What African feminist movements are up against in 2023

Emboldened by the overturning of Roe v Wade, Western conservative movements are dialling up their Africa campaigns

Joy Asasira
28 December 2022

This year’s most notable decision affecting gender justice – the overturning of federal protection of the right to abortion in the US – happened more than 6,000 miles from Africa, but its impact was felt here too.

The US Supreme Court’s decision will affect legal, policy and public service spheres on the African continent. It will also intensify the ideological war to control women’s bodies and push LGBTIQ citizens further to the margins.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/african-feminism-2023-threats/

U.S. Overturn of Roe Will Embolden Anti-Abortion Movements Abroad


The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which ruled that there is no U.S. constitutional right to abortion, will have ripple effects around the world, according to the International Center for Research on Women’s (ICRW) policy brief, “U.S. Foreign Policy Implications of Overturning Roe v. Wade.” While Dobbs did not change existing U.S. foreign policy regarding abortion, the brief argues that it will embolden anti-abortion movements abroad, contribute to global stigmatization of abortion, cause confusion for policy implementation and open the door for new restrictions—all of which will negatively impact the health, economic resources and well-being of women throughout the world. 

Dobbs is a reminder that current U.S. foreign aid restrictions “are not aligned with best health care practices nor consistent with human rights and bodily autonomy principles.”

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2022/11/29/us-overturn-roe-v-wade-abortion-abroad-foreign-policy-helms-amendment-global-gag-rule/

Kenya – Give adolescents contraceptives to address cases of teen pregnancies

By Esther Kimani
Nov 28, 2022

As the world population clocked eight billion recently, more than 3,500 delegates from across the globe gathered in Pattaya City, Thailand, for the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP).

The conference attended by key women’s rights advocates from Kenya, including Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris, provided a global stage for countries, organisations, and individuals to make important commitments, celebrate achievements, and interrogate barriers to the realisation of Reproductive Health goals, including access to contraception.

Continued: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/opinion/article/2001461905/give-adolescents-contraceptives-to-address-cases-of-teen-pregnancies

Abortion Is Legal in Ethiopia. But Half of These Clinics Won’t Provide Them.

Oct. 18, 2022
By Anu Kumar (Ipas)
Graphics by Sara Chodosh

Abortion has been legal in Ethiopia under a broad range of circumstances for the past 17 years. Nevertheless, at the Shekebedo Health Center, abortions cannot be performed at all. The clinic, situated in a rural part of southwestern Ethiopia where quality health care is hard to access, is partially funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. This funding has stopped the clinic from offering abortions to Ethiopian women.

The U.S. law that has impeded Shekebedo from providing abortions, known as the Helms Amendment, was passed in 1973 during the backlash to Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in all 50 states — and which the current court overturned in June. Helms prohibits the federal government from using foreign aid to pay for “abortion as a method of family planning.”

Unlocked: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/10/17/opinion/helms-amendment-abortion-repeal.html?unlocked_article_code=mHvChNQ4UzOBW3MNBpu0qhgSJ3tcqpa-UNmGiBj2yy43pMKf99_p1ca620Z5rB5wlOZ8hN1dEzZurbnq9ZWZOgqO8RD2ZZeyzD8UfFwOmODM4q6tl0KI0TeXC84EqBwbRYmMmh_0dRsOZqE2ibH08tA33rulyiEfzpEBvDR1GKdhC1nOI8YOCOLdFgJFL1xEXkhD1YOAyP1lCZTt1IoAsBtwznC7WP7tPw_Q_Xm4zAsXyUS5x60HhQGAR6e6JnIarYLGot0BPfIfTTXvzHUqK0_YboSgl8OlttSWwFIhQJT24AsGUaWGQTdVvimylinlbBEXqF6A95wNkKhWx7azF82LE1FDNnX-cPU5TG3dyKp60p6Wt4fMpRc&smid=share-url

Unsafe abortions contribute 13% to causes of maternal mortality in Nigeria

SEPTEMBER 29, 2022

Thirteen per cent of the causes of Maternal Mortality in Nigeria has been attributed to unsafe abortions.

