I am leading a community based project with adolescent and youth from in school and out of school which provides comprehensive sexuality education as well as technical training on digital story telling. It empowers young people to highlight their own issue around gender norms,sexuality, Sexual and reproductive Health and Rights through short films with the health service provider. These young people are leaders who are advocating for youth friendly sexual and reproductive health services from the Health service providers like Gynecologist, counselors, chemist, Asha workers and challenging the patriarchal notions exist in the health system. The youth has a right to access SR health services without being violated and discriminated on the basis of the age,gender and marital status.
I remember my first introduction to CSE and Youth SRHR at The YP Foundation, where I realized that many adolescents and young people from different backgrounds face common issue i.e. taboo around sex; shame, fear and silence on sexuality , lack of right based education/information on SRH and AFHS/YFHS in our society. And I was one of them who had no CSE in school, shut to talk about my own sexuality, faced judgmental behavior from health service provider which scared me to death.
The biggest challenge I have faced are the Strong traditional belief of service provider on youth's sexuality. So they always advice or scare youth to not have sex before marriage. The strategy to overcome it :
1. Build young people's leadership and take charge of their own health lives
2. Provide CSE to youth
3. Train Youth on Digital Story telling and they can raise their voices / lobbying for YF SRH services with Health Service Provider
There are many challenges :
1. FP services are for heterosexual married couples
2. FP services neglects the need of Unmarried youth,LGBTQIA, Young People living with Disability.
3. Our laws and policies also act as barrier for a person below 18 years , LGBTQIA to avail FP services.
4. PL with Disability are not seen as sexual beings.
To address these challenges ,
1.Build a feminist perspective in our decision maker , gatekeepers
2. Involve neglected youth in policy making
In next five years, I want to reach out to as many young people and build their feminist perspective as well as leadership skills to initiate their own projects or movement on the areas of FP services and information and SRHR.