Seychelles to host Voice and Choice Summit

Seychelles to host Voice and Choice Summit

Date: June 28, 2019
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Victoria, 4  July: Gender Links (GL) and the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance GEM Plus will host the #VoiceandChoice summits in Seychelles on Friday 5 July 2019. The country level summit will culminate in a regional summit to be held in South Africa in November 2019 at the commencement of the 16 Days of Activism.

The key #VoiceandChoice categories are:

  • Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
  • Youth Engagement
  • Governance, including the 50/50 campaign
  • Economic justice
  • Climate change
  • Media
  • Drivers of Change

Running under the hashtag #VoiceandChoice the summits serve as a springboard to call governments to account for gender equality commitments made in the SADC Gender Protocol and the Sustainable Development Goals. The summits will pave way for the localisation of the recently adopted Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) strategy.

 The main purpose of the #VoiceandChoice Summit is to allow participants to learn and share best practices from various sectors across the countries including Government departments, Non-Governmental organisation (NGOs), Community Based Organisations (CBOs), Faith Based Organisations (FBOs), Local Government councils as well as the media. Case studies will be shared in different streams including Action, Youth, Media, Entrepreneurship as well as Centres of Excellence Institutional Awards.

The summit will also include plenaries on #VoiceandChoice and fifty –fifty campaigns in light of the national elections taking place across the region. From 2018 Genderlinks (GL) and the Alliance have run the #VoiceandChoice campaign focusing on the importance of enabling women, to have voice, choice and control over their own Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR).

Since then GL and the Alliance have developed 37 national SRHR and 103 local SRHR campaigns putting emphasis on particularly maternal health, menstrual health,  Comprehensive Sexual Education and teenage pregnancies, Safe Abortion, HIV and AIDS , Child marriages as well as sexual diversity.

 In addition, GL worked with 95 councils across ten countries to update their SRHR plans. The summits also provide an important checkpoint to evaluate the implementation of the campaigns and action plans at national and local level.

The Voice and choice campaign connects the dots from global to regional to local level in the implementation of the gender equality frameworks. Under the #VoiceandChoice campaign GL also conducted a mapping of SRHR policies and laws in SADC to gauge whether countries have put in place SRHR laws and policies and whether these are adequate in the promotion and protection of SRHR especially for youth and adolescents. This mapping gives firm grounding for advocacy purposes to hold governments accountable. 

For more information contact Sharon Thelemaque – Ernesta on / 2722252 OR visit GL website and Alliance focal network website. Follow our Facebook page and Twitter to join the #VoiceandChoice Campaign.

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