SEXUAL REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH LITERACY
Due to lack of education or social norms where discussions of anything relating to sexuality and reproductive functions is highly taboo, many of our mothers know little to nothing about sexual reproductive health. In some of the women’s countries of origin, talking about reproduction and sexuality is not only prohibited but associated with intense shame and censure from others. The concepts of family planning are unknown and contraception unused since having many children is the norm. Many women report superstitions and myths surrounding sexual reproductive health as being widespread and believed by nearly everyone.
The SRHL groups are one of the most lively at AMURTEL. Women who are initially shy and ashamed to talk seem to overcome their inhibitions in the all woman’s environment and become keen participants. Breaking free from these taboos and misinformation is extremely empowering, allows women to take charge of their health in an informed way, and encourages them to address concerns in other parts of their lives in a direct and forthright manner.
Women’s sexual and reproductive health is related to multiple human rights, including the right to life,
the right to be free from torture, the right to health, the right to privacy, the right to education, and the
prohibition of discrimination.
United Nations Human Rights
I didn’t have periods for a long time. I don’t know why. When I finally told my mother, she was so afraid that I would become sick from all the bad blood stopped up inside me. Now I know this is not true.
Gaelle, 30, DR Congo
In my country, we don’t talk about these things. Never, not even to friends. It was hard for me in the first group session. I felt humiliated. But then I saw other women like me freely talking and it became easier.
Rahima, 27, Afghanistan.