Position: Deputy Director
Organization: Dandelion Kenya
Catherine Nyambura is Deputy Director at Dandelion Kenya, an organization enabling access to sexual and reproductive health and rights information and services to women, girls, and young people. She also heads communications for SDG Kenya Forum, and is in charge of facilitating outreach and managing relations with strategic development partners in the private sector and government. A Women Deliver Young Leader and a member of Youth RISE International working group, she also blogs with Girls Globe and writes her own column at Rural Reporters.
“I met Catherine trough the Women Deliver program and am closely observing her work. She is the Deputy Director at Dandelion Kenya, a Women Deliver Young Leader, and a Mandela Fellow. She is engaged in advocacy on different levels, keeping in mind intersectional feminism. Catherine works for well-being of everyday women and girls.”
What sparked your passion for family planning?
I grew up in one of Nairobi’s biggest slums and witnessed rights violations and gaps in women and girls health . I lost 2 of my friends to maternal mortality and AIDS and had classmates drop out due to teenage pregnancy. I engage in Family planning advocacy to ensure adolescent girls and young women are guaranteed choices regarding their bodies, health and life through access to contraceptives. The policy gaps, sociocultural, financial and infrastructural barriers are what compel me to act.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your family planning efforts, and what have you done to overcome it?
Lack of information & gendered barriers perpetuated through structural avenues such as policies and culture. I have countered lack of information, using the I Choose, My Life Comprehensive Sexuality Education curriculum that enables access to information to young people in schools. I address structural violations through advocacy and awareness articulating issues from a feminist perspective. #SRHRDialogues hashtag has provided space for advocacy, information sharing & stakeholder engagement.
What is your (country/region/city)’s biggest challenge in family planning, and how can it be addressed?
Kenya’s contraceptive prevalence rate is at 58% according to FP2020 progress report. Analysis indicates that the youth component of FP 2020 is considered an unfinished agenda. According to the Demographic Health Survey, unmet need for family planning in Kenya stands at 26% for women across the country but notably higher for women living with HIV. We need to design inclusive programs supported by policy to ensure no youth are left behind despite HIV status, drug use, disability & other factors.