Public toilets are private spaces, that provide the anonymity and audience that is unlikely to be found anywhere else in today’s world. Researchers have been studying restroom graffiti for decades now to analyze and assess the thoughts expressed by men and women in these single-gender spaces.
As a child, I don’t recall ever having spoken to my parents about sexuality. Only recently did I find out that they expected and assumed that my school would fulfil the duty of giving me sexuality education. Needless to say, my school did no such thing.
Metro train journeys are always interesting and harassing in new ways. From cold gazes and warm sweaty hands wanting to grab my skin, to inquisitive minds and fingers that pull on my hair, my entire body, for most of the eyes in the compartment is a fascinating biological and social question
While returning from class one day, my friend told me about a session she attended in our city where young people came together to talk about feminism, gender, sexuality, and sexuality education in a way that we had never done before – the conversation was open, welcoming, and invited everyone to articulate their own opinions.
The YP Foundation as part of its Know Your Body, Know Your Rights programme transacts in community based comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) sessions with girls and young women in partnership with field based organizations. At the end of this year’s phase of work, girls from one of the centres (Samarpan organization in Kishangarh, Delhi) ran a facilitated campaign on sexual harassment in public spaces to engage with their mothers and other community members on the issue. During the CSE sessions, many of them at different junctures brought in their experiences of sexual harassment and the difficulty in talking about it with their mothers. Many of them also shared their experiences of fighting with their parents to come to the centre as their parents weren’t allowing them to attend the sessions for reasons like, it is unsafe to go out for them, why would they want to know about “these things” at such a young age and school education is more important than “these things”.
Comprehensive Sexuality Education has evolved from sex education, to sexuality education, and finally into its present form. CSE, like we have said before, covers a vast array of issues and topics within sexual and reproductive health. Across the world, however, there is considerable push to limit the scope of CSE and omit certain ‘controversial’ issues. Problem is, different countries find different topics controversial; some consider abortion contentious, while others have a problem with the word ‘sex’ itself! This selective acceptance of sexuality education must be resisted, since it is these uncomfortable, debatable, and differentially interpreted topics that most adversely affect our sexual and reproductive lives and health.
With this in mind, The YP Foundation has put together a helpful glossary of terms that must be a part of any sexuality education curriculum for it to be comprehensive!
This article was first published on 21 January 2011.
किशोरावस्था (10-19 वर्ष) वाल्यावस्था और वयस्कता के बीच की नाजुक अवस्था है । इस अवस्था में उत्तेजना, साहस, भावुकता और काम के प्रति उत्सुकता स्वाभाविक रूप से उत्पन्न होती है। यदि इस अवस्था में होने वाले परिवर्तनों को सही तरीके से नहीं समझा जाये तो किशोर किशोरियाँ गलत रास्ते या भटकाव भरे जीवन में जा सकते है। अत: यौन शिक्षा के माध्यम से किशोरों को किशोरावस्था में होने वाले शारीरिक, मानसिक व भावनात्मक तथा सामाजिक परिवर्तनों, यौन एवं यौन संक्रमित रोगों की वैज्ञानिक जानकारी दी जाना आवश्यक है। जिससे उनका शरीर स्वस्थ्य रहे और वे अज्ञानता और भ्रमों से बच सकें।
Ishita Sharma is a former peer educator at The YP Foundation. This article was written on 5 December 2010.
The language of sexuality that we use at The YP Foundation has evolved over the last few years as our understanding of what the multiple facets of and interconnections within sexuality, gender, rights and health are. It’s been a challenging process and our knowledge of the same has been challenged, redefined, questioned and re-invented. The most important learning principle is that there is little that is static. Our key principles remain the same, but how those are defined and applied is a continuous learning process.