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Has the Time for Sexual and Reproductive Health Arrived?

"Break The Wall" will be held from 12-16 January from 5-7 PM IST.

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Health News
3 min read
Has the Time for Sexual and Reproductive Health Arrived?
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Sexual and reproductive health was given an international consensus definition at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994.

Sexuality and reproduction are vital aspects of personal identity and are fundamental to human well being.

The conversation on sexuality, sexual and reproductive health has exploded in the past two years.

Thanks to the pandemic, people are online more than ever before, and what was always on the periphery of activism is now front and center. Most of us did not even know what pronouns meant prior to this?

“Last year during a school reunion I met Dr. Anvita Madan and realized that we had all been brought up with a lot of misinformation around sex and sexuality.”
Nina Kler, Founder of Pursuit of Balance, Well-being Crusader & Anchor.
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Now we are increasingly seeing experts like Dr. Madan and Seema Anand taking the center stage busting myths about sex and India’s history with pleasure and Kamasutra.

Young professionals like Dr. Tanaya Narendra a.k.a @dr_curetus and Dr. Prateek Makwana a.k.a @fertility_scribles are not just doctors in their clinics anymore, they are using social media to make sex-positive judgment-free information available to the masses.

Doctors, mental healthcare workers, activists, influencers, sex educators, and sex-positivity folk are busy busting myths, talking about sexual wellness, helping people understand psychosexual dynamics, and all about the birds and the bees!

Two common underlying themes through all these conversations are Respect and Equality. Everyone needs to be included in the conversation equally and respectfully - all genders, castes, colors, able-bodied or not.

Innovation is playing a huge role in this as well, Sachee Malhotra’s lockdown born sexual wellness brand, That Sassy Thing is innovating and making products like natural lubes, pubic hair oil, vegan condoms, and underwear detergent easily accessible.

Sangya Project founded by Ashish Mehrotra and Tanisha is not only providing Indian-made affordable sex toys to fulfil India’s growing need for self-pleasure but they are also innovating products for all bodies and relationships.

They are spearheading the process of making innovation inclusive that India hasn’t seen before.

Talking about all bodies and relationships, we are seeing a revolution! Pleasure is referred to as a human right, people like Anusha Misra, founder of Revival Disability Magazine are asking questions about pleasure for the disabled queer people and how it has been a structural problem.

While we are bringing conversations about sex and sexuality in the mainstream it is imperative that we do it right.

It is essential that this time we include all genders, identities, and sexual orientations.

It is sad and shameful that for so long we have been denying rights and dignity to people just because of their identity and our need to maintain a structure we understand instead of taking time to understand something other than us.

It is liberating to know that gender is a social construct and the only way forward is to loosen the definitions. It is beautiful to see when Linkedin profiles say - They/them, She/Her, He/him, He/she/they.

We are slowly taking up space be it in professional lives or personal. Young India doesn’t want to remain within the strict boundaries of gender and sex or even be shamed for their choices.

They are unafraid to explore and express themselves. A lot of credit needs to be given to social media that is allowing representation and conversations. There is something for everyone.

There are youth organizations like Ya_all and The YP Foundation that are working on the grassroots, researching, building knowledge, and changing narratives.

We are seeing dynamic collaborations between these development sector youth organizations and influencers; India's development sector is reinventing itself to be more accessible and relatable.

In the spirit of inclusion, breaking stereotypes, and having conversations that matter around sexuality, sexual and reproductive health, Goalkeepers Global Goals Award by the Gates Foundation awardee organisation, MASH Project Foundation along with Nina Kler-Founder Pursuit of a Balance, is organizing one of its kind virtual event “Break The Wall”, which will see some of the leading voices from the sexual and reproductive health ecosystem come together and share their ideas on how to advance the work towards making India’s youth’s sexual and reproductive health.

The event will mark National Youth Day and will be running virtually from 12-16 January 2022 from 5-7 PM IST. Registrations are free of charge and available at http://www.bit.ly/breakthewall

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