D&P Asian Partners

The following page outlines the support given by Development & Peace, the Canadian Catholic Conference of Catholic Bishop’s official aid and development arm, to pro-abortion and other anti-life groups and organizations. Immediately below each name you will see a link to a report on D&P’s website, listing the group as a “partner”.  The section after this link then reports on the group’s position on abortion, contraception, and/or some other anti-family program. The source of this information is provided from the group’s website or other credible sources, such as other pro-abortion groups.



Because of large unmet needs for modern contraception and related reproductive health services and education, half of the 3 million pregnancies occurring every year are reported as unplanned, with one-third ending up in abortion. Induced abortions are the fourth leading cause of maternal deaths in the Philippines. Access to reproductive health care hardly budged from 49 % in 2001 to 50.6 % in 2006, still far from the targeted increase to 60 % access by 2010 and 80 % by 2015. The slow decline is attributed to inadequate access to comprehensive reproductive health services by women, and also adolescents and men. (Source: Freedom from Debt Coalition website)

In the Philippines, Philippine Educational Theatre Association (PETA) works with young people to develop and perform theatre to draw attention to and explore critical social issues. Drawing on young people’s ideas and creativity, participation keeps alive the dream of the people and helps weave a finer dream for the future.You can visit their website: www.petatheater.com  (Source: Development & Peace’s Just Youth “Think Fast 2007 Program”)

Today, PETA’s repertory theater program, embodied in the KALINANGAN ENSEMBLE is complemented by a closely-knit battery of programs and services. THE SCHOOL OF PEOPLE’S THEATER, PETA’s main training arm for amateurs, professionals, and communities alike, offers a wide range of courses on theater arts and related subjects. The METROPOLITAN TEEN THEATER LEAGUE PROGRAM and the CHILDREN’S THEATER PROGRAM combine performances with training modules for young people, their caregivers and educators. The former services PETA’s wide range of high school students and teachers. The latter gives special attention to the issue of children’s rights, just as the WOMEN’S THEATER PROGRAM addresses female problems like reproductive rights and domestic violence. Gender and sexual health issues, including AIDS, are also pet topics of the PETA-MEKONG PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM, a special project aimed at building capabilities and fostering collaboration in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. Continuous link-up with national and international artistic, educational, cultural, and development organizations has allowed PETA to share its expertise in theater and education. PETA is all about outreach and networking.(Source: PETA Website)

In the Women’s Theatre Program (WTP) of the PETA, theatre is an artistic medium that eventually became our weapon in the face of relatively conservative political and religious influences. Women’s issues have historically been invisible in our culture…they have been considered sensitive and private matters. We use theatre to present political commentaries about women’s situations and conditions in the Philippines. We explore issues like violence against women, prostitution and trafficking, poverty, reproductive rights, and globalization, and forge partnerships with other groups (governmental, nongovernmental, and people’s organizations)… Talking about the politics of the body makes women confront their image of self and their beliefs about their own sexuality. Because women create an image of themselves from their image of their bodies, addressing the issue of body politics involves getting in touch with the self. Talking about it is the first step in reclaiming the body.” (Source: Association for Women’s Rights in Development)

1.2. YOUTH: KATINIG YOUTH AND METRO CEBU YOUTH ADVOCACY NETWORK ORIENTED A total of 38 youth leaders from KATINIG Youth and 40 high school and college students from Youth Advocacy Network (YAN) were oriented on the findings of the Young Adults Fertility and Sexuality Survey (YAFSS) and Responsible Teen Sexuality on November, 2003. Realizing that Community Theater is a creative way to communicate Responsible Teen Sexuality among adolescents and youth in the community, TSAP-FP trained 28 KATINIG Youth in Leadership and Repertory Theater through the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) on October 2003 (Source: STRENGTHENING SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE OF FAMILY PLANNING IN THE PHILIPPINES: A COMMUNICATION AND ADVOCACY PROJECT USAID Contract No. 492-C-00-02-00019-00 ANNUAL REPORT (Year 2): October 1, 2003 to September 30, 2004)


  • LOCOA (Leaders and Organizers of Community Organization in Asia)
    Listed as a Partner on CCODP’s 2006-2011 Asia Program, page 177  

    4. Promote the basic right of the women to control their bodies and their brains, to control decisions relating to their life choices: education, employment, various activities, but also sexuality and child-bearing (right to contraception, choice to have a child, right of abortion…) — women’s bodies being the site for all sorts of oppression and violence.
    5. Support theoretical reflection, starting from feminine experiences, in order to counter male domination in order to reinforce the perspectives of women on various questions affecting society, and in order to open new horizons for research and action. Women’s perspectives need to be cultivated particularly on matters of population (such as the population Conference in Cairo in 1994), or environment (as in the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992), where women demand the right to live in a healthy environment. (Source: LOCOA Website)

