Promoting Inclusive Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in a Changing World
Girls Activist Youth Organisation (GAYO) is pleased to report that the national youth conference on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), which was held on 02 November, 2023, was a resounding success. The conference brought together 40 young people from 3 districts in Malawi as well as 10 SRHR experts and representatives from NGOs who deal with issues of SRHR. Staff from both CYECE and GAYO were also present at the event to facilitate the different sessions.
The conference theme was “Promoting Inclusive Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in a Changing World.” The discussions at the conference incorporated cross cutting issues such as climate change and mental health in relation to how they impact youth SRHR in the modern world.
The conference began with a pavilion to showcase the work that both CYECE and GAYO are doing with the youth in the districts of Salima and Mchinji. The exhibit was followed by 3 panel discussions whose panellists’ will include SRHR experts, youth representatives as well as health care workers to represent different points of view. The panel questions will be centered around the implications of climate change on youth SRHR and strategizing adaptive responses, the intersection of mental health and SRHR and prioritizing the SRHR of vulnerable youth populations and how best they can be supported and protected at all times. The conference also had different artistic performances such as music, drama and poetry from the young people present as a means of passing on different SRHR related messages.
The conference was a valuable opportunity for young people to learn about their SRHR, to share their experiences and challenges, and to develop strategies for advocating for inclusive and adaptive SRHR policies and practices.
Outcomes of the conference
The following are some of the key outcomes of the conference:
- Increased awareness and understanding of the specific SRHR challenges faced by the youth in the current global context
- Empowered youth delegates equipped with knowledge and tools to advocate for inclusive and adaptive SRHR policies and practices
- Strengthened networks and collaborations among stakeholders in the SRHR domain
GAYO is committed to continuing to work with young people and other stakeholders to promote inclusive SRHR in Malawi.