents of change in their local, national, and global communities. Together we can bring an end to gender based violence, early and forced marriage, and lack of access to sexual and reproductive health information, education and services. The Girl Declaration, the …


Oct 7, 2014

Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union sued the state of Alabama on behalf of one of its only abortion clinics to block a new parental involvement law that could put some young people on trial simply for seeking abortion care. Alabama’s restriction is one of the worst laws in a huge, nasty pile of laws passed by state legislatures to put obstacles in the way of people – particularly poor people, people of color, and young people – who are seeking abortions.

Parental involvement laws require that when …


Oct 6, 2014

We were all shocked and angered by the Supreme Court’s decision that certain corporations can decide which birth control methods are covered under employees’ health insurance plans — a decision that could put birth control out of reach for millions of women.

But there’s still hope: the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been tasked with drafting new rules to carry out the decision. In other words, HHS has to figure out how women can access the contraception they need. Now, we’re working in partnership with Young …


Oct 4, 2014

Doing the Youth ShowOUT challenge I learned that you have to be a bouncy ball.  Of course you will fall and hit the ground, but you only fail if you do not bounce back.  At first I was working alone – it seemed as if getting the first 25 voter pledge cards were harder than trying to ace an AP Calculus exam.  I often felt defeated because nobody would take the time to even listen to the importance of the cause.


One day, I got tired of being …


Oct 3, 2014

I have a very clear memory from my freshman year of college of when I first heard another girl talk about her experience with consent. It was a Saturday morning and I was at breakfast at Hilltop Dining and it was becoming a perfectly cold and painfully sunny day in Maine. Consent makes a lot of sense in my head and before this conversation, I was under the impression that most people had a fairly strong grip on it, too. No means no, right? Or, as California has recently …


Sep 29, 2014

No person should have their pregnancy options limited because they cannot afford to have an abortion. We have not fully secured abortion rights until everyone has access to safe, affordable abortion care.

That’s why we are part of All* Above All, a coalition of organizations committed to restoring public funding for abortion care.

Sign the All* Above All Declaration in support of repealing the Hyde Amendment.

Thirty-eight years ago today, the Hyde Amendment was passed for the first time, barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortion …


Sep 23, 2014

Today is the largest voter registration day of the year, National Voter Registration Day!

Let’s ensure that all our voices are represented in our democracy.

If you are voting for the first time this November, or have moved since the last time you voted, register today! It’s free and takes less than 10 minutes.

Young people have an incredible opportunity to make a huge impact on the political process. In 2012, 18-29 year-olds made up 21% of the voting eligible population in the US. That number will rise to …


Sep 18, 2014

I’m posting this because we’re all getting too quiet.  I’m afraid we’re becoming complacent and desensitized when young lives are being disregarded and taken.

(screencapped from STORIFY)

Darren Wilson is still enjoying life at home with his family, walking about on the streets as he please without grasping that these are liberties that he stole from a young person.

But mainstream media is still focused on framing the discussion about how Mike Brown wasn’t an angel.…


Sep 9, 2014

We bond over our black and purple; we reflect in pride over our 2013 Super Bowl win. We wait eagerly for football season to arrive and to celebrate our amazing athletes. We love our Ravens – and we should hold them accountable for both the good and bad that they do in our community.

This past February, our local star Ray Rice physically assaulted his wife in an elevator. After waiting for the elevator doors to close, he hit her multiple times and managed to knock her unconscious. Afterward, he …


Sep 9, 2014

It’s that time again – time when young people from around the nation travel to Washington, DC for the Urban Retreat!

Each year over 120 youth activists gather in Washington, D.C. to share expertise with one another and Advocates for Youth staff; learn about the latest findings and legislation that affect reproductive health; participate in trainings; and make a commitment to be lifelong advocates for young people’s reproductive and sexual health and rights. Then they head to Capitol Hill to educate their representatives on why comprehensive sexual health education …


Sep 4, 2014

reposted from Miriam Zoila Pérez, Colorlines

This summer, Minnesota passed a first-of-its-kind law improving the treatment of pregnant incarcerated women. In addition to extending an existing ban on the use of restraints during childbirth for up to three days postpartum, the law also allows incarcerated women to have a doula. 

