Cowdry Park engages in reproductive rights


BAMBELELA Arts Ensemble will today host a community dialogue meeting in Cowdray Park, Bulawayo, to engage the community on sexual reproductive rights.


The event is a continuation of the ensemble’s community dialogue meetings from last year which ran under the theme “My body my right”.

Speaking to Woza Weekend, the ensemble’s director Witness Tavarwisa said the event was meant to zero in on sexual reproductive rights.

“We have an obligation in Cowdray Park to engage the community about their sexual rights because every human being has got power over their body. It is their birth right, hence our goal is to inform the community,” Tavarwisa said.

The initiative is Bambelela’s brain child in partnership with the Victim Friendly Unit of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, National Family Planning Council and Population Services International Zimbabwe.

“After realising the lack of access to sexual health services in Cowdray Park, we took it upon ourselves to engage the community.

“There are pre-planned performances to provoke dialogue making it easy to impart knowledge about the subject matter,” he said.

According to Tavarwisa, statistics from February 2014 showed that 60% of Cowdray Park youths are HIV-positive, and this is a cause for concern.

“What is of major concern is the fact that 92% of sexual abuse is incest-driven and 62% of those cases are not reported. Many are abused by someone close to them or their neighbours,” he said.

“We are thus taking dialogue as a direct initiative process to have a direct link with the community, encouraging people to reveal those cases; talk about them and let the law take its course”.

The event is open to everyone, although the target group is the youths as the most affected members of the community.

“Most of the young people are affected and engage in inter-generational relationships, which give rise to unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and immortality rate,” Tavarwisa said..

He said the event will be an opportunity for the community to gain access to information and to discuss sexually related issues. He urged residents to attend in large numbers.