The Speaker of the National Assembly, Right Honourable Catherine Gotani Hara, MP today opened a capacity development workshop on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) enlighten Members of Parliament and civil society organisations on possible areas of interventions.
The project is being implemented by the SADC-PF in collaboration with the Malawi Parliament to enhance SRHR through parliamentary interventions that have legislative, budgetary, oversight and representative value.
The aims of the workshop are:
*To ensure that MPs and CSOs are able to approach SRHR competently and in a holistic manner;
*To reinforce partnership framework between the CSOs and MPs;
*To build capacity of CSOs to understand parliamentary processes in view of interacting with Parliament as an institution, including the legislative process and the oversight process; and
*To ensure that CSOs are able to build an enduring working relationship with MPs in view ensuring oversight in SRHR within national Parliaments by regularly feeding grass root SRHR information to MPs.
In her remarks, the Speaker said workshop is important as it is coming at a time when Malawi is facing a lot of SRHR related problems because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Over the past four to five months of COVID-19 presence, evidence has illustrated the alarming increase in Sexual and Gender Based Violence, unintended pregnancies, as well as child marriages.
This provides an opportunity for Parliament to reflect upon the linkages which exist between COVID-19 and sexual and reproductive health, ” she said.
The Speaker also highlighted the importance of a robust partnership framework which consists of MPs, Civil Society Organisations, Line Ministries and other relevant stakeholders working together on issues of SRHR.
This is second workshop of this kind following another held in March this year to introduce various stakeholders to the project and possible a few areas of collaboration.
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