Doulas are trained birth attendants who provide physical and psychological support during pregnancy and birth. Doulas have gained popularity in recent years. Doulas of North America (DONA), just one of a handful of training organizations, now boasts 6,500


Aug 17, 2014

I’ve been watching the story unfold and the events that have taken place in Ferguson have made it evident that black and brown bodies have no worth in America. I’ve gone from apathy, to deep sadness, and now I am angry. I am fed up. I am sick and tired of hearing another name, another victim of police brutality or a racially charged murder. I am tired of fearing for my little brother’s life.

The people who are supposed to be protecting our young black and brown youth are


Aug 12, 2014

For a young activist in sometimes very isolated parts of Africa, one tends to think they are fighting alone or worse, be blinded by their fight. The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), showed me and my fellow activists, among other things, that we were not fighting this fight alone and our fight was only one of many.

Three months after receiving 50,000 applications from young Sub-Saharan Africans, the 500 who have been selected arrived in the US as the inaugural YALI class of 2014. Each of these young leaders …


Aug 6, 2014

Are you tired of politicians interfering in your personal health decisions? Fed up with the growing number of states that are making it ever more difficult to access abortion care?

Be Bold Road Trip

Yeah, so are we. That’s why were are linking up with All* Above All for their Be Bold Road Trip! This summer, All* Above All, a campaign to restore and sustain abortion coverage, is traveling around the country visiting 12 cities, 8 states and covering more than 10,000 miles to build nationwide support and call on Congress to …


Aug 1, 2014

Applications to become a Great American Condom Campaign Fall Semester SafeSite are now open!

GACCThe Great American Condom Campaign is a youth-led grassroots movement to reduce unintended pregnancies and the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections by normalizing condom use on college and university campuses. Students from across the country apply to become SafeSites, individual condom distribution points, and upon selection receive a box of 500 Trojan condoms to distribute to their peers. SafeSites are also tasked with educating their peers about safer sex and advocating on …


Aug 1, 2014

As a student at Georgetown University, I was always thankful to be covered under my mother’s employee-based health insurance plan. When there was debate over how or if religiously-affiliated organizations, such as Georgetown, would adhere to the contraceptive coverage requirement under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), I breathed a sigh of relief because I did not have to worry about losing my access to birth control without cost-sharing, as many of my classmates did. I was able to cheer when the ACA went into effect two years ago on …


Jul 31, 2014

The Candies Foundation has a few stories from teenage mothers on their website. The stories are heartfelt, information, and I can only assume an honest account of what each mother felt when they wrote them. The inclusion of these young women’s stories is important and could be very useful to making non-shaming teenage pregnancy prevention ads. However, Candies has a history of promoting and making ads that shame teenage mothers for their sexual health choices and now has a history of ignoring teenage mothers who asked to meet with …


Jul 22, 2014

The Supreme Court’s buffer zone decision has the potential to have adverse affects on the sexual health of youth. American youth already have higher rates of unintended pregnancies-despite the latest decline in rates, growing rates of sexually transmitted diseases, and receive misinformation about sexual health all the time (read abstinence only sex education in public schools). 

By not upholding the buffer zones outside of abortion clinics the Supreme Court just unanimously put youth in America at greater sexual health risk. 

The first time I went to a


Jul 7, 2014

Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.


Some people might not understand the importance of the latest Pantene commercial, but I can relate completely. While it’s become clearer in the last few months that the war on women extends way past reproductive rights, issues like the one reflected in the TV spot often go unnoticed because there has only recently been rhetoric about the deep-rooted origins of gendered behavior.

In the last …


Jul 7, 2014

It’s just wrong that hardworking and dedicated young people can be fired for being gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, or queer. For being who they are. These young people have no protection. No recourse.

