This week, Girls’ Globe has been on the ground at the Nairobi Summit to amplify the voices of grassroots activists, youth leaders and passionate advocates. 25 years ago, in 1994, the International Conference on Population and Development adopted a landmark Programme of Action. There has been significant progress since then, but dramatic inequality remains, and we have a long way still to go. What happens after this year’s summit is crucial.
In this video, we hear from women about their hopes and visions for the future.
“My vision is that we will have all girls being able to access sexual and reproductive health knowledge and rights.” – Mourine Achieng, Moving the Goalposts
The Girls’ Globe team, led by Felogene Anumo and Abigail Arunga, spoke to women who had participated in the 2019 Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 and asked them what they hope to see next.
“It is my hope that we no longer have young people defined by their sexual and reproductive health rights” – Jane Anika, Beijing 25+ Youth Task Force
This year’s summit renewed global focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights. A future where all rights of all people are fully realised is possible. By listening to the voices of women and girls, and by responding to their perspectives and priorities, we stand a far greater chance of achieving this ambitious yet crucial goal.
Catch up with all of Girls’ Globe’s coverage of the Nairobi Summit here.
This reporting was supported by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundaiton.
The Girls’ Globe team met youth advocates and SRHR-leaders at the She Decides Open House in Nairobi. She Decides is a global movement with the vision of a world where every girl and woman can decide what to do with her body, with her life and with her future. Without question. In this video grassroots activists speak about their priorities and reflections of the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25.
This summit is all about young people.
Naisola Likimani, Lead of the She Decides Support Unit talks about how the decisions made at the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 are in essence about the lives of young people. Several young activists within the She Decides movement have take the stage at the Summit to highlight their concerns, priorities and optimism for the future.
Yet, young people also have a lot of worries. These include the representation of minorities in conversations and the opportunity to partake in dialogues with decision-makers. There has also been a lot of opposition towards the ICPD25 convening from ultra-conservative actors. This has been visible at a local level and many Kenyan civil society organizations have felt the pressure. Furthermore, Kenyan civil society representatives and local media faced a major accessibility issue on the first day. Where foreigners were allowed in, Kenyan actors were denied entry by security. An issue that was resolved once President Uhuru Kenyatta had left the Convention Center.
“I think something that is coming out very strongly is our understanding of postmodern colonialism. This has been the way things have been conducted and how relations have been in some instances. Not in the Nairobi Summit’s entirety, but there have been such cries from different actors, especially Kenyan civil society actors and young persons,” says Linda Kroeger, Activist and Human Rights Defender Kenya.
The Nairobi Summit on the International Conference on Population and Development is taking place 25 years after the first conference was held in Cairo in 1994. The Summit gathers civil society, youth activists, UN leaders, ministers and heads of state in the Kenyan capital this week. There are very many aspects as to why this Summit comes at a critical time. We asked grassroots advocates: “why is the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 important to you?” Here’s what they said…
At the Nairobi Summit commitments are made to accelerate progress and meet goals to eliminate gender based violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation and maternal mortality. Commitments include advancing all aspects of sexual and reproductive health and rights, including comprehensive sexual education, LGBTQI rights and access to safe abortion. Other key issues include gender equality, forced migration, indigenous people, and climate change.
“It’s a time to recognize ourselves as decision-makers. That if we stick together and we keep a unified message to protect, defend and ensure our human rights, we are stronger together.” - Genesis Luigi, IPPF and Safe Abortion Access Fund
Girls’ Globe has asked grassroots youth advocates for their input through other channels too. Today, Jennifer Kayombo, a sexual and reproductive health and rights advocate from Tanzania took over the Girls’ Globe Instagram stories to share her views on why the summit is important. Yesterday, Sonali Silva, a SheDecides 25×25 Champion from Sri Lanka gave us her opinions and priorities through her takeover.
We know that these voices matter. If women and girls are being listened to at the Summit true change is possible. A lot has happened since 1994, thanks to the women’s rights activists that spearheaded the Programme of Action that was adopted in Cairo. Now is the time for the next generation that is marching and taking action to lead.
The Nairobi Summit kicks off this week. It will mark 25 years since the International Conference on Population and Development adopted the Programme of Action in Cairo. The summit comes at a critical time to discuss the way forward for sexual and reproductive health and rights. Girls’ Globe is on the ground to amplify the voices of grassroots activists and youth leaders. In this video, we hear why women march to the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25.
“I envision a country, or rather, a continent, where young girls and young women have power to decide on what to do with their bodies and have access to information so that they can make better and good decisions.” – Ruth Mumbi, Social Justice Defender
The Girls’ Globe team, led by Felogene Anumo and Abigail Arunga, spoke to women marching in the lead up to the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25. A common thread in the responses to why they were marching was access to information and services for women and girls – especially those in marginalized communities. Realizing sexual and reproductive health and rights will lead to better decisions about their bodies. Women were marching for women to have full autonomy over their bodies and to put an end to maternal deaths.
“I am here marching today for ICPD to bring out the voice of the unheard. The young women in the slum areas. If the young people can get information at an early age, we are able to act better and make better decisions.” – Maryanne Wanjiru from K Youth Media.
“I am here to support women empower themselves, and find more empowering ways to live, and be and flourish! My dream is that women will have full autonomy of their bodies and decision-making.” – Kaz, Founder of Kaz Entertainment.
Follow along @girlsglobe on Instagram and Twitter this week for more grassroots voices, directly from the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25.
This reporting was supported by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.