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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. The first activity during the implementation stage was to conduct a mapping and strategy exercise for allies and opposition on safe abortion.

The activity was conducted for two days, with Hakijamii team mapping key stakeholders and having conversations with them on the scope of their work, their target population, the services they provide, their strengths, and their thoughts on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Mombasa, including the right to safe and legal abortion.

2.0 Introduction

Adolescent girls and young women 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.

In Kenya, out of 465,000 annual cases of abortion, approximately a third are cases of unsafe abortion. The Ministry of Health report in February 2018 estimated that the costs of treating unsafe abortion complications averaged at Ksh. 4,943, resulting to over Ksh. 533 million spent. The case of Mombasa county is no different. The county is dominated by Islam religion and conservative cultural value systems that directly impact on sexual and reproductive health decisions made by women and young girls. Other complications stemming from post unsafe abortions are also reported daily, and the victims face significant rights violations that includes; discrimination, social exclusion, violence and intimidation. Consequently, access and utilization of abortion services is very low even for sexually active women and young girls due to complexities of criminalization of abortion in the country.

Having gone through the Values Clarification and Attitude Transformation training in July,Hakijamii team was ready to hit the ground and start implementation of the project, to respond to some of these challenges. Equipped with these skills, there was need to begin implementation by conducting the mapping exercise to build effective allies to assist in championing legal and policy reforms to safeguard constitutional gains on abortion.


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