Youth with compounded vulnerability are continuing to face a number of difficulties, such as lack of availability, accessibility, affordability and quality SRHR services, many of them have also encountered stigma and discrimination when trying to access these services, and there is a rigidly unfriendly environment for SRHR issues specifically to them due to the negative social and cultural assumptions against them.
In this context, on 23rd October 2022 Save Generations Organization, a Rwandan developmental and women’s rights Non- Government Organization dedicated to promote, protect and advocate for children, youth and women’s rights and works to prepare, empower and equip the future generations funded by Akina Mama Wa Africa under the project titled “Integration of intersectionality in inclusive SRHR services provision’’ conducted a Radio Talk show to raise awareness on intersectionality and its integration in SRHR inclusive services provision to youth with compounded vulnerabilities at Kigali to day (KT Radio).
Ariane DUSENGE, a Make Way program country coordinator at National Union of disability Organisation in Rwanda (NUDOR), defined intersectionality as taking into account of all aspects of an individual’s identity, such as gender, colour, age, location, race, physical ability, sexual orientation etc. This means in order to ensure that no one is left behind, we must view people through an intersectional lens and this is one of the biggest concerns for persons with disabilities.
If we perceive people as a group without taking into account their identities, the outcomes will be poor. She continued by explaining that, Although, this is a new approach, but it has the potential to meet the particular requirements of each category, including those of the poor, teen mothers, people living in rural regions, and HIV/Aids-positive disabled people. “Everyone who is alive has a right to sexual health information and services,” she added.
She also gave an example of a 45-year-old woman who is disabled and has wondered if she will ever experience love and make children due to the society assumptions which is realizing that disabled people are incapable and they are not entitled to experience the same life with others. In addition, she brought up the absence of reporting tools that include specific statistics of the varieties of individuals and their challenge management, stating that collecting information is one thing which guide in determining people’s particular needs.
Josiane UWIZEYIMANA, a healthcare service provider at Yego-Center Kabuga has also agreed that this is a big challenge and she continue by saying that ’Even though, we motivate and inspire, still there are few young people with compound vulnerabilities using these services. This may be due to their parents’ lack of knowledge and unfavourable attitudes toward the availability, accessibility, affordability of quality SRHR services; the majority of them are unaware of the value and efficacy of being able to afford and access high-quality SRHR services’’.
Some of listeners who were following the Radio Talk have said that
“It is a wonderful program; previously, they had thought of individuals with disabilities as being incapable, but after hearing this talk, they’ve come to see that everyone is unique and has a right to SRHR services that are provided to others.”
Youth with compounded vulnerability encounter a variety of difficulties such as lack of availability, accessibility, affordability and quality SRHR services and some of these were discussed in the discussion such as negative social perceptions which against and stigmatize Youth with Compounded Vulnerability because they understand that SRHR services are not really a priority for them. For instance, people with mental illness are frequently seen as being unable to make their own decisions and are sometimes forced to use contraceptives without their consent when they are in a crisis. There is also a geographical location of healthcare facilities has been found that they are far from major streets and others at the top of hills, which makes it difficult for youth people with compounded vulnerability to access and afford quality SRHR service. Health care providers face a challenge of the communication mismatch between a healthcare professional and a youth with disability, such as being deaf or mute, has been brought up by Josiane at Yego-Centre as big challenge they meet at the healthcare facility. Lastly The absence of reporting tools that include specific statistics of the varieties of individuals and their challenge management.