State of Denial: Adolescent Reproductive Rights in Zimbabwe

State of Denial: Adolescent Reproductive Rights in Zimbabwe documents the human rights violations that occur in Zimbabwe when legal, policy and social barriers inhibit adolescents' ability to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancy and STIs, including HIV/AIDS. In Zimbabwe, up to 26% of 15-24 year old women are infected with HIV/AIDS and 40% of female adolescents are already mothers by the time they are 19 years old.

Written by the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Child & Law Foundation in Harare, Zimbabwe, the report is based on over 800 interviews with adolescents, parents, government officials, non-governmental organizations and UN agencies. It concludes that young people have a human right to access reproductive health information and services.

Facts of Life for Adolescents in Zimbabwe:

 

  • 30% of girls 15 to 19 years old reportedly had sexual intercourse at least once; close to 40% of female adolescents in Zimbabwe are mothers by the time they are 19 years old.

     

  • Zimbabwean service providers cannot provide contraception, including condoms, without parental consent to any adolescent due to confusing laws and policies; adolescents’ rights to privacy and confidentiality in seeking medical care is virtually non-existent.