Here’s HERA’s 2019 Annual Report – a document that shows why 2019 was one of the most successful for sexual and reproductive health and gender equality in Macedonia compared to the previous ten or so years.
2019 saw a shift in the reproductive freedom narratives with the Parliament passing a new Law on Abortion which eliminates all the administrative barriers that had restricted women’s access to free choice for family planning. Also, the Government committed to promoting sexuality education and took a decision to launch pilot-projects in four primary schools, which will be implemented in cooperation with the Bureau for the Education Development.
Globally, 2019 marked the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development, where people’s needs and rights regarding personal sexual and reproductive health received a global recognition for the first time. On this occasion, the Government adopted a list of national priorities, including reducing the unsatisfied family planning needs up to 10%, maintaining low HIV prevalence and integrating sexuality education as an optional subject in schools.
In the course of 2019 we have provided free services to 7,515 persons, 392 young people received sexuality education, and 376 service providers received training on family planning, gender-based violence, HIV counseling and testing, and on basic SRH package during crises. As of this year, and for the first time, all HERA services are financially supported from the Ministry of Health’s prevention programmes and from the City of Skopje budget, which is particularly important for their future sustainability.
These are only few of the success stories for the reproductive freedom and sexual rights of citizens that marked the year of 2019. You will find all the others in the 2019 Annual Report for 2019 which is available in English and in Macedonian.