10 July 2017

Southern Africa: 'Mahe Declaration' Commits Southern African States to Reduce HIV Among Girls, Women

Women from southern African countries have committed themselves to addressing root causes of HIV among women and young girls by reducing poverty and ensuring access to quality health services and information.

This is one of the engagements parliament members of 14 Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum countries made through the adoption of the 'Mahe Declaration.'

In the two-day assembly hosted in Seychelles last week, participants focused on thematic areas, proceeding from the Resolution 60/2 of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. The Resolution focuses on how to stop HIV infections, especially among women and girls.

Participants also recommended that women and girls have access to education, that child marriage is eradicated and those already married, are protected.

The strengthening of legislation and policies on human rights and gender, including young people and those living with HIV, and reducing stigma and discrimination are also points adopted in the declaration.

The declaration will be presented at the 41st Plenary of the SADC Parliamentary Forum which starts Monday.

"The Mahe Declaration needs to be popularised. The declaration is a powerful document, that if implemented will bring about positive changes in the lives of women and girls," said Esau Chiviya, the secretary general of SADC Parliamentary Forum.

Chiviya added that members of the parliament, being elected representatives of the people, cannot sit idly as women and young girls are raped, defiled and even murdered.

"It is imperative that they use their law-making role to ensure that preventive laws are put in place accordingly," he said.

"Not all of the recommendations apply to Seychelles. For example, there is no child marriage in Seychelles," said Regina Esparon, a parliament member of the 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.

Esparon added that "As members of the women and HIV/AIDS committees in the National Assembly, we will look at the recommendations that were voiced out so as to see which ones can be applied to Seychelles to help us progress in our fight against HIV/AIDS."

The women parliament session, hosted in Seychelles by the National Assembly, was the first event on the programme of the 41st Plenary Assembly Session of the SADC PF, taking place at Savoy Spa and Resort.

The plenary session is the highest decision-making body that brings together speakers from 14 National SADC Member States or their representatives and up to five Members of Parliament from each member state, observers and resource persons.

Seychelles

Country Wins Bronze At International Robotics Challenge in Washington

Six Seychellois students clinched the bronze medal in an international robotics challenge held in Washington, D.C.… Read more »

Copyright © 2017 Seychelles News Agency. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 150 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.