Call for stories on Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights

Call for stories on Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights

Date: November 19, 2019
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Call for innovative stories on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and training opportunity for the best entries – make your pitch by 21 November


Gender Links (GL) in its capacity as secretariat for the SADC Gender Protocol Alliance is calling for stories to be published as part of its series during the Sixteen Days of Activism that will be used to move from the 16 Days to Generation Equality. GL will pay $100 for innovative and in-depth stories in print, radio or video that can be uploaded online. Your key contact is Tarisai Nyamweda, GL Media manager:

Key dates

Submit your story idea or pitch using this link Thursday, 21 November
Submit your story to Further instructions can be found below. Date to be assigned by the editor



Every year the United Nations declares the period from the 25 November as the 16 Days of No Violence Against Women across the globe.  In 2019, the UNiTE campaign will mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, from 25 November to 10 December, under the theme, “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape!”

While GL acknowledges the high levels of violence in rape, it is clear that rape is amongst the many forms of violence and discrimination women face across the SADC region. In 2018, GL and the SADC Gender Protocol Alliance in 15 Southern African countries located gender-based violence (GBV) within the broader context of SRHR. The other key driver in the campaign is to ensure that SRHR is on the agenda 365 days a year. GL has always promoted the notion of the 16 Days for life. All stakeholders have to act consistently over the year to keep SRHR on the agenda.

In 2019 Gender Links produced #VoiceandChoice Barometer that measured 100 indicators on SRHR in the region, including those drawn from the Alliance’s attitude survey.  The Barometer, launched in August by the Chair of the SADC Women’s Parliamentary Forum, serves as the first civil society shadow report on the SADC SRHR strategy score card adopted by SADC member states in November 2018. Out of the 20 indicators identified by governments, the Alliance found 12 that could be measured across all countries.

The 2019 Sixteen Days campaign recognises that gender-based violence is a symptom of gender inequality. The UNiTE Generation Equality campaign locates the 16 Days in the context of the broader goal of gender equality. This year Gender Links and the Alliance partners will roll out the 16 Days 2019 campaign will occur under the banner 16 Days towards Generation Equality.

The theme places three key concepts at the centre of preventing and reducing GBV. These are:

#VoiceandChoice: All citizens and particularly women must be able to exercise their choices freely and articulate their needs in all spheres of lives. This fundamental to democracy and to citizens demanding accountable governments.

#Patriarchymustfall: at the core of gender inequality and indeed gender-based violence is the notion that patriarchy is a monolithic construct that is almost impossible to break down. Women and men need to deconstruct the internalisation of patriarchy within ourselves and challenge its almost mythical power at every level.

#Peacebegins@home: an extension of challenging patriarchal values and beliefs in the self is the equally important task of challenging these within the home. Peaceful homes are equal homes. The 2019 16 Days campaign will re-introduce a past and critical theme, Peace begins@home.


  • Submit your story idea  or pitch using this link by Thursday 21 November. Your pitch should answer the four W’s and H – who, what, when, why, how?
  • You will receive a response by Friday 22 November and deadline for submitting your story by the Sixteen Days, that runs from 25 November to 10 December. All stories must be submitted online . Only 25 stories will be selected from across Southern Africa.
  • Journalists will receive a $100 honourarium for stories published.
  • You will have the opportunity to receive further training on covering SRHR in the first half of 2019, to receive a small grant to do your story, and to participate in SADC Protocol@Work summits.
  • GL encourages journalism students and young journalists to make a pitch.

Criteria for gender sensitive SRHR reporting

  • Gender balance of sources: For the media to produce coverage that is complete and diverse, it is critical that the news reflects the world as seen through the eyes of women as well as men and other genders.
  • Agents of change: Journalists can help to change attitudes by portraying women as they really are rather than re-enforcing gender-based stereotypes.
  • Gender balance is good journalism: Professionalism journalism demand that all voices and perspectives are covered.
  • Language is value ridden: Language is key, do not use male descriptors to describe all people. Describe the differential impact on all the relevant groups.
  • Data disaggregation: Breakdown data so that there is a perspective on how the issue affects everyone not just one homogenous group.
  • Fairness: Ensure that all views are included and treated with equal weight.
  • Challenge stereotypes: Focus on women’s views not their appearance or their perceived gender roles such as being wives and mothers.
  • Accountability: Hold stakeholders accountable for their actions or lack of action.
  • Research: Thoroughly research your subject, ensure accuracy and clarity. Sift out what is fact and opinion.

Examples of SRHR stories

Medium Theme Description of the story Link
Print Age of sexual consent Mmegi: The story covers a motion in Parliament to increase the age of sexual consent to 18. Activists are concerned that the increased age stipulation will make young people engaged in sex below the age of 18 criminals.
Television Rape and justice The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC): Reverend Omotoso raped several young as head of his church. The story raises concerns about the one of the key witnesses Cheryl Zondi was treated by the accused’s legal counsel.
Radio Coverage of the 22nd Global HIV and AIDS conference and the increases in infections in young women Radio 702: Eusebius Kaiser interviewing Deputy Executive Director, Wits Institute for Sexual and Reproductive Health, HIV and Related Diseases (WHI) Professor Francois Venter about the rate of infections in SADC and about young women’s vulnerabilities.
Online Safe and legal abortion Daily Maverick: Mercedes Sayagues writes about the Mozambique approving Legal Abortion in October 2014 and their commitment to women’s rights.


  • For more information on the SRHR campaign, click here.
  • For more information on the Sixteen Days campaign click here.
  • To read the Harmful Practices chapter in 2019 #VoiceandChoice Barometer click here.
  • To read the Adolescent SRHR chapter in 2019 #VoiceandChoice Barometer click here.
  • To read the SRHR chapter in 2019 #VoiceandChoice Barometer click here.
  • To read the HIV and AIDS chapter in 2019 #VoiceandChoice Barometer click here.
  • To read the GBV chapter in 2019 #VoiceandChoice Barometer click here.
  • For more information or clarity please email

One thought on “Call for stories on Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights”

Steven Ngole says:

Am Steven Ngole From Njombe Tanzania am a Radio Journalist, I just want to know about Swahili language if is applicable on this contest.

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