    Ms. Jesmen blamed the government for not looking at these problems and suggested the need for evolving an alternative strategy of development. Among the group suggestions were: (i) development of small and cottage industries, (ii) correcting wage disparity, (iii) impetus to small business in various ways, (iv) imparting quality and skilled education, and (v) population control.  Other presentation of the other groups harped more or less on the same points. The question of population control, spread of education, land ownership in the hands of a few, lack of employment opportunities and growing inequality in society were emphasized by the other groups. The need for decentralization of political and economic power and a more important role for women in society were emphasized by the group leaders. (Source: LOCOA Website)



The Jakarta chapter of the Independent Journalists Alliance (AJI Jakarta) presented the SK Trimurti Award last year to the secretary-general of the Indonesian Women’s Coalition (KPI) Masruchah in recognition of her excellent work and dedication to women’s empowerment. “Masruchah is consistent in her struggle to promote gender equality,” AJI Jakarta’s Dian Yuliastuti said during the ceremony. The award demonstrated that Masruchah with her determination and commitment has already done a great deal for gender equality, and is trying to do more….Amid all her activities, Masruchah still found time to write articles and even books. She is the editor of books on women’s reproductive rights and the empowerment of women’s reproductive health. She wrote Women, Religion and Reproductive Health in 1999. (Source: The Jakarta Post)

We began writing this Manual as part of our ongoing work as (activist/academic) on issues surrounding sexualities, sexual rights and women’s empowerment. The Manual is the outcome of a research and advocacy project on women’s non-normative sexualities by the Kartini Network on Women’s Studies in Asia. The sexuality programme is one among the five themes worked upon by the Kartini Network; the others are women’s studies, livelihood, fundamentalisms and violence. The aim of the Kartini network is to foster a closer collaboration between activists and researchers in Asia who are working on gender issues and for women’s empowerment. We maintain that such work ensures the critical relevance of research for women’s studies programmes, while activists strengthen strategies related to advocacy and legal reforms in a more informed way. The present phase of the research and advocacy project on women’s non-normative sexualities saw collaboration between activists and researchers from the two participating countries (India and Indonesia). The research phase focused on three categories of ‘abject’ women—divorced/widowed women, young urban lesbians and sex workers. Together, these categories helped us investigate the commonalities of non-normative sexualities. In the advocacy phase, the attention was geared not only towards developing tools in relation to the three categories of women researched into, but also to expose the workings of heteronormativity. Heteronormativity, as it is lived in India and Indonesia, as indeed elsewhere, not only excludes the marginal – those who live non-normative lives – but also restricts those inside the borders of normativity. The research was originally designed by Abha Bhaiya, Nursyahbani Katjasungkana and Saskia Wieringa. It was carried out by four member associations of the Kartini network — Jagori, the women’s documentation center in New Delhi, APIK (Association for Women’s Justice), KPI (Indonesian Women’s Coalition) and the University of Indonesia in Jakarta. The research process was guided by both the authors of this Manual, Abha Bhaiya and Saskia Wieringa, as well as by Irwan Hidayana from the University of Indonesia. Valuable inputs were also provided by Nursyahbani Katjasungkana, the Kartini network’s co-chair, who kept insisting on ever new ways to involve the activists more closely in the research process.(IIAV.nl, Manual on Sexual Rights & Sexual Empowerment, p.4)

This emphasis on male-bodied persons is also reflected by the lack of terminology for lesbian women and WSW within their own community and in the larger sexual minority community. In India, the one term that was being used in Gujarat and Rajasthan was ‘babu’. Though it is a generic term for lesbian women, a ‘babu’ usually is a ‘butch’ lesbian. However, in India too, with the growing visibility of women centered women, new terminology is gradually emerging—hamjinsi, hamsheera, sangini and so on. In Indonesia, the word ‘lesbi’ usually refers to activists fighting for sexual rights, such as in the KPI and Ardhanary (lesbian group in Indonesia). The older b/f community rather uses sentul/kantil or cowok/cewek, for male-and-female identifying WSW respectively. (See Annexure 5.2) (Ibid, p. 55)


Civil society partnerships actively promoting gender equality, women and girls’ empowerment and reproductive rights. – Examples include  several NGOs such as Rede Feto, Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP), PRADET Timor-LoroSae, Fokupers, Alola Foundation and Men Against Violence.  Rede Feto, established in 2000, is the umbrella organization representing 21 member organizations working towards gender equality.  It is the national women’s network and operates at all levels, from the grassroots level to the capital Dili. (Sourvce: UNPFA, Country Program Performance Summary, p. 30)

