Balanced sexual health education

Cynthia Nge
Posted October 18, 2019 from Cameroon
“While you educate them (the girl child) on their sexual and reproductive health rights, we will educate them with our own words and actions”

We live in a world today where the worlds attention is being tailored to favour women in all works of life. Empowering the girl child is of upmost importance and cannot go unnoticed. I equally stand for the motion of female empowerment and gender EQUITY 

I was embarrassed one day after carrying out a health education campaign talking about the sexual and reproductive health rights of women when a young man in his early 20’s met me and had this weird look on his face. For a moment I paused and asked myself if maybe I had made an error during the talk or said something offensive. The young man asked me a very disturbing question, he said “so everything these days Is about women, okay then, you people should keep empowering the girls with words and we will keep empowering them too with our “own words and actions”, since boys no longer need advice”. For a moment I stood there transfixed wondering what he meant by “our own words and actions”, it was not until later after much thinking and asking a few male colleagues of mine then did I get to understand what he was Insinuating . At first I couldn’t help but laugh about it but then, that statement was “pregnant” with a thousand meanings.

Hitherto, some thoughts keep traversing my mind and as a public health expert I think it’s about time we start talking about this. Here are a few questions that constantly pass through my mind:

1. The victims of most rape incidents are girls, but the act was actually committed by the male gender.

2. Unlawful abortions as a result of unplanned pregnancies by most females were/are as a result of both a male and female coming together to perform the act.

3. In Africa, more than 90% household heads are males. Therefore implying that educational favoring the males in most cases are perpetuated by the male household heads.

Those are just a few examples I could think of when writing this. Now the question goes thus: “after empowering the female about their sexual and reproductive health and rights, who empowers the Male gender? “

Do not misquote me but I think we have focused so much energy on empowering the girl child and leaving out a very important factor, the males.

They need to be equally educated about sexual and reproductive health and rights.

They need to be taught and reminded on the consequences of rape, unplanned pregnancies and biased access to education. 

Educating the females and leaving out the males will solve a problem at hand while creating more problems in the future.

Equal education on the sexual and reproductive healths and rights should be meted out to both males and females. 

It is popularly said “to solve a problem, we need to first tackle it from the roots”

This story was submitted in response to Our Bodies, Our Health.

Comments 13

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Maxwell01
Oct 18
Oct 18

It's quite an obvious narrative speaking of the many talks and Clarion call for girl child sexual education and sensitization. As highlighted by your piece miss Cynthia, the activity of procreation is a coupling effect of the male and female sexes, so I give credit to your call for a retrospective approach now having the male in perspective. It's a teach both sexes campaign on sex and reproduction education. Kudos!

Cynthia Nge
Oct 18
Oct 18

Well said

Carol-Alyce
Oct 18
Oct 18

Absolutely! Humanity has two wings. Male and female. Both need to be in balance for the bird to soar.

Cynthia Nge
Oct 18
Oct 18

Couldn’t agree any better

Anita Shrestha
Oct 18
Oct 18

Dear
Thank you for sharing

Cynthia Nge
Oct 19
Oct 19

You are welcome

Hello Cynthia, you have said it all. I wholeheartedly agree with you and we need to start using this approach in every aspect. We always need to tackle the root cause rather than concentrate only on the bad fruits it has produced. Thank you

Cynthia Nge
Oct 19
Oct 19

Exactly
Solving a problem from the top and ignoring the roots is only creating more problems for us in the future

Jill Langhus
Oct 19
Oct 19

Hi Cynthia,

Welcome back, dear:-) Thanks for sharing your important words and post. I couldn't agree more. Men can't be left out of the equation. We need them to achieve equality... no doubt! Will you be including them more in your next health education campaign? I'm curious to see how his comment has redirected your focus and intentions for future campaigns.

Hope you're safe and well, dear?!

XX

Cynthia Nge
Oct 19
Oct 19

Of course ma’am
Henceforth I’ll be educating both males and females on healthy sex education. So the males don’t get left out and can further help the girls who appear to be the vulnerable set

Jill Langhus
Oct 21
Oct 21

Hello there:-)

Great to hear! Yes, it sounds like a great plan. Let us know how it goes. I'm curious to hear what responses you get the next time around:-)

Cynthia Nge
Oct 21
Oct 21

Sure

Jill Langhus
Oct 23
Oct 23

:-)