Oxfam in Uganda has commenced inception meetings for the Stand Up for Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) project, for Women and Girls, whose ultimate goal is to increase enjoyment of SRHR by most marginalized and vulnerable right-holders, particularly adolescent girls and young women.
Speaking at the inception meeting held at Royal Suites in Kampala, Francis Odokorach the Oxfam Country Director noted that young women and adolescent girls face a multitude of challenges in accessing these services including negative attitudes of service providers, long queues at health facilities, high costs of services involved, unfriendly physical structures, negative cultural norms and practices, among others.
Odokorach noted that the project will help address key gender inequality and human issues, particularly harmful social norms, traditional practices and taboos regarding gender and Sexuality, lack of adequate information on or access to comprehensive SRHR services, lack of meaningful decision-making power by young women and adolescent girls regarding their health and Sexuality.
He revealed that inequality cannot be addressed if the drivers that keep marginalized groups from accessing their rights including young women and girls with disabilities, those affected by conflict and displacement are not addressed.
Odokorach noted that the intervention therefore provides a convergence between our development and humanitarian programming with some of the selected project locations in areas specifically to address SRHR among the refugee and host communities, as well as interventions in regions of the country targeted for interventions due to the poor development indicators particularly with regard to SRHR like teenage pregnancy.
Speaking at the same event, Walakira Moses a programmes manager at UNFPA noted that in the promotion of SRHR, men need to be sensitized about SRHR and its importance to create inclusiveness.
“We may not have a reduction in sexual rights violations until men have taken part in this fight, We have to know that there are men who have taken part, and these are having better and peaceful homes, Let’s change what we say, we have seen many men get involved, we also have to simplify the messages we are sending out,” Walakira noted.
Jane Ocaya Irama the Oxfam in Uganda, Women’s Rights Advisor, said that stakeholders need to work together in order to realize that rights of girls and women are realized.
“UGX 100,000/= exchanges hands and a case of SGBV is withdrawn, We need to work together to realize that rights of our children, girls and women are realized. We should not see anyone left behind,” Ocaya noted.
With support from Global Affairs Canada, the Stand Up project, Oxfam will address issues of sexual & gender-based violence including child, early & forced marriage, early pregnancy, female genital mutilation by empowering young women and girls to exercise meaningful decision making & their right to SRHR.
The project will be coordinated by Oxfam but implemented by CEHURD and Femme Forte in Uganda.
The project locations are Arua, Terego, Madi Okollo, Mayuge, Namayingo and Arua city.