because we can! campaign
The campaign’s overall objective is to contribute to positive changes in SRHR and CSE policies and laws and to defend progressive policies and laws from attacks at AU, SADC and national levels in 8 Southern African countries. Particularly, the campaign ensures a more effective domestication and monitoring of the Maputo Plan of Action, ESA commitments and SADC SRHR strategy 2019-2030.
More About the
AMPLIFY CHANGE BECAUSE WE CAN! CAMPAIGN
A unique coalition of youth-serving SRHR organisations and faith organisations came together to develop a joint campaign to promote young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health and rights information and services in 8 Southern African countries.
Fortunately, Southern African governments have made progressive policy commitments to offer young people universal access to SRHR information and services. The Maputo Plan of Action operationalises the Continental Policy Framework for SRHR in Africa and the ESA commitments promise comprehensive sexuality education and adolescent SRH services in 20 Eastern and Southern African countries. In practice, this ambitious policy framework contrasts with slow progress on young people’s SRHR. For example, in 2017, 167 in 1,000 girls aged 15-19 had given birth in Mozambique, 145 in Zambia, 136 in Malawi and 94 in Lesotho. The unmet need for family planning reaches staggering 66% in South Africa, 65% in Swaziland, 61% in Lesotho. A UNESCO analysis of ten countries shows that school syllabi do not include basic information about condoms and contraception and lack a gender focus.
There is no doubt that civil society plays an important role in holding governments accountable for domesticating and implementing these policy commitments and demanding for the respect, protection and fulfilment of these rights.
Hence, the “Because We Can!” Campaign. The campaign’s overall objective is to contribute to positive changes in SRHR and CSE policies and laws and to defend progressive policies and laws from attacks at AU, SADC and national levels in 8 Southern African countries. Particularly, the campaign ensures a more effective domestication and monitoring of the Maputo Plan of Action, ESA commitments and SADC SRHR strategy 2019-2030.
The campaign has 2 specific objectives:
To increase the number of Southern African CSOs advocating for the domestication and implementation of SRHR and CSE policies and norms protecting youth rights in Southern Africa.
To enhance decision-makers’ accountability in domesticating and implementing continental policies and norms promoting young people’s SRHR in Southern Africa.
Investing into this campaign means strengthening civil society’s voice in Southern Africa, through a better informed, more united civil society movement, taking concerted action towards national governments and SADC, influencing public discourse and fostering youth activism.
Strategic Advisory Committee and SADC Advocacy Meeting
29 April – 03 May 2019: Cape Town, South Africa
The success of this campaign depends on strong partnerships and collaborations with CSOs at regional, national and local level. IPPFAR/PSH believes that CSOs and partners are key to identifying the current gaps which hampers the domestication of the Maputo Plan of Action, ESA commitment and SADC SRHR strategy.
Therefore Partners in Sexual Health (PHS) invited CSO partners to a Strategic Advisory Committee and SADC Advocacy meeting to identify the gaps and jointly develop a SADC SRHR Advocacy Strategy on CSE and SRHR access.
Goals and Objectives achieved:
The participants developed a symmetrical implementation plan for all 8 SADC countries by CSO partners, outlined the research study in 8 SADC countries and developed a SADC Advocacy Strategy by CSO partners.
The meeting was structured around three outcomes, namely;
Discussion and agreement on the implementation plan - what to achieve and timelines.
Identified key priority areas for the research study to achieve the campaign goal.
Identified gaps, discussed and developed SADC SRHR Advocacy Strategy with a key focus on specific activities currently not implemented by various SADC CSO partners.