The ultimate goal of any sexual and reproductive health program is to ensure cost effectiveness, quality and sustainability. Reproductive health awareness is an educational approach which is both relevant and sensitive to many communities’ existing sexual and reproductive health needs and concerns. When working with community groups, a participatory approach that includes reproductive health awareness concepts is a simple non-threatening way for programs to quickly expand beyond pure information giving and exploring what reproductive health means to people.
Although many community sexual and reproductive health programs do not use the term reproductive health awareness, they use techniques similar to the reproductive health awareness education approach, when facilitating discussions about sexual or reproductive health. If reproductive health awareness is identified and included as one of the dimensions of future sexual and reproductive health programs, this will hopefully strengthen the program’s overall quality and effectiveness.
Most young people experience confusing and conflicting information about relationships and sexuality as they change from childhood to adulthood. This has led to an increase in the need for young people to access reliable information, which prepares them for a secure and fulfilling sex life. Properly implemented, Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) responds to this need, empowering young people to make informed decisions about relationships and sex in world where gender-based violence, gender inequality, early and unintended pregnancies, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) pose serious risks to their health and well-being. Equally, the lack of quality, age appropriate, developmental sex education and relationship education may leave children and adolescents at risk for sexual misconduct and sexual exploitation.
CSE plays an important role in addressing the health and well-being of children and adolescents. Using a student-centred approach, CSE not only provides children and young people with age-appropriate education and categories on human rights, gender equality, relationships, fertility, sexual risks and health bans, but also provides opportunities for gender expression in a straight forward way, emphasizing values such as respect, inclusion, non-discrimination, equality, compassion, responsibility and reconciliation.
National healthcare systems rarely prioritize sexual and reproductive health (SRH), and the Covid-19 pandemic has made it extremely difficult to access SRH services because the current health regulations make it difficult for many people to seek care. In addition public health efforts to advise women and girls on how and when to seek SRH services are limited. Many SRH specialists are not able to function effectively during the epicentre of the pandemic, and funding is redirected to efforts to respond to COVID-19. Delays in SRH care will inevitably lead to other health problems, including an increase in the number of unintended pregnancies, illegal abortions that may lead to injury or death and sexually transmitted diseases.
“We are in the 21st century”, a chant we’ve either echoed or heard one bellow with much vigor. It is something we very much are proud of - considering the strides that humanity has covered in the past century. What a time to be alive; however, what then does this fast-paced life entail for us? Living in an era where a date is translated to happy-ending copulation, how then does one navigate these fine lights of dating yet holding true to their principles?
Teenagers nowadays live a superficial life influenced by western cultures and ideologies. Sex has lost its sacredness, it has become something people casually engage in with whoever, wherever and however. Such is the sad reality of our society today. Lives are ruined due to these impulsive decisions made when one is on “heat”, a sight unheard of in the past. The most heart wrenching part of it all is how these decisions fuel predators, placing our adolescent girls in utmost danger. Due to these casual relationships many young people fail to assume their truest potential and live fulfilling lives, instead they end up caught in this vicious cycle of careless living. Drug abuse then becomes pertinent thus all the drug related problems also come into play. A domino effect of one issue culminating into a thousand more.
It is appalling how we are so “woke” yet still riddled with so much. We preach of rights and how infringement of such is a grave offense but fail to stress the responsibilities that come with these rights. Failure to employ rights correctly has detrimental effects on oneself and the individuals in your sphere of influence. The need to fit in, to be part of the current wave has seen many of our future leaders reduced to nothing but carcasses. With nothing but the next fix consuming their thoughts.
But how does sexual purity come into play? Sexual purity goes way beyond celibacy, modest dressing so as to not arouse. It is rather an elevated state of self-awareness wherein one understands the gravity of actions. Where one fully comprehends that certain utterances and glances go beyond just being words or looks but reduce an individual to nothing but an object of sexual perversion and lust. It is a state in which one understands that sexual harassment cannot be guised as a “compliment” and tempers fly high when the same feeling isn’t reciprocated.
Sexual purity goes way beyond the physical, its knowing that unwarranted touch is not flattery but a violation! However due to the fact that we live in a society where sex in all forms has become nothing but child’s play, where casual sex is the order of the day thus, we have a swelling in the number of instances where sexual harassment occurs, goes unnoticed and unreported.
To change the narrative, we must change the mindset and the way in which we view this sacred act. Master the art of controlling one’s passions and emotions and we’ll have a much safer world. Hold yourself accountable, ask yourself hard accountability questions, ask if you see people and respect their bodies or do you see curvaceous vixens “asking for it” based on how they are dressed? Do you see well-groomed gentlemen or do you see a piece of meat that you in turn entice? Do you jump from one bed to another, do you pride yourself in your ever-increasing body count? If you answered yes to any of these questions, now is the time to declutter, change that debased pervasive notion of sex with the utmost urgency! Rapists are just but individuals who failed to tame their passions and now forcefully impose themselves on others. Strive to not graduate to the lowest form of existence.
The greatest battle fought is one against self, conquer yourself so you can conquer life.