AWDF facilitated a women’s only pre-conference session for the 7th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights which took place in Accra, Ghana, from 8-12 February, 2016.
The meeting was jointly held with Curious Minds, Ghana, which acted as secretariat and conference host for this year’s gathering. AWDF wanted to provide a safe platform for an intimate and in-depth discussion of sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescents and youth. Aimed primarily at 15 – 30-year old women, it ended up being a mixed age group of both genders, which ignited some fiery discussion. But at the end of the day everyone agreed it had been worthwhile.
“We wanted to provide a safe space for young women to discuss the issues relevant to them around issues of SRHR,” said AWDF’s donor liaison specialist Joan Koomson.
The pre-conference session also looked at helping young women develop common strategies and messages on engaging effectively with issues during the conference, influencing outcomes and how to derive the maximum benefit from being there.
A Position Statement (see below), worked on at the close of the day’s activities, was presented at the opening session of the main conference held Feb. 11. It summed up the major concerns and aspirations of the young women.
“Negotiating the space to have young women’s issues represented with government is a priority,” said Catherine Nyambura.