Danish Minister Ulla Tørnæs visits GL

Date: March 2, 2018
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Johanneburg, 2 March: The Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Ms. Ulla Tørnæs visited the Gender Links organisation in Johannesburg, to discuss the challenges of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and gender-based violence (GBV) amongst youth in South Africa – particularly in disadvantaged communities.

On Saturday the 3rd of March 2018, Minister Ulla Tørnæs visited the Gender Links Cottages in Johannesburg, as part of her four-day visit to South Africa. A drama performance by the community-based organisation, Let Us Grow, kicked off the event, and it saw local youth from communities on the outskirts of Johannesburg, depict issues of puberty, SRHR and GBV in the context of their own communities. This was followed by a testimony from a GBV survivor engaging with the crowd to discuss the impacts of GBV.

Minister Tørnæs was accompanied by a delegation from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as several Danish parliamentarians and Youth Delegates. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Deputy Executive Director, Ms. Laura Londén was also present with her delegation, along with representatives from the SRHR CSO Fund AmplifyChange and Gender Links. The representatives of each organisation reiterated their support and commitment to advocate and provide capacity support on issues of SRHR and GBV in South Africa. South Africa faces an immense challenge in tackling the crisis of GBV and providing the necessary health services for SRHR to disadvantaged communities.

“You have the right to decide what is right for your own body. The right to sexuality education is important. The right to choose when, with who and how many children you want is important. Access to good and safe health clinics is important. This is one of the main things I have decided to fight for as a Minister,” said minister Tørnæs who also mentioned that we must not forget, that it’s good for the overall economy, when women are given the same rights as men.

AmplifyChange is a CSO fund, supporting civil society organisations like Gender Links that are able to reach the grassroot level  – in order to bring more awareness and assistance on SRHR issues, to people that need it the most. Denmark has provided support to AmplifyChange for many years and at this event on the 3rd of March 2018, Minister Tørnæs announced further support in the form of a new grant for Gender Links that will help young women be informed about SRHR in puberty.

About GenderLinks non-governmental organisation

Gender Links promotes gender equality and justice across the fifteen countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. It seeks to reverse the vicious negative cycle of women’s lack of voice, choice and control, through actions at regional, national, community, household and individual level that show that change is possible, through working with men and women, boys and girls.

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