Kabwe: Restless Development, 2016. 10 p.
The Tikambe Project - January to May 2016
In December of 2013, Zambia and nineteen other countries in the East and Southern Africa (ESA) region affirmed and endorsed their joint commitment to deliver CSE and SRHR services for young people (the East and Southern Africa Commitment on CSE and SRH services for young people). Since then, in Zambia, CSE has been integrated in the curriculum, but there is no plan on realistic implementation to achieve its core objectives. Evidence is limited on what CSE and wider SRHR provision (information and access to services) is available to young people. Available evidence indicates that few existing strategies are operational and budgeted for. Government strategies and services for primary SRH are more effective in urban areas, while inadequate access and referrals to youth-friendly services are characteristic of rural areas. The problem is compounded by low capacity to provide services, especially in rural areas, where 60.5% of Zambia’s population lives. Discussion of sexual health, sexuality and HIV is taboo in many areas of the country, especially in rural communities. Socio-cultural barriers prevent young Zambians from accessing guidance on avoiding pregnancy and making positive decisions about their sexual health. Teaching of sexuality education is selective, with some topics excluded as teachers respond to cultural and religious norms. Young people in rural communities are not accessing information regarding their SRHR. This results in under-age or un-planned pregnancy, high STI and HIV prevalence rates, and a lack of opportunity for young people to claim their right to live full and productive lives in their communities. Restless Development with support from AmplifyChange is running Tikambe – Let’s Talk, a project aimed at building momentum and inspiring action on youth priorities in national post-2015 frameworks and AIDS responses. Through this work, we are addressing underlying causes of the challenges in the effective implementation of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE); building an evidence base to understand gaps and weaknesses; challenging norms to open up Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) discussions at local level; and strengthening civil society and youth capacity in accountability.
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