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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

  Subject: [SRIJAN]: Effective sexuality education for young people


Dear Friends,


Many young people approach adulthood faced with conflicting and confusing messages about sexuality and gender. This is often exacerbated by embarrassment, silence, and disapproval of open discussion of sexual matters by adults, including parents and teachers, at the very time when it is most needed. It is therefore essential to recognize the need and entitlement of all young people to sexuality education. Effective sexuality education can provide young people with age-appropriate, culturally relevant and scientifically accurate information.


Books and Initiatives


International guideline on sexuality education

The International Guidelines are a framework for offering guided access to information and knowledge to children and young people about sex, relationships and HIV/STIs within a structured teaching/learning process. They are intended to: • Promote an understanding of the need for sexuality education programmes by raising awareness of salient sexual and reproductive health issues and concerns affecting children and young people; • Provide a clear understanding of what sexuality education comprises, what it is intended to do, and what the possible outcomes are; Provide guidance to education authorities on how to build support at community and school level for sexuality education; • Build teacher preparedness and enhance institutional capacity to provide good quality sexuality education; and • Provide guidance on how to develop responsive, culturally-relevant and age-appropriate sexuality education materials and programmes.

To download the pdf of this guideline please log on to-


Climate change and children

Young people today are aware of the need to protect the environment. When they are asked to list the issues that most concern them, one issue that features highly on their agenda is climate change. This publication gives children a voice on climate change. In 2006, child delegates to the 4th World Water Forum in Mexico City challenged leaders and policymakers, saying, “We, the children of the world, are ready to work with you. Are you ready to work with us?” The answer must be a resounding “yes” because what is good for children – reducing pollution, safeguarding education and health, preserving environmental diversity, protecting water supplies, increasing access to proper sanitation – is also good for the planet.

To download the pdf of this document please log on to-


Climate change and social determinants of health: two interlinked agendas

Climate change is indeed a new threat to public health and to the advances that are currently being made by nation-states in achieving and maintaining the issue of equity should be considered by policy-makers as a significant social mechanism, which can change environment and climate change at country and community level as it reinforces the close link that exists between public and sustainable development. Sustainable development consists of three core pillars, namely an environmental pillar, an economic pillar and a social pillar. The core question posed here addresses those three pillars with a specific focus on integrating physical and social environments as well as how these can influence the health status of populations.

To download the pdf of this document please log on to-


News on wire


Government set to crack whip on child marriages

With a view to curb marriages of minors in tribal areas of the state, the Orissa government on Monday decided to strictly enforce legal provisions against child marriage.
The cabinet, headed by chief minister Naveen Patnaik, decided to frame the rules for the Child Marriage Prohibition Act, 2007, enacted by the Parliament. After replacing legislation enacted in 1929 with the aforesaid law, the Union government had asked all states to put in place rules to the Act, chief secretary T K Mishra said.  According to the Act, a child means a person who, if male, has not completed 21 years of age, and, if a female, has not completed 18 years of age. Mishra said the law makes child marriage a punishable offence with a wrong-doer attracting a maximum punishment of two years rigorous imprisonment and up to Rs two lakh fine. Women, found guilty under the Act, however, exempt from incarceration and can be awarded pecuniary fines.



Rape in child marriage: HC moved over 'soft' law

Why is there a special discount given to a man who has raped his wife though the rape laws for others lay down stringent punishment? Even as Delhi High Court is yet to take a stand on the issue of contradictory child marriage law making an under-aged pregnant teenager to languish in a Nari Niketan for months, the girl's father is also waiting for the court to hear his petition against some archaic provisions under Section 375 (definition of rape) and 376 (punishment for rape) of the Indian Penal Code that provides for lesser punishment for marital rape of a minor.
Feeling aggrieved as the provisions under the changed Prevention of Child Marriage Act (PCMA) led to ambiguities as the government failed to amend other related laws; Mahadev had challenged the legality of an exception provided in Section 375 in keeping with the old notion that all child marriages were not necessarily void.



'Male-female ratio, a matter of concern'

Local children carried out a march under the banner of Vishal Bharat Sansthan (VBS) to denounce female foeticide and create awareness among the people in the city.

