Yadanar `

Yadanar ` - 2016 Nominee
Position: Co-Founder
Organization: Nyi Ma Lay
Yadanar is a fearless advocate for youth access to family planning in Myanmar. The local organization she founded empowers young women, and represents the future of reproductive health in Myanmar. – Grace Sheehy, Project Manager at Cambridge Reproductive Health Consultants
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I have co-founded young women-friendly organization called "Nyi Ma Lay" which mean "little sister" to empower young women by equipping with Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights(SRHR) knowledge and skills via training,conversation clubs and comic books.I worked at YWCA as national young women's coordinator where I was not only a coordinator but also mentor for young women to empower them with SRHR knowledge and skills to become SRHR champions in their communities. I represented young women and carried their voices to the regional and global event such as International Conference on Population and Development, Commision on the Status of Women. I have won the Australian Award Scholarship and pursuing Master of Public Heath focusing on sexual health at the University of Melbourne.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

Seeing young women difficulties accessing SRH services, hearing the stories of young women being discriminated if they want to have access to SRHR knowledges, witnessing the gender inequalities which does not give young women's rights over their own bodies sparked my passion for family planning. I realized that not only the SRH services are needed to be strengthen but also awareness to change social norms and promoting policies and laws to promote young women's leadership is important.

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

The first challenge is the conservative culture and tradition which prohibit the young women to have access on SRH services and knowledge. So, we have to do awareness raising not only for the young women but also their guardians and local authorities. The component of awareness raising trainings and meetings are framed around gender norms, young women leadership, family planning and advocacy so that the underlying cause of conservative tradition and gender inequality will be reduced.

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

MMR of Myanmar is 200,prevalence of modern contraceptive method is only 32.6%. A lot of both married and single young women who are sexually active are not able to access the family planning service. It is partly due to the services which are not young women friendly,due to the above mentioned tradition and culture and lack of financial support for the programs. It can be addressed by implementing non-judgemental and confidental young women friendly family planning services and public awareness.

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

I would like to design and implement non-judgemental, confidential and young people friendly family planning programs through the tertiary, secondary and primary public hospitals as well as with the INGOs, NGOs and CSOs by cooperating with the doctors from public and private sectors. The components of the family programs focus on the rights of the young people so that they can have informed choices of the family planning methods and control over their own bodies by their decisions.

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