written statement by ARROW & CSBR on sexuality education

July 1, 2011 logo

“ARROW and CSBR have jointly submitted a written statement on sexuality education to the 2011 ECOSOC High Level Segment (HLS) for NGOs , which includes sessions on the Annual Ministerial Review(AMR). The theme for AMR segment this year will focus on ‘Implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to education’.

 

Written statement by the Asian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women (ARROW) and the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR) on sexuality education to the 2011 ECOSOC High Level Segment (HLS) for NGOs.

 

The Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW), and The Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR), welcome the decision of AMR segment to focus on the theme of “Implementing the Internationally Agreed Goals and Commitments in regard to Education” in its session in July 2011.

 

As of 2011, Asia-Pacific region constitutes 60% of the adolescents worldwide. Adolescents, especially those who are living in rural regions and which are less-educated, poor, disabled, have diverse gender identities and sexual orientations in the Asia-Pacific region are facing particular physiological and social-cultural challenges.[1]Yet, the provision of sexuality education by the State remains a contentious issue, especially in countries where religious conservative fundamentalist parties hold considerable political power.[2]

 

The world’s governments have since 1994 agreed that comprehensive sexuality education and health services must be provided to adolescents and young people: in the ICPD Programme of Action (PoA) of 1994, the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing (1995), and UNGASS on HIV/AIDS Political declaration in 2006. The provision of sexuality and reproductive health education for in-school and out-of-school adolescents should be regarded as an effective and necessary intervention to achieve the MDGs.

 

Taking into account the above commitments, and challenges, we CALL FOR:

 

a) The provision of a universal comprehensive, gender-sensitive and evidence-based sexuality education curriculum that includes diversity and rejects any form of discrimination, enabling adolescents to make informed and strategic life choices about their sexual and reproductive health and rights free from sexual violence, coercion, unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, including HIV;

 

b) The provision of comprehensive sexuality education[3]in both formal settings of schools and informal settings of communities;[4]and,

 

c) The recognition of the need to base comprehensive sexuality education programs on a human rights framework, including the right to be free from discrimination, coercion and violence, and human rights based on positive ethical principles of bodily integrity, dignity, equality and respect for diversity[5]that portrays sexuality in an affirmative way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] The evidence of the fall in the age of menarche (9-14-Boys, and 8-13-Girls), implies an earlier onset of adolescence, sexual maturity and ability to reproduce among adolescents, and the prevalence of sexual and gender inequalities in many Asian and the Pacific societies.

 

[2]Thanenthiran, S; Racherla, S. (2009). Reclaiming & Redefining Rights – ICPD+15: Status of Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights in Asia. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: ARROW.

 

[3] Sexuality education means education about all matters related to sexuality and its expression, including education about reproductive processes, puberty and sexual behavior, information on contraception, protection for sexually transmitted infections, as well as on issues such as relationships, sexual roles, gender relations, social pressures to be sexually active, and information about SRH services, including training in communication and decision-making skills.

 

[4]Thanenthiran, S; Racherla, S. (2009). Reclaiming & Redefining Rights – ICPD+15: Status of Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights in Asia. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: ARROW.

 

[5]ARROW.(2007). ARROWs for Change Why Affirm Sexuality 13(2). Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

 

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