Since 1990, IWHC has worked in collaboration with partner organizations in five African countries, including Botswana, Cameroun, Nigeria, South Africa, and Swaziland.
Twenty-eight of the 30 poorest countries in the world are in Africa. Health indicators there are some of the worst in the world, with women and girls being the most vulnerable. More than half of global maternal deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa, and 67 percent of all people living with HIV are in that region.
Our partners in Africa work primarily on the issues of sexual and reproductive rights and health, with a particular focus on the rights and development of girls, as well as HIV prevention and care.
- Adolescence, Idée, Action (AIA) is the only Camerounian organization focused on providing accurate and age-appropriate sexuality education to pre-adolescent girls (aged 8 to 12). Through educational sessions and community outreach, AIA strives to reach these girls early with vital information about their bodies and their rights, providing them with the skills to navigate their adolescent years in good health.
- Association pour la Promotion de l’Autonomie et des Droits de la Fille/Femme (APAD) promotes the rights and autonomy of young mothers and survivors of early and forced marriage in Maroua, Cameroun. They empower these women and girls to share their experiences and support other victims.
- Girls' Power Initiative (GPI) seeks to empower girls, especially those between the ages of 10-18, and to promote their sexual and reproductive health and rights, through educational programs, counseling, referral services, and social action.
- International Centre for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights (INCRESE) advocates for the sexual health and rights of the most disenfranchised groups in Nigeria, including youth, sexual minorities, survivors of sexual violence, sex workers, and widowed women living with HIV and AIDS. INCRESE provides education programs in its outreach center and engages in advocacy in local communities.
- The Society for Women and AIDS in Africa-Cameroun (SWAAC) is a Pan-African, non-governmental, non-sectarian, and non-profit organization based in Cameroun. SWAAC is a women’s organization working in collaboration with men to promote African women’s health by identifying causes and effects of HIV and AIDS.
Featured StoryIn Cameroun, it is estimated that 36 percent of girls are married before they are 18. But in the Extreme North of Cameroun, where IWHC’s partner APAD is based, nearly 80 percent have experienced an early and forced marriage. APAD (in English, Association for the Promotion of the Independence and Rights of the Girl Child) is led by young women who are survivors of child marriage. They work to empower girls like them, and to make sure survivors are able to tell their stories, demand social change, and survive on their own.
In 2012, IWHC support and mentorship helped APAD reach more than 3,000 people in their communities with skills-building and literacy programs, and engage traditional leaders and parents to speak out against early and forced marriage.