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Gvantsa Khizanishvili

Gvantsa Khizanishvili - 2017 Nominee
Position: Public Health Advisor / Human rights activist / Medical Doctor
Organization: World Contraception Day Ambassador EECA
Current Location: Georgia, Europe
Master of Public Health (MPH) from University of Missouri - Columbia
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
Tbilisi State Medical University
Doctor of Medicine (MD)
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    The Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship
    Awarding Organization:
    U.S Department of State program
    Date Awarded:
    August 1, 2009
  • Award:
    EACR Fellowship Award
    Awarding Organization:
    EACR
    Date Awarded:
    October 10, 2008
  • Award:
    The Careers for Alumni in Public Service (CAPS) Project Award
    Awarding Organization:
    U.S Department of State
    Date Awarded:
    August 1, 2011
Gvantsa combines her passion for family planning, women’s rights and social entrepreneurship with innovative and technology driven approaches.She is a Women Deliver Young Leader, World Contraception Day Ambassador EECA and One Young World Ambassador. – Natalia Jaliashvili, Head of the Human Rights Secretariat at The Administration of the Government of Georgia
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I’ve worked in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights for the past nine years as an educator, activist, advocate, medical doctor and programs officer. I started as an educator at the age of seventeen, and my passion for reproductive justice brought me to various local, regional and international projects and programs. Most recently, I served as a World Contraception Day Ambassador for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The project used creative digital storytelling techniques to uncover and highlight the challenges young people face in accessing their sexual and reproductive health and rights, particularly in relation to contraception. As one of the outcomes of this collaboration, we produced 20 exhibition photos that were exhibited both in Georgia and at the AIDS 2016.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

More than a decade ago, when I was a teenage pre-med student, I realized that I was acquiring some knowledge about the topics of reproductive health, family planning and contraception that was taboo and not easily discussed. At 18 years old, I already had friends who were pregnant or had entered into motherhood, who inspired me to continue my work even further and become an advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights for young people.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

As World Contraception Day Ambassador, I met with more than 100 young people to discuss family planning, contraception and reproductive rights. During these discussions, it was made clear how important it is to create a safe and reliable environment for young people to talk about contraception.Therefore, one of the biggest successes of this project was empowering young people to voice their needs and opinions about sexual health education and access to contraception using digital communication.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

I have a strong passion for SRHR, youth empowerment and education, women’s rights, and social entrepreneurship. If I am named a winner I would like to use the new platform and the grant to combine innovative approaches, digital tools and public–private partnerships with social entrepreneurship to continue my advocacy work in the field of family planning and youth empowerment.I would like to dedicate this opportunity to support, enhance and enable sexuality education efforts using digital tools.

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