Addressing the ‘triple threat’ of HIV, teenage pregnancies and gender-based violence
Title: Strengthening Girls’ Rights! Reproductive Health, Family Planning and HIV Prevention for Pupils, especially Girls, in Zambia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council (NAC)
Overall term: 2020 to 2023
Girls and young women in Zambia are disproportionately affected by the ‘triple threat’. Zambia is the only country in Sub-Saharan Africa in which the number of new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections has risen in this group. The number of child marriages has hardly decreased over the years, either. On top of this, violence against girls and women continues to lurk.
The Government of Zambia has committed to expanding sex education and providing young people with comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services. However, parents, teachers, health care workers and religious or traditional leaders are often wary of such measures due to social taboos and discriminatory gender norms. This is compounded by a lack of appropriate tools and methods for delivering high-quality support in these areas.
Young people, especially young women and girls, are more able to exercise their rights, make use of counselling services and take action on sexual health, family planning, HIV prevention and non-violent gender relations.
The programme supports the National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council (NAC) in conducting political dialogue with the involvement of civil society organisations, delegations from the focus provinces and districts, and young people.
It also supports the Join-in Circuit on AIDS, Love and Sexuality as a tool to integrate sex education into the health and education system. To this end, it developed a lending system for the toolkits and collaborates with health services and training institutes.
This project develops the skills of AIDS coordinators in provinces and districts. These coordinators play a key role in ensuring that HIV, teenage pregnancies and gender-based violence are addressed at the local level across all areas, in line with the particular needs of young people. Moreover, the project works with religious and traditional leaders to ensure that the rights of young people are respected.
Last update: November 2022