Introduction

The prioritisation of global impact, in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), informs the following three objectives of the Wellbeing Group towards measurable and meaningful outcomes.

  • Empowering and educating front line community health workers, including midwives and nurses.
  • Advocating for gender equality with the acknowledgement that the status of women, children and families in Africa require improved resources, support, and advocacy.
  • Increasing accessibility of sustainable maternal, new-born, infant, child and adolescent continuum of care through a lifetime of healthy habits from reproductive health education and family planning, to improved water sanitation and handwashing (WASH) and nutrition behaviours.

WBFA’s mission to improve health outcomes for women, adolescent girls, infants and children puts gender equality and the empowerment of women and the girl child front and centre as we combine our programmes with advocacy work locally and on the global stage, because we believe that to overcome maternal mortality, poverty, inequality and social injustice, equal rights and opportunities must be available to all people irrespective of gender and race. We recognize that developmental indicators as they relate to genders and age are unequal, and that we must seek to attain equality in order to sustain any impact made from our programmes and projects.

With gender equality fuelling our advocacy and programme strategies, the WBFA has played notable roles in the major events that have shaped the course of campaigns for the rights of women and girls globally since the Beijing Declaration in 1995. Most notably The Girl Declaration launched in 20131, as a call to action that aims to ensure that adolescent girls are included in the post-2015 agenda, demanding that governments, organisations, individuals and other stakeholders LISTEN, and the Nairobi Statement on ICPD25: Accelerating the Promise, with its asks and commitments.

Making women a priority

The Foundation acknowledges the fundamental necessity of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. Throughout our multi-layered strategy of research, advocacy, policy development, community engagement, philanthropy and education, we have prioritized women, adolescent girls, and children within our various programs mainly focusing on maternal and infant health, as well as sexual, reproductive, mental, and social health in order to empower and strengthen girls and women from birth to old age.

This policy document is guided by items 1-5 of the Girl Declaration; 1-10 of the G7 Recommendations for Action from the Gender Equality Advisory Council (2019)4; and 2, 3, 4, 7, 9 10 and 11 of the Nairobi Statement on ICPD25: Accelerating the Promise.

 

Through this policy, WBFA commits to the following goals:

  1. Planning and designing with women and girls in mind
    Use insights directly from women and girls that provide quality, timely and disaggregated data, that prioritises the privacy of citizens and is also inclusive of younger adolescents, to sharpen the design, implementation and evaluation of programs and services. Invest in digital health innovations, including in big data systems, and improvement of data systems to inform policies aimed at achieving sustainable development so that the voices of women and girls are heard in key institutions. Thereby committing to the notion that nothing about young people’s health and wellbeing can be discussed and decided upon without their meaningful involvement and participation (“nothing about us, without us”).
  2. Making women and girls visible, making them count
    Collect, disaggregate and analyse data in all sectors by age and sex and use it to improve programs, influence policy and track progress. Data helps drive smarter, more strategic and targeted investments. At a minimum, analyse data by sex and five-year age segments (10-14, 15-19) to ensure that no girl is left behind. No data revolution will be complete without this.
  3. Giving women and girls a fair share of the money spent to fix things because they give more back
    Finance feminist civil society organizations, and allocate dedicated and targeted funding for women and adolescent girls across program and policy budgets. At a minimum, make budget allocations commensurate with women and adolescent girls’ needs and potential to drive positive change.
  4. Think of women and girls now, because now is when they need us most; and now is when it will make the most difference
    Intentionally focus on adolescence (ages 10-19) and invest early, before girls undergo the physical, emotional and social changes associated with puberty. Design policies and programs to ensure adolescence is a healthy and safe transition to adulthood, not a period in which girls are left out.
  5. Not forgetting women and girls that are poor, distant or too silenced
    In the quest for scale, it’s easy to overlook the most marginalized – including adolescent girls in emergency, conflict and post-conflict settings even though reaching them can help end the cycle of conflict. Plan for the most marginalized from the beginning to ensure they aren’t left out at the end.
  6. Not holding women and girls back
    Tackle discriminatory social norms that govern women and adolescent girls’ daily lives and have significant and enduring consequences. Mobilize communities, families, men and boys to support women and adolescent girls.
  7. Advocating for laws that are fair; they should be made to enforce respect and protection for women and girls
    Ditch gender discriminatory laws and promote progressive ones. Pass laws and ensure accountability to legal policies and frameworks that protect the rights of girls and give them access to justice. At a minimum, governments must meet international obligations and hold those who violate rights of adolescent girls accountable
  8. Drawing on demographic diversity to drive economic growth and achieve sustainable development, by:
    Investing in inclusive, equitable and quality education for girls and women, employment opportunities, health, including family planning and sexual and reproductive health services, of adolescents and youth, especially girls, so as to fully harness the promises of the demographic dividend.
  9. Ensuring that all women and girls living with disabilities have the right to social, cultural and economic benefits including the right to protection, healthcare, appropriate facilities, education and vocational training and employment
  10. Advocating for the rights of women and girls to live in dignity free from all forms of intimation and gender-based violence
    By making the fight against gender-based violence a national priority, eliminating online harassment, revenge porn, FGM, and child marriage.
  11. Protecting the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all women and girls
    Every woman has the right to have access to quality respectful maternity care, antenatal care (ANC) provided by a qualified midwife in a clean and safe health care facility up to eight times during her pregnancy, including the right to information, advice and support provided by qualified professionals to ensure a safe delivery and adequate post-natal care (PNC) for herself and her newborn child including lactation support and counselling after delivery.
  12. Challenging harmful gender stereotypes and norms
    Stand against gender stereotypes and stereotyping which undermine the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
  13. Advocating for the right of every woman to leadership and political participation
    Promote women's leadership and participation in all sectors, ensuring that women are accorded equal opportunities and support to lead and participate in politics either through elections or by appointments.
  14. Institute equal pay, affordable child care, and paid parental leave
    Every woman has the right to uphold and demand labour rights including the right to fully paid maternity leave
  15. Stand up for women and gender equality across the world every day
    Daily commit to advocating for women’s rights nationally, regionally and globally.
  16. Ensuring that every woman and girl has a fundamental human right to access safe, clean water, sanitation, and hygiene (wash) in homes, schools, health facilities and public spaces.
    Using our programmes, projects and partnerships targeted and the girl child from birth to age – Mamacare 360, ADPSHE, Community-based Adolescent Programme (CoBA) – ensure that women and girls have access to safe, clean water for WASH in homes and public places.
  17. Every child has a right to be registered at birth and the right to individual identity
    Using our Personal, Maternal and Child Health Record books, WBFA will not relent in its drive to put one in the hands of every mother as a right to individual identity.