Inside my purse is an interactive blog for adolescent girls, young women and anyone interested in exploring issues concerning young women in the African context – with particular attention to sexual and reproductive health. The blog will explore topics and questions such as:

  • Women’s experiences accessing or using health information, products or services – what has helped, and what has been a challenge?
  • Women’s experiences with health and medical research in Africa
  • How to cultivate healthy friendships and mentorships
  • Gender-based violence and broader social issues

We named the blog Inside my purse to extend to our readers an invitation into a space that is intimate, complex and often misunderstood by others. Adolescent girls and young women are the blog’s custodians, and we hope to have visitors, contributors and friends from various communities, cultures and ages and encourage them to initiate, suggest, engage with and drive the discussions. While the majority of our current contributors are based in Africa, we believe that sexual and reproductive health issues have universal relevance, and welcome contributions from anywhere in the world.

The blog’s content is curated by a team of contributors who have different backgrounds but are united by a passion for effecting change on health issues and associated social and developmental factors, and a desire to share compelling and inspiring stories. This participative approach was taken to ensure that diverse voices are represented and improve the quality, credibility and reach of our dialogue on different issues.

We invite you to use Inside my purse to tell us what is inside your purse – and on your mind. We only ask that readers and contributors are respectful of the different views that others may have, and supportive of the blog’s primary objective – to promote the health and well-being of adolescent girls, young women and their families and communities.

About the blog’s sponsor

The blog is supported by the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM), a nonprofit organisation dedicated to developing products that will give women the tools they need to help protect themselves against HIV and improve their sexual and reproductive health, so they can lead healthy and productive lives. IPM works in African communities, where its products would have the most impact. Its lead product, the dapivirine vaginal ring, is the first long-acting product clinically shown to help reduce women’s HIV risk. The regulatory review process is now under way to potentially make the ring publicly available in African countries where women are at the highest risk. IPM is committed to keeping its stakeholders informed about progress with its work, and to creating platforms for open and robust dialogue that can help advance the health and empowerment of women and girls worldwide.