Know It, Own It! Campaign ; A Global Campaign to Promote Comprehensive Sexuality Education
On Wednesday, 18 May 2016, Member Associations of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in 170 countries around the world will be launching the Know It, Own It! Campaign.
The Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (GRPA) joins this global campaign with the aim of reaching as many persons and communities throughout Guyana’s 10 regions with educational and empowering messages on why their sexual rights and health matter, and to engage decision makers to promote age appropriate Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) and youth rights.
In recent years GRPA has been calling for a shift from the “abstinence only” approach to a comprehensive approach to sexuality education, taking into consideration, the urgency of the current situation where young people are becoming sexually active at a very tender age both forced and voluntarily, and where teenage pregnancy, sexual violence and irresponsible sexual behaviour are prevalent throughout Guyana.
In 2014 the Guyana Government endorsed the CARICOM Integrated Strategic Framework for the Reduction of Adolescent Pregnancy in the Caribbean which also calls on governments in the Caribbean to ensure that comprehensive sexuality education is taught in schools. However, almost two years later the implementation mechanisms are still to be established. GRPA said it would be happy to support initiatives of the Guyana Government, partners and other stakeholders, with the hope that CSE can will be widely introduced in schools.
In the meantime, the GRPA has developed a Comprehensive Sexuality Education Toolkit, and will take the opportunity to launch the Toolkit together with the #KnowItOwnIt Campaign, with the hope that it will be a resource to the Ministries of Education and Public Health, partners and other stakeholders. GRPA appreciates the work of Red Thread as a key resource in the development of the Toolkit.
It is the Association’s hope that under the #KnowItOwnIt Campaign, GRPA and partners will be able to meaningfully engage stakeholders and also provide access to CSE for young people in and out of school in an age appropriate and culturally relevant manner and that this effort will result in a healthier youth population and a healthier nation.