Sexual and Reproductive Health Story Production Grants

This HJN opportunity officially opens Saturday, November 13 and closes on Sunday, November 21

In this story grant call, the HJN is focusing on Solutions Journalism on topics that fall under sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This type of journalism intentionally focuses on storytelling that highlights innovative solutions to societal problems, instead of focusing only on the problems themselves. We are looking for creative ways in which ordinary people—groups of people— or communities, are addressing stigma in the context of SRHR issues in their communities.

Sexual and reproductive health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to all aspects of sexuality and reproduction. The comprehensive definition* of SRHR put forth in United Nations documents (notably the World Health Organization the United Nations Populations Fund) covers sexual health, sexual rights, reproductive health and reproductive rights, and reflects an emerging consensus on the services and interventions needed to address the reproductive and sexual needs of all individuals. Furthermore, it addresses issues such a violence, stigma and respect for personal body choices, which profoundly affects individuals’ psychological, emotional and social well-being. It also addresses the SRHR of neglected groups, adolescent girls, LGBTQI+, and persons with disabilities.

There is ample evidence worldwide, that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated health inequalities and taken a disproportionate toll on already vulnerable communities. Virus mitigation measures such as lockdowns and travel restrictions also had some unintended consequences on women, adolescent girls and marginalized groups like sex workers and LGBTQI+. In a July 2021 report United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health Tlaleng-Mofokeng highlights that, “In many parts of the world, COVID-19 pandemic emergency measures were adopted, not always in conformity with human rights law. Amendments of laws and other measures have been used opportunistically to implement draconian measures which further curtail human rights, especially as related to sexual and reproductive health rights and the rights of LGBTIQ+ people.” The COVID-19 containment measures, she adds, have also taken a heavy toll on sex workers, who have been unable to work and have in some cases been treated as “vectors” of the COVID-19 virus.

In this story grant call, we are especially keen to hear about solutions by and for marginalized communities whose sexual and reproductive health rights are under attack. By “marginalized” we mean communities whose health concerns and/or opinions are often not represented in mainstream media. This blog post by the Solutions Journalism Network, offers reporters a few tips on how to practice this type of journalism.

We are seeking compelling Solutions Journalism story ideas on SRHR from HJN Members in any of the categories depicted in the diagram below (Source: Annex I in ICPD25 UNFPA). Grant requirements are listed below.


You must be a registered member of the Internews Health Journalism Network to pitch us your story idea. If you are not, please register here. When the story grant opens on Saturday, November 13, you will submit your pitch using a form that we will post here. In 250 words or less, you will tell us about your Solutions Journalism story on sexual and reproductive health and rights any why you think it is an important story to tell.

When you pitch us, please submit TWO links to previously produced and published or aired stories with your byline. You will need a distribution plan for your pitch (where you are planning to publish/air/broadcast your story and the expected audience reach that it will have). If you are a freelancer and are selected, we will need a short letter or email of commitment from an editor affiliated to a media outlet that will air or publish your piece.

You may submit your pitches in English or Spanish and your final story may be in your native language. If your idea is selected, you will receive US$500 to produce your story. You will have to turn in your finished story no later than Friday, December 30, 2021. If you are selected, you will be offered the chance to partner with one of our Health Media Mentors to receive guidance and/or support to develop your story idea.

Good luck and check this page again on November 13!