Young People’s Experiences of Empowerment and Its Drivers within a Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Program in Uganda: A Qualitative Inquiry.

Dianah Nanyange, Researcher
Charles Owekmeno, SRHR Alliance Uganda
Quraish Matovu, Reproductive Health Uganda
Godfrey Walakira, Straight Talk Foundation Uganda
Maaike van Veen, Rutgers

The transition from childhood to adulthood presents particular sexual and reproductive health(SRH) needs and challenges. In Uganda, young people(YP) are not only faced with challenges of limited access to information and services but also restrictive societal beliefs/values. These might negatively affect their agency regarding their SRHR. This study explored young people’s experiences of empowerment and its drivers. Interviews and FGDs with YP(18-24years) were conducted. Data were analyzed using QCA approach. Latent analysis resulted in an emerging theme: gaining agency over own SRHR, with four drivers identified: opportunities to express interests/opinions, relationships that foster access to information/services, community support for SRH and gaining access to SRH services. Overall, empowerment was experienced as a multi-dimensional concept with influencing factors beyond the individual level. Findings indicated a need for capacity strengthening to increase the effectiveness of programs and heightened focus on addressing negative beliefs and attitudes, especially in the religious and cultural contexts.

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 20. Adolescent Reproductive Health and Rights