YOU(TH) FOR YOU(TH)

This edition unpacks the issue of early pregnancy in South Africa, which is a social, health and economic issue affecting children in the country.

The numbers are shocking. Between April 2017 and September 2021, the number of births to young and adolescent girls between 10 and 14 years of age increased by 48.7%. Between April 2020 and March 2021, 934 girls between 10 and 14 years old gave birth in Gauteng alone. Further, of the 1,764 babies born in South Africa on 1 January 2022, 65 were born to adolescent girls. The youngest was a 13-year-old from the Eastern Cape.

While these numbers are staggering, it is important to remember that these are the number of births, not the number of pregnancies. The scale of pregnancies are likely much higher – bearing in mind some pregnancies ended in abortions and miscarriages.

We acknowledge that this is a societal issue that needs to be tackled by the government and the people together, but the state also has a responsibility to create an enabling environment for people to make autonomous and informed decisions. You can read more about what Amnesty International South Africa has to say about early pregnancy here

In this issue of YOU(th) for YOU(th) we also look at what the law says around consent, it can be a little confusing, so let’s try to wrap our heads around it. . 

Also check out what our activists had to say about why they think early pregnancy is a crisis in South Africa and let us know what YOU think. We look forward to reading all your responses. 

In this edition, we also continue with our human rights education on climate change and how it affects water in South Africa. If you haven’t taken the free climate change course yet, do so, you won’t regret it, and check out our new activist toolkit. 

We hope you enjoy this edition of Amnesty International South Africa’s youth newsletter, and we look forward to engaging with you. 

If you have ideas of what you would like to read about, please send us an email with your suggestions to youth@amnesty.org.za

Matla! Ke a rona (the power is ours!)

#REALMATERNITYISSUE

Amnesty International South Africa in partnership with Joe Public United and True Love shone a light on the crisis that is early pregnancy this Women’s Month.

In partnership with True Love and their August edition, aptly referred to as #TheRealMaternityIssue, the campaign aims to ensure the message reaches everyone living in South Africa.

We encourage everyone living in South Africa to help us play a pivotal role in raising awareness about the issue and to take action on Amnesty International South Africa’s website – calling on the government to ensure that there is real change so our young girls are protected and capacitated with information to make informed decisions about their bodies.

CONSENT

ADD YOUR VOICE: SEND AN EMAIL TO THE PRESIDENT

Call on President Cyril Ramaphosa to ensure government work together to address the high levels of early pregnancy in South Africa.  It is a social, health and economic issue affecting our most precious resource: our children

IN THE MEDIA

AISA’s campaign on early pregnancy has really drummed up interest in the media and we have done a number of interviews.

Listen to AISA’s Cassandra Dorasamy’s conversation with SABC’s Channel Africa on the crisis of early pregnancy.

YOUTH VOICES

We asked youth activists why they think early pregnancy is a crisis in South Africa

Check out what they had to say.

LORETTA MOLISENYANE

SYVEN MABUZA

LERATO KOENA

SEABETSWE MSIBI

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK

Tell us why you think early pregnancy is a crisis in South Africa


#IAMCLIMATEACTION

Climate crisis = human rights crisis

LET’S TALK ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE

Amnesty International South Africa launched its climate change campaign, #IAmClimateAction on 5 July 2022, which aims to increase climate literacy among young people to ensure every person in South Africa has the knowledge to hold the relevant government players accountable to their commitments to uphold the right to water in the face of the climate crisis. 

Learn more about Amnesty International South Africa’s free climate change course.

TOOLKIT: CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE RIGHT TO WATER

This toolkit has been designed to provide valuable resources and accurate information to those looking to understand their right to water in the face of the climate crisis, and how to hold government officials accountable. Knowledge of your rights and the steps to take in promoting accountability is key to ensuring that your actions are effective, safe and legal.

REMEMBERING MARIKANA

YOUTH EVENTS

Amnesty International University of Johannesburg chapter hosted its first interschools debate where high school pupils debated topics such as bullying in schools, the quality of education in South Africa, and water as a right and not a privilege.

Amneaty International Wits chapter hosted a self-defence class to commemorate women’s month and shine a light on the gender-based violence crisis facing South Africa, so that those attending are able to defend themselves if they find themselves in danger.

Amneaty International University of Pretoria chapter held its first annual general meeting where it discussed how to grow the movement on campus in 2022/23 and plans for the year.

The chapter also used the opportunity to talk through campaigns including how young people can be active voices of change. 

Amneaty International Vaal chapter hosted a community dialogue on the right to water in South Africa and introduced  climate change as a human rights issue.

Shruthya Sivakumar a law student from the University of the Witwatersrand wrote a piece on abortion rights called My life matters too: Why abortion is a human right. 

Read it here

UPCOMING YOUTH EVENTS

AI Soweto Chapter Launch 

When: 17 September 2022

Where: Protea Point Shopping Centre, Protea North

Time: TBC

_____________________________

AI Wits Inter-schools Debate 

When: 10 September 2022

Where: Wits University

Time: 11:00 – 17:00

YOUTH OPPORTUNITIES

Stop Burning Our Rights: Interactive and Participatory Youth Workshop on the Right to Health and Climate Change

Amnesty International Japan together with youth networks from Nepal and Australia is hosting an online workshop on climate change and human rights, with a specific focus on how the right to health is impacted.

The event will be in English and for youth from all parts of the world!

The workshop, which is taking place on 10 September, is availabe for anyone between the ages of 14-30 who are interested in the issue of the right to health and climate change.

Africa Youth Climate Justice Network

Africa is bearing the brunt of the climate crisis yet has played the least role in causing it.

African youth are waking up to the realities of the climate crisis every day and as a result they are taking matters into their own hands. Some youth-led climate justice groups across Africa have united to form the African Youth Climate Justice Activists network and are inviting you and/or your organizstion to be a part of the network.

If you are joining as an individual, you have to be under the age of 30 and if you are joining as an entity, you have to be entirely youth-led and based in Africa.

Facebook Community Accelerator Program

This is a global program that helps leaders harness the power of their community to turn impactful ideas into action. They can advance their leaderhsip skills and utilise Facebook tools to deepen their community’s impact.

The program is availabe to communities that have a presence on Facebook groups with leaders who are 18 years of age or older.

Communities must have existed for over a year and must have a minimum size of 5,000 members.

FEEDBACK

AISA has been publishing its youth newsletter for a little over a year now, and we would love to hear your opinions, this after all is for you.

Please click on the link and answer some questions and help us to improve our youth newsletter.

Ngiyabonga!

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