Faith Leaders Say Yes!
All East African Community (EAC) member states have policies or standards that commit to adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Despite these existing policies, the share of teenagers ages 15 to 19 who are already mothers ranges from 6 percent in Burundi to 21 percent in Tanzania— one in five girls. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for girls ages 15 to 19 in sub-Saharan Africa, and adolescent motherhood in East Africa is strongly associated with poverty and lack of education and literacy.
PRB partnered with Faith to Action Network to create a policy brief and video calling on members of the East African Legislative Assembly to harmonize existing policies and support the future of youth by passing the East African Community Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights Bill that was introduced in 2017. The policy brief highlights the need for consistent SRH policies at all levels of government and explores faith leaders’ support for providing youth with age-appropriate SRH information and education. The accompanying video features leaders of different faith traditions speaking in support of providing youth with information and education on SRH to empower them and invest in their future. Both the policy brief and video encourage policymakers to engage religious leaders as partners in the policymaking process.