On the 9th June 2021, UNESCO facilitated the validation of draft findings for an assignment on Development of a Curriculum Framework on Comprehensive Sexuality Education, Gender, HIV and Human Rights for higher and Tertiary education institutions. The assignment was born out of a National AIDS Council coordinated High Level Meeting on SRH and HIV in tertiary institutions with University Vice Chancellors. The meeting recommended the development of an overarching curriculum framework on CSE and SRH to cater for all Zimbabwe’s HTEIs in their diversity.
With support from the Spotlight Initiative, UNESCO engaged consultants from the University of Zimbabwe to undertake the assignment. A steering committee chaired by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science, Innovation and Technology Development, and comprising of Ministry of Health, National AIDS Council, Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education, UN agencies and CSOs was constituted to oversee the process.
Following literature review and data collection that involved key informant and focus discussions with key ministry and HTEI principals, student representatives and CSO, the consultants produced a draft curriculum framework for presentation to the steering committee. The purpose of the validation meeting was to validate the draft curriculum framework, incorporating input from the committee for its finalisation.
The steering committee recommended that once finalised, the ministry and UNESCO should organise a Higher Level meeting to engage Vice Chancellors, Principals and Deans of Student Affairs to discuss various implementation models for the framework in the respective HTEIs.
The Spotlight Initiative is a new partnership by the EU and UN to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, including harmful practices. Initially, the Spotlight Initiative in Africa will focus on eliminating Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and Harmful Practices (HP), and addressing linkages with Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, in eight countries: Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Liberia, Mozambique, Uganda, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.
The overall vision of the SI in Zimbabwe is that women and girls realize their full potential in a violence-free, gender responsive and inclusive Zimbabwe. Under the initiative, UNESCO aims to sustainably contribute towards the elimination of unequal gender power relations and the socio-cultural, religious, economic and political root causes of SGBV and HPs, which negatively affect women’s and girls’ SRHR; and to promote the SRHR of women and adolescent girls. This will be done through Output 3.1 of the intervention: National and/or sub-national evidence-based programmes are developed to promote gender-equitable norms, attitudes and behaviours, including on Comprehensive Sexuality Education in line with international standards, for in and out of school settings.