SheDecides is about all of us who want to see a world where women and girls are free. Free from oppression, free from force, and free to make their own choices about their future.

SheDecides Day will kick-off during the 2018 Flagship Event in Pretoria, South Africa on 1 March 2018. It will mark the expansion of the SheDecides movement and the creation of local and regional movements for SheDecides. The Eastern and Southern Africa region has a history of commitment to women’s bodily autonomy (as outlined in the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action). The Government of South Africa has committed to expanding the East and Southern Africa region’s involvement with SheDecides, together with the Government of Denmark, and supported by UNFPA’s regional team (ESARO) and the SheDecides Support Unit.

2 March 2018 will be SheDecides Day, where the first national SheDecides movement will be launched in India. The day marks one year since the transformation of SheDecides from a fundraising mechanism and a hashtag into the rallying call of a unique movement, with support all over the world, and generating action in countries. It is a day to take bold steps to achieve the vision of a world where girls and women make their own choices – a world where SheDecides.

SheDecides Day empowers and emboldens supporters, champions and friends to stand up, speak out, and use their unique skills, voices and networks to continue to grow and co-create the movement. On this day, champions and friends of SheDecides will be holding events all over the world to promote the vision of the SheDecides manifesto.

Since the Manifesto was launched in July 2017, SheDecides has mobilised 35 global champions from all regions and walks of life, including Ministers from across Europe (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden), Africa (Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa), Afghanistan and Canada. Currently, Ministers from Finland and South Africa, and the Executive Director of MexFam, serve as leaders of the group of Champions.

Almost 40,000 individual friends and over 100 organisations have signed the manifesto, aligning themselves with the vision and pledging that they will take action. Friends are citizens, organisations, governments or private parties that publicly support the goals of SheDecides and commit to taking an action to contribute towards a world that is braver, stronger and safer for girls and women – and for everyone.

Objectives of the Flagship Event:

● To encourage more leaders from governments, parliaments and youth-led organisations, in particular from the East & Southern African region, to stand up and speak out for SheDecides

● To identify concrete steps forward to change the rules, laws and policies in a broad range of East & Southern African countries

● To place young people at the heart of the SheDecides movement, building on powerful initiatives that meet their needs, including South Africa’s She Conquers initiative

● To emphasise the critical role that national, regional and global parliamentarians can play in advancing the SheDecides movement

Expected Outcomes of the Flagship Event:

● Boost the visibility of the SheDecides movement, especially in the East & Southern African region

● Share best practices in an innovative way to inspire others

● Identify priority actions, ideally per country, focused on standing up and speaking out, changing rules, laws and policies and unlocking resources

● Mobilise new friends and champions from the East and Southern Africa region to join the SheDecides movement

SheDecides Flagship Event will embody the values and approach of the movement, and will focus on the central role of youth and adolescents and their challenges with sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The event will not only be about youth, but youth will play a central role. As voters of tomorrow and essential change agents, youth will participate alongside parliamentarians, Champions and ministers. It will be a chance for actors to come together to promote the vision of the SheDecides Manifesto, and to work for change in countries where impact is most needed.

Dorothy Atimango from Kitgum, Uganda, sharing her perspective in support of the SheDecides social media campaign.

Prior to the Flagship Event, SheDecides launched a social media campaign to gather the voices and perspectives of young people in the region on what they believe a world where SheDecides would look like. The campaign received views from young people all over the region whose submissions will be featured in the flagship event proceedings.

Follow the SheDecides Day proceedings on social media and using the hashtag #SheDecides or #SheDecidesDay and join the engagement from anywhere in the world!

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Category: Health    SRHR
Tagged with: #SheDecides    #SheDecidesDay    Adolescent health    women's health    women's rights    youth advocacy    Youth Voices

Zanele Mabaso

Zanele Mabaso (23) is a youth health policy adviser, social justice writer and an ardent advocate for the global public health adolescents & youth community. Her interests are in Adolescent, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Gender Equity & Equality, Gender-Based Violence, Youth Leadership & Participation and the socioeconomic empowerment of young women and girls in Africa. She is inspired by the outlook on the future of African Adolescents & Youth and considers Africa, home. Connect with her on @zanelemabaso23

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