Mombasa stakeholders consultative engagement activity report.
1.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Hakijamii is a National Human Rights Organization founded in 2004, with the mission to strengthen the capacity of people’s organizations to effectively and directly participate in advocating and realizing their economic, social and cultural rights in Kenya. The organization works with marginalized populations including the urban poor to help them advocate for their rights through capacity building on human rights and pro-poor policy advocacy. The organization is currently implementing a project in Mombasa County to contribute towards the reduction of maternal morbidity and mortality by safeguarding pertinent constitutional gains that allow access to safe abortion services. In the first activity, Hakijamii team conducted a mapping and strategy exercise for allies and opposition on safe abortion. This follow-up activity involved a consultative meeting with community leaders, allies and other stakeholders that were mapped in the first exercise. The activity took place for two days, with a notable outcome as
development of memorandum that was addressed to the Clerk of the Mombasa County Assembly, raising concerns and proposals on the gaps identified, including unsafe abortion, unmet need for family planning, teenage pregnancy and matters affecting key population. The engagement also involved exploring SRH challenges and opportunities in Mombasa, understanding the dynamics of SRH and crafting advocacy messages to influence policy change, and getting acquainted with the legislative and policy frameworks regulating SRH. The county Ministry of Health officials were also invited to unpack the Mombasa County Adolescents and Young People Strategy on HIV and SRH.
The stakeholder mapping exercise offered Hakijamii an opportunity to understand the context of sexual and reproductive rights and SRH service provision and other dynamics at play that shape conversations on safe and legal abortion in the county. The team was able to gather and document thoughts and stands of mapped stakeholders insofar as abortion is concerned. These thoughts formed the basis of our consultative meeting with the stakeholders mapped, to further the conversations and gauge their level of understanding and/or support in our advocacy work.
The first step in the process of the project implementation stage, which involved stakeholder mapping and documentation of the SRHR violations has come in handy to assist in identifying strategies for advocacy and awareness creation on the issue. The project is based on the argument that women and girls have a right to equality, dignity, autonomy, bodily integrity, respect for private life and the highest attainable standard of health, including sexual, reproductive health without discrimination as articulated under Article 43 of the Constitution of Kenya. Further, they have a right to decide whether they want to carry to term or terminate a pregnancy. This is because a decision made by a woman may have an implication on her future life as well to the lives of her entire family. The engagement aimed to increase the interest of the stakeholders in respecting, protecting and promoting SRH rights of all young people, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.