Article 43 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 says every person has the right to the highest attainable standards of health, which includes the right to health care services, including reproductive health care.
But 10 years since the promulgation of this Constitution and ushering health as a key function of the counties, the physical, mental and social wellbeing of the people, aerially women and girls remains a challenge. The women are not fully able to enjoy their Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, including when to give birth or how to space their children – in summary, the right to make decisions about their bodies!
This has beenperpetuated by lack or limited information on safe, available, effective, and acceptable and access to contraceptives to enable them take charge of their lives.
This is why at the Woman’s Newsroom Foundation (WON) we are working with journalists, opinion leaders, policy shapers, to enhance access to accurate information to Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, of women and girls.
We are also working with journalists especially in specific counties to report and expose the crime that is Female Genital Cutting being subjected to girls thus violating their rights and dignity as human beings and ruining their lives by disrupting the minors’ education through FGM/C and forced so called marriages. We are determined to report, from the ground, on the consequences of these marriages on these children, such as the debilitating condition of fistula that is hardly reported.
As the public watchdog, we seek to engage journalists further to question and hold the national and county governments accountable for failure to facilitate the enjoyment of the rights to sexual reproductive health by all.
Further, we seek to spark evidence-based discussions towards enactment, or interrogation of existing policies, regulations and legal frameworks for review and alignment to the Constitution of Kenya and other international human rights instruments, to which Kenya is party.
Through a careful analysis of the situation, we, therefore, strive to break the social, economic and cultural barriers to sexual reproductive health rights.