FPAM in conjunction with the European Parliamentary Forum on Sexual and Reproductive Rights (EPF) has organized a study tour being held in Malawi for members of parliament from European countries from 4 September to 8 September 2023.

The visiting parliamentarians on Monday visited various committees of the Malawi Parliament including the health committee, women caucus, the social and community affairs committee and the population management and sustainable development caucus.

Among other things discussed was the age of consent for access to family planning methods among adolescents.

Chairperson of the social and community affairs committee of parliament, Hon. Savel Kafwafwa has indicated that they are proposing that that age of consent for one to access family planning services should be at any age a girl reaches puberty.

“As long as a female child has reached puberty, parental consent for her to access family planning methods should not be there. As we are still looking at issues of consent for family planning access among adolescents, this is what we are proposing,” he indicated.

The discussions underway at the Malawi Parliament

Leader of the visiting members of parliament Laurence Zanchetta said sexual reproductive health challenges the country is facing are due to poverty which is why there is a need for sufficient resources to control it.

“We got this opportunity to visit Malawi and to see how we can improve the progress for sexual reproductive health and rights,’’ she said.

Laurence Zanchetta presenting a gift to Chairperson of the Parliamentary Caucus on population and sustainable development, Hon. Abel Kayembe

During the learning visit, the visiting members of parliament will have meetings and field visits to appreciate how Malawi is implementing sexual reproductive health interventions.

The delegation includes members of parliament from five countries including Romania, Finland, Portugal, Ireland and Belgium.

EPF is a network of parliamentarians across Europe who are committed to protecting the sexual and reproductive health of the world’s most vulnerable people.