Southern Africa Must Address Health, Needs Of Women, Girl Migrants

The Conversation: Southern Africa needs better health care for women and girls on the move
Rebecca Walker, postdoctoral fellow at the African Centre for Migration & Society, and Jo Vearey, associate professor, both at the University of the Witwatersrand

“[T]he implementation of the [2030 Sustainable Development Goals] presents major and complex challenges in the southern African region, not least due to the high disease burden and increasing levels of inequality. And there are fundamental policy gaps in addressing the health needs of migrants. Where they do exist, gender is inadequately considered. … Our findings highlight the need for improved migration and health governance to address the needs of women and girls on the move in the region. This requires effective engagement across different sectors — including state, civil society, academia, international organizations, and the private sector — at multiple levels, from local to global. The Southern African Development Community struggles to design, coordinate, and implement evidence-informed responses at a regional level, [so] member states need to drive their own responses. This requires engagement in bilateral arrangements with neighboring states to ensure that migration is built into all health responses” (7/31).