African Young Women Leadership and Advocacy Project (AYWLAP)
The African continent has several progressive and inclusive regional instruments that advance commitment to sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equality. These include: The Maputo Plan of Action on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (2006); The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (2003); Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA) and Africa Strategic Framework for Socio-economic Development also known as Agenda 2063.
Even though these continental frameworks exist, sadly in recent years, activists have seen a growing movement to regress on advances made on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Many African states are now calling for the redefinition of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) with a preference to retain ICPD language with qualifiers or regress to having only reproductive rights. Several countries are rejecting language and recommendations on sexual rights; reproductive rights, sexual health, non-discrimination, human rights, comprehensive sexuality education; as well as bodily integrity, autonomy and choice. Beyond national governments, similar regression has been witnessed within the women’s rights and feminist movement on the continent. These actions are problematic and require long term investments in creating spaces and enabling existing and new activists, who are committed to ensuring that sexual and reproductive rights are upheld the continent, to engage in advocacy and policy influencing as well as social accountability for the implementation of these policies.
The African Young Women Leadership and Advocacy Project is a 5-year project that seeks to work with existing policies and frameworks to amplify the voices of young African women at key regional spaces with the aim of advancing the SRHR agenda on the continent. Learn more about the project here