The Country Director, Ipas Nigeria Health Foundation, Lucky Palmer, noted this in a statement on Wednesday.

Continued: https://theeagleonline.com.ng/unsafe-abortions-contribute-13-to-causes-of-maternal-mortality-in-nigeria/

The case of the Maputo Protocol for Tanzania

By Hellen Nachilongo

No matter how hard she tries, Julie Kaira* cannot stop herself from feeling the overwhelming shame that came as a result of the rape that she endured at the hands of her biological father, in his matrimonial house at that.

Although this took place three decades ago, she still shudders every time she recalls that unfortunate turn of events. Julie, now 42-years-old was raped at the age of 13. She says that it was normal to find her father at home during working days but little did she know that he was capable of being vile enough to rape his own daughter.

Continued: https://www.thecitizen.co.tz/tanzania/magazines/health-/the-case-of-the-maputo-protocol-for-tanzania-3954070

Kenya: The new government’s chance to secure reproductive rights


For too long, sexual and reproductive rights in Kenya have operated in a vacuum. Despite the constitution providing for the “highest attainable standard” of reproductive health, legislators have failed to enact any legislation on the issue, shooting down a bill in 2014 and another in 2019. The outgoing administration of Uhuru Kenyatta has opposed the delivery of sex education and contraception to adolescent and failed to support teenage mothers.

This has contributed to several worrying statistics. Kenya has the world’s third highest teenage pregnancy rate. Nearly 100 girls in the country contract HIV each week. Over 2,600 women and girls die annually from complications arising from unsafe abortion.

Continued: https://africanarguments.org/2022/09/kenya-the-new-governments-chance-to-secure-reproductive-rights/

Kenya – the New Government’s Chance to Secure Reproductive Rights

By Stephanie Musho

Kenya's sexual health rights are beholden to US decisionmakers. New legislators must take back control.

For too long, sexual and reproductive rights in Kenya have operated in a vacuum. Despite the constitution providing for the "highest attainable standard" of reproductive health, legislators have failed to enact any legislation on the issue, shooting down a bill in 2014 and another in 2019. The outgoing administration of Uhuru Kenyatta has opposed the delivery of sex education and contraception to adolescent and failed to support teenage mothers.

Continued: https://allafrica.com/stories/202209080005.html

Dobbs v Jackson judgment in US may stifle women’s reproductive rights as far afield as Africa

Women have a right to an abortion in South Africa that is protected by the Constitution. Yet of the 3,880 health facilities in South Africa, less than 7% provide access to abortion services, and of the 505 medical facilities specifically designated to provide the service, an estimation of only 197 are currently operational.

By Sibusisiwe Ndlela, Charlemaine Husselmann and Primah Kwagala
21 Aug 2022

Recognition of a right to abortion is often the first step towards creating an enabling environment for women to access abortions but in some countries in east and southern Africa, argue the authors, the outcome of the US case may put brakes on little sparks of hope that emerged in recent years.

The right to abortion has been catapulted into the spotlight by Dobbs v Jackson, the landmark judgment of the United States (US) Supreme Court that overturned Roe v Wade — a 50-year-old precedent of that court that first recognised the constitutional right to abortion in the US.

Continued: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2022-08-21-dobbs-v-jackson-judgment-may-further-stifle-womens-reproductive-rights-as-far-afield-as-africa/

Why married women procure abortions in Uganda

August 17, 2022

MBALE – When Ms Agatha Negesa [Not her real name] got married, she had her family life planned out well, this is because she did not want to produce too early, too soon, too often, and too late.

She had a plan and target of having three children but also remaining at her workplace stable by the age of 35. Everything went well according to her plan by the time she gave birth to her third born in February 2017.

Continued:  https://www.pmldaily.com/investigations/special-reports/2022/08/why-married-women-procure-abortions-in-uganda.html