Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights
With full involvement of girls and young women and in full respect of their privacy, confidentiality and consent, Bold Africa designs and implements programs that respond to their reproductive and sexual health needs. There is a growing realization of the significance of addressing adolescent sexual and reproductive health. The Convention on the Rights of the Child proclaims that information and services for survival, growth and development to full potential is a right of every child. The 1994 program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, calls for satisfaction of Sexual and Reproductive Health of Adolescents and young people needs. Insufficient adolescent information and services engenders a lack of understanding of their sexuality, unwanted pregnancy, sexual transmitted diseases which could lead to infertility. In many societies, adolescent especially young women from low-income and rural societies encounter pressures to engage in sexual activity.
Bodily changes are not the only experience brought by onset of adolescence but only vulnerabilities to abuse of human rights especially when it comes to sexuality, marriage and childbearing. Adolescent girls are psychosocially and biologically more vulnerable to violence and prostitution, sexual abuse and impacts of premature and unprotected sexual relations. Early sex debut combined with lack of information and services results to early and unwanted pregnancy, sexual transmitted infections such HIV and unsafe abortions. Early pregnancy and child-bearing stand in the way of improvement of women’s social, economic and educational status all over the world. Early marriages and child-bearing have a negative impact on the lives of young women and quality of lives if their children; the education and employment opportunities are curtailed by their new role. In addition, young men are not educated to share responsibility in matters of sexuality and reproduction with women. Young mothers have the highest risk of maternal death and children of young mothers experience higher levels of morbidity and mortality.We offer comprehensive sexuality education that includes among other things menstrual hygiene management. We offer counselling and access to sexual and reproductive health information to adolescent girls and young women to enable them deal with sexuality positively and responsibility. We also implement programs that educate young men on respecting women’s self-determination and share in the responsibility of matters of sexuality and reproductive health. Working with key stakeholders in the community, we create a safe space where young girls and women can free from judgement receive information about sexual and reproductive health. Bold Africa also train peer-to-peer educators or champions who assist in sharing information. In addition, we with the local health facilities for referral services and provision of youth-friendly service.
Education, Leadership and Mentorship for girls
Poverty, cultural norms and practices, fragility, violence and poor infrastructure impedes girls´ access to education. An educated woman translates to a health woman, one who is able to take part in the job market, one who earns more, who chooses to delay marriage and child bearing, has fewer children, makes better sexual and reproductive health decision and guarantees better education and health for their children. Educating a girl is therefore a development priority since it has spill-over effects on other development objectives . Educated girls act as mentors to other girls in the society and challenge power structures in the society. Bold Africa support girls and young women’s education by providing financial support to merit-based students from disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition we encourage girls to pursue education and re-entry and resuming of studies by young mothers.In every society, regardless of economic levels, there is talent and drive. Opportunities need to be made available for these values to be exploited and investment made in creating a pool of female leaders. Creating opportunities for young female leadership can help alter their position in society.
A survey have shown that young girls have fewer social opportunities than boys; they are less likely to meet friends of the same sex, make new friends and possibly interact with a mentor. Friends and mentors are social assets for girls that can reduce health and economic risks. In every society, there are girls that possess leadership abilities. These girls are a valuable asset for poor marginalized societies because they have potential to be leaders in the society and consequently mentors to other girls. Nurturing girl’s leadership abilities had myriad of benefits among others: provision of role models and heroes to the next generation, it alters retrogressive tradition and norms and it strengthens and empowers the older girls. Giving a sense of responsibility and having a visible leadership role in the community by young girls contributes immensely to change. A network of young female leaders have proven to be effective in challenging power structures in the community and contributes to a strong female voices in the decision-making area. Poor regions lack a strong female presence in leadership or arena where young women can meet and interact.Bold Africa provides holistic workshop style personal development course for girls and young women to be productive adults. Our mentorship we encourage their ambition, empower their confidence, and keep them on track by helping them set goals and work towards achieving them. We also provide a cascading/mentorship programs to encourage leadership and mentorship among the girls. Through our leadership and mentorship program, we envision:
- Young female leaders seeking and valuing community action and involvement
- Young women who recognize their self-worth and potential
- Young women with increased self-esteem and decision-making abilities
- Young women who envision themselves as leaders now and in the future
- Positive role models for young women, which encourage their ambition, self-confidence and growth, allowing them to trust and showing them that they are supported.
- Young women with more positive attitudes toward school, improved academic performance higher levels of self-confidence and a greater ability to express their feelings
When women access economic resources, it not only benefits themselves but also their community. Extreme poverty perpetuates a cycle of violence and discrimination against women and girls. Gender based inequality and violence continues to keep women and girls in poverty and social exclusion. Supporting economic empowerment of women leads to economic reduction and closing in on gender inequality. Through the foundation we conduct entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills to young women. Women are also involved in 70% of food staple production. We empower young women through business, entrepreneurial and financial literacy skills. In addition to this, we assist women farmers access extension services to increase their food production.