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Sexual reproductive health and rights

It is a well proven fact that a woman’s social economic status, and her physical health, is closely linked to her ability to exercise her reproductive rights. That’s why UAOWF supports girls’ and women’s right to safe childbirth, reproductive self-determination and bodily integrity.

When women and their partners are empowered economically, have access to family planning information and services, everyone benefits. Maternal mortality rates drop, children are healthier and better educated, incomes rise and relationships are stronger.

That is why UAOWF adopted a multifaceted approach to sexual reproductive health that focus on family planning, antenatal care, access to services, and prevention, detection and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS.

We strive to address the underlying inequalities such as gender-based violence that undermine the health of women and girls. We do this by promoting dialogue between couples, between men only and at the community level to discuss and find solutions to gender/structural/cultural barriers that perpetuate violence against women and girls.

We contribute to economic empowerment of women by providing training in microfinance, handcraft making, and basic book keeping. Women are also encouraged to form village savings and loan associations. These associations help women pull savings together which is the basis of small loans and capital for their small businesses. Because of this program, we have seen an important shift in gender norms. Female participants are significantly more likely to have the freedom to go out alone to spend their own money, as well as to believe in their right to refuse unwanted sex. Couples are more likely to discuss sexuality and make household decisions together.

 In Uganda, the teenage pregnancy rate is 24% with regional variations. This increases to 34% in the poorest households. In rural areas, 24% of girls experience early pregnancy compared to 16% of wealthier households and 21% of urban girls (UNICEF, 2015).
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