EDITORIAL: Access to sexual reproductive health services should be relaxed

As the world celebrated International Youth Day, this year’s theme; Youth Engagement for Global Impact resonates well with the aspirations of many Rwandan Youth.

In many parts of the world, the youth is impacting the world; They are at the forefront of violence, uprisings, and unrest because many feel disenfranchised by their elders.

 

The youth in this country can count themselves lucky for growing up in this era, in this country. Everything has been laid out for them to succeed and our borders are not the limit. Many start-ups, especially in the tech world, have spread their wings to other countries.

 

But even if Rwandan youth have been empowered through education and mentoring, there is still the problem of early pregnancies that disrupt many young girls’ lives, an issue that preoccupies the government.

 

It is an open secret that the youth are getting more and more sexually active at an early age. But while the law grants everyone the right to access education and medical services related to human reproductive health, it is only limited to 18-year-olds and above.

Minors can only get access to those services with the consent of parents and guardians. It is common knowledge that talk of sex is taboo among many families so many will not discuss it with their children.

But we should stop burying our heads in the sand and tackle the problem head-on. If most victims of early pregnancies are minors, it makes sense to grant then access to sexual reproductive services.  Otherwise, that problem is not about to go away any time soon.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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