Sexual, health rights discussed
Samoa has been instrumental in taking the message on gender based violence and sexual and reproductive health to the grassroots community.
This has been made possible through the collaboration of the United Nations Population Fund (U.N.F.P.A), Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development (M.W.C.S.D), the Ministry of Police, Ministry of Health and local N.G.O Samoa Family Health Association.
Outreach programmes catered towards schools, village communities, young couples, fathers and sons and mothers and daughters are proving effective in increasing community knowledge on sexual and reproductive health issues and rights in terms of accessibility to S.R.H, family planning, S.T.Is services, commodities and counselling.
The Ministry of Police through its Community Engagement Unit team have had the opportunity to talk to young people about existing laws and regulations in place that govern sexual and reproductive health and domestic violence issues.
Reports from the Ministry of Police highlights that the highest number of cases reported affecting young couples is to do with physical abuse in the age group 18-45.
A huge concern for the country, the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development initiated efforts towards educating young people to improve their life skills on Self Awareness, Communications, Coping with Stress and Emotions, Interpersonal Relationships and Empathy, decision making and problem solving.
The Samoa Family Health Association also offers young people S.R.H services and counselling through the U.N.F.P.A funded Youth Friendly Services Drop in Centre (Y.F.S.D.C) located at the second floor of Salote Florist Building, Savalalo.
Samoa joined the world to celebrate World Population Day yesterday with the theme ‘Investing in Teenage Girls.’ Members of the public were reminded that Samoa’s efforts towards educating and empowering its young people on their S.R.H rights and Gender Based Violence issues all contribute to global efforts in rectifying inequalities critical to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
As highlighted by the UN Secretary General, Tupua Ban Ki Moon on ‘World Population Day, I urge all Governments, businesses and civil society to support and invest in teenage girls’.