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Lead Partner Reverend. Oliver Mandisodza (MVPV President), Principal Partner Collin Gunde (Iron Sharpens Iron Chair), Author of the Petition Mrs. T.R Mangombe (SRH #BIC Movement Lead Partner Director) address the media during a press conference on Saturday urging a rethink on age of consent laws and sexual reproductive health policies.

NGOs petition Parliament to ban sex outside wedlock

NGOs petition Parliament to ban sex outside wedlock

HARARE — A coalition of Zimbabwean non-governmental organizations have petitioned parliament to reconsider global laws and policies on sexual relations and the age of consent, saying they undermine the sanctity of marriage and the well-being of children.

The petition, launched on Saturday by Men of Valour, Purpose and Vision (MVPV) and Iron Sharpens Iron (ISI), calls for sexual relations within marriage to be recognized as a fundamental principle in safeguarding children and family cohesion.

The groups also propose a new policy framework, termed SRH #BIC, that prioritizes the best interests of children and aims to restore the fabric of family units.

The petition argues that the age of consent to sexual relations should match the age of marriage, effectively banning sex outside of wedlock. It says that current laws and policies encourage sexual activity outside of marriage, leading to social ills such as mental health problems, substance abuse, and gender-based violence.

In its petition the grouping says it was mindful “of the pressure from the ‘global’ well-funded ideology of Sexual
Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).”

It further highlighted “the regrettable gradual Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) development from the Abstinence, Be faithful, Condomize (ABC) strategy, which while the culture it created now ridicules abstinence, the SRHR framework advances in championing especially ‘making contraception wide availability (with for example International Condom Day commemorations), abortion and LGBTIQ as sexual reproductive health rights to even the child.”

The petition cautions on “on the worse child abuse, crime rates and social chaos in nations which are well advanced in SRHR implementation, which acceptance of SRHR conditional donor funding would worsen these social ills, while
compromising our spiritual, economic and national sovereignty.”

The groups praised the SMILE Foundation, a local NGO, for highlighting the shortcomings of existing laws and policies. They urged global voices of morality to support Zimbabwe’s initiative and seek similar reforms in their countries.

The petition is part of a broader effort to promote a holistic approach to sexual and reproductive health and address the root causes of social instability. It signals a potential shift in the discourse surrounding age of consent laws and family values.

The petition was initially presented before the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs portfolio committee in the Parliament of Zimbabwe on Tuesday 28th November 2023 before the coalition held a Press Conference on Saturday to amplify their voices on the matter.

NGOs petition Parliament to ban sex outside wedlock