Africa

The Center for Reproductive Rights Africa Program uses the human rights and reproductive justice frameworks to address the root causes and systemic violations of the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls in the Africa region.

Summary

Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world, as well as high rates of unintended pregnancies, early marriage, and unsafe abortions—which result in thousands of preventable deaths.

The Center’s Africa Program works to document reproductive rights violations, hold governments accountable for such violations, and advocate for laws and policies that ensure access to the full range of reproductive health services and information.

Using human rights and reproductive justice frameworks, the Center works with a network of partners, lawyers and activists, and through courts and regional human rights mechanisms, to ensure all people can realize their reproductive and human rights—especially marginalized groups that face numerous obstacles to accessing health care and justice. The Center further works to strengthen the region’s sexual and reproductive rights movement through capacity building and creating spaces for solidarity, sharing and collaboration among diverse stakeholders.

The Center’s Africa Program has secured numerous legal victories in national courts and regional accountability bodies that have improved women and girls’ reproductive rights–including their access to contraceptives, abortion services, and maternal health care. The program has been building expertise in the region since 1997 and opened its regional office in Nairobi in 2011.

Key Facts

533/100,000

The maternal mortality rate in sub-Saharan Africa—the highest rate in the world.

6.2 million

Unsafe abortions each year in sub-Saharan Africa–resulting in 15,000 preventable deaths.

1 in 5

Adolescents become pregnant before the age of 19.

Cases and Work

Learn more about the Center’s work advancing reproductive rights in Africa.

Two landmark Center cases address disrespect and abuse at maternal health care facilities.

The Center’s regional network to strengthen reproductive rights across Africa.

The Center’s case holds Kenya accountable for its constitutional obligations.

Publications and Resources

Conflict in Nigeria: Impact on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights card link

Conflict in Nigeria: Impact on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

This joint report by the Center and the Legal Defence and Assistance Project outlines how the conflict in Northeast Nigeria is impacting the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls. Read more.

Criminalizing Adolescents: A Call to Reform the Sexual Offences Act card link

Criminalizing Adolescents: A Call to Reform the Sexual Offences Act

This report investigates the realities behind the criminalization of noncoercive and nonexploitative consensual sex among adolescents under Kenya’s Sexual Offences Act. Read more.

Enforcing Constitutional Protections for Abortion Services in Kenya card link

Enforcing Constitutional Protections for Abortion Services in Kenya

Subtitled “Revealing Progress, Reversals, and Betrayal of a National Compromise,” this report outlines recommendations for effective implementation of Article 26(4) of the Kenyan constitution, including services for access to safe abortion care.

Read more.

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