Displaying slogans written in Bhojpuri, the children carried out the procession from Lallapura to Maldahiya demanding stern action against the people involved in female foeticide. The medical practitioners encouraging female foeticide should be booked under murder case; they demanded and added that the mothers, who give their consent for this practice, should also be sent behind the bars. Considering increasing gap between male-female ratios was a matter of serious concern,



Sex ratio shows positive change

The Annual Report on Registration of Births and Deaths in Delhi 2008 that was released reinforced the city government's claims of a drastic improvement in the capital's sex ratio at birth from 848 females per 1,000 males in 2007 to 1,004 in 2008. While the ravings on Laadli continued, the scheme, if the report is to be believed, seems to be working with a distinct religious bias. While the sex ratio at birth in Hindus and Muslims is 1,002 females per 1,000 males and 1,040 females per 1,000 males respectively, for Sikhs and Christians it is still languishing at 873 and 875, respectively. The figure is way below the acceptable international level of 952 females per 1,000 males and the national average of 933, according to the 2001 data. While officials explain the figures by saying that the number of Christian births in Delhi is too few, for Sikhs they admit that the largely prosperous community which is way outside the ambit of Laadli and notorious for its abhorrence for the girl child they cite the Punjab sex ratio as proof may not still have learnt to accept the birth of a girl.



City sex ratio perks up: More girls born in 08

The capital has, for the first time ever, recorded a positive sex ratio. Almost 19,000 more girls were born in Delhi in 2008 than the year before, taking the ratio to 1,004 girls for every 1,000 boys. Senior officials were quick to credit the numbers to the Delhi government's Ladli scheme which provides parents incentives throughout the girl's education.  In 2007, Delhi's sex ratio at birth stood at 848 girls per 1,000 boys against a national average of 933 (which in turn is way below WHO's prescribed ratio of 952). In 2008, 1.67 lakh girls were born in Delhi, against 1.48 lakh in 2007.  Chief secretary Rakesh Mehta said the figure clearly manifested a dip in female foeticide and infanticide. ``The fact remains that despite our best efforts, 40% births in Delhi happen at home and earlier there was no way of ensuring that the girl children were actually born or allowed to live after being born. After Ladli, those births are getting registered because the Rs 1 lakh that the girl will get under the scheme when she is 18 is not bad money. She can get herself a good husband.''




News in print

India in denial over sex education

Sex education continues to be elusive in India. A few months ago, a parliamentary committee on petitions rejected the new Adolescence Education Programme, a comprehensive sex education programme proposed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. India's "social and cultural ethos are such that sex education has absolutely no place in it", the committee huffed. Naturopathy and ayurveda should be taught instead….

Source: Guardian, 16th Aug 2009.


Slum free India deadline now 7 years

Three months after setting a five year time frame for slum free India, the UPA government pushed the deadline in seven years. It has also projected a requirement of nearly Rs. 4 lakh crore during the period, of which the centre will have to contribute 50 per cent. The Housing and Urban Poverty alleviation Ministry has drafted a proposal specifying guidelines and funds are requirement for the Rajiv Awas Yojana.

Source: Indian Express, 28th Aug 2009.


Law needed to stop men from converting for bigamy

In a move aimed at closing the window for opportunistic conversions, the law commission has recommended the insertion of new section in the Hindu Marriage act to prevent men from converting for remarriage unless the first one is dissolved as per law.

Source: times of India, 6th Aug.2009


Laadli impacted sex ratio: walia

Delhi Finance, planning and urban development Minister Dr. AK Walia stated there has been a remarkable improvement of the sex ratio I Delhi from 820 in 2005 and 848 per 1, 000 in 2007 to 1, 004 in 2008. This is because of number of registrations of female birth which increased due to implementation of Laadli scheme…

Source: Pioneer , 26th Aug. 2009.



Trainings/Workshops/ Conferences


Training: Praxis presents An Annual International Praxis Commune on Participatory Development, India

Dates: 30 September 2009 - 09 October 2009

This 10-day residential workshop acts as a forum for participants from across the world to come together for reflection and learning. It provides both, a theoretical understanding of participatory approaches/tools as well as the opportunity to apply them in the field. While the diversity and the wealth of experiences participants bring with them makes each edition unique and unrepeatable, the workshop follows a common learning programme, grounded in years of experience.

Programme Outline: An introductory, common module on Attitudes, Behaviours and Change (ABC) facilitated by Robert Chambers, Interactive classroom sessions within each thematic module, Practical sessions in the field, hosted by locally renowned organizations, Evening talks on diverse development related topics, Film screenings on issues of relevance, Thematic group discussions, workshop experience sharing and collective reflection, Introduction to the latest publications and reference materials


MAMTA-Health Institute for Mother and Child is a non-governmental organization working on various health and development issues with special focus on young people’s reproductive and sexual health and rights among various strata of the population.

The organization provides visibility and voice to young people and in this regard a portal acts as a platform for dissemination of scientific information as well.

SRIJAN (Sexual and Reproductive health Initiative for Joint Action Network) Electronic discussion forum attempts to bring together individuals and organizations to create and share resources, initiate discussion and debate on issues concerning young people’s reproductive and sexual health and rights.

We look forward to your participation in the forum!

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