Educating the youth on sexual health as a way to prevent GBV. Inspiring initiative in Latvia
To alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 policies, many initiatives have been developed by civil society organisations – NGOs, local governments, or citizens. A team of national researchers from the RESISTIRÉ project has collected and highlighted a set of particularly relevant initiatives in 27 European countries and in Iceland, Serbia, the United Kingdom and Turkey. The initiatives currently cover eight specific domains: gender-based violence, the labour market, the economy, gender-pay and pension gaps, gender care gaps, decision-making and politics, environmental justice, human and fundamental rights.
Sexual and reproductive health education for the youth brings many benefits, including prevention of gender-based violence
Young people often receive confusing and conflicting information about relationships and sex; a lack of high-quality, age-appropriate and reliable information on such topics can lead to confusion, and can lead to serious risks for the physical and mental wellbeing of the youth. Providing adolescents with reliable information on sexual and reproductive health prepares them for a safe and fulfilling life, empowering them to make informed decisions about their relationships and sexuality.
Educating the youth on how to lead a safe and respectful reproductive means reducing early and unintended pregnancies, preventing diseases and gender-based violence, because it provides an opportunity to present sexuality emphasizing values such as respect, inclusion, non-discrimination, equality, empathy, responsibility, and reciprocity.
During movement restrictions due to COVID-19, the Latvian NGO Papardes Zieds offered video and online lessons on sexual and reproductive health
In order to answer the youth’s questions about sexual and reproductive health during the declared state of emergency and related restrictions, the association “Papardes zieds” developed a series of educational videos and online classes. The educational material focused on providing information regarding the changes in the body during puberty, but also on emotional and physical safety, suggesting ways to develop respectful, safe and responsible relationships. The target group of the initiative is teens and adolescents, as well as parents and schoolteachers.
The association “Papardes zieds” is a voluntary public benefit organization founded in 1994. One of the largest non-governmental organizations in Latvia, they have successfully worked in the field of reproductive health and rights for many years. Their mission is to ensure that the sexual and reproductive rights of every person are implemented in Latvia, that everyone has access to quality services, and that choices are made on the basis of high-quality information.
Some of the educational materials, which have been developed by the organisation with their own funds, are available online and free of charge; attending the online classes, on the other hand, requires the payment of a fee.