ANSER hosts a successful panel at the European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health Congress (ESC) 2022


ANSER (Academic Network for Reproductive Health and Rights Policy) was honoured to host a panel at the prestigious 16th European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health congress (ESC) held in Ghent, Belgium from 25 to 28 May 2022. The congress was themed “Challenging times, are we ready? Novel approaches to sexual and reproductive health”

Olivier Degomme, the Director of the International Centre for Reproductive Health (ICRH) moderated ANSER’s thought provoking session on -Reproductive Rights Under Pressure. The panel kicked off at 28 May 2022 at 8:30am, attracting approximately 88 members of the audience. Members of the audience ranged from medical practitioners, researchers, law makers, university professors, policy experts to medical students.

Olivier Degomme introduced the work that ANSER is involved in, and briefly discussed how reproductive rights are under Pressure, noting that shifting health priorities, fake news and increasing mistrust between academics and politicians are jeopardizing sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). The speakers were Tamar Komasuridze from UNFPA Eastern Europe Central Asia (EECA), Joyce Omwoha form Technical University of Kenya and Emilie Peeters from ANSER, Ghent University, Belgium.

Tamar Komasuridze’s paper titled Promises to keep: Meeting the Nairobi Summit commitments pointed out that it is important to bend shifting health priorities, put SRHR back on the political agenda and realize the Nairobi commitments. Joyce Omwoha, in her presentation on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in times of fake news disseminated through social media noted that it was important for SRHR champions use their social media spaces to disseminate knowledge about sexual health to enlighten the audience about myths, address misbeliefs and misconceptions around SRHR which are likely to have damaging consequences. The final speaker at the panel, Emilie Peeters brought in the policy aspect of SRHR. Her title queried, What do academics have to offer to SRHR policy making? She went into detail as to why it is so important to recognize that both, politicians and academics, have a different but equally important role to play and that collaboration between all stakeholders is crucial to move effectively from evidence to policy and ensure impact. Mrs. Peeters gave the example of the ANSER network to showcase how the knowledge translation to policy can be done effectively.

The panel attracted various comments and questions regarding provision of tools on how to overcome various barriers and ensure sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and girls globally.

Dr. Joyce Omwoha (Technical University of Kenya)