MUFAKOSE legislator, Paurina Mpariwa (MDC-T) has bemoaned failure by government to fund sexual reproductive health rights, particularly issues affecting young girls, saying it exposed them to sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies.
BY REJOICE CHINGWARU
Speaking during a Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus meeting with junior councillors in Harare last week, Mpariwa said if government availed funds to the area of sexual reproductive health rights, education and welfare young girls would not end up onto the streets, but would be empowered to take up leadership roles.
“In order to ensure the participation of women in governance, the government should put in more funds towards their education, welfare and sexual reproductive health rights. If young girls have skills, resources and a good education, their voices will be amplified and they will not shy away from participating in governance issues,” Mpariwa said.
After securing 60 seats in Parliament for women, the caucus said it was imperative to push for a gender-sensitive budget which will ensure that issues of girls especially those living with disabilities were not neglected but empowered to change the world.
“We are pushing for the government to budget money towards the girl child especially those living with disabilities and they should always be given a platform to take part in the issues of governance. Development can only occur when we give girls and young women a platform to influence decision-making processes,” another parliamentarian said.
Some parliamentarians attested to having been exposed to abuse by their male counterparts and, therefore, endorsed the initiative to amplify women and girls’ voices to get rid of different kinds of abuse.