EACSOF JOINS REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ADVOCACY NETWORK FOR AFRICA (RHANA) CONVENTION TO ADVOCACE FOR DOMESTICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF SEXUAL REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH RIGHTS.

Globally, millions of people do not have adequate access to sexual and reproductive health and rights . Lack of access to sexual and reproductive health and rights prevents individuals from realizing their basic rights and restricts the ability of people to take control of decisions concerning their health and education, and their participation in social and economic life. There are wide disparities in maternal and reproductive health in different countries. Maternal mortality tends to be lower in countries where levels of contraceptive use and skilled attendance at birth are relatively high; maternal mortality is higher among poorer communities where access to sexual and reproductive health is limited. For example, with a contraceptive
prevalence of only 25 per cent and low levels of skilled attendance at birth, sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s highest maternal mortality ratio.14. Prioritizing sexual and reproductive health and rights allows the lives of women and girls, and people’s ability to lift themselves out of poverty and to live sustainably within their resources. International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF,2014)  

International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPF AR) in partnership with Partners in Sexual Health (PSH) facilitated a three-day Conference on the regional network (RHANA) in Johannesburg, South Africa from 05-07 December, 2016 to re-launch RHANA and revive and strengthen RHANA into a stronger Africa CSOs league for organizations working on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR). This Conference also provided for an opportunity to learn from the successful model of the Siyakwazi Youth Network coordinated by PSH in South Africa.

RHANA has been instrumental in bringing together CSOs in a multi-stakeholder engagement fora and delivering key review achievements. The resulting new frameworks offer renewed advocacy opportunities calling for strengthened CSOs engagement to influence political commitment and funding to ensure domestication and implementation, and to ultimately improve SRHR indicators translating to improved peoples’ lives. RHANA has been dormant for some time now, and requires revitalising and morphing into a formidable movement (Africa CSO League) necessary to engage governments in advocating and monitoring accountability for SRHR as a human rights and key issue, that is, central to development in Africa.

The International Planned Parents (deration Africa Region (IPPF AR) in partnership with regional meeting to consolidate the posiThe CSOs stakeholders met and were able to improve RHANA into a stronger African CSO coalition/league for SRHR but also specifically reviewed RHANA, shared and highlighted good practices and networking models for SRHR, discussed and adopted strategies for capacity development, partnerships and accountability, established an SRHR League and agreed on the way forward.

The workshop key output included agreed work methodology and strategy. Furthermore a  communiqué on the CSO League was formulated.

EACSOF mainstreams gender equity and equality in programs and joining RHANA Convention as EAC regional member provides opportunity for our members to play part in advocating for domestication and implementation of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights.

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