Girls urged to take role in reproductive health advocacy

Girls Malawi

Adolescent girls and young women in the country have been advised to take a huge role in advocating issues of sexual and reproductive health services (SRHS) and youth friendly health services (YFHS).

Phalombe Youth Arms Organisation (PYAO) has embarked on a project in which it wants to enhance capacity of young women for active participation in issues of SRHS and YFHS with support from Her Voice Fund.

Girls Malawi
Girls advised to take role in reproductive health advocacy. (Library)

Speaking after introducing the project to the youth technical working group in Phalombe, PYAOs project coordinator Vincent Thom said they are intending to train young women aged 10 to 24 so as to increase their capacity in matters affecting the girl child.

The overall goal of the project is to develop capacity of adolescents girls and young women in the areas of governance, policy and advocacy whilst improving their knowledge, authority and goodwill for influencing key policies, strategies and practices around SRHRS, YFHS and accountability of stakeholders` promises in Nazombe and Nkhulambe areas, he said.

Thom added that this will empower the said group with requisite skills and knowledge for effective policy advocacy at the local and district level so that they should be able to hold government and duty bearers at various levels accountable.

In his remarks, the districts youth development officer, McNeil Shire, commended the organisation for coming up with such a project and said he is hoping that young women and girls that are going to be trained will share the knowledge with their fellow peers in these selected areas.

This is a good project as our young women and girls will now understand systems, structures, laws, policies and strategic documents which relate to SRHR/YFHS in Malawi and improve their capacity and I believe that many of them will benefit a lot from this, said Shire.

PYAO which was established in 2012 has been orienting and training young people, vulnerable girls and women, people living with HIV or disability, sex workers, local leaders and traditional counsellors in SRHS and YFHS which includes HIV and AIDS, and Family Planning.