Gender-Based Violence in its diverse forms has reached crisis proportions all over the world.
Faith to Action Network , ACT Ubumbano, ACT Alliance and We Will Speak Out, co-created interfaith briefs on gender-based violence (GBV) to initiate conversations within faith institutions and communities.
We wish to share these reports highlighting practical ways of how the religious sector and faith communities could contribute effectively to ending GBV and mitigate its continuing impact in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia.
Family Planning is a central pillar of Kenya’s Reproductive Health programme and the wider national health priority as outlined in the Constitution of Kenya 2010, Health Act 2017, Kenya Health Sector Strategic & Investment Plan (KHSSP) 2013-17, Kenya Vision 2030 and Kenya Health Policy 2014- 2030. The government is committed to realizing Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and ensuring Universal Access to Family Planning as a key component of Sexual and Reproductive Health.
Faith to Action Network has been contributing to improving access to family planning (FP) services in Kenya under the project Delivering Sustainable and Equitable Family Planning Increases (DESIP). The goal of DESIP is to ensure that women and girls can safely plan for their pregnancies in line with sexual and reproductive health rights particularly the young rural, marginalized, and persons with disability. The programme impact will contribute to reduced maternal mortality, newborn and child mortality, and increased mCPR in Kenya. The progranmme implementation approach is systems strengthening at policy and service delivery levels to ensure sustainability, working with public, private, and faith-based health facilities.
Check out these four bulletins elaborating what the project has achieved so far:
A coalition of youth-serving organizations, feminist groups, SRHR professionals, and faith-based organization have contributed their own area of expertise to produce these case studies and synthesis briefs.
They have worked with specific groups across the entire African continent: youth activists, journalists, faith leaders, women’s rights activists, first ladies, parliamentarians and policy makers to produce materials that addresses issues of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), increased SRHR coverage in the media, adoption of EAC SRHR Bill, integration of population and development issues in the All Africa Conference of Churches.
The organizations involved included: Faith to Action Network (F2A), All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPF AR), International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN), YWCA Kenya, Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS.
Alternative Narratives from an Islamic perspective that support understanding, tolerance, respect and gender equality to counter extremism and radicalization.
|Alternative narratives from an islamic perspective that support understanding, tolerance, respect and gender equality to counter extremism and radicalization.
The narratives were developed under a project called Communities Richer in Diversity (CRID) which aims to enhance understanding, tolerance and respect for cultural and religious diversity among 24,400 youth at risk of radicalization, and to leverage on the influence of faith leaders and institutions to promote cultural diversity and respect for equal dignity of all men and women. The project is being implemented in Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Burundi and Zanzibar-Tanzania
16th International Dialogue on Population and Sustainable Development: Legal and social norm change for the realisation of women’s and girls’ rights in Africa
Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) presented the findings of its State of African Women, a research developed in collaboration with Faith to Action Network. This comprehensive analysis of Africa’s legal framework shows that the realization of women’s and girls’ rights in Africa suffers from limited translation of policy frameworks into action plans, continuing legal loopholes regarding the legal age of marriage and contradictions between codified and customary laws. Achieving change requires working with legal and health professionals to translate the frameworks into practices, joining forces with faith leaders and traditional leaders to carry out awareness campaigns, and supporting women and girls’ rights organisations. The poster presentation tooking place at the 16th International Dialogue on Population and Sustainable Development, in Berlin, between 23rd and 24th October 2018. Faith to Action Network added its voice to the over 100 representatives from governments, civil society, academia and private sector from almost 40 countries.
The full poster is available at the following link:
KIT Gender together with Faith to Action Network and others has published a groundbreaking pan-African review of the current status of implementation of continental commitments on women’s rights.
This report will help faith actors’ advocacy and awareness creation. 2018 marks the fifteenth anniversary of the Maputo Protocol, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, adopted in 2003. This anniversary offers an excellent opportunity to take stock of gaps and contestations around the realisation of women and girls’ rights, and to identify where progress needs to be accelerated. This report informs and strengthens effective advocacy efforts and strategies of civil society including faith actors towards implementation of the Maputo Protocol and Plan of Action and the realisation of women and girls’ rights in sexual and reproductive health.
Africa’s women’s rights continue to evolve and become stronger and stronger. The African Union has a strong and comprehensive normative and institutional framework on gender equality and women and girls’ rights. Five of the eight Regional Economic Communities have a normative and institutional framework on gender equality and women and girls’ rights in place: ECOWAS, EAC, IGAD, SADC and COMESA. These are binding commitments in the case of ECOWAS (Supplementary Act of 2015), SADC (Protocol on Gender and Development, updated in 2016) and COMESA (Revised Gender Policy of 2016). For EAC, the Gender Equality Bill is to be passed, and this will be binding once this happens. The IGAD Gender Policy Framework is not binding. Most normative frameworks are recent or have recently been updated and amended, to align with the Sustainable Development Goals, Agenda 2063 and other key continental and international agendas and frameworks.
What's new in this report?
Earlier reports have tracked the current status of ratification and domestication of the Maputo Protocol and the Maputo Plan of Action. Few of these explore the pathways by means of which rights are operationalised in practice, through laws, policies, administration, budgets and programmes.
