Have you ever felt that some things in the education system could be done differently? Ever felt like you should have a say in how things are done? Felt like you can make a difference, or that you should make a difference? Ever felt that whom you marry should be your decision?
That you should be free to understand your body and sexuality without guilt, shame or fear? That information about and access to condoms and contraceptives should be available freely? That it’s time to have equal standards for all genders?
That your sex and society should not define whom you date or love?
Population Council did a National Study on ‘Youth in India in 2006-2007′ to discover that of a total population of over 50,000 young people, only 15% of young people have access to information from their parents or teachers on any kind of sexuality education. By 18, 28% of Indian women will have given birth to a child and 49% will be married. Of 2.5 million people in India who are HIV+, 50% of all new infections take place amongst young people between 15-24 years of age.
The YP Foundation in support with UNESCO India, CREA, MacArthur Foundation and International Women’s Health Coalition presents ‘Know Your Body, Know Your Rights Campaign‘. India’s 1st youth-led campaign on why sexuality education should be accessible to young people. The campaign provides a platform for young people, as well as parents, teachers, educationists etc., to talk about the need for sexuality education and explore positive approaches to implementing it in schools. The campaign also looks at getting young people’s feedback on the current draft of the AEP curriculum. The Central Government along with UN agencies, NCERT and NACO launched the Adolescence Education Program in 2005 which was subsequently banned by several Indian states who felt comprehensive sexuality education is against Indian culture and is not needed by young people.
The Adolescence Education Programme, started by the Central Government in collaboration with NCERT, UN agencies along with NACO, is a recognition of the need for sexuality education amongst young people in India. Presently, there is a ban on the AEP in 5 in India, a reduction from the 13 states that first banned the curriculum in 2007. The AEP programme aims at addressing, amongst other subjects, the rising rates of HIV infection amongst young people aged 15-24. (According to NACO, nearly 40% of all new HIV infections are in the age group 15-24) and Child Sexual Abuse by teaching children basic concepts such as ‘good touch’ and ‘bad touch.’ A study by the Government of India reported that nearly 50% of children in India have been sexually abused.
Across 2011 – 2015, the campaign seeks to:
1. Bring together young people’s voices on the need for Sexuality Education as well as their inputs and experiences on positive approaches for implementing the same.
2. Gather feedback from young people and stakeholders who work with young people on the current draft of the Adolescence Education Programme curriculum
3. Provide a platform for dialogue between young people, teachers, parents, educationists and other stakeholders on these issues.
What can you do?
This is a campaign to unite young people’s voices on their need for comprehensive sexuality education, to discuss how we want this education implemented and to review the current curriculum. Many people have had a say in whether sexuality education is needed. The government, NGO’s, teachers, Right wing fundamentalists. The only people who haven’t spoken out is Us. Young people. This is our opportunity to have a say in how things are done for us. It is our chance to show that we are equal partners in our own development and that we need to be a part of the governance process. It is our chance to speak up and make a difference. So, browse the site. Read. Learn. Express. Share. Discuss. This is your space. This is your campaign.
1. If you are between the ages of 15-25, fill in the survey available on our website. The survey is a tool to gather inputs on specific content covered in the curriculum as well as the needs of young people.
2. You can also join our Facebook Group and share with us your views about the issue.
3. Leave a comment for the government on Why Comprehensive Sexuality Education?
If you know some one who might be interested in filing the survey but doesn’t have access to Internet, let us know the person’s name, phone number and address and we shall personally mail in the hard copy of the same. The campaign is also available in Hindi
Please help us spread the word – there’s strength in numbers!
What is Sexuality?
Sexuality is a central aspect of being human, of being you. It is a part of your individuality. It starts with your body – how you feel about it, your image of yourself. It is about your biological sex and your gender – you may be born as a female but you may identify yourself psychologically and emotionally as a man. It is about who you love and are intimate with – men or women or both. It is about what brings you pleasure, what makes you healthy and happy. It’s about your relationships and the values you bring to them.
What are Sexual Rights?
A right, simply put, is something that you are entitled to without interference or permission from anyone else. Human rights are those rights that each of us have just by the virtue of being human. These are the basic minimum standards that contribute to freedom, equality and dignity of all people. For eg: The right to life, the right to work, the right to equality before law etc. A right has to be exercised with responsibility towards ourselves and others around us.
Simply put, it is learning about all matters relating to sexuality and its expression. According to the International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF), comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) seeks to equip young people with knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that they need to determine and enjoy their sexuality – physically and emotionally, individually as well as in relationships. It covers a broad range of issues relating to the physical, biological, emotional as well as social aspects of sexuality.
To read more about the programme click on Campaign Concept note