We need our President to stand strong. And right now, he can make a big difference for thousands of LGBTQ federal employees and contractors. Join us in demanding that President Obama and his Administration do the right thing and sign executive orders protecting LGBTQ workers without needless exemptions that would open the door to discrimination.

With …


Jun 30, 2014


It’s been a tough few days for us here at Advocates. Last week the Supreme Court ruled against buffer zones at abortion clinics, and just a couple hours ago the Court put women’s access to contraception in jeopardy.

We could give you a long, legal explanation of the cases, but in short—until our society recognizes that sexuality is a normal, healthy part of being human, we’ll continue to get devastating decisions like these.

Donate today so we can continue to fight for our personal freedoms and reproductive health


Jun 17, 2014

Partnership for Male Youth

To help us wrap up Men’s Health Week we talk with Partnership for Male Youth to look towards how health care providers and professionals can uplift the status of young men’s health in America.

Why young men?

Adolescent and young adult (AYA) males – those between the ages of 10 and 26 – receive minimal health care; for them health care consists largely of sports physicals and an occasional visit to the emergency room. Yet, according to the most recent data from the US Centers for Disease Control and …


Jun 16, 2014

A Step Ahead Foundation hopes to improve educational, economic, and health outcomes for women and their children in Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee. We hope to decrease poverty by reducing economic strain and encourage career opportunities before child birth. We provide a means for women to plan each child and every step of her life through education and long-acting reversible contraception.

Their new Man On campaign www.thesexyed.com seeks to engage young men in the area in sexual and reproductive health. Man On is a movement to get young men …


Jun 13, 2014

Working to engage young men in sexual health is an exciting front. Kicking up the excitement level even higher are those behind the Hulu Original Series, East Los High. In addition to the captivating full season of entertainent. the ELH team offers viewers a chance to interact with characters further in mini episodes. Our favorite is Ask Paulie.

Ask Paulie is a sex and love advice webisode series, hosted by Paulie, one of the most beloved characters from Season 1 of East Los High. In the TV …


Jun 13, 2014

Day 5 of Men’s Health Week and there are plenty of other great examples of organizations working to promote healthy sexual behavior in young men through engaging and innovative programing. Today we speak with our colleagues at Men Can Stop Rape.

Why young men?

Promoting an understanding of the ways in which traditional masculinity contributes to sexual assault, relationship violence, power dynamics and other forms of men’s violence against women is one of MCSR key components towards the development of Healthy Masculinity for young men in our programs.  A …


Jun 10, 2014

Today we check out some of the work happening at Fresno Barrios Unidos, an organization dedicated to providing knowledge and opportunities that ensure youth, families, and individuals may release their human talent and energy in order to promote nurturing healthy environments.

Young Men Peer Health Educators

Why young men?

We feel it’s important for Fresno Barrios Unidos to engage young men in issues related to sexual health because, historically men, young men in particular have been overlooked when it comes to comprehensive sex education programs and access to services. We feel that it …


Jun 9, 2014

Many of us spent this beautiful weekend indoors, binge-watching Orange is the New Black.  For those who did not, you missed both a great TV show, and a valuable lesson in anatomy, in episode four: A Whole Other Hole. The conversation began among inmates Poussey, Taystee, Janae, and Cindy.  The topic:  How many holes do we have down there? Poussey insists we have two, the vagina and the one for pee, while others are sure we only have one. Sexed

The group moves to the showers for personal verification, as …


Jun 2, 2014

(image reposted from DLCentral)

(This post contains SPOILERS.  Trigger warning: misogyny and homophobia.)


The Last of Us: Left Behind DLC (downloadable content) came out on Valentine’s Day 2014 with rabid anticipation and celebration from fans of the original Playstation 3 exclusive The Last of Us and TLoU: American Dreams comic series.  But not everyone was thrilled with the game.

I won’t hide that I’m personally a huge fan of this franchise.  I waited years for The Last of Us and kept track of various nuances in the video …

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