By Kelvin Obambon
A two-day capacity building training on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and inclusive SRHR laws and policies has been put together for key stakeholders and influencers in Cross River.
Organized by the Girls’ Power Initiative (GPI) with support from HIVOS, the training took place between Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 January at GPI Conference hall, Atimbo, Calabar, the state capital.
GPI’s Head of Programmes, Mrs Ndodeye Obongha, while giving an overview at the commencement of the event, said the training was part of the implementation of the WeLead Project in Cross River.
According to her, WeLead is a new, inspiring and innovative programme that aims to improve the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of young women.
“It focuses on four specific groups of young women: those living with HIV, those with disabilities, those who have diverse sexual orientation, and those affected by displacement. The programme puts these young women as rights holders in the driver’s seat while supporting them to make sustainable changes for their SRHR.
“Consequently, this two-day capacity building training for key influencers and stakeholders is to increase knowledge and share experiences on SRHR issues as well as strengthen your capacity to advocate for the implementation of SRHR laws and policies in the state.
“The first phase of the project which is currently running till December 2023, is aimed at ‘strengthening CSOs, CBOs, networks and movements as well as health service providers, especially at primary health care level to defend and promote the SRHR of right holder groups.
“The project aims to ensure that Rights holders play a leading role in strengthened and inclusive organisations and movements that enjoy increased public support and have convinced duty-bearers and health-service providers to take steps towards implementing laws, policies and practices that respect and protect these young women’s SRH-R by 2025,” she said.
Speaking further, Obongha specifically highlighted the objectives of the training to among other things “Increase knowledge of participants on SRHR (especially young women’s SRHR) laws and policies as well as referral mechanisms in the state. Discuss and strengthen participants skills on gender sensitive reporting. Have in place stakeholders and influencers who will support advocacy efforts for review of policies and guidelines of health facilities.”
The training covered areas such as values and value clarification, SRHR situation in Nigeria: the general context, laws, policies and administrative framework on SRHR, gender sensitive reporting of SRHR, roles of media and other key stakeholders in promoting SRHR, among others.
Participants at the training were drawn from the media, traditional and religious institutions, security agencies, Cross River Ministry of Women Affairs, health and education sectors.