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Why this brief?

In 2021, the world is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration through the Generation Equality Movement, which refl ects on how to remove the systemic barriers that hold women back from equal participation in all areas of life, whether in public or in private. One of the key areas to enable full gender equality is ensuring the bodily autonomy and SRHR of women and girls.

This is particularly important at the early stages in life, since young people’s health and wellbeing is key to unlock their potential and harness many other benefi ts throughout the lifecourse. However, many young people still do not enjoy full bodily autonomy or access to SRHR services. This brief focuses on young people’s access to SRHR services and offers a glimpse of the evidence in South Africa, outlining at the end some key areas for collective action going forward