In quest for Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights

A collection of stories 

In this booklet we feature a collection of stories of how far we have come on the ICPD agenda and since 1981 when we began working in Zimbabwe. As the articles show some progress has been made in the realisation of Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights but there is still a lot more that still needs to be done to ensure universal coverage. On Family Planning, for example you will hear accounts of how far we have come from the days when women used to jump shrubs or tie knots around their waists as a means of family planning to today where we have modern and more effective means of contraceptive.

We have accounts of women who have spent so many years in isolation with no dignity because of the lack of obstetric fistula repair surgery yet so resilient and strong in the face of such suffering and humiliation.  We have accounts of young girls and women who have been given a new lease in life and who have big dreams in their lives thanks to mentorship from the Sista2Sista programme. We have accounts of how access to services has made a difference to survivors of GBV’s lives, enabling them to find justice and move on from the trauma of their various experiences.  

By all accounts, it is encouraging how far we have come in ensuring universal coverage to Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights.

Maternal Health

News
Tendai Chimanda’s story is a true story of resilience. It is a story of humanity.  Tendai resides in Birchenough Bridge in Manicaland, about 400kms outside the capital Harare. In...
Video
Obsteric fistula robs women and girls of their dignity and lives! Through free surgery UNFPA Zimbabwe is helping restore their dignity and give them their lives back under the...
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Maria Mwakutukusa (20) from Muchadziya area of Chimanimani was airlifted from her village to Chipinge District Hospital at the height of the devastation of Cyclone Idai. With the...

The ICPD Programme of Action recognised that reproductive health and rights, as well as women's empowerment and gender equality, are cornerstones of population and development programmes. This important conference is what has grounded UNFPA’s work over the years. Since then we have seen marked progress in ensuring access to sexual reproductive health and rights the world over, including in Zimbabwe. For example, in 1994 modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate in Zimbabwe was at 42% and today it stands at 67%, one of the highest in Africa. This is steady progress that Zimbabwe is making in the various areas related to the ICPD agenda.

Family planning

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Growing up 28-year-old Patricia Sigauke from Chibuwe village in Nyanyadzi, about 350km outside the capital Harare had ambitions of being a nurse. Sadly, she was not able to...
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Fifty-five (55) year Evelyn Nyaruwe from Nemutenzi village in Nyanyadzi Hotspings of Manicaland province is a mother of 8 children. She says for women of her age it is not...
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Vimbai Nyirenda, 18 from Ganye Village in Gokwe South of Midlands province sits on the floor in her mother’s kitchen hut. Her mother, Gladys, 52 sits next to her and occasionally...

The year 2019 is a milestone year for us as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) - we celebrate 50 years of delivering for women and young people on the SRHR agenda and 25 years of commitment to the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action. At this conference very important resolutions were made to improve access to sexual and reproductive health. The Programme of Action recognised that reproductive health and rights, as well as women's empowerment and gender equality, are cornerstones of population and development programmes. This important conference is what has grounded UNFPA's work over the years.

Leaving no one behind

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Ashley Philly looks and sounds like the proverbial girl next door. The twenty-year-old Bulawayo resident has a bubbly demeanor and laughs easily. Today, she is smartly dressed in...
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Twenty-six (26) year old Bathabile is a sex worker. Having lost her parents at a very young age she was left in the care of her grandmother. She was forced into sex work to take...
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Vimbai Shumba is 18 years old. When she failed her Ordinary Level (O’ Levels) exams in 2016, she thought her aspiration to go back to school and study again had reached a dead...

We have seen progress but we still have a lot more work to do to deliver on the ICPD Programme of Action as this advocacy booklet will show; we still have a lot of “unfinished business”. There are still many people in marginalized rural communities who are failing to access essential SRH services that we need to reach in the best way we can. A significant number of women (about 8 women a day) are still dying whilst giving birth. In the 15-19-year age group, 110 per 1,000 girls are giving birth. Gender Based Violence sadly affects 1 in 3 women and girls. These few examples highlight the 'unfinished business' that Zimbabwe still faces and needs to focus on.

Ending Gender Based Violence and Harmful Cultural Practices

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Twenty-four (24) year old Lilian Dube was raped and left for dead by three men.  The eldest in a family of 6, Lilian had dropped out of school and resorted to selling sex to help...
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Eighteen- year old Thandeka Sithole (not her real name) is survivor of rape and a product of rape. She was conceived as a result of incest after her mother was raped by one of...
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Soneni Ndlovu was only 17 years old and enjoying her life, like any young person – she felt like she had everything she dreamed of in store for her until her life was turned...