POST TIME: 11 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Sexual  and Reproductive Health and Rights

Information minister Hasanul Haq Inu on Sunday at a programme said accurate information on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) can reduce incidents of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Explaining that sexual and reproductive health is a fundamental human rights issue, the minister said: “Lack of discussion on this topic has detrimental impacts on society and the economy. Spreading knowledge on SRHR can improve family planning and maternal and child health. On a larger scale, it also helps prevent sexual harassment, gender-based violence, and other forms of discrimination.”

He was speaking as chief guest in the inauguration ceremony of ‘Knowledge Fair on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)’. The event was organised at a convention centre in the capital on Sunday. Share-Net Bangladesh, a knowledge platform focusing on SRHR, organised the programme.

“The government is actively working to improve the situation regarding SRHR. The Sustainable Development Goals include sections particularly on SRHR. For example, a target set in Goal 2 aims to ensure sexual and reproductive health and rights for all,” said Inu.

Young people should take a pro-active role in taking the country closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and improving the economy, he added.

Special guest Jeroen Steeghs, deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Netherlands, said: “Gathering information, its dissemination and sharing knowledge is crucial. That is why platforms like Share-net Bangladesh are so important. It serves as a platform with a community of practice working for SRHR.”

Sabina Faiz Rashid, dean of James P Grant School of Public Health under BRAC University, said: “The landscape of SRHR is rapidly changing due to urbanisation. When we talk about sexuality, we aren’t just talking about sexuality of sexual minorities.

We’re talking about sexuality of mainstream young people and adults. But there is still a culture of silence. We live in a public paradox where you can talk about these issues and at the same time you can’t. So, I can’t look at a better time for advocating the issue of SRHR.”

Ella de Voogd, senior SRHR and gender specialist of Red Orange Media and Communications, said: “Strengthening SRHR is the guarantee for a better life for both men and women.”

Arnob Chakrabarty, managing director of Red Orange Media and Communications, delivered the opening speech.

“We’ve made some big commitments to make Share-Net a platform for everyone. We’ve already started to get the results. This year’s Knowledge Fair is remarkable in the history of the SRHR movement in Bangladesh.”

The daylong event consisted of a scientific seminar, plenary session, poster presentations, information stalls and a youth booth that aimed to advance learning and promote dialogue on SRHR through collaboration between partner organisations and workers in the field of SRHR.