(PRESS RELEASE) Today, the Center for Reproductive Rights announced the opening of its new Africa regional office in Nairobi, Kenya. As an international legal advocacy organization, the Center has worked for over a decade across the continent of Africa to advance women’s access to reproductive health services through law and policy reform. The new office will enable the organization to more readily respond to emerging opportunities for change within countries and engage more robustly with local advocates and policymakers.
“In the last ten years, women and civil society around the world have been increasingly successful in pushing their governments to respect women’s reproductive rights,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “Now is an opportune time to build on that progress with our partners and make sure those legal victories translate into real gains for women.”
In the first year, the Nairobi office will focus on the most pressing reproductive health issues in the region, including the high incidence of maternal deaths, including those from unsafe abortion, human rights abuses perpetrated against women seeking reproductive healthcare, and adolescent girls’ reproductive health. Priority countries are Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.
The Center employs a multitude of legal and human rights strategies in its work, including documenting reproductive rights violations, developing public interest litigation, and engaging with regional human rights bodies.
“Our goal is to build a robust body of law that will guarantee safe and accessible reproductive healthcare for women throughout Africa. And we very much look forward to deepening current collaborations and developing new ones to that end,” said Elisa Slattery, regional director for Africa in the Center’s International Legal Program.
The Nairobi office will be run by Slattery, who has been with the Center since 2005. Prior to that, she worked at the Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya as a Third Millennium Foundation Human Rights Fellow and as a consultant on workers’ rights issues in Kenya.