With the UN General Assembly fast approaching, Citizen Reporter Winfred Ongom looks into how considered and balanced financing for development will be crucial to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).Read More
By Williams Moi
Man, man, man.
Why do you marry me and then abandon me to die at the hospital?
Yes it is my right to marry but it is not right that I should die from giving life.
Oh man. You man. Why do you abandon me as if I am not your wife? Why not embrace our life and marriage?
Man, man, man. You fell in love with me and I accepted your humble request for marriage surely. Let your love stay with me until death do us part, but let it be a normal death, not a death from giving birth.
Why should l give life and die? Are there no qualified health workers to save me?
I give birth to your baby. Please let our lifetime of love be safe, and also our baby.
Man, man, man. Why can’t you confront the nurses who refuse to attend to me during the time I give birth? You abandoned me, yet I need your protection. What role do you play in preventing my death at the time when I am giving life?
Nurse you have been accused of rudeness while on duty. Why can’t you stop your aggression and do your job and deliver mothers normally?
Nurse, nurse, nurse your neglect kills babies. It is my right to stay alive after delivery. It my right to acquire medical services and it is your duty to treat me properly.
Oh nurse why do you abuse my rights? Please convert yourself into a carer and change our lives for life.
By Citizen Reporter Williams Moi
African media have been called on to promote SRHR in order to improve and promote Sexual, Reproductive Health and Rights in our communities.
A workshop was organised by the White Ribbon Alliance Uganda (WRA), in connection with the UN Women and the Guardian Newspaper, so as to empower citizens to monitor, report, and advocate for SRHR. Thirty-five citizens journalists from across Africa, including from Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi, have been trained in Kampala; half of them are women.
The three day training workshop from August 3rd to 5th, empowered citizens to monitor and track progress, and to demand accountability for commitments made by our governments towards maternal ,sexual and reproductive health and rights.
The workshop also familiarized citizen journalists with the new Sustainable Development Goals in the context of SRHR, according to Faridah Luyiga Mwanje from WRA Uganda.
While giving her opening remarks at Makerere University in Kampala, Anna Mutavati, deputy country representative for UN Women, said that women who experience disrespect and abuse during childbirth are less likely to seek skilled health care in future, adding that maternal health must include rights based respectful maternity care.
Robina Biteyi, National Coordinator WRA Uganda, said “we are very proud of working with our partner UN Women, leading the way in citizen journalism, especially through our advocacy which drives change for women and children in the region. We know that citizen-led accountability is the most sustainable way to bringing about change.”
One of the workshop participants, John Thawithe from Kasese, said that “we must observe the rights of all people including women and children, and we must create favorable condition for all Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights to be realized at various levels. This means through improved policies, and service delivery and implementation.
The WRA works for “healthy mothers and a healthy world”, by pushing for government to keep its promises to the people for life-saving emergency obstetric and newborn care as a priority intervention to reduce maternal and newborn deaths in Uganda.
In the words of WRA Uganda, we must “Act now to save mothers.’’
The training, organised by White Ribbon Alliance in partnership with the UN Women and The Guardian newspaper, attracted participants from Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda. “There has been more visible advocacy for SRHR both in the community and the media. Question is whether the coverage goes beyond events and occurrences to provide information that will cause action for change”Read More
By John B. Thawite in Kampala
Many women who experience disrespect and abuse during child birth are less likely to seek skilled health care in future,” the UN Women Country Representative in Uganda, Anna Mutavati, has warned. “Access to rights-based maternal care services and respectful maternity care are essential to women's sexual and reproductive health rights,” Anna Mutavati said Monday.
“Evidence shows that access to health care alone is not enough to promote maternal health and decrease maternal morbidity and mortality,” Mutavati said. She was opening a three-day citizen reporter advocate training held at the Makerere College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT), Kampala.
The training, organised and sponsored by White Ribbon Alliance, Uganda, attracted 35 participants, including journalists, from Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda. Citizen reporting focuses on capturing the views of communities and on matters of sexual reproductive health (SRH) and developing their capacity to hold their leaders accountable.
Mutavati urged the participants to use the training to mobilise citizens and to enable the citizens to demand for their rights and hold government and all duty bearers to account. She warned that young women and girls are at heightened risk of complications and death during pregnancy and child birth if health care services are faulty. “These complications are the leading cause of death among girls in developing communities like Uganda,” she added. She also warned against child marriage and taboos on adolescent sexuality contribute to teenage pregnancies by denying girls rights the power, information and tools to postpone child-bearing.
Mutavati emphasized that young girls must participate in decision-making and programming, particularly when the decisions that are being made affect their lives. She urged the participants to push for the better mainstreaming of sexual and reproductive health for girls and women, come the post-2015 sustainable development goals (SDGs), a successor agenda to the Millennium development Goals that expire around.
“Harmful traditional practices and misinterpretation and misuse of traditions, customs and religion continue to hold back progress,” Mutavati noted. Gender equality, women’s rights and sexual and reproductive health rights must be central to the new global development framework. “We need advocates that are well informed and skilled to influence policy makers at national, regional and international levels,” Anna Mutavati urged the trainees.
Citing the Convention on Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the ICPD and the Beijing Platform for action, Mutavati said women have a right to decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, free of coercion, discrimination and violence.
“There is no doubt that the post-2015 development framework must recognize that lack of control that women and girls have over their own bodies and reproductive choices is a serious violation of their rights,” she said. She added that this violation accounts for some of the biggest constraints to achieving their rights and capacities in other areas. Sexual and reproductive health is one of the most transformative elements for the achievement of sustainable economic, social and environmental development.
The Executive Director Action for Community Development, Obed Kabanda, who is also chairperson WRA Uganda, described sexual and reproductive health rights as inherent.
“You are not entitled to rights on the basis of colour, gender, political affiliation. Rights are discrimination-free,” Kabanda said. He criticised health workers who often mock pregnant women with disabilities who seek health care when they get pregnant.
“We often get complaints that health workers are disrespectful to pregnant women more so for women living with disabilities. Kabanda urged the particiants to acquaint themselves with the various national regional and international conventions that advocate for sexual and reproductive health if they have to be effective in their advocacy.
Martin Ninsiima, the Communication and Advocacy Manager, UN Women, cautioned the participants against portraying sexual and reproductive heath issues by mere numbers but to give numbers a human face and use of human interest stories.
Robina Biteyi, the WRA Uganda regional Coordinator, cautioned the particiants to avoid being confrontational in advancing the sexual and reproductive health agenda. She urged government to increase the health budget that currently stands at a paltry 7%. This is likely to frustrate the forth-coming SDGs. Facilitators at the training include Brigid McConville and Maeve Shearlaw, both from The Guardian Newspaper, Cathy Mwesiga from New Vision. ENDS
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BIG NEWS! Faridah Luyiga Mwanje, Citizen Representative from Uganda will be representing Citizens Hearings worldwide on stage at United Together #AgainstPoverty - a FREE event in Munich bringing together world leaders, entertainers and global citizens to call on the G7 to end extreme poverty. You’re invited: www.unitedagainstpoverty.de NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US!