12th Nov 2017 09:11:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

Sex is a taboo subject and still spoken in hushed manner and behind closed doors in Indian society. This from a nation which is fast going to dethrone China as the most populous country seems preposterous. This attitude has put countless adolescent boys and girls at risk.

The issue of reproductive health and sexual rights of adolescent boys and girls, under-age marriage, and adolescent pregnancy within and outside marriage remains a policy blind-spot in India. This is in spite of the prevalence of child marriage and early pregnancy in India. Attention to adolescent girls in particular, and their sexual and reproductive rights has been almost absent until recently.

The National Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH) strategy mandates training of ASHAs to interact with unmarried adolescent females in order to capitalise on the success of their access to the community. This goal, however, remains unfulfilled. In cases where ASHAs have been trained to address adolescent SRH needs, their focus in practice has remained on facilitating the incentive system based institutional delivery scheme for married women or facilitating female sterilization.

Adolescents require counselling regarding reproductive and sexual health services but unfortunately adolescents and youth have not received relevant information on sexual matters from frontline workers and healthcare providers. In fact, adolescent girls rank the lowest in terms of awareness about sexual health, family planning methods, risky sexual behaviour and their rights which all makes them more vulnerable.

The silence surrounding this subject also makes youngsters more vulnerable as there is no genuine source of information. Adolescents are naturally curious about sex. Denying them the correct, scientific information leads them to seek knowledge from other sources, such as friends, movies, or the Internet. These promote rumours, misconceptions, and half-baked truths that are dangerous, and without any trusted source to clear them up, perpetuate well into adulthood.

Schools must also ensure safe dissemination of information, thereby saving adolescents and youths from depending on unreliable sources of information.

Women's issues have been consistently reduced to the lens of health, family and violence in the development discourse which is ironic when their sexual rights and reproductive health have been long overlooked.

 


Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television as RJ & anchor.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in
Phone: 0360-2212313

<< Back to News List