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Never look at woman as a different human being, Mutinta tells boys

ITEZHI TEZHI UPND member of parliament Twaambo Mutinta says all young people should be given age-appropriate information to understand their bodies and the dangers of early sex.

He urged boys not to look at a woman as a different human being but to “see a woman as your sister, mother and always see a woman as a grandmother”.

During a high-level girls’ indaba held in the context of the 16 days of activism against gender based violence organised by the Young Women Christian Association recently, Mutinta said there has been so much conversations around developing cold feet in exposing young people at an appropriate age to issues to do with comprehensive sexuality education.

“…some of you are still in school and some of you have got brothers, sisters and in the public domain there has been so much conversations around developing cold feet in exposing young people at an appropriate age to issues to do with CSE. I want to appeal to you to be advocates of wanting to see to it that let all the young people be given age appropriate packaged information and understand how their body is and understand the dangers of early sex,” he said. “Let them understand the dangers of unsafe abortion, HIV and AIDS at the age before they are exposed. If we catch them at the right age, before they are exposed to these vices, we are going to see a reduction in a lot of teenage pregnancies. We are going to see a lot of young people who are going to progress in their education and we are going to see a lot of young people that are going to build their careers and become ministers. We want to see a lot of young girls that are going to progress in their education and become executive directors, programme officers that are going to contribute positively to the growth of this nation.”

Mutinta said the future of the country depends on the type of young people that are built.

“We need to protect the values of this country. We need to ensure that we become productive young people and as boys we need to say ‘abash to GBV’. We need to respect the rights of women and support each other,” he said.

Mutinta said he had been a member of YWCA for a long time and a strong believer in the rights of young people and the rights of women.

He said Zambia was a young nation with 60 per cent of the population being young people.

“So you need a lot of support from different stakeholders, policy making, government, members of parliament, traditional leaders. We are supposed to be concerned about your livelihood, your sexual life, economic life, because eventually it defines what you want to become in future,” he said.

Mutinta encouraged the youths to develop the skill of being volunteers.

“Sometimes you might think what you are doing by helping others to change their lives is a waste of time. I want to urge you to be volunteers dedicated to saving other lives,” he said.

He said gender based violence and issues to do with sexuality, were not issues of women.

Mutinta said issues to do with sexuality, gender based violence were men’s issues because the men and the boys were the major perpetrators.

“When you look at a woman as boys, never should you look at a woman as a different human being. You should always see a woman as your sister. You should always see a woman as a mother. You should always see a woman as a grandmother. Even time when you’re tempted to perform any act of violence you should always think that ‘what I want to do to this girl, what I want to do with this woman, can I also do to my mother? Can I also do it to my sister? Can I also do to my niece?’ If you always put yourself in those shoes then we shall have that kind of society that will be equal,” said Mutinta. “I know as a member of parliament and one that believes in the rights of women and children, we are paused with a very serious challenge where we need to do a lot in terms of looking at the legal framework. We have quoted a lot of laws that already indicate that there are a lot of gaps that we need to address. The anti-gender based violence Act, there are so many issues that a lot of people have brought on board that we need to act on it so that we make it responsive to the rights of young people. We talked about the gender equity and equality Act that also has certain gaps that we parliamentarians as lawmakers need to be look at it so that these laws work for the betterment of young people and women in particular.”

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