Development of technical brief on feminist approaches to abortion in Uganda

Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA) is seeking the services of a consultant to develop a technical brief on feminist approaches to abortion rights in Uganda.

  1. Background

The Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Uganda context analysis, done by Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA) shows that women, girls and gender expansive persons are disproportionately impacted in accessing and enjoying SRHR. It is therefore critical to centre their experiences and voices in SRHR analyses and subsequent interventions. Women and girls should not be looked at as mere subjects to be acted upon but full autonomous human beings with agency who can make informed choices about their SRH and enjoy full their rights including safe and legal abortion.

Article 22(2) of the Ugandan Constitution 1995, on protection of right to life states that no person has the right to terminate the life of an unborn child except as may be authorized by law. The only circumstance abortion can be procured is when a woman’s life is at risk. It is important to note that Uganda’s penal code gives harsh penalties up to fourteen years in prison when found guilty of attempted abortion yet the law has loopholes in determining what risk means to a woman and if indeed it must only revolve around risk. Due to our repressive socio-cultural and religious norms, women and girls have been robbed of their bodily autonomy and agency to make choices about their bodies.

And yet even with the current restrictive laws, women and girls still carry out abortions. The majority of these are carried out under unsafe conditions and in hiding due to fear of being penalized by the law. This has potentially led to losses of lives of thousands of girls and women. The Uganda Ministry of Health Annual Health Sector Performance Report of 2017-2018 estimates that as of 2018, 5.3% of all maternal deaths result from abortion complications. In changing the narratives and protecting the lives of women and girls, we must aim at adopting feminist approaches to abortion rights that interrogate the structural constraints on women’s lives and their lack of power to make choices about their reproductive health. Women and girls should make decisions about when they want a child, whether they want a child or not and they should be accorded the right access to quality healthcare services to support them.

  • Overall objective

To develop an extensive body of knowledge that seeks to interrogate the current socio-cultural norms, legal and policy framework surrounding access to safe and legal abortion and make recommendations of abortion as a healthcare and rights issue in order for women. girls and gender expansive persons in Uganda to enjoy their full bodily autonomy and agency.

Methodology

  • Conduct an overview of the current legal and policy framework on abortion rights in Uganda
  • Conduct a brief overview of the state of abortion in Uganda including quantitave and qualitative data
  • Using a feminist lens, analyse the political, social and economic structures that impede legalization and access to abortion and make recommendations on the same.
  • Unpack contestations on abortion with a focus on the Ugandan context but with connections to regional and global discourses.
  • Present feminist approaches to understanding abortion including strategies on how to organize for the achievement of abortion rights and reproductive justice.

4.0 Scope of work and deliverables

The consultant is expected to develop a technical brief of not more than 10 pages in line with the agreed methodology.

5.0. Timeframe

The Consultant will carry out this project in a period of 15 days starting from the date the contract is signed.

  • Specific technical brief outcomes

The Consultant is expected to develop and deliver a technical brief on a feminist approach to abortion rights in a manner that is easy to understand and that will yield the following outcomes;

  • Women and girls can understand the importance of bodily autonomy and agency and be bold enough to speak up to power structures that limit their individual choices.
  • Deeper understanding of the law on abortion in Uganda, its limitations, and how it can be revised.
  • Qualification and Experience

The prospective consultant will be selected based upon their experience and proven track record in feminist analysis and research. The minimum qualifications and experience of the consultant will include;

  1. A bachelor’s degree in law, Gender studies, Human rights or International relations and other relevant studies from a reputable university. A master’s degree is an added advantage
  2. Minimum of 5 years with relevant experience in conducting research in the field of gender, human rights, sexual reproductive health and rights and general knowledge on the regional and international policy and legal framework on women’s rights
  3. The candidate must be grounded in feminist principles and have experience in collating content from a feminist perspective.

8.0. Application Procedures

Interested individuals must submit their application by email to consultancy@akinamamawaafrika.org    by 2 July, 2021 with the following documents;

  1. Personal CV and cover letter including relevant experience in research with at least 3 references and one of them being from the non-profit field for whom the candidate has ever conducted an analysis or developed a technical brief
  2. Expression of the candidate’s interest detailing why they are most suitable for this work and explaining their approach to the task
  3. Fees expectations for the consultancy
  4. Applicant’s sample of previous work in related fields