Communicating Reproductive Rights to Marginalised Girls and Teenage Mothers at Risk of HIV Infection in Rural Zimbabwe

Main Article Content

Sindiso Zhou
Nhlanhla Landa
Isabella N. Zhou

Abstract

Access to information and resources are critical factors in ensuring that young girls are empowered to handle reproductive health issues. This is especially significant in the context of teenage Landa mothers’ phenomenon, which has a generic relationship with the problem of HIV infection in rural Zimbabwe. The UN Population Fund (2013) indicates that 92% of sexually active women between the ages of 15 and 19 in largely rural Zimbabwe are in a relationship or engage in sexual intercourse regardless of being uninformed about their reproductive rights. It is this paper’s position that uninformed girls and women pose a risk unto themselves and their children, which impacts on the fight against new HIV infections. We argue that reproductive health information is central to the prevention of HIV infection and AIDS related deaths. This paper critically appraises existing communication strategies in the dissemination of reproductive health information in rural, marginalised areas; discussing gaps, weaknesses and possible future directions in reaching vulnerable girls and women in the periphery. Young girls have limited access to information, medical services, support and resources that can empower them to prevent unplanned teenage pregnancies and attendant risks like HIV due to common preconceptions about the taboos of teaching ‘young’ people about ‘adult’ issues in a culture-conscious society.

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How to Cite
Zhou, S., Landa, N., & Zhou, I. (2016). Communicating Reproductive Rights to Marginalised Girls and Teenage Mothers at Risk of HIV Infection in Rural Zimbabwe. Alternation Journal, 23(2), 309-323. Retrieved from https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/soa/article/view/1288
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Articles
Author Biographies

Sindiso Zhou, University of Fort Hare



Nhlanhla Landa, University of Fort Hare

nlanda@ufh.ac.za

Isabella N. Zhou, Bindura University of Science Education



zhouisabellan@gmail.com