Women empowerment is not only about equal financial, social status or equal access but equal sexual right, which must be respected and protected, experts opined during workshops conducted in four Northeast states to increase outreach amongst tribal communities, self-help groups and youth to raise awareness around growing up life skills.
The workshops, supported by Reckitt and Plan India, were conducted in Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Nagaland on the occasion of the World Sexual Health Day 2022 on September 4. On this day, the WHO celebrates “Every Person's Right to Sexual Wellbeing" to ignite awareness of sexual health and rights and enforce them.
"Women empowerment or gender equality doesn't mean only equal financial, social status or equal access but it should have equal sexual right," Mannaumching, Deputy Commissioner, Tengnoupal, Manipur said during the workshop conducted in Manipur
According to a release, the workshop in Manipur was attended by participants from 12 tribal communities along with representatives from local youth clubs. KH Jacky Lucy, Retainer Lawyer, CJM Chandel, attended as guest of honour and Hechin Haokip, Director, Centre for Women and Girls, as special guest.
The workshops initiated by Reckitt, the global leader in consumer-healthcare led The Birds and Bees Talk programme, were in tandem with this year’s theme “Let's talk pleasure”, to recognize the role of sexual pleasure in overall health and well-being, the release stated.
The workshop in Nagaland was supported by Lifeconnect. On the occasion, Dr Rosemary Thurr, Obstetrics and Gynecology, NHAK, Kohima, said, “For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of an individual must be respected and protected and fulfilled”.
The workshops were organised across these states to bring communities together to promote good health and well-being.
Community residents, PTA groups, Local Youth groups and rural communities took part in the workshop conducted The workshop in Meghalaya. The event was attended by Dr T Sutnga, Senior Medical Officer & Specialist I/C, Bhoirymbong CHC as Chief Guest. Batyngshain Majaw, Adolescent Counsellor, Bhoirymbong CHC as Special Guest along with Wandharilyne Khongsit, Sub Inspector, Women Police Station, Nongpoh who was the Guest of Honour.
“A proper understanding on Sexual Health will help prevent teenage pregnancy, unplanned pregnancies and STIs especially in the rural communities," Khongsit said.
The guests in Sikkim workshop included Samdup Tshering, Area in-charge Rakdong Tintek, Gangtok Sikkim, Phoor Tshering Lepcha, Additional Director, Sikkim State AIDs Control Society and Chung Chungla Bhutia, Youth & Livelihoods Consultant, who joined the workshop as speakers to educate participants on growing up life skills and health.
Stressing on information and education for positive changes to take place, Ravi Bhatnagar, Director External Affairs and Partnerships SOA, Reckitt said, “With the key pillars of equity, consent, awareness, protection and Inclusion, we believe that information and education can lead to positive changes, and build inclusive, healthier, and safer societies.”
“We believe that adolescents and young people must be enabled, equipped and empowered to participate in their own development towards a healthier future,” Mohammed Asif, Executive Director, Plan India stated.