United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has called for the doubling of efforts to empower women and youths in sexual and reproductive rights because they are critical change agents towards effective national development.
UNFPA country representative Violete Kakyomya made the call in Lilongwe on Saturday when she launched the 2016-2019 strategic plan for Family Planning Association of Malawi (Fpam).
Fpam is a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) that provides sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services to the youth.
“The power of people to exercise their rights and make choices in their daily lives will determine the health and well-being of present and future generations of our country. We should strive to empower women and young people to exercise their rights and fully engage in society,” said Kakyomya.
She acknowledged that young people in Malawi are confronted with various challenges such as teenage pregnancies, unsafe abortions, unmet needs for contraceptives, high school drop-out among girls and gender-based violence.
UNFPA executive director Thokozani Mbendera promised an action-packed four years during which SRH services will be made available.
Fpam board chair Lillian Ng’oma expressed joy that the organisation is spreading its operations across the country.
Currently, Fpam is in Neno, Balaka and Mangochi, in the South; Ntcheu, Dedza, Lilongwe, Dowa, Kasungu and Mchinji, in the Centre; and Mzuzu in the North. n