Gender Gender

Early marriages will affect 7NDP attainment

Early marriage child mother.

SHIKANDA KAWANGA, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT says child marriages and teenage pregnancies derail development because the vices prevent youths from having access to tertiary education.
Ministry of National Development Planning Permanent Secretary Chola Chabala said the country should not be comfortable with net enrolment rates at primary level while they reduce at secondary level because of teenage pregnancies and child marriages.
Mr Chabala was speaking on Friday during a media breakfast meeting organised by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
And UNFPA Zambia representative Gift Malunga said sexual reproductive health (SRH) is a key development issue which is central to achieving the Seventh National Development Plan, Zambia’s Vision 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals.
Ms Malunga said Zambia’s aspiration to become a middle-income country by 2030 will not be realised if women and girls are left behind.
“SRH is about the right to make informed choices on sexuality and reproduction. It is also about girls being equipped with information so that they can become productive citizens who can contribute to economic development,” she said.
Ms Malunga said there is need to see a world where every woman can make a decision as to when they can get pregnant.
“We see an opportunity of transforming the world of young people. We see a possibility of a world where every young person has access to comprehensive sexuality education, so that they know how to manage their relationships,” she said.
Ms Malunga said many women do not have access to SRH information.
She said this is why they are unable to reach their full potential in life and the country is unable to make a lot of progress in achieving the Vision 2030.
“The social and economic health consequences do not only affect the women but the whole nation. Access to modern contraceptives helps prevent death, disability and abortion,” she said.

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