Akina Mama wa Afrika joins a Bold and Progressive Movement on SRHR through the JAS Programme

On 13th July 2020, Akina Mama wa Afrika officially joined the Joint Advocacy for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (SRHR) in Uganda (JAS) programme.

JAS is a multi-organization Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) advocacy programme steered by the Centre for Health Human Rights and Development-CEHURD and supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency – SIDA. It aims at building a progressive social movement boldly challenging the deep structures affecting the realization of SRHR in Uganda. AMwA is one of the 7 organizations implementing the program with a remit on the thematic area of gender.

Our major objectives within the program are to;

  • Contribute to building a movement that recognizes and respects bodily autonomy and choice as the cornerstone of SRHR of women in all their diversities.
  • Influence policy and practice on SRHR at the national and regional levels
  • Contribute to growth in thought leadership on SRHR from a feminist perspective

The other thematic areas of the program include; HIV/AIDS; LGBTIQ; Young People; Sex Work; Abortion Rights; Refugees; Access to Medicines and Commodities, being implemented by partners namely; The National Forum for People Living with HIV/AIDS Networks in Uganda (NAFOPHANU), Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF), Reach a Hand Uganda (RAHU), Uganda Network of Sex Worker Led Organizations (UNESO), The Coalition for Health Promotion and Social Development (HEPS) and CEHURD. The program is being implemented in 14 districts in Uganda including; Gulu, Lira, Yumbe, Koboko, Kamuli, Busia, Isingiro, Mbarara, Wakiso, Gomba, Buikwe, Kiboga, Kyankwanzi and Kampala.

The JAS Programme will work with seven Technical Working Groups (TWG) which form part of the governance structure of the Programme together with an overall Technical Advisory Committee. The TWGs made up of seven thematic areas of the program shall be made up of multi-stakeholder representation, including relevant Government of Uganda Line Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as representatives of Civil Society Organizations, citizen groups and collectives which are implementing interventions aligned with the respective thematic areas. The TWG on gender is tasked with ensuring gender is centered in all JAS program interventions, and that advocacy on SRHR at the national level is responsive to gender issues.

The Research Advocacy and Movement Building Manager, Leah Eryenyu stressed the importance of such a partnership at a time when marginalized SRHR issues are being further erased and opposition views fueled by religious fundamentalism are gaining a foothold. “This is the kind of organizing that we need as a movement. Organizing that recognizes the intersectional nature of SRHR struggles; that you cannot achieve universal access to SRHR without tackling different facets of it in tandem.”

The program is a 4 year partnership ending in 2023.