SEXUAL REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS (SRHR) OF YOUNG PEOPLE
Improving young people’s access to SRHR information and services using a holistic approach is a key component of AAYMCAs work on empowering youth for the African Renaissance. Today, many young people still experience their sexual and reproductive health and rights in a context of stigma, discrimination and violence. AAYMCAs effort to inform and strengthen sexual reproductive health and rights is based on the recognition that it is a fundamental human right to decide over your own body and sexuality. AAYMCA believe that SRHR is key in the fight to end poverty, including matters such as unwanted pregnancies, early marriage and unnecessary suffering related to sexual transmitted diseases, which limit youth to achieve their full potential and be active citizens in their societies. It is therefore a prerequisite for their societal, economic and political participation
WHAT IS SRHR?
SRHR is an umbrella for various issues that affect men and women alike. It represents four separate areas: reproductive health, reproductive rights sexual health and sexual rights
Reproductive health is physical, mental, and social well-being in terms of reproduction, and not merely absence of disease. In practical terms, reproductive health is about:
- Safe pregnancy and birth
- Prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases
- Family planning, contraceptives, including information and healthcare
- Other diseases or illnesses concerning the reproductive organs and sex life.
Reproductive rights include:
- The right to be informed about and access to safe, efficient and affordable methods for fertility regulation
- The right to healthcare which makes it possible for women to decide when and if they want children, and to safely go through a pregnancy and giving birth. This right also includes making sure women and couples have the best preconditions to have a healthy child.
- The right to decide over their own reproduction without experiencing discrimination, force or violence.
Sexual health is physical, mental, and social well-being in terms of sexuality. It requires a positive and respectful approach towards sexuality and sexual relations and requires the possibility to gain sexual experience without force, discrimination and violence, regardless of sexual orientation and background. Sexual health is not only about fertility and reproduction, but also addresses issues such as impotence (sexual dysfunction) and sexualised violence.
Sexual rights are the ability to decide on your own about sexuality. This means expressing your sexuality by making your own decisions about partners, privacy, and pleasure. Sexual rights comprise the human rights which already acknowledge in national laws, international human right documents and agreements. They all include people’s right to:
- access to health services
- access to sexual education
- respect of body integrity
- to choose to be sexually active or not
- freely choose partner regardless of sexual orientation and background, without being subject to discrimination, force or violence