Parents, education officials and religious leaders have opposed a Bill that seeks to provide sexual information to children as young as 10.

The Bill is being debated in the Senate and provides that the Health Cabinet secretary and the Reproductive and Child Health Care Board “shall facilitate the provision of adolescent-friendly reproductive health and sexual health information and education.”

The Bill also obligates national and county governments to provide contraceptives and family planning services, including contraceptive options, counselling, information and education.
The Bill was prepared by Wiper Democratic Movement nominated Senator Judith Sijeny further provides that the board makes available confidential, comprehensive, non-judgmental and affordable reproductive health services to adolescents.

It defines adolescents as those between the age of 10 and 17. Providing such information would not require the consent of the adolescent’s parent or guardian, according to the Bill.
Those who prevent adolescents from getting education, including their parents or guardians, would be fined up to Ksh200,000 or jailed for three years if convicted.

The Bill defines reproductive health as a state of “complete physical, mental and social wellbeing in matters relating to the reproductive system. It, however, does not define “comprehensive sexuality education and confidential services.”

The Kenya National Association of Parents said it would oppose the Bill, (Reproductive Health Care Bill of 2014) saying it was wrong to expose children as young as 10 to sexual content.

“When we made our input to the Bill, we generally agreed that education on sexuality be taught to children but from the age of 14 because we realised most parents are not free to discuss sexuality with their children in this era of HIV/Aids. If they have gone ahead to lower the age to 10, then we totally oppose it as parents,” said the association’s Secretary-General Musau Ndunda.

“You cannot talk to a child of 10 on matters of sexuality, you will be exposing them to very dangerous information at a very early age.” The chairman of the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association John Awiti also criticised the Bill, saying teachers were ill-equipped to provide information on sexuality to their pupils.



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