Exploring intersections between gender-based violence and adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights in West Africa: A review of the literature produced in the sub-region

Takyiwaa Manuh, Adriana A. E. Biney


This review, commissioned by the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC), explores the intersection between gender-based violence (GBV) and adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights (ASRHR) in the Economic Community of West African States. It is imperative to understand this intersection for research, policy, and practice purposes in a sub-region characterized by high youthful populations with significant reproductive health challenges. A mapping exercise, literature review, and gap analysis were conducted. Findings indicate that several stakeholders and organizations exist, though few are youth-led or centred. Legislation and policies are not comprehensive or necessarily enforced in a context of legal pluralism where institutions and infrastructure in place for providing services are weak. There was minimal knowledge production from the region on the GBV-ASRHR intersections, uneven attention to the issues among countries, and intersections mainly focused on female genital mutilation and child marriage. Opportunities for addressing gaps and implications for research, policy, and practice, arising from the findings are discussed. (Afr J Reprod Health 2021; 25[4]: 118-134).

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