A Caribbean observatory on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) was launched on Thursday in a bid to not only monitor but act on gender-based violence(GBV), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has said.
The Caribbean Observatory on SRHR, launched virtually by UNFPA’s Sub-Regional Office of the Caribbean, is also set to improve coverage, access to, and uptake of both SRHR and gender-based violence services for vulnerable populations, and promote social monitoring towards the advancement of integrated SRHR/ GBV in the region.
The observatory is also expected to provide timely and independent analysis and will serve as an advocacy platform for changing harmful social norms across the Caribbean.
UNFPA SRHR Programme Analyst Davina Gayle-Williams explained that the observatory will focus on developing the legal and policy framework to advance SRHR legislation to uphold these rights for all in the Caribbean.
The observatory will also focus on countries’ commitments to human rights instruments, periodic reviews and plans of action, she added.
The UNFPA analyst also indicated that services of the observatory will target vulnerable populations, including women of reproductive age, women 50 plus, women living with HIV, indigenous women, unemployed women, women with mental health issues, women and those experiencing gender-based violence, migrants, youth, persons with disabilities, men and trans people, trans women, and those whose gender is non-conforming.
Gayle-Williams said: “There are several ways the SRHR Observatory will carry out its work. These include, providing consistent analysis/ reporting on the SRHR situation in the region.
“Providing counter arguments and pushback on certain issues, including undertaking shadow reporting, making recommendations on what needs to be done for success around a range of issues including the need to contribute to strengthened laws and policies, conduct health advocacy and holding governments accountable.
“Promoting the generation of evidence to inform programme development. Fostering knowledge management, being a “one-stop shop”, monitoring progress on relevant indicators to track progress on SRHR in the region.”
The Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation (CFPA), Reverend Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth, told the launch that the observatory is a timely and needed initiative in which the CFPA will play a key role in helping to roll out.
Reverend Sheerattan-Bisnauth said CFPA will apply an ecological framework to reflect the interplay of the individual, interpersonal organizational, community, and public policy in critical awareness raising and fostering buy-in from key audiences.
She said the model will align with the strategy outcomes, outputs, activities and audience to guide the observatory’s communications and advocacy work, its visibility and the flow of information from it. (AH)