- Project: ENSEMBLE (Partnership for Her Voice, Her Choice)
- Goal: To improve access to sexual and reproductive health services (SRHR) in Togo, Senegal and Côte d'Ivoire.
- Target group: Focus on women and adolescent girls, including those with disabilities
- Where: Togo (maritime region), Côte d'Ivoire (region of Gbeke) and Senegal (region of Kolda)
- Duration: February 2020 to February 2023 (3 years)
The West African region faces a major challenge in addressing women and girls' health needs. In this region, every day about 460 women die as a result of complications related to pregnancy or childbirth and nearly 9,000 suffer from resulting diseases or permanent injury. Adolescent pregnancy remains one of the major factors in maternal and child mortality and contributes to the cycle of ill-health and poverty. When women are able to access contraception, they are able to be active agents of their sexual and reproductive health. Adolescents in particular do not have easy access to contraceptive methods, even though the majority of them are sexually active. Unmet need for family planning is 33.6% in Togo, 25% in Senegal, and 27.1% in Côte d'Ivoire. In these three countries, every year hundreds of young girls give birth before the age of 20, putting their health at risk as well as facing other social consequences such as school dropout and stigmatization.
Several factors drive this situation, such as social and cultural norms and gender inequalities that encourage early marriage, maintain low quality of SRHR service provision, and uphold country strategies and laws that do not meet the ambitions of women and girls.
What CARE is Doing
The project is tackling social and behavioural changes in communities by strengthening the SRHR knowledge and skills of women and men in the communities to make free, individual and informed choices. This project is improving access to comprehensive sexuality education of both in-school and out-of-school adolescents taking into account their specific needs. Humanity and Inclusion (HI) is the lead partner and is responsible for the implementation of the project in Togo and Senegal. CARE is responsible for the implementation of the project in Côte d’Ivoire.
Project outcomes include:
- Increasing the use of comprehensive sexuality education and sexual reproductive health services that take into account the unique needs and voices of men and women, boys and girls
- Increasing access to education and sexual reproductive health services
- Increasing engagement of government and civil society to respond to the sexual and reproductive health rights of women and girls.
Project activities include:
- Increasing the capacity of communities to promote non-discriminatory behaviours and social norms related to SRHR for women and adolescent girls
- Training of health care workers on SRHR adolescent-friendly services, including long-term methods
- Increasing the capacity of civil society organizations and local government representatives to do advocacy around SRHR
What you can do
This project aims to introduce 15,000 women, girls, men, boys and community leaders to SRHR services. It also plans to develop a comprehensive sexuality education program for 12,000 adolescents, girls and boys, and to train 116 community catalysts.