By Abigirl Tembo
THE 9th Parliament of Zimbabwe has made great strides in addressing sexual reproductive health rights through bills which are now before Parliament and the enactment of several laws.
The Zimbabwe 9th Parliament which began meeting in September 2018 has made great inroads in championing sexual reproductive health rights.
This came out this Tuesday during an interface organised by the SADC Parliamentary Forum which involves legislators and civic society organisations which are into sexual reproductive health rights (SRHR).
“As Parliament we have been working since the 8th Parliament, we have done a lot. We have decriminalised the willful transmission of HIV that was decriminalised in the marriage bill which is going to be celebrated in Brussels at a global Forum. We have criminalised child marriage for me that’s something to celebrate. We received a petition on age restriction and we dealt with it and it is now coming back in different forms. It’s coming back through the child rights bill which is coming. It’s because we made noise,” said Dr Ruth Labode- Chairperson Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health.
The SADC Parliament Forum on SRHR Project Coordinator for Zimbabwe, Mr Yeukai Tshuma called for continued efforts in fighting SRHR issues to achieve sustainable development goals.
“Generally, our indicators are almost similar across the region. We are all still heavily burdened by HIV and AIDS, we are still struggling with issues of maternal health but Zimbabwe we are doing ok, we are beginning to realise dropping of the maternal mortality ratio but we are still far away from achieving the SDGs,” said Mr Tshuma.
The project, which is being implemented in 11 countries in the SADC region, seeks to address sexual reproductive health rights challenges faced by women and girls in the region.