Leaving the Youth Behind: The Missing Demographic in Pakistan’s SRHR Policies and Programmes


Despite being a large part of the current demographic of Pakistan, youth’s access to health services, particularly those related to sexual and reproductive health (SRH), remains limited, and unsupported. While policy remains silent on their issues, social and structural barriers further exacerbate the lack of access to services, and perpetrate misinformation and myths related to SRH. Programmes rolled out for the youth focus on economic and educational development but disregard their specific SRH needs. The problem thus, remains that universal access to SRH information and services will remain unfulfilled until attention is paid to the different needs of young people, during the various life cycle stages, and the impact it has on their economic and education outcomes. The effectiveness of policies and programmes will only be seen if they are designed keeping in mind these specifications, and special consideration is paid to the impact of social and cultural practices on youth’s access to SRH services and information.

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Shirkat Gah – Women’s Resource Centre