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Bridging the Gap

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Join us for a panel discussion on the importance of fiscal justice for women and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health rights.

Join Christian Aid, ACT Alliance and FEMNET to hear from:

  • Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, General Secretary (CEO) of the ACT Alliance
  • Bella Masanya, activist and gender advocate
  • Ms. Memory Kachambwa, Executive Director of The African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET)
  • Karimi Kinoti, Christian Aid's Head of Africa
  • Ib Petersen, Deputy Executive Director for Development, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
  • Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, CEO, Christian Aid

Coronavirus has thrown health systems into turmoil and widened pre-existing inequalities. Women’s and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health services and rights have been affected in multiple ways.

This has included the diversion of resources to the coronavirus response and the impacts of restrictions designed to slow the spread of the virus. This has reduced access and provision of services including maternal and child health and family planning.

Christian Aid’s research conducted in Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria and Sierra Leone finds that public health financing represents the most reliable, sustainable and equitable way of increasing access to comprehensive sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services for the poorest, most vulnerable and marginalised women and girls.

Alongside tackling unequal gender norms, which are a barrier to provision and uptake of SRH services and the enjoyment of women’s rights, we believe that public financing of SRHR is key to achieving global commitments to gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.

Join the panel discussion

Speaker bios

The panel will be chaired by Christian Aid's Chief Executive; Amanda Khozi Mukwashi.

Amanda Khozi Mukwashi has devoted more than 25 years to working on poverty alleviation, tackling injustice and inequalities. She has worked in both intergovernmental and non-governmental spaces, bringing in-depth experience from across the development sector. She is the Chief Executive Officer of Christian Aid, leading development and humanitarian interventions in Africa, Asia & the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean. Amanda has also served with the United Nations under the United Nations Volunteer programme in Germany, as Chief, Volunteer Knowledge and Innovation and Chief of Advisory Services.

Prior to this, she worked for VSO International, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa in Zambia and for the UNFPA Zambia Country support programme on Gender, Population and Development. She has served as a trustee for Bond and as President of Akina Mama wa Afrika.

Amanda is a published author. But Where Are You Really From? is her first book. She has a Master’s degree in International Economic Law from the University of Warwick and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Zambia.

Rudelmar Bueno de Faria is the General Secretary (CEO) of the ACT Alliance, an international coalition of 135 churches and faith-based organizations working together in humanitarian, development and advocacy work in over 120 countries. Prior to this, he served as the World Council of Churches Representative to the United Nations and Deputy Director for the Lutheran World Service.

He has over 25 years of experience working with national and international non-governmental organizations. His education embraces business administration, international relations and foreign trade. He has post-graduation studies on Diakonia and Community Development and several specialization courses related to international, humanitarian and human rights laws.

Rudelmar is a member of the Steering Committee on Humanitarian Response (SCHR), co-chair and member of the United Nations Multi-Faith Advisory Council, member of the UN Steering Committee for the Implementation of the Plan of Action for Religious Leaders and Actors to Prevent Incitement to Violence, member of the Advisory Board for the Humanitarian Encyclopedia, member of the UN-Women Leadership and Planning Committee Beijing+25, member of the NGO Working Group on the UN Security Council, and since 2020 member of the UN High-Level Commission of the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 Follow-up.

Bella Masanya is a feminist and gender advocate who is passionate about the empowerment of all women and girls.

She has experience working on issues such as Gender Based Violence, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights as well as leadership skills development both locally and internationally. In this regard, she has been privileged to work with YWCA Kenya and World YWCA’s international secretariat in Switzerland. She is also the founder of ‘Gender Outlaw’, a digital platform for amplifying and sharing feminist resources and stories.

Bella is currently pursuing an MA in Gender and Development Studies at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. Her research is focused on digital advocacy and SRHR. Her Bachelor’s degree is in Gender and Development Studies from Kenyatta University. She has a background in media having worked as a news reporter with a bias towards gender affairs in Kenya.

Memory Kachambwa is the Executive Director of The African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), a pan- African, feminist membership-based network based in Nairobi with over 800 members across 50 African countries. Prior to joining FEMNET, she worked at the International Youth Foundation, and served as the Executive Director of The Women’s Trust in Zimbabwe.

She has also worked at the UNFPA, UNIFEM and UN Women for eight years in various capacities. Memory is an intersectional feminist and a women’s rights activist and movement builder working on gender and development issues at the national, regional, and international levels. She was instrumental in the conceptualization of the African Feminist Macroeconomic Academy, has contributed to the African Women's Journal and the Feminist Foreign Policy Framework by Center for Research on Women.

In 2019 she was named by apolitical among the Top 100 Most Influential people in Global Policy. She currently sits on the Generation Equality Forum Civil Society Advisory Board, is a She Decides Global Champion and member of the Global Family Law Campaign Steering Committee, Global Inequality Alliance and the Stop The Bleeding campaign on ending Illicit financial flows from Africa. Memory is passionate about social justice and working with young women movements.

Ib Petersen is the Assistant Secretary General, serving as Assistant Executive Director, Management for UNFPA. He previously served as Director for the Department of Migration, Conflict and Stabilization of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has over 30 years of experience within the spheres of bilateral and multilateral affairs and development.

Prior to his position as Department Director, Mr. Petersen served as the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Denmark to the United Nations from 2013-2019, during which he held several important duties. Most notably, Mr. Petersen has served on the Executive Boards of the United Nations Development Programmes, including as President of the Joint UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board in 2017, and most recently as Special Envoy for ICPD25 and the Nairobi Summit as well as Special Envoy for Conflict and Fragility.

Mr. Petersen started his long-serving career with the Danish Ministry in 1985. Throughout his service, he held the positions of State Secretary of Development Cooperation, Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the United Nations from 2007-2009 and State Secretary for Development Policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2009-2013. During this time, Mr. Petersen led the development of new strategies for Danish development cooperation, strengthened results-based management and successfully implemented development campaigns and initiatives to support economic growth in Africa, and to support women's rights and empowerment, including through the “MDG3 Global Call to Action” campaign.

Mr. Petersen holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Aarhus. Working for women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights has been a central element of Mr. Petersen’s professional life, often in partnership with UNFPA. For him, this is an unfinished agenda under pressure, not least in times of Covid-19.

Karimi Kinoti is passionate about Africa’s social and economic transformation, gender equality and women’s empowerment.

She brings vast experience to tackling the challenges of poverty and inequality in Africa and has been instrumental in promoting sustainable approaches to food systems and climate resilience, as well as advocacy on universal health coverage. Karimi has worked in the NGO sector for more than 20 years. She currently heads the Africa Division of Christian Aid.

Prior to joining Christian Aid, she was founding Director of FECCLAHA, a faith-based peacebuilding organisation. Karimi holds a degree in Political Science & German, a Masters in Conflict Transformation & Peacebuilding and is currently completing her Master of Business Administration course.

Join the panel discussion