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2339Re: [ujeni] post-news news

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  • Paul DEVER
    Jun 28, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      Thanks for the story....The irony in all this is likened to the teaching of
      sex-ed in the schools here...parents don't want the school to teach, but
      they are also unwilling to teach it themselves...

      If the church/youth groups/ etc. want to take charge of anything, they
      should at least change strategies if they see it not working (common sense I
      believe it is called)...


      ----Original Message Follows----
      From: "Scott Geibel" <scottgeibel@...>
      Reply-To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
      To: "Malawi RPCVs" <ujeni@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: [ujeni] post-news news
      Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 09:11:45 +0300

      My apologies if someone posted this already... after seeing so many stories
      about Zambian leaders caving to the church position on condom promotion,
      Swaziland banning miniskirts, etc- it's interesting to see an African leader
      talking about looking more closely at relationships, as well as being open
      to changing societal norms of how men treat women and girls.


      June 20, 2001

      A Time for Frankness on AIDS and Africa

      By PASCOAL MOCUMBI

      MAPUTO, Mozambique ? In the special United Nations session on AIDS next
      week, there will be much

      discussion about international aid, about drugs and vaccines. But there is
      likely to be too little said about

      what is the primary means by which AIDS is spread in sub-Saharan Africa:
      risky heterosexual sex.

      AIDS is not like smallpox or polio. We may not be able to eliminate it
      simply with a one-time vaccination or

      course of shots for children, since new strains of H.I.V. are constantly
      evolving. And unlike the communicable

      killer diseases we have encountered most often in the past, H.I.V. is
      transmitted through the most intimate and

      private human relationships, through sexual violence and commercial sex; it
      proliferates because of women's

      poverty and inequality.

      In Mozambique, the overall rate of H.I.V. infection among girls and young
      women ? 15 percent ? is twice

      that of boys their age, not because the girls are promiscuous, but because
      nearly three out of five are married by

      age 18, 40 percent of them to much older, sexually experienced men who may
      expose their wives to H.I.V. and

      sexually transmitted diseases. Similar patterns are common in other nations
      where H.I.V. is rapidly spreading.

      Abstinence is not an option for these child brides. Those who try to
      negotiate condom use commonly face

      violence or rejection. And in heterosexual sex, girls and women are
      biologically more vulnerable to infection

      than are boys or men.

      As a father, I fear for the lives of my own children and their teenage
      friends. Though they have secure families,

      education, and the information and support they need to avoid risky sex, too
      few of their peers do.

      As prime minister, I am horrified that we stand to lose most of a
      generation, maybe two. The United Nations

      estimates that 37 percent of the 16-year-olds in my country will die of AIDS
      before they are 30.

      As a man, I know men's behavior must change, that we must raise boys
      differently, to have any hope of

      eradicating H.I.V. and preventing the emergence of another such scourge.

      In 1994, at the International Conference on Population and Development, and
      again in 1995, 1999 and 2000,

      most nations agreed that adolescents have a right to information about their
      sexuality. We agreed that programs

      should help build adolescent girls' self-confidence and boys' respect for
      girls' rights. We agreed to develop both

      adolescent- friendly health services and the education and training that
      will give young people hope.

      Today, in Africa and elsewhere, we are far from achieving these goals. Most
      political leaders still view

      adolescent sex as a politically volatile subject to be avoided. Community
      and religious leaders wrongly believe

      that sexuality education promotes promiscuity. Health providers and teachers
      are ill-trained about sexuality and

      ill at ease with it. Parents know little about sexuality, contraception or
      sexually transmitted diseases, and many

      believe that early marriage will "protect" their daughters. They may
      themselves condone or perpetrate sexual

      violence as a legitimate expression of masculinity.

      For the long term, we need to develop H.I.V. vaccines and provide treatment
      to everyone with H.I.V. We need

      to develop protection methods like microbicides that women can use with or
      without a partner's knowledge or

      cooperation. Above all, we must summon the courage to talk frankly and
      constructively about sexuality. We

      must recognize the pressures on our children to have sex that is neither
      safe nor loving. We must provide them

      with information, communications skills and, yes, condoms.

      To change fundamentally how girls and boys learn to relate to each other and
      how men treat girls and women is

      slow, painstaking work. But surely our children's lives are worth the
      effort.

      Pascoal Mocumbi, prime minister of Mozambique and its former minister of
      health, is a physician and a

      board member of the International Women's Health Coalition.







      Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company | Privacy Information


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