As a healthy population and a productive workforce is essential for sustainable socioeconomic development in the SADC region, women’s health and specifically their sexual and reproductive health is critically important. The revised SADC Gender Protocol (The Protocol) has been strengthened to recognise women’s’ sexual and reproductive health as a right. This is a significant move in ensuring acceleration of progress in line with the SDGs to eliminate maternal mortality by 2030; address the mental, sexual and reproductive health needs of women and men; and ensure the provision of hygienic and sanitary facilities and nutritional needs of all women, including women in prison.
Some key points
- The revised SADC Gender Protocol has been strengthened to recognise women’s sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) as a human right.
- SADC countries need to increase the focus of their SRHR programmes on adolescents.
- Use of contraceptives ranges from 12% in Mozambique to 76% in Mauritius.