Dr Shadia Abdelrhim Elshiwy

Dr Shadia Abdelrhim Elshiwy - 2016 Nominee
Position: SRH consultant
Organization: IPPF/ Arab World Regional Office
Conference co-chair along with UNFPA Executive Director representing the voice of young African leaders during 5th Africa Conference on SRH&R Led the design of "Young Women Leadership Initiative" in IPPF/AWR Lead the "I Decide campaign in Egypt" – Fatma Lahmar, Deputy Regional Director at IPPF/ Arab World Regional Office
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I coordinated the Family Counseling hotline at the Ministry of Population, a national project providing counseling and referral system to SRH including FP in Egypt, the data used to improve the national FP program.
Programs Director to IPPF member association in Egypt; ensuring better access to high quality SRH & FP services and preventing unsafe abortion through 152 service delivery points. I contributed to the World Bank study to analyze determinants for RH in Egypt.
At IPPF/AWRO, I’ve contributed to the areas of CSE for young people, design and provision of YFS, supporting the advocacy efforts in the region targeting parliamentarians regarding SRH&R issues, assisting in developing various tools to enhance the IPPF member associations’ capacities such as IPPF Quality of Care Framework

What sparked your passion for family planning?

I have always envisioned living in a world where -as a woman- I can enjoy high quality of life. In the Arab region, young women have been facing significant gender inequality, current changes and conflicts in the region have exacerbated the denial of SRHR affecting the unconditional access of girls and women to SRHR information and services. With restrictive abortion laws in the region, FP should be advocated to reduce unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortion to save thousands of women's lives

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your family planning efforts, and what have you done to overcome it?

In the Arab region, young people's SRH&R face numerous barriers, ranging from lack of governmental economic and political support to SRH programs, passing by under-qualified healthcare providers, ending with cultural barriers and community resistance to tackle SRH issues. At IPPF/AWRO,I participated in the design and launching of the Young Women Leadership Initiative in the region to empower young women to work with their communities to ensure that SRHR are respected, protected and fulfilled

What is your (country/region/city)’s biggest challenge in family planning, and how can it be addressed?

The ongoing changes in the political scene and the subsequent changes in the national priorities have put the SRH as the least priority to the region’s governments. Therefore, there is a need to support the region’s organizations in strategizing advocacy efforts to persuade governments and decision makers to promote SRHR including family planning, to achieve positive policy changes in support of SRHR, and to fund SRHR programs and service delivery.

What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years?

I want to play an efficient role in changing the reality of young people and women in the Arab region and advocate for the process of making long term investments on young people, through enabling a platform for serious engagement and participation that does not only allow them to have their voices heard but rather, take place, give a hand and carry at least part of the responsibility in making decisions regarding a better future for the region.

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