Centre for Solutions Journalism (CSJ) has urged the youth in Malawi to play a crucial role in the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) movement that is pressing for the Termination of Pregnancy Bill enactment in Malawi. CSJ Programme Manager Penelope Paliani Kamanga made the call in Chiradzulu during the International Safe Abortion Day in Chiradzulu.
Kamanga said Malawi now has unstoppable movement driven with persistence, commitment and determination to fight for access to safe abortion for all women, girls, and gender-diverse people.
“I urge you, the youth to join us in fighting for our human rights to bodily autonomy against discriminatory policies. The fight can start with our dialogue with our traditional and political leaders. Fighting for our rights can start with expressing ourselves freely on the social media about the benefits of abortion law reform,” she said.
According to Kamanga, some countries have have secured victories for gender equity, bodily autonomy and reproductive justice because of the campaigns conducted by civil society groups that include youth organisations.
“We cannot just sit and watch when restrictions to access safe abortion care in the Penal Code of Malawi are killing women and girls through procurement of unsafe abortions,” she said.
During the event, Blantyre Young Voices executive director Kenneth Mtago explained that the youth should be fully aware of their human rights.
“Access to sexual and reproductive health, including access to safe abortion is a human right; and we need to know that. Understanding our laws and our rights is very important because it empowers us to claim those rights,” he said.
Centre for Solutions Journalism, with support from Safe Abortion Action Fund, commemorated International Safe Abortion Day in Chiradzulu through training, drama, dialogues and outreach activities under a locally-adapted theme of ‘Young People Leadership in Abortion Law Reform Process.’
The theme spotlighted how young people are unstoppable forces of change.