Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has been named a Global Champion of a global and diverse movement driving change to ensure that every woman, girl and young person has the right to make decisions about her body, her life and her future .
The SheDecides movement brings together government, civil society, media and donors to stand up and defend bodily autonomy, sexual and reproductive health and rights.
As a champion of SheDecides, Zulu should advocate for political action that advances the fundamental right of girls and women everywhere to enjoy their bodies, to make their own choices, to have access to sex education complete and the full range of associated quality care. with sexual and reproductive life and health.
Accepting the position, Zulu said that as the new SheDecides Champion, she looks forward to working with all the other like-minded Champions and partners around the world. She said she is ready to advocate for policies and programs that respond to the lived experiences of women and girls.
The minister said she accepted the responsibility of being part of the global movement, as its strategic direction complements the government’s ongoing initiatives to address key population and development challenges.
These include the unacceptably high level of teenage pregnancies, gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF), forced child marriages in parts of South Africa, and hate crimes against members of the community. LGBTIQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex and Queer) communities.
“I welcome the opportunity to partner with other SheDecides Champions around the world to advance an agenda that promotes and protects the right of girls and women to make their own choices, including exercise of the right to gender identity without any fear of violence,” said Zulu.
Zulu will be officially presented as a champion at SheDecides+5, an event to be held May 19-20, 2022 at Egmont Palace, Brussels-Belgium, to mark the 5th anniversary of the founding of the movement.
Zulu is currently attending the event in her capacity as Chair of Partners in Population and Development (PPD), an intergovernmental initiative created specifically to expand and improve South-South collaboration in reproductive health, population and development.
The Minister will on Friday chair the High-Level Roundtable on the NEXUS initiative, which is made up of regional intergovernmental groups to mobilize global support, strengthen advocacy and coordination on the sexual and reproductive health and rights agenda.
Zulu is currently a member of the Nairobi Summit High Level Commission on the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).
(With contributions from the South African government press release)