We aim to empower young people to choose when or whether they have children, so they can fulfil their potential. Young women (who we define as 25 and under) and adolescent girls (who we define as 15-19 years) are typically less likely to use contraception than older women, and the consequences of them becoming pregnant are often worse.

Globally, this age group represents one-fifth of all people of reproductive age. Not only are young people and adolescents under-represented among users of modern contraception, they are more likely to take drastic measures when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. For every 10 women hospitalised as the result of unsafe abortion, seven are under the age of 20.

As the number of young women who are sexually active but not using contraception continues to grow, it is essential to scale up our services that respond to their needs. We understand that – no matter how available contraception is or how affordable we make it – young people are unlikely to use it if they feel they will be stigmatised or punished for doing so. In many of the countries where we work, conservative attitudes towards premarital sex can make it difficult for young women to even talk about contraception, much less use it.

Menstrual health

Many girls across Asia Pacific miss school when they have their periods. Poor access to clean water, hygienic toilet facilities and cultural stigma and taboos around menstruation can make it hard for women and girls to manage their periods. We work to educate, reduce stigma and improve access to sexual and reproductive health knowledge, support and services.

Menstrual health
Our youth focus

Our youth focus

Our country teams target young people by holding youth education sessions, pop up Chat Box stalls at universities and colleges, and Youth Corners to encourage young people to learn about their sexual and reproductive health. We also conduct outreach services to reach young people who would not otherwise have access to sexual health education.

Youth hotlines

We run national youth-friendly contact centres, where young people can call, text, or message via WhatsApp or Facebook and ask any questions about their sexual or reproductive health. The team is equipped to answer concerns about topics from STDs and safe sex to pregnancy and menstruation.

Youth hotlines
Young people
“I will talk to other young mothers and teenagers. One of the things the girls fear is that they will be cut open or they will be risking their lives by having family planning treatment. They also fear it will make them infertile. I will tell them those things are not true. I can’t wait to talk to them and show them my implant.”
Natasha, Papua New Guinea