The report complements existing reports and reviews by:
- Focusing specifically on sexual and reproductive health issues, and doing this in a comprehensive and holistic way
- Bringing in and strengthening a gender and rights perspective, by integrally linking sexual and reproductive health to women and girls’ human rights and addressing them from a perspective of eliminating discrimination of women and girls
- Looking at the role of and trends in Regional Economic Communities in Africa in advancing and realising women and girls’ rights in sexual and reproductive health, and
- Looking at strategies of change, and the role of a range of change agents, including continental, regional, national and subnational state and non-state actors across Africa in the domestication and implementation of continental and regional commitments; in particular highlighting the role of civil society as mediator between duty-bearers and rights-holders.
Map 3: Child Marriage
How to achieve change?
33 case studies presented in this report cover a wide range of initiatives, change agents and strategies pursued to promote, expand and realise women and girls’ rights in sexual and reproductive health. Faith actors can draw some important lessons from this diverse set of case studies, amongst others: That important initiatives to raising awareness and promoting institutional and social norms change towards women and girls’ rights are facilitated and initiated by faith-based organisations and progressive faith leaders. That legal, policy or institutional change is critical but not enough to realise and expand women and girls’ rights in sexual and reproductive health; these need to be complemented with challenging of gender inequalities and patriarchal hierarchies, norms and practices. That multi-disciplinary coalitions and networks provide powerful opportunities for transformative and sustainable change, and play a central role in legal and policy reform as well as social norm change. Such impact happens when women’s rights and SRHR activists and organisations, with youth leaders, faith-based organisations and leaders, broader civil society as well as governmental actors join forces and work around shared agendas.
The report is organized in 8 chapters
To further facilitate readers’ use of the report, it has been built up in a modular way. This allows readers to follow their own pathway through the report, depending on their core interests. The introductory chapter is immediately followed by a chapter presenting the key findings and recommendations. The subsequent six chapters provide an in-depth analysis of the different dimensions of the report. Chapter 3 gives an overview of women and girls’ rights in sexual and reproductive health in the African Union normative and institutional framework; it presents and contextualises the Maputo Protocol and the Maputo Plan of Action. Chapter 4 puts the spotlight on the normative and institutional commitments and frameworks of the regional economic communities with respect to women and girls’ rights in SRHR. Each of the four following chapters focuses on one of the rights areas in particular: Chapter 5 addresses gender-based violence against women, Chapter 6 harmful practices, Chapter 7 reproductive rights and sexual and reproductive health, and Chapter 8 HIV and AIDS. These latter four chapters all follow the same structure: they start with a section analysing the key issues, then continue with a second section giving a detailed explanation of the provisions and obligations of the Maputo Protocol and other relevant continental commitments and instruments, as appropriate. The third section then looks at the national legal and policy frameworks of all countries on the continent to assess the extent to which the continental commitments are domesticated and implemented. The fourth section of each rights area chapter presents a set of case studies, on diverse actors, using often diverse strategies, to realise women and girls’ rights in the particular rights area.
Faith to Action Network case studies
For our readers, who would like to see how Faith to Action Network members are involved in this report, we have extracted three case studies:
Religious diversity has been a defining characteristic of India, where next to a Hindu majority, religions such as Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism have established their presence. This multiplicity of beliefs is reflected in India’s civil society space, where diverse faith-based actors have been operating.
Against this backdrop the following study aimed to provide insights into the extent of activities and services provided by faith-based actors in India, more specifically, related to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). To this end India’s four cities were selected, namely Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai to carry out forty (semi-structured) interviews with Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and interfaith faithbased organisations (FBOs).Download
Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country where the followers of Islam make up nearly 90% of the entire population. The country has a vibrant civil society landscape which is to a great extent composed of faith-based organisations (FBOs), especially Muslim social welfare organisations that provide a wide range of services, including health and education.
Faith to Action Network in cooperation with one of its members and founders, Muhammadiyah, an Islamic organization in Indonesia and the second largest FBO in the country, embarked on a research project to map out the extent of activities and services provided by faith-based actors in Indonesia, more specifically, related to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).Download
An independent group of scientists (IGS), supported by a task team of six UN-system agencies is receiving inputs to the 2019 Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR).
The report is mandated by the United Nations’ Member States in the outcome document of the 2012 Rio + 20 conference. It is meant to strengthen the science-policy interface and provide a strong evidence-based instrument to support policy makers in promoting poverty eradication and sustainable development.
The Faith Community can provide its inputs through the link https://goo.gl/forms/bWjUsJmHPZCDkqxb2
DEADLINE: 1 December 2017
Faith to Action Network Secretariat with the support from the ministry of foreign affairs of the Netherlands conducted a study (Mixed methods design; with a follow-up qualitative phase after the quantitative study) to generate evidence on FBOs involvement in SRHR advocacy, policy influencing and programming. The findings of this mapping highlight on great opportunities but also barriers faith-based organizations face working on sexual and reproductive health and rights. These findings are intended to leverage existing strengths and mitigate challenges to deliver family health and wellbeing.