As part of AWID’s Getting to Zero project we are profiling the work of Web for Live Network a program of SAYWHAT. The Web for Life Network is made up of young female students in tertiary institutions including colleges, universities and polytechnic institutes. These young women leaders promote advocacy and active participation of women students in gaining access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services including HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment and care in their colleges and universities.
Web for Life Network
The Web for Life is a program of SAYWHAT which began in 2007. It is a dynamic network for female students in tertiary institutions which promotes leadership, advocacy and the active participation of female students in addressing their Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). The platform aims to ensure that there is an increased access and uptake of Sexual and Reproductive Health Services including HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support by female students in the tertiary institutions.
The Web for Life Network aims to strengthen capacity and networks of female students in responding and addressing their sexual and reproductive health challenges. Such capacity can help in lobbying and advocacy for friendly policies within tertiary institutions that addresses SRHR challenges and increase their knowledge/ information levels and understanding of policies that address gender issues within tertiary institutions in Zimbabwe. The Network is also an active platform for research and documentation of female students’ SRHR experiences within tertiary institution to inspire evidence based programming on young women interventions.
Young Women’s Work
The Web for Life Network is governed and monitored under The Students’ And Youth Working on reproductive Health Action Team through a Network Coordinator who is a young woman. The network has a national core group of female students who are in the lead in coordination all activities. There are also provincial structures and college structures.
The Network’s objectives include:
- Facilitates for mentorship, capacity building and leadership skills development of female students in order to advance advocacy and influence meaningful decisions on the SRHR including HIV and AIDS issues of young women.
- Creates space for information, knowledge and experience sharing on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of female students in tertiary institutions.
- Provides leadership in articulating and seeking strategic ways to address critical global SRHR and HIV and AIDS issues through campaigns and commemorations and female student specific actions to support SRHR and HIV and AIDS interventions.
- Links and connects female students at college, provincial, national and regional level with organisations, campaigns and initiatives on Young Women Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Advocacy.
- Promotes livelihoods programmes that empower female students socially and economically and promote the engagement of role models and opportunities for female students’ entrepreneurship and opportunities in addressing economic challenges.
- Research and documentation of female students’ SRHR experiences within tertiary institution to inspire evidence based programming on young women interventions.
The Web has promoted young women’s Sexual and reproductive health rights through dialogues and policy interventions. For young women and men living with HIV we offer psycho- social support and they document their stories through positive diaries and then it is compiled into a booklet called Positive Voices that is used for advocacy.
More About SAYWHAT
SAYWHAT is an advocacy institution, based in Zimbabwe, which promotes the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of students in tertiary institutions. The vision of SAYWHAT is to have a gender-just nation with empowered, healthy and responsible students who enjoy their sexual reproductive health and rights in tertiary institutions.
The organisation was formed in 2003. SAYWHAT is a registered civil society organisation that operates at National level but however is recognised at regional level and works with other universities in South Africa, Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique. The main beneficiaries of the organisation’s activities are female and male students in tertiary institutions.
The Vision of SAYWHAT is to create a gender-just nation with empowered, healthy and responsible students who enjoy their sexual full reproductive health and rights in tertiary institutions. The mission of SAYWHAT is to ensure students’ participation in information/ knowledge sharing, support provision, networking and advocacy to promote sexual reproductive health and rights in tertiary institutions in partnership with other service providers.