By Sam Majamanda
Men Critical To SRH Advocacy – CAVWOC
The Center for Alternatives for Victimized Women and Children (CAVWOC) on Thursday underscored the importance of male involvement in improvement of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights delivery to girls in Phalombe district.
Project Officer for CAVWOC Linda Alimoso drew the highlight during a coordination meeting for girls from various Youth Clubs in Traditional Authority Nazombe and Male Champions, aimed at creating linkages between the two groups in order to facilitate strong SRH advocacy.
According to Alimoso, lack of linkage between the two groups has proven to create challenges especially in reaching out to men on issues of SRH as they tend to listen to fellow men than the opposite sex on such issues.
“When we send a man to convert a man into accepting Sexual Reproductive Health we achieve more than when we send women to do the same. This is because men are not so easy to convince especially when the issue at hand has to do with a woman, so in this arrangement we are using male champions to woo fellow men into helping girls and women speak out on issues of Sexual Reproductive Health,” Alimoso said.
Through an Amplify Change funded project aimed at improving girls’ access to sexual Reproductive Health and Information, CAVWOC is facilitating the male championship initiative in which exemplary men advocate for provision of SRH services to girls as a way of protecting them from dropping out of school due to pregnancies.
One of the male champions from T/A Nazombe John Muhasuwa called on fellow men to show their leadership powers through involvement in advocacy for girls’ access to Sexual Reproductive Health so that young girls in the area remain in school.
Statistics from the District Education Office recently showed primary schools in the area of T/A Nazombe as registering high school dropout rates due to early pregnancies among young girls.
Commenting on the issue, Jacqueline Chifika, a member of Chitawotawo Youth Club outline lack of contraceptives in health facilities and acute poverty as top list hurdles that fail most girls from attaining education in the area.
Said Chifika, “We want more men to join us in this course because girls who drop out of school due to pregnancy are not impregnated by fellow women but men, so if more men understand the need for young girls and women to access Sexual Reproductive Health Services such as contraceptives, we will help more girls claim their right to education as they will be saved from early pregnancies.