YANGON, Myanmar— “There’s social stigma present in our group to talk about sexual and reproductive well being particularly regarding adolescents and youth. Persons are too shy to speak about it. Since we’ve grown up below this shadow, we don’t even know that younger folks have the appropriate to entry sexual and reproductive well being data,” stated Thura, 15, an area youth from Yangon.
Younger folks in Myanmar face totally different social and cultural boundaries to get proper details about sexual and reproductive well being and rights. With out accessing sexual and reproductive well being data together with household planning, younger folks are likely to expertise penalties corresponding to undesirable being pregnant and unsafe abortion, resulting in different life-threatening issues. In keeping with 2014 Myanmar Inhabitants and Housing Census, the fertility price of females aged 15-19 was 33 births per 1,000 girls. Evaluating to city areas, the teenage fertility is greater in rural areas of states and areas. The info highlights the wants to boost safety and promotion of sexual and reproductive well being and rights of ladies and younger folks in distant locations and in areas present process humanitarian disaster.
The COVID-19 pandemic and political disaster has exacerbated the state of affairs. “Motion restrictions and safety considerations hinder younger peoples’ entry to data and companies. How can our rights be fulfilled below these conditions? We younger folks really feel like we’re misplaced,” stated Thura.
UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive well being company, works carefully with associate organizations in Myanmar to boost safety and promote sexual and reproductive well being and rights of ladies and younger folks. In delivering its mandate of sexual and reproductive well being and rights, overarching framework of the Worldwide Convention on Inhabitants and Improvement (ICPD) Programme of Motion and its follow-up conference of ICPD+25, addressing adolescent sexual and reproductive well being points, together with undesirable being pregnant, unsafe abortion and sexually transmitted ailments, by the promotion of accountable and wholesome reproductive and sexual conduct and lowering adolescent pregnancies are additionally core areas of UNFPA’s work.
UNFPA, in collaboration with associate organizations and civil society organizations CSOs, facilitates entry to sexual and reproductive well being for adolescents and younger folks by progressive approaches. Aung Pike Tun, Programme Coordinator of Marie Stope Myanmar stated, “Beforehand, we supplied sexual and reproductive well being consciousness (in-person) classes for younger folks at our youth nook. Resulting from COVID-19 pandemic and safety concern, we tailored the state of affairs and remodeled these in-person consciousness classes into complete on-line studying area. With the assist of native youth networks and initiatives, we’re in a position to join nearly with many younger folks from totally different states and areas and supply SRHR consciousness and knowledge that they want. It’s a enormous step-up. For some younger folks, they really feel snug and protected by way of this digital platform and lift their points brazenly for our assist. We’re so blissful to see their curiosity and lively participation going ahead.”
With the assist from International Affairs Canada, UNFPA Myanmar has launched Baykin 2 cell utility, partnering with 360ed group. Integrating with Augmented Actuality (AR), Baykin 2 app is designed to introduce adolescent and younger folks in Myanmar to key matters on sexual and reproductive well being & proper, gender equality, gender-based violence and different youth associated contents. This utility integrates studying and gaming to extend the engagement of younger customers and supply higher visuals for studying about their our bodies and rights. It moreover seeks to equip adolescents and younger folks with information and instruments to concentrate on and thus much less weak to gender-based violence.
Dr. Peter Kivunike Mukasa, SRHR Programme Specialist of UNFPA Myanmar stated, “UNFPA as a Sexual and Reproductive Well being Lead Company, is working with its implementing associate organizations not solely to ship life-saving SRHR and gender-based violence companies for girls and ladies in Myanmar, but additionally to advertise important SRHR data and GBV consciousness for adolescents and younger folks. To make sure their rights even throughout this difficult context, we’ve tailored to the state of affairs rapidly and acted innovatively to assist them.”
Mya Kalyar Kyaw, 23, an area youth from Kayin stated, “Sexual and reproductive well being data does save the lives and way forward for younger folks. This isn’t a luxurious that we wish. That is our elementary proper to entry SRHR data with none exception”.