Hon Malungo Attractor Chisangano, MP, 1st Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia and selected Members of Parliament from various Parliamentary Committees of the National Assembly of Zambia under the auspices of the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) participated in a Seminar to develop an advocacy strategy for Members of Parliament on Comprehensive Sexuality Education, HIV/AIDS and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights in Zambia from Friday 18th February, to Sunday 20th February, 2022. This meeting was held at Ciela Resort, Bonanza Hotel in Lusaka and was jointly sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), UNFPA, UNAIDS, Safaids, Regional Psychosocial Support for Initiative (REPSSI) and Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia.
The Hon Madam First Deputy Speaker in officially opening the Seminar, on Friday 18th February 2022 noted that the main purpose of the meeting was to develop an advocacy strategy for Members of Parliament on Comprehensive Sexuality Education, HIV/AIDS and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) in Zambia. This was in a quest to curb the increasing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections country wide, increasing teenage pregnancies and child marriages among young learners in primary and secondary schools as well as the need to clarify the importance of teaching Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in both primary and secondary schools. She expressed gratitude that MPs have demonstrated commitment in addressing SRHR issues that were hitting their constituents. Furthermore, she noted that MPs were equipping themselves with tools through the development of this strategy which would enable them to identify effective activities, track the progress and eventually reach their desired outcomes. She also felt the development of a strategy gave sustainability to efforts around CSE, HIV and SRHR.
Prior to Madam Deputy Speaker’s official opening, Dr Christopher Kalila, MP, Chairperson for the Committee on Health and Chairperson of the National Assembly of Zambia SRHR Technical Working Group (TWG) gave some remarks that indicated that he was very appreciative of the strong collaboration that has been established between The NAZ TWG and institutions producing evidence on SRHR such as the CSOs, UN Bodies, Line Ministries, among others. The MPs were very grateful for the rich collaboration that exists among the key players on SRHR. Most important, he explained that MPs were leveraging on the rich wealth of information that partners brought to their exposure.
Dr Tharcisse Barihuta, UNAIDS Country Director in Zambia also gave his remarks and indicated that the United Nations was happy to see that the MPs were taking leadership by advocating strongly on issues of SRH , GBV , ending Child Marriage and tackling HIV/AIDS including promoting CSE.  The UNAIDS Country Director further explained that the UN remained ready to cooperate and provide both technical and financial support to parliamentary processes such as the oneof developing a CSE, HIV and SRHR parliamentary advocacy strategy.
Mrs. Alice Saili, UNESCO Team Leader at the seminar emphasized the need for strengthening and sustaining the partnership between National Assembly and stakeholders such as UN agencies and CSOs.Mrs. Saili further indicated that the advocacy strategy will be a very useful tool that will inform all the MPs on what strategic intervention to make in addressing the challenges that the country is undergoing related to SRHR issues especially focusing on the girl child who is more vulnerable to the challenges.Mrs.Saili also emphasized the importance of protecting and fulfilling the rights of adolescents and young people as that will will not only secure the well-being of individuals but will also translate to benefits for their families/households, and the society, and in turn significantly contribute to sustainable national development.
During the Seminar both expert presentations and group work activities were undertaken to facilitate for full participation of all parts of the advocacy strategy.
Expert presentations were made by representatives from National AIDS Council, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Youth Sports, UNESCO, UNFPA and UNAIDS.