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Sara Österlund

Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Advisor, Plan International Sweden
Sara Österlund

Sara has worked in the area of children and young people's rights for 15 years and with a particular focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and gender for 6 years.

She started working for Plan International Sweden in 2008 as a youth programme manager with a programme portfolio covering adolescents’ SRHR and harmful practices, youth economic empowerment and youth governance and participation.

Sara took on the role of Adolescent SRHR Advisor in 2010 when she joined Plan International Sweden's Policy and Advocacy unit. She is also Plan International Sweden's Gender focal point. Her tasks include advocacy work towards the Swedish government for a stronger focus on children and adolescents' SRHR and protection from early pregnancy and harmful practices in Sweden's development polices.

Sara co-leads Plan International’s SRHR global reference group.  In this role Sara develops SRHR policy and programmatic guidance for Plan International; identifies priorities for knowledge management, research and learning; determines global advocacy priorities; profiles and positions Plan International in key SRHR networks, conferences and forums; and supports linkages with other areas of Plan International’s work.

Before joining Plan International, Sara worked for The National Council of Swedish Youth Organisations as the manager for the organisation's international/development cooperation work. She has a Master’s degree in Political Sciences (comparative politics) and a Bachelor’s in Cultural Anthropology (harmful practices and gender).

Sara has expertise on harmful practices (with a special focus on child marriage), comprehensive sexuality education, and advocacy work for more adolescent SRHR friendly policies and laws.

Her work experience covers Asia, the Middle East (Egypt and Lebanon) and sub-Saharan Africa and she has lived in South Africa and Israel.

Meet other members of the Sexual health team