– Authored by Ms. Naina Singh, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Even though it is 2019, the general beliefs and approach that the Indian society has regarding sexual and reproductive health and rights still remains somewhere in the 1900’s
When it comes to a person’s sexual activities, rights or reproductive healthcare a majority of the population is not ready to talk openly about it, because even though we live in 2019 our mindset still remains somewhere in the 1900’s.
Young people who believe in the concept of a modern society and moving ahead with the times, are ready to talk about sexual and reproductive health. But the bigger problem is that our elder generations who form the primary social circle of any individual, are still very much interlocked with the 1900s’ thinking due to which open conversations with the younger generations are not taking place. The younger generation is not getting proper information, knowledge, guidance and are ending up facing serious consequences in relation to sexual activities just because their parents or guardians are not open enough to guide and educate their children on the topic of ‘SEX’.
So, if parents, teachers or guardians themselves are not ready to move forward and speak about these important issues with their children, then how is anyone else expected to talk to them about the same? If in the end, young women and girls end up getting pregnant or worse due to a lack of knowledge, the society blames nobody but these young women and girls, making them go through misery all alone.
The problem in our society is of ‘ mis-communication/ lack of communication ‘ where both the generations are living their own lives with completely different mindsets and the older generations are in complete denial of the fact that their children can be in romantic or intimate relationships before marriage. In order to bridge the gap and bring about societal or national-level changes related to sexual and reproductive health, the communication gap needs to be addressed at the family-level with parents initiating such conversations followed by information provided in schools.