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News – Article
Launch: toolkit to help stop bias and prejudice in safe abortion care
2 May 2022Tags: booklet, GTA, Reproductive Health Network Kenya, Safe abortion
Rutgers and the Reproductive Health Network Kenya launch a new toolkit that trains health care providers to provide more accessible safe abortion care, free of stigma and prejudice.
In Kenya, as elsewhere in the world, access to abortion is often a challenge, as both people with an unintended pregnancy as well as abortion service providers are faced with stigma, taboo, unequal power relations, and harmful gender norms. Such gender inequality is based on social norms, often with underlying discriminatory values and stereotypes. Addressing this is important, yet not easy. This new training booklet “A gender transformative approach to safe abortion” is intended to support health care providers, in particular abortion service providers, to strengthen their service by applying a gender transformative approach.
“What I really love about this toolkit is that it provides practical tips for conducting a training including very easy and short explanations of exercises. This makes the booklet very accessible for any person that is providing abortion services at the moment!”
Aida Bilajbegovic, senior programme officer at Rutgers.
By the end of the training, abortion service providers will feel positive and encouraged to promote abortion rights as human rights for all and also be more aware of harmful gender norms and related power imbalances that negatively impact access safe abortion.
Abortion is health care and access to safe abortion is a human right. Worldwide there is increasing attention for gender equality issues and momentum to stand up for sexual and reproductive health and rights of all people.
“A training in the gender transformative approach is a must have for all sexual and reproductive health service providers. It helps us provide safe abortion services efficiently, while considering the rights of our clients. I gained a lot of insights during the trainings. For example, we don’t talk about men, yet, they are the main culprits making girls pregnant. Because of the unequal power relations within relationships, men often decide whether the pregnancy will be carried to term or aborted, against the wishes of the woman or girl. This has to change. The decision-making power and rights of women with regard to safe abortion has to be leading.” comments Daluma Warombo, CEO of Sau Health Services, Likoni-Mombasa RHNK member on the training.
“Another important aspect we learnt was gender and sexual diversity. Before, we never considered other genders besides the mainstream genders – male and female. Now that we learnt about this diversity, we feel it is important to provide services without discrimination. The GTA training has strengthened our resolve to uphold the rights of clients in safe abortion provision in Kenya.”
This booklet is the product of rigorous testing by specialised gender trainers and qualified safe abortion providers across Kenya. Several RHNK staff and members have contributed to the improvement of this booklet. The case stories and role plays are based on real-life situations that RHNK service providers have shared themselves. We would like to extensively thank those who were willing to openly share their experiences in navigating the complex world of gender, power and provision of safe abortion care in Kenya.