Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights.
Women and adolescent girls in Dzaleka Camp and surrounding villages face a lot of challenges in the area of reproductive rights manifested through high incidences of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV and AIDS. Incidence of HIV occurs at a younger age in females than males and yet often the girl’s interaction with reproductive health services is impeded due to socio-cultural and economic factors. Early pregnancy is another big challenge facing adolescent girls in Dzaleka Camp and surrounding villages. Girls as young as 13-14 years are having babies. Most girls do not have accurate information about Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights and are not empowered to make sexual decisions about their lives and cannot negotiate for safer sex. Access to friendly SRH including contraception is very limited to this group.
Traditionally, girls are expected to be less knowledgeable about their sexuality and to have limited control of their body and sexual life, this includes when and who to marry, when to have sex, number of children, whether to use or not use a condom.
SOFERES is working to improve women’s and adolescent girls’ health by ensuring that they have access to health information and services that are designed for them. This includes education on nutrition, HIV prevention, and information on sexual and reproductive health. To increase access to sensitive reproductive health information, older adolescent girls are trained to act as sexual health educators for their younger peers. In addition, schools and clinics are creating safe spaces where girls can feel comfortable asking health-related questions.
SOFERES is also making sure that adolescent girls have the chance to stay active and healthy, by creating recreational facilities and distributing sports equipment.