More and more women and girls are joining the safe abortion service at the Chitima Health Center in the Cahora Bassa district (Tete province, Mozambique). From January to May 2021, more than 60 users have appealed to the service.

The 160 Girls project creates awareness on sexual violence and referral pathways of the cases among school going children. It seeks to hold the police and the Kenyan state accountable for the enforcement of defilement laws to ensure they protect girls in Kenya from this most appalling form of violence. ICRH Kenya recently concluded the 160 Girls Virtual Justice Clubs close-out for its pilot phase, supported by Equality Effect.

The Linda Mtoto project contributes to the protection and improvement of the health of children who are at risk of and affected by sexual abuse and the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). ICRH Kenya recently engaged head teachers and principals in a program inception and review meeting to prepare for the implementation of school interventions through this project.

ICRH Kenya participated in several university engagement meetings to ensure that academic institutions are aware of existing family planning data that can be utilized for research and academic writing, thereby generating demand for PMA data. The county engagement forum enabled county teams to share their best practices, and to discuss and document their action plan activities, based on gaps identified by the data.

ICRH Kenya in partnership with Jhpiego and the Ministry of Health recently released the Phase 2 National Family Planning survey results in Nairobi through the Performance Monitoring for Action (PMA) project. One of the key findings was the increase in the use of modern methods of contraceptives.

World Menstrual Hygiene Day was celebrated in Mozambique as well, aiming to create more awareness among young girls. ICRH Mozambique implemented a one-year project focused on menstrual health and delivered an education and information kit to the Provincial Health Directorate of Tete. The kit responds to a lack of knowledge and information for girls and young people, particularly in the province of Tete but by extension in the whole country.

The COVID-19 epidemic is still impacting our lives all over the globe, requiring adaptation of our work and lifestyles. Many of us are dealing with the direct impact of the disease and/or the mitigation measures required to contain the pandemic. Finding a balance to cope with this new life is not easy, and I am impressed and excited to read about the many ICRH activities that continued over the last 4 months, even in difficult and resource constraint settings.

ICRH Kenya joined the Mombasa County in celebrating World Menstrual Hygiene Day at the St. Mary’s School. Going by this year’s theme, ‘We need to step up action and investment in menstrual health and hygiene now’, they joined the noble cause by donating sanitary towels to be distributed among school going children in the County.

Do we need an International Women's Day?

Women's rights are, of course, human rights, which are unfortunately still too often violated, so International Women's Day will remain necessary until women and men have equal rights.

We have undoubtedly made a great deal of progress in the last 25 years.

ICRH Kenya launched the ‘First Time Young Mothers programme’ at the Mtwapa Health Center, Kilifi South Sub County in December last year. The programme is aimed to improving the quality of maternal, neonatal and child outcomes for pregnant adolescents and young women aged ten to twenty-four years.