No woman will be left behind as FEMNET rolls out forums on Sustainable Development Goals

FEMNET alongside its regional and global members is rolling out spirited processes to enliven the United Nations 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs make an audacious promise to “leave no one behind” in ending all forms of poverty, fighting, inequalities and tackling climate change.  FEMNET promises not to leave any woman behind as the SDGs take center-stage to delivering equality across the globe!

Understanding the SDGs is critical. Knowledge and internalization of the SDG’s 17 Goals is absolutely necessary. The SDGs have 169 targets, what are these targets?

Women’s rights organizations on the fore-front of expanding emancipation and empowerment spaces for women in Africa must be on the alert to keep the SDGs in focus. Fundamental reference must be maintained as we pull up our women one by one.  How do we track and measure progress? How do they complement existing commitments on women’s rights such as Beijing Platform for Action, CEDAW and the AU Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol)?

The SDGs are our golden opportunity to significantly bridge the gaps of inequalities. Ownership of the process is critical and so is resource support, accessibility to information and timely data collection

In this pilot phase, FEMNET in partnership with Amplify Change and Hivos Southern Africa is strengthening  the capacities of her members in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe who are working on sexual and reproductive health and rights issues (SRHR) to empower them to engage their policymakers in implementing the provisions articulated in the 2030 SDGs Agenda  Goal Numbers 3, 5 and 10.  More substantive information is available here;Briefing on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainbale Development”

For FEMNET, the SDGs train has already left the station! The journey to lift up women from across Africa has begun with unrelenting zeal. On May 31st to June 2nd 2016, FEMNET collaborated with the Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre and NGO Gender Coordination Network to enhance the capacities of over 40 gender advocates in Malawi. The training resulted in increased knowledge and analytical skills on SRHR obligations enshrined in the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and linking to the existing regional and national polices.

FEMNET members who were trained will continue to collectively and individually track progress and engage their duty bearers at different levels on SRHR commitments during the implementation of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The next stop will be Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique.

Stay connected to FEMNET’s platforms  / @femnetProg   for more information on the next country in line for capacity building on the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

In the SDGs Agenda 2030, no woman will be left behind


Press Release: Launch of the Campaign for the Decriminalization of Abortion in Africa



The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) through the mechanism of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa, in line with its Resolution on the Health and Reproductive Rights of Women in Africa, 2007 and with its commitment through a communique on accountability for women’s reproductive health taken in March 2015 in Nairobi; has today launched a continental Campaign for the Decriminalization of Abortion in Africa. The ACHPR has done this in order to bring attention to unsafe abortion which poses a serious threat to women’s and girl’s rights to sexual and reproductive health.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), unsafe abortion continues to be a public health crisis and one of the largest contributors of maternal mortality and morbidity in Africa, accounting for up to 30% of maternal deaths in many sub-Saharan countries. The WHO estimates that over 6 million unsafe abortions occur in Africa resulting in 29,000 deaths and countless serious injuries and disabilities every year for poor, mostly rural based African women and girls under the age 25.

The ACHPR, is concerned that these deaths occur partly because of laws that criminalize abortion on the presumption that the threat of arrest or imprisonment will prevent women and girls from having abortions. We agree with the WHO that making abortion illegal does not reduce abortion rates and neither does it deter women from having abortions. What instead happens is that more women are pushed to the backstreet where they access unsafe abortions. It is time to bring a stop to these deaths.

The ACHPR is committed to bringing States into compliance with their commitments under the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol); the Maputo Plan of Action; and the Campaign for the Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA).

To that end the ACHPR calls on Heads of State and Government to demonstrate their commitment to preserving the lives of African women and girls by decriminalizing abortion in their respective countries.

Hon. Commissioner Lucy Asuagbor

Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women



​Follow conversations n twitter hashtags:

#AbortionNotACrime#GIMAC27#Womensrights#26thAUSummit, ​#AU2016

An Appeal to African Leaders: Support Gender Equality in the Sustainable Development Goals Without Reservations

24th September 2015

For Immediate Release

On the eve of the adoption of the landmark Post-2015 Development Agenda over 140 advocates for the rights of women and girls in Africa are urging their leaders to support targets in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Indeed, these targets are already in line with existing African commitments that guarantee universal access to a comprehensive package of sexual and reproductive health services.

The two targets in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals call on governments to:

3.7 By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes;

5.6 Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences.

In a Statement titled African Women & Girls Call on their Governments to Support Gender Equality in Totality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, advocates note that throughout the negotiation process some African governments have spoken out against inclusion of these targets. This despite all 54 member states of the African Union having adopted and implemented progressive regional commitments on the right to sexual and reproductive health. [1]


Ms. Dinah Musindarwezo of FEMNET said, “We are urging our Heads of State and Government to stand in solidarity with the millions of African women and girls affected by poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes, and explicitly support the SRHR targets 3.7 and 5.6 in the Post-2015 Development Agenda without any reservation.

[1] Maputo Plan of Action on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (2006); The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (2003) popularly known as ‘Maputo Protocol’; the Common Africa Position (CAP) on the Post-2015 development agenda

African Women’s Position on the New Development Agenda

12th August 2015

For Immediate Release

African women join other women’s rights activists in applauding the new “2030 Agenda” for having the promise of being truly transformative for women and girls around the world. The “2030 Agenda” agreed upon on 2nd August 2015 by the 193 members states of the UN will be formally adopted at the UN General Assembly in September 2015 – as the agenda for global sustainable development to be carried out over the next 15 years.

