Empowering Women to Reclaim Their Bodies
Across Africa, misconceptions about family planning abound due to lack of information, limited access to and high costs of the services. This coupled with limited decision making power by women on reproductive choices and opposition from male partners has led to a high number of unplanned pregnancies and induced abortions. To make matters worse, abortion is criminalized in most African countries. Women continue to die due to maternal related complications and service delivery constraints while religion and culture continually influence society’s perception of women’s reproductive health rights where preferences for male children have led some women to try for another baby even at the cost of their own health. Women are also at a high risk of contracting HIV/AIDS as a result of several factors such as lack of control over sexuality and increasing domestic violence and are therefore unable to negotiate for safer sex and full sexual rights.
Our approach to SRHR at AMwA looks at advancing a rights-based sexual and reproductive health agenda by building a movement that recognises and respects bodily autonomy and choice as the cornerstone of SRHR of women in all their diversities. Our Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) work seeks to promote sexual and reproductive health rights for all individuals especially in ignored areas such as abortion, sex work and amongst minority groups. Ensuring that women and girls in all their diversities, sexual orientations and gender identities have full autonomy over their lives, bodies and sexuality is critical for improved health outcomes.
Akina Mama wa Afrika is part of 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. The programme aims at building a progressive social movement boldly challenging the deep structures affecting the realization of SRHR in Uganda.
Make Way seeks to break ground in operationalising the concept of intersectionality in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). In the next five years, we, as part of this consortium, aim to mobilise a critical mass of civil society as successful intersectional SRHR advocates in five countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia), the (East) African region and at the global level.
The consortium comprises of Akina Mama wa Afrika, The Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians, Forum for African Women Educationalists, Liliane Foundation, VSO Netherlands, and Wemos as lead, in partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
AMwA is the programme’s lead implementing partner in Uganda, responsible for coordinating with all stakeholders, including the Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Health, and with the Dutch Embassy.