In Indonesia, topics regarding sexual and reproductive health are often misinterpreted and considered taboo. Even so, sexual and reproductive health is in its core, a basic human right of each individual.
Investing in sexual and reproductive health proves to be one of the most effective ways in promoting United Nations’ SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), which they published in 2015. Here are a few ways that advancements in sexual and reproductive health may contribute to the development of SDGs!
- Reduces poverty
By promoting planned parenthood, families may invest more in each child’s health, nutrition, and education. Other than that, empowerment of women and children about their rights will also encourage them to continue to aim for higher education, which will eventually lead to increase in their standard of living, and provide better outcomes for their future generations.
- Advocates primary education, especially for girls
As stated in the previous point, by having fewer children, families will be able to spend more in their child’s education. Spreading information regarding sexual and reproductive health will also prevent child marriages and protect women and children from sexual harassments and gender based violence, which is a common cause for women and children to sacrifice their education.
- Promotes women’s rights and gender equality
Knowledge regarding sexual and reproductive health promotes the emancipation of women. This can be seen clearly, as these days, women are not just expected to sit around at home and tend to their husband and children, but are also seen as respective figures able to lead others and themselves. It is no longer a strange sight to see women in climbing the business ladder or taking positions in politics and science. However, in less developed countries, and even in less developed regions in Indonesia, women are often still considered as the ‘weaker’ sex, often leading them to become victims of sexual assault and abuse. By assuring women of their rights, a step is taken closer to the overall goal of reaching gender equality.
- Strengthens the health system, improves public health, and saves lives
By approaching sexual and reproductive health on the basis of individual rights, advancements to health in general are also made. By investing in basic and emergency obstetrics care in health, drastic improvements in overall quality of care by health providers. Other than that, promotion of voluntary counselling and testing or VCT for HIV to its key population and vulnerable targets also contributes in the decline in HIV transmission, especially in mother-to-child transmission. Detection of sexually transmitted diseases also plays a vital role in public health. The emphasis on antenatal care has also saved lives of many children and pregnant mothers.
And the list goes on!
Even with progress in the field in the past couple of years, societal stigma remains strong within the community regarding the spread of information for sexual and reproductive health. And so, let’s start giving our voice to the importance of sexual and reproductive health to those around us.
Read upcoming articles from SCORA CIMSA to know more about different aspects of sexual and reproductive health.
by SCORA CIMSA
- Sexual and Reproductive Health for All by UNFPA