The Alola Foundation, along with the East Timorese Women’s Network or Rede Feto (an umbrella organisation for some 18 Timorese women’s organisations) made our deep concern at the lack of consultation with women’s civil society organisations known in a letter to the Prime Minister. As a result, the Prime Minister acknowledged the need to canvas public opinion and promote  debate on the two issues and tasked the Office for the Promotion of Equality to engage with the Alola Foundation and Rede Feto for this purpose. Alola then arranged to facilitate three information and discussion forums for civil society through June and July. The objective of these forums was to share information and explore the complex legal, social and moral aspects of abortion and prostitution in the Timorese context. Abortion and prostitution are still taboo issues in Timor-Leste and there is generally a dire lack of information and knowledge on either subject. The primary objective of the forums was therefore to provide a space for Timorese women to develop informed opinions on these subjects. The forums were both interesting and difficult, with many views being shared and discussed from different perspectives. The key recommendations to arise from the discussions were:  1) there should be exceptions to the criminalisation of abortion if a woman has suffered rape, incest or where there is a risk to her health; and 2) prostitution should not be criminalised, but further models for regulation should be explored by the government. There was also recognition of the need for data on the prevalence and effects of unsafe abortion in Timor-Leste and further research on the socio-economic aspects of prostitution. (Alola Foundation, Report to Friends, of Alola: Volume 2, Issue 3 Dec. 2005, p.10)

DILI, 18 March 2009 (IRIN) – A call for more lenient abortion legislation in this predominantly Catholic country is renewing friction between the Church and pro-abortion activists. A working group convened by Fokupers (“Communication Forum for Women from the East”), a local NGO supported by others such as the Alola Foundation, has been pushing for a softening of abortion laws. The issue was highlighted in Dili, the capital, at the second international Women for Peace Conference from 4 to 6 March. Maria Barreto, programme manager for advocacy at Fokupers, told attendees that abortion should be decriminalised in certain situations. “Abortion is one of the options that is appropriate when the mothers are victims of sexual violence. We are working to protect women. We should understand that we should give options to mothers based on their circumstances,” Barreto told IRIN.  Abortion is criminalised under a penal code dating back to the Indonesian occupation of 1975-1999. Fokupers is one of several NGOs pushing for the government to relax the law.  However, in early March, the Dili and Baucau diocese wrote to the Timor-Leste Council of Ministers, the political executive with the power to pass laws, requesting that abortion remain criminalised in all instances. The council later discussed a new penal code, including the proposal to soften the law on abortion. A decision has yet to be made. At the end of the conference, one of the recommendations put forward by the panel was that the new code should include three circumstances under which abortion is permissible: cases of incest, sexual abuse and if the mother or baby’s life is at risk. However, the move is fiercely opposed by the Catholic Church. About 95 percent of Timor-Leste’s 1.1-million population are Catholic. At the end of the conference, one of the recommendations put forward by the panel was that the new code should include three circumstances under which abortion is permissible: cases of incest, sexual abuse and if the mother or baby’s life is at risk. However, the move is fiercely opposed by the Catholic Church. About 95 percent of Timor-Leste’s 1.1-million population are Catholic. (Source: IRIN News)


Banteay Srei registered as a local non-government organisation (NGO) with the Cambodian Ministry of Interior in June 2000 and passed to full local management on 1st July 2000. Banteay Srei evolved out of the Australian NGO, International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) that had been working in Cambodia since 1989….(p.3)

BS held a three-day workshop for 79 CGCs & VGPs [48 women] on gender and reproductive health, misunderstandings about using contraceptives, counselling skills, prevention and reducing spread of HIV/AIDS, reproductive health rights, abortion law and using Information Education and Communication (IEC) materials on RH. After the training the participants reported it had clarified the misunderstandings of using contraceptives, increased their confidence in disseminating information about RH and better enabled them to send clear messages to village women and men. Following the training condoms were distributed free of charge by Banteay Srei, these condoms were then further distributed among the community by the VGPs. (Source: FOOD, SECURITY, AND NUTRITION, Annual Report, p.14)

Its attempt is not to generate honour for PLHIV but to engage them in HIV/AIDS educational campaigns as well as nationwide HIV/AIDS prevention,” rejected secretary general of HIV/AIDS Coordinating Committee (HACC) Dr. Kem Ley, evoking one meaningful question that “what would happen if a HIV-positive female sex worker, occupied with extreme animosity due to the social discrimination against her, decided to retaliate by not notifying her clients to use condoms during their sexual intercourse?” “If we take care of them, they, in return, take care of us,” he stressed. (Source: CHEC website) Note: HACC is also listed as a D&P Partner on the same program.

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