The new agenda includes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a framework of 17 goals and 169 targets that build upon the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire this year.

Notably, the “2030 Agenda” includes significant victories for women and girls. Governments have committed to:

=> End discrimination and gender-based violence

=> End child marriage and female genital mutilation

=> Ensure access to sexual and reproductive health care services and education for all

=> Protect women’s and girls’ reproductive rights

=> Recognize and value the burdens of unpaid care work on women and girls

=> Expand women’s economic opportunities and ensure their rights to resources

=> Eliminate gender disparities in schools and ensure equal access to education


Although gender equality is addressed much more robustly in the SDGs than the MDGs, women’s rights organizations in Africa are greatly concerned of the persistent lack of political will by some of the African member states to safeguard gender equality and the human rights of women and girls throughout the Post-2015 development process.

“We are deeply disturbed that in this time and age we still have countries that have consistently been calling for the removal of language on gender equality, reproductive rights, recognition of human rights and non-discrimination for all” noted Ms. Dinah Musindarwezo, Executive Director, African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET).

Through the various regional and global agreements, African Heads of State have highlighted the inextricable link between gender equality, women’s rights, women’s empowerment and Africa’s structural transformation – recently highlighted in the Common African Position (CAP) on Post-2015 “No person – regardless of ethnicity, gender, geography, disability, race or other status – is denied universal human rights and basic economic opportunities.”

We are therefore calling on all our leaders – from the community to national to regional levels –  to demonstrate political will, domesticate and allocate adequate resources to implement the “2030 Agenda” and other progressive regional and global agreements they have already signed to such as the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa; The Maputo Plan of Action on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights; The International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD PoA) and The Abuja Declaration on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and other related Infectious diseases.

FEMNET and Akina Mama wa Afrika have been at the fore mobilizing African women and girls to engage and influence the Post-2015 processes and will continue to monitor progress and advocate for implementation and realization of the ambitious 2030 Agenda.


For more information please contact:

Dinah Musindarwezo, Executive Director, FEMNET: tel: +254 20 2712971/2

Irene Kagoya, Akina Mama wa Afrika: tel: +256 414 543 681


Stop the Bleeding – Launch of Africa Campaign to Curb Illicit Financial Flows

Monday, 03 August 2015



(NAIROBI, KENYA): Africa loses massive financial resources, about US$50 billion each year through illicit activities of multinational companies and rich individuals. These resources, if retained in the continent could be invested in productive sectors of these economies to lift Africa’s growing population from under-development and poverty.

According to the African Union/Economic Commission for Africa High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa report, the continent lost about one trillion dollars (US$1trillion) between 1980 and 2008. Other estimates are even higher. The Panel was chaired by President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa.

The multiplier effects of these losses are much larger. IFFs from Africa in real terms mean loss of jobs, income, decent education, health facilities and other basic infrastructure critical to structurally transform the economy of countries in Africa and the socio-economic conditions of Africans.

According to the High Level Panel’s report, the major perpetrators of IFFs from Africa are multinational companies, especially those operating in Africa’s extractive sector, mostly in oil, gas and mining. These activities pose a major threat to sustainable development and security across the continent. The HLP report recommends 15 solutions African countries must implement to curtail IFFs from the continent.



It is against this backdrop that the Interim Working Group (IWG) of the African IFF Campaign Platform comprising six Pan-African organisations namely Tax Justice Network-Africa (TJN-A), Third World Network-Africa (TWN-Af)Africa Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD), FEMNET (the African Women s Development and Communication Network), the African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa) and Trust Africa supported and joined by the Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ) will launch a unified African campaign platform on Illicit Financial Flows. Dubbed “STOP THE BLEEDING”, the launch will take place on June 25th 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Themain goal of the campaisn is to stop IFFs from Africa. The aim of the launch is to implement an Africa Campaign on IFFs that ss led and driven by African civil society organisations with support from other partners including lnternational non-governmental organisations (INGOs).

As a follow up to the public launch of the Campaign in June, a side event will be held on the margins of the upcoming Financing for Development Conference (FfD3) In July In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The side event will introduce the Africa IFF campaign, re-emphasis the importance of taking forward the recommendations contained in the Mbeki HLP report*,and highlight some of the joint plans that CSOs and other African Institutions such as the African Union and UNECA have been undertaking to push for the Implementation of the Mbeki HLP report*.

The side event will target African delegations, CSOs, African Institutions and agencies present at the FfD3 conference. The side event will feature a panel session comprised of representatives from the African Union commission, Africa Group delegation, Economlc Commission and cvil society.

For more information on how you can be involved in the period leading up to the 25th June campaign activities and beyond please contact the following:

Savior Mwambwa | Kwesi Obeng
Gyekye Tanoh | Cornelius Adedze
Briggs Bomba | Paul Talcow
Tafadzwa Ollkumbu chlkumbut@a | Munyaradzi T.Nkomo
Joel Odlgle | G V Hunt

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