Our long history and learning around HIV has led to holistic programming Sexual and Reproductive Health Right Needs (SRHR). We continue to maintain and ensure strengthened focus on HIV through Her Voice Fund and supporting the network for adolescents living with HIV (Y+) in South Africa. To address the lived realities of girls, (and boys) and young women including high rates of teenage pregnancy, unsupported menstrual health, violence against children, child marriages, keeping girls in safe schools, adolescent access to services and Comprehensive Sexuality Knowledge (CSK) we have developed a comprehensive programme – The Girl Plan (also for boys). Closely aligned to this is the envisioned adolescent healthcare access plan which will be rolled out across the region.
It is time to stop looking at SRHR issues in isolation; it is time for #TheGirlPlan (also for Boys)
Our holistic programme aimed at driving efforts towards gender equality, adolescent healthcare and sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) are centred on six crucial elements, given contextual constraints;
A growing body of global research links menstruation with school absenteeism, as well as adolescent engagement in transactional sex for money to buy sanitary pads.
gender-based violence (GBV)
GBV is a major obstacle to attaining gender equality and equity, and its effects are compounded by related health issues including HIV, unwanted pregnancies and lack of access to abortion.
Child marriage is a common experience for many girls in the Southern African region and spotlights the issue – and related impacts – of early childbearing.
in safe schools
Ensuring that girls actually go to school and that it is safe for
them to do so.
adolescent access to SRHR services
Information and access to services is essential to reducing their exposure to the high risk of contracting HIV and other STIs, as well as to unplanned and early pregnancies.
comprehensive sexuality knowledge (CSK)
Suitable information for young people needs to be provided through school and health centres to help to tackle the fact that three decades into the HIV epidemic, children and young people remain among the worst affected by the pandemic.
The HER Voice Fund is jointly being managed, rolled out and administered by SAT and the Eastern Africa National Networks of AIDS Service Organizations (EANNASO).
HER Voice is the result of various consultations with women organisations and women’s funds citing challenges faced, particularly by young women, while engaging in relevant policy and programme design processes that directly affect their lives.
Through its “Community Rights and Gender Strategic Initiative”, the Global Fund has invested USD500,000 in HER Voice to support the meaningful engagement of adolescent girls and young women in national AGYW and youth related policy and program processes supported by or linked to the Global Fund, for an initial period of 12 months.
HER Voice believes that to respond adequately to
the needs of adolescent girls and young women,
their voices and ideas must be heard.
They must have the opportunity to shape policies and programmes that affect them. HER Voice will collaborate with and compliment other initiatives geared towards strengthening quality of interventions targeting adolescent girls and young women.