The conversation with stakeholders – donors, partners, individual activists and consultants, will focus on analysing key concerns and recommendations noted in a desk based external evaluation done on AWDF’s Health and Reproductive Rights programme in October 2014. The goal is to identify strategic interventions that would scale up and sustain impact on the ground as well as influence policies around Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)/Health and Reproductive Rights(HRR) at local, national and regional levels.
This meeting is also a pre-event to the African Grantmakers Network (AGN) third Biennial Assembly to be held in Arusha, Tanzania from 1st -3rd July, 2015, hosted by AGN, AWDF and the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS)
The 2015 review of the Millennium Development goals revealed that insufficient progress has been made in the areas of maternal mortality, infant mortality and HIV & AIDS. Continued practice of harmful social, cultural and religious traditions compounded by years of neglect and under-investment in women’s health, have contributed to a lack of proper healthcare for women. This is especially true for poor, marginalized women in rural and remote regions of the continent.
The evaluation established the relevance of Health and Reproductive Rights as a theme for AWDF and the African women’s movement. It also reaffirmed the fact that women’s health, diseases and sexual and reproductive concerns, are not prioritized by most African governments, with the exception of Sexually Transmitted Infections(STI’s), HIV & AIDS, safe delivery and infant mortality.
According to the findings, AWDF’s work has contributed significantly to increased awareness and critical consciousness amongst African women and girls about their rights, rights over their bodies and better access to health services. The increased awareness amongst communities and service providers has enabled women and girls in many communities to access HRR services freely and without fear, stigma or discrimination. Where the services have not been available, some women have demanded those services from local governments.
The review also made suggestions for AWDF’s future work such as a strategic reframing and repositioning of its work in order to impact both the practical and strategic need of women.
“ At AWDF we like to pause and reflect on our activities and one of the ways in which we do this is to create a platform to engage all stakeholders in the area. This convening in Arusha is one of such platforms and, l look forward to learning new ideas about women’s health development that will help us bring transformational changes in the lives of women and girls in Africa,” says Nafi Chinery, AWDF’s Capacity Building programme Specialist.
Do you have a comment or opinion you’d like to share? Please contribute and follow the discussion by following the social media hashtag #AWDFHRR