To achieve gender equality our programmes are all designed and implemented through a gender transformative approach that addresses the structural barriers to gender equality at different levels. We work within systems using the Sustainable Development Goal 5 as the bare minimum for what needs to change, and push a feminist agenda.

Gender Transformative SRHR systems ensure that the continuum of needs and services meet the realities of all women’s lives. Growing attention on SRHR, including meeting Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets, have resulted in a skewed focus on reproductive health. The reduction in maternal mortality is welcomed but it is not sufficient to ensure girls, adolescents and women realise their sexual and reproductive rights.

The conservative backlash increasingly means that any sexual and reproductive rights won are no longer guaranteed – and sexual rights for girls and adolescents are not even on the agenda. There is a need to shift the discourse – to include the continuum of SRHR– and to see these rights for all.

NGO 50/50 Network

The network is comprised of civil society led organisations who have committed to, over and above their key mandate, to look inside their organisations striving to become  gender equality workplaces. The NGO50/50 network encourages self-accountability and collective accountability mechanisms to ensure that we place EMPOWERING WOMEN AND GIRLS AT THE CENTRE OF HOW WE WORK!

In 2018, we launched a call with the Sexual Rights Africa Network to all organisations to commit to:

  • Implement equitable staffing and remuneration.
  • Conduct gender transformative staff development.
  • Consider home responsibilities in workplace decisions.
  • Grant sufficient parental leave.
  • Demonstrate our commitment to equality through external representation of our organisations.
  • Eliminate sexual harassment and sexual and gender based violence.
  • Support menstrual health rights.
  • Support SRHR.
  • Conduct regular gender equity audits and report the findings.
  • Support gender responsive or transformative programming!

Support our call today! For more information, e-mail

Working with the Southern African Development Community – Gender Responsive Oversight Model (GROM)

Our central focus is to raise issues of HIV infections and SRHR among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in key political and decision-making platforms. We have provided support to SADC to develop GROM in an attempt to meet the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) resolution (R60/2) to prevent HIV infections among AGYW and to monitor and improve SADC country efforts in this regard. The focus of GROM is on the regional body (SADC) parliamentary caucus which provides a pathway to achieving CSW (R60/2), but also Sustainable Development Goal 5. The GROM model is being piloted and its implementation is planned across SADC countries.

SRHR outreach for adolescents in prisons in line with the new Mandela Rules for Prisons

SAT has begun collaborating with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and VSO-RAISSA on two activities. In the new strategy period (2018-2022) an advocacy strategy will be taken up with as many organisations as possible to prevent the incarceration of adolescents for child marriage offences and for consenting sexual activity falling within certain parameters. Part of the advocacy will be to seek amnesties for those already incarcerated. In addition, SAT in partnership UNODC will extend work with targeted prisons to use data and technology to track the health of adolescent prisoners.

Access to SRHR Justice

Young people, particularly younger women and adolescent girls, face formidable cultural, social and structural barriers to realizing their full sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in ESA. Socio-cultural barriers including harmful gender norms, gender inequalities and persistent power imbalances dramatically reduce younger women’s access to information, education and essential sexual and reproductive health services. Discriminatory laws and practices, coupled with outdated and hostile attitudes from law makers and healthcare providers can create structural barriers to SRHR for both young men and women. We advocate at a regional and national level to change laws, policies and practices that interfere with access to rights.

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is a leading killer of women in ESA: co-infection with HIV means that women are getting cancer at an even earlier age. Cervical cancer is easily diagnosed – and early diagnosis can lead to a positive outcome. SAT is piloting test and treat models and are continuing this work to advocate for greater access for services that focus on the prevention of cervical cancer, offer treatment for all stages when needed, and provide care for women and girls who are terminal.