SHE Stands Up for SRH
Last November, SHE participated in the International Conference for Family Planning (ICFP) in Kigali to join the conversation about sexual and reproductive health (SRH) concerns in Rwanda. Unlike in the U.S. where city and state-funded health clinics have an abundant supply of SRH information, services, and products free of charge to adolescents who need them, this is not the case in Rwanda. According to Article 7 of Rwandan reproductive health law, minors can only benefit from SRH information and services with a parent’s approval. Could you imagine not being able to access important reproductive health information without your mom’s permission?
SHE, along with other NGO’s, social enterprises, and the Rwandan youth have banded together to advocate for greater accessibility to SRH resources. The first order of business was to send a request letter to the Ministry of Health (MOH). To see the full request letter, click here: MOH Request Letter
SHE continued its advocacy efforts when we were invited to attend a high-level meeting with the MOH at the Rwandan Parliament. SHE’s Health and Hygiene Manager Ariane Dusenge spoke on how talking about menstruation could be the gateway to later discussions about SRH between a parent and child, which could also reduce the high teen pregnancy rate in the country. Other SRH experts spoke about the recent advocacy around removing barriers to SRH services for adolescents. At SHE, we strive to address overlooked and taboo issues and SRH is one area where we see the potential for large scale social change. This meeting at Parliament was a great opportunity to share SHE’s work at a national level. In line with our model, we’re advocating for social change, one policy at a time.