Executive Director’s Statement: Reflecting on Speak Up Africa’s progress in the implementation of our Gender and Social Inclusion Strategy

Statement • 01 April 2024

Two years ago, Speak Up Africa embarked on a transformative journey by integrating gender and social inclusion at the heart of our mission. As we commemorate Women’s History Month, I am filled with pride as I reflect on our progress towards driving equitable and sustainable change towards healthy and thriving African societies.

The inception of our Gender and Social Inclusion Strategy marks a significant shift both internally and in our advocacy approaches.  Our umbrella African LeadHERs campaign supports the inclusion of women and girls on public platforms and in leadership and aims to encourage women’s and girls, in all their diversity, to significantly participate in decision-making spaces for improved public health. We partner with leaders from all sectors of society, including sports, fashion, culture and art to creatively work together to build a stronger, fairer and more inclusive world.  Our sustained partnership with the Special Olympics since 2014 promoting inclusive health highlights our unwavering commitment to a world where individuals with disabilities are protected and valued.

From a programmatic perspective, we have conceptualized and accelerated a variety of initiatives aimed at addressing gender and social inclusion issues. Programs like Voix EssentiELLEs have been instrumental in enabling women and girls to meaningfully engage in shaping health programs and policies. The African Women in Digital Health movement is bridging the gender gap in digital health, reshaping strategies, policies, and programs to include women’s unique needs. Additionally, our  Africa Young Innovators for Health Award showcases our commitment to young entrepreneurs tackling health challenges and  to supporting women entrepreneur in research and innovation.

Institutionally, we’ve significantly enhanced the understanding and attitudes of our staff and partners towards gender and social inclusion, fostering a more inclusive workplace and programmatic approach. Similarly, our administrative systems and processes have evolved to intentionally integrate gender equity and inclusion, ensuring these critical aspects are reflected in every facet of our work.

As we forge ahead, our dedication to establishing transformative partnerships and advocating for an inclusive and equitable Africa remains unwavering. This journey requires a collective effort and commitment. We extend a heartfelt invitation to our stakeholders and partners to join forces in championing gender equality and social inclusion at every level. Your engagement can create a ripple effect, touching lives and shaping communities across Africa for the better, now and for future generations.

Together, let’s build a legacy of inclusivity and fairness in Africa.

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