Inside My Purse aims to create a supportive and informative space where adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa can share and engage with content about sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence.

The blog explores topics and questions such as:

  • Personal and professional experiences managing SRHR issues or concerns, including accessing or using SRH information, products or services;
  • Navigating intimate relationships while maintaining our SRHR;
  • Experiences with SRH-related research studies in Africa;
  • How supportive friendships and mentorships can influence our SRHR; and,
  • Experiences with gender-based violence and social issues related to SRHR.

These topics are not prescriptive, and if you have ideas for other topics, we’d love to hear them! Please get in touch with us!

We named the blog Inside My Purse to invite our readers into a space that is intimate, complex and often misunderstood by others. Adolescent girls and young women are the blog’s custodians, and we also welcome visitors, contributors and friends across communities, cultures and ages to join the discussions. While most of our current contributors are based in Africa, given that sexual and reproductive health issues have universal relevance we will also consider other guest contributions from anywhere in the world.

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.

The blog’s content is curated by a team led by IPM’s Sinazo Pato, and whose members come from different backgrounds but are united by a passion for social change and a desire to share compelling and inspiring stories. This participative approach was taken to ensure that diverse voices are represented and to improve the quality, credibility and reach of our dialogue.

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About the blog’s sponsor

The blog is supported by the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM), a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing products for women that they can use to help protect themselves against HIV and improve their sexual and reproductive health on their own terms, and to make them available where they are urgently needed. IPM’s 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 underway to potentially make the ring publicly available in sub-Saharan Africa, where women are at the highest risk for HIV infection. 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 in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.