24 August 2014

Zambia: Advance Sexual Reproductive Health Rights Agenda - YVZ

YOUTH Vision Zambia (YVZ) says Government should work towards advancing the Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) agenda which is essential to achieve human well-being and sustainable development.

YVZ director Amos Mwale said his organisation was working to ensure that the Zambian Government was making progress in advancing the SRHR agenda in line with the post 2015 development framework.

Mr Mwale said in a statement in Lusaka yesterday that there was need to base the new global framework on gender equality, human rights and social justice.

"Government needs to monitor the global framework and make sure that adequate resources are allocated to it, including for SRHR services as they are essential to achieve human well-being and sustainable development.

"Civil society organisations need to be supported and effective mechanisms for monitoring and accountability established," he said.

Mr Mwale said Post- 2015 would have the same impact as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), affecting the policy, programming and funding priorities of implementing Governments and donors.

He said it was important that SRHR is reflected in the framework from the beginning to ensure that it gets the priority it deserves.

"For service providers this means further opportunities for funding. If an issue is not in Post- 2015 it may not get funded, for example MDG5b (universal access to reproductive health) is the most off- track MDG, arguably due to its late introduction only seven years later in 2007," he said.

Mr Mwale said SRHR needed to get much attention hence the need for civil society organisations to go flat out in their advocacy campaigns.

SRHR is the concept of human rights applied to sexuality and reproduction. It is a combination of four fields that in some contexts are more or less distinct from each other, but less so or not at all in other contexts.

These four fields are sexual health, sexual rights, reproductive health and reproductive rights. In the concept of SRHR, these four fields are treated as separate but inherently intertwined.

In 2015, the MDGs would end and in September 2015 the United Nations

(UN) would agree and adopt the framework that would replace the MDGs.

The international community and stakeholders are currently working towards influencing what issues would be prioritised in the next framework.

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