Unwanted pregnancies have a profound effect on the lives of women and girls; their abilityand right to make choices about their lives. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), safe abortions are one of the safest and simplest medical procedures in existence.Yet, with abortion mostly illegal and highly frowned upon in most Southern African countries, unsafe abortion accounts for 10% to 13% of maternal mortality in the region. In the Southern African attitudes survey, nearly half (45% women and 44% men) said theyagreed or strongly agreed that a woman had a right to terminate her pregnancy within the first trimester. Attitudes towards abortion are changing!

28 September is International Safe Abortion Day. The day was first celebrated as a day of action for decriminalization of abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean in 1990. In 2011, the Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) declared 28 September as an international day. The day's name was changed to International Safe Abortion Day in 2015. 2016 was the biggest International Safe Abortion Day ever celebrated.1 From 5 to 9 November, SADC senior officials and Ministers of Health will meet in Windhoek, Namibia to adopt the revised SADC SRHR Strategy 2019-2030 and its related score card. This takes place against the backdrop of the global #Women'sMarch; #MeToo; #TimesUp and related regional campaigns such as the #IWearWhatILike and #TotalShutdown.


The 2018 SADC Gender Protocol Barometer put a spotlight on the inter-linked gender justice issues of our time including menstrual health, comprehensive sexual education, teenage pregnancies, safe abortion, maternal health, GBV, HIV and Aids, and sexual diversity.


SAfAIDS, cluster lead of the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance, is leading the campaign for preventing unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion. This is part of the
SAfAIDS Transforming Lives - Time for Change, Time for Action campaign supported by Sweden.

Download Full International Day on Safe Abortion Media brief here : https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tvOzaEQCvLenAR-8UPg-QvGM_Dzr7Y5m

 

By Lois Chingandu and Colleen Lowe Morna

 

Around the globe, 2017 will be remembered for the groundswell of women’s rights activism that began with spontaneous Women’s Marches as President Donald Trump took office in the USA, and gained momentum with the #MeToo, #TimesUp and #SheDecides campaigns. In a world where information moves with the speed of light, Southern Africa had its own variants to these campaigns – like the #MenAreTrash, #NotInMyName, #JusticeForKarabo #IWearWhatILike and #TotalShutDown, to name a few.

 

By Elizabeth Ndhlovu-Dumbreni

 

Many a time, religious and faith healers have been known to dissuade their followers from seeking medical attention, claiming spiritual healing through prayer, even in the face of illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and HIV among others. But for one Zimbabwean religious leader, the case is different. Popular Chitungwiza-based Apostle, Cornelius Chikuhwa, of Living Word Citadel church, broke new ground recently, when he taught about the upside of seeking medical attention.

By Elizabeth Ndhlovu-Dumbreni

 

Takawira Moyo

Religious leaders in Mberengwa have for a long time been tight-lipped about preaching the gospel of condom use among their congregants, says District Aids Action Committee officer for Mberengwa rural, Zimbabwe, Takawira Moyo.

By Elizabeth Ndhlovu-Dumbreni

Bubi chief’s representative, Bowen Sibanda speaks out against gender-based violence

Umuzi we Ndebele wakhiwa nge nduku, so goes the old Ndebele adage. Loosely translated, this statement encourages men to use violence against their wives and children as a way of maintaining order or disciplining the family. The chief’s right hand man Bowen Sibanda says this commonly held belief has led to the high incidence of violence against women and children in Bubi District.