Right to Equality
Lack of equality and discrimination are drivers of poverty. Gender-based violence especially in conflict and post-conflict societies greatly affects the well-being of children. To this end, we support community initiatives and advocacy to promote gender equality, including addressing gender-based violence, as well as ending all forms of violence against children. This is in line with Goal 5 of the SDGs, on gender equality. Notably End Child Poverty together with the Norwegian Church Aid initiated the African Children and Youth Network for Human Rights /Réseau des Enfants et Jeunes Africains pour les Droits Humains (REJADH) in 2016 to advocate for equality for both boys and girls.
REJADH was established as a platform for advocacy by and for young people. REJADH brings together children, youth, and young adults (between 13 – 29 years mostly) from 5 countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Somalia, and South Sudan – countries greatly affected by conflict, poverty, and Gender-Based Violence (GBV). Through this program, we sought to empower young leaders (youth, youth influencers, and young adults) with the necessary skills to help them reduce, prevent, and end gender-based violence and its negative effects on young people and the community at large. This has been done primarily through a campaign dubbed Myth of Maputo. This Campaign calls for the ratification and full implementation of the Maputo Protocol, among other strategies to address GBV and it negative impacts on children and youth. In this campaign, the network has mainly focussed on capacity building sessions, for instance, through advocacy, leadership training and networking as well as online advocacy.
REJADH has directly reached to more than 5,000 children and youth in the target countries through the Myth of Maputo campaign. Similarly, its online reach has been overwhelming through the REJADH social media spaces.
“We have worked with religious leaders in supporting and implementing the Maputo Protocol; Women in the area of implementation are aware and able to claim their rights which is guaranteed by the Maputo protocol, encouraging and supporting the Ministry of gender, child social welfare to take effective measures to implement the Maputo Protocol” Faisal Altahir, REJADH, South Sudan.
“Seeing our peers get married is what made us want to address this issue because we live in this community and us too are under pressure to get married” – Salma, 16 years – Kenya