11 Sep 2019 16:40pm
WINDHOEK, 11 SEP (NAMPA) First Lady Monica Geingos has called on parents to have open discussions with their children about sex.
While addressing the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) multi-country dialogue here on Wednesday, Geingos said this will allow young people to have the right information and further help them make right decisions when it comes to sex.
The one-day dialogue under the theme A changing and diverse sustainable development landscape: Impact on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights outcome for Women and Youth in Southern Africa is a build-up to the 25th anniversary ICPD high level conference scheduled to take place in November in Nairobi, Kenya.
After many engagements with young people I have realised that a parent cannot have a child who trusts and confides in them if that parent has not shown that they deserve that trust to allow for open discussions on sex, she said.
She added that it is important for parents to ensure that children can trust them in order to equip their children with the right information on sexual topics, so that when they find themselves in that position, they can make the right decisions.
The First Lady said Namibia has a teenage pregnancy problem and what adults can do for young people is to equip them with the relevant information because parents in most cases cannot tell their children what to do and when to do it. All they can do is present them with honest information in a non-judgemental way and have an open mind, she said.
Geingos further stated that it is important for parents to unlearn and relearn what is relevant and appropriate for todays generation and not about what was relevant or excepted 25 years ago.
She went on to say another thing that is important is to address the mindset of service providers such as nurses, teachers and police officers who deal with young people on a daily basis and to encourage them to have an open mind when dealing with issues related to sex.
When the mindsets of service providers are open, there will not be questions such as What are you doing here? when a child asks for contraceptives, Geingos noted.
ICPD is a programme of action under the United Nations Population Fund, recognising that reproductive health, women's empowerment and gender equality are the pathway to sustainable development.
The dialogue is amongst others being attended by young people from Botswana, Eswatini, Namibia, Mauritius, Seychelles and South Africa.