The Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) is describing as unacceptable a proposal from Parliament for girls undergoing puberty to start accessing contraceptives.
The proposal according to the Parliamentary Committee on Social Welfare aspires to reduce early pregnancies.
Savel Kafwafwa, Chairperson of the committee has also told MIJ Online the proposal has the potential to tame incidences of abortion among adolescent girls.
“If you go to secondary schools you see several girls who are sent home because of pregnancy. So, it is out of that context that whether we like it or not young girls still engage in premarital sex. This engagement in premarital sex is not necessary that they want to get pregnant,” said Kafwafwa.
With this Kafwafwa has said it will be important for parents to permit their girl-children to access family planning methods to safeguard their future.
In her remarks, a renowned safe motherhood expert– Dorothy Ngoma supported the proposal.
Speaking to MIJ Online, Ngoma said it will be important for parents to help their children in making informed decisions on sexual-related matters.
“This is very welcome. It is indeed a call that all of us need to realize that our children are becoming sexually active very young. Now in a situation where they don’t know where to get the required assistance they engage in sexual activities and fall pregnant,” explained Ngoma.
However, Sheikh Dinala Chabulika, Spokesperson of the Muslim Association of Malawi, has described the call as unfortunate and unacceptable.
“That is unacceptable. That is promoting promiscuity. A girl who is not married and then you allow her to use contraceptives. The message you are giving to that girl is, you are free to sleep with any man you are protected, that is not the way to go,” argued Chabulika.
He has instead suggested that the young girls be taught the better ways of looking after themselves rather than indirectly encouraging them to do sexual intercourse.
Chabulika has said the proposal is trying to promote promiscuity something which is morally unacceptable within the cultural setup of the country.