Why gender equality is important for sexual reproductive health rights
Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) is concerned with the physical, emotional, mental and social well-being of individuals when it comes to sexuality, reproduction, HIV, STIs and other diseases. You can’t have a conversation about gender inequality without acknowledging the fact that women and young girls experience some form of discrimination, stigma, and laws and policies that limit their rights and choices concerning their bodies. Gender equality is important for men and women to be able to have the same access to health and the same responsibilities when it comes to sex and sexual health. Here’s why gender equality is important for sexual reproductive health.
Guarantees equal SRH rights
Gender equality will ensure that the Sexual Reproductive Health rights of women are taken seriously. For example, if men or boys are expected to carry condoms, women should be able do the same without being judged. And if women are expected to be responsible for not falling pregnant, then men and boys should also be responsible for avoiding unplanned pregnancy. Men and women must be equally responsible for safe sex and for their sexual health. Boys and girls also need access to the same amount of information when it comes to SRH. That’s why gender equality is important in SRH because it ensures that women and young girls receive information concerning access to male and female condoms and basic health care. It also provides opportunities for open conversations about HIV/STI transmission and management.
Empowers women’s SRH choices and decisions
Having gender equality means having a society where women’s sexual reproductive health rights are recognised and taken seriously. Women become empowered to make their own choices concerning their body, including having children or saying no to sex.
Challenge gender roles
When men and boys are involved in gender inequality conversations, they become aware of the issues that affect women and girls. It’s not acceptable to allow boys to think it’s okay to have multiple partners, while girls are expected to be the only ones that are responsible to ensure that the right contraception methods are used and to take the blame for any STI transmission. In fact, boys are equally responsible for making sure that they are educated about gender based issues, respectful relationships, consent and its impact on SRH.
Your rights and social privileges shouldn’t be based on your gender or sexuality. That’s why gender equality is important for sexual productive health because it puts the responsibility on men and women to make the right choices. So don’t be afraid to involve your friends and partners in a conversation about gender equality because the more you challenge these gender roles the closer you are at achieving equal sexual reproductive rights.
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