Importance of SRHR (Sexual and Reproductive Health Right) and MR (Menstruation Health) for youth in Bangladesh

The Sexual and Reproductive Health Right (SRHR) and Menstruation Health Right (MR) are least spoken issues among youth in Bangladesh. The reason behind this is the cultural taboo associated with these issues. Youth here are having less or no knowledge about these health issues. As they grow, they gradually develop the notion of keeping quiet when it comes to the matter of sex related issues which results in not opening up and remaining illiterate in sex education. As a result, they undergo various health problems, mental and physical sufferings without the care and proper guidance of the adults in and out of the family.

Sexual literacy does exist in Bangladesh with a few government and non-government sponsored Aids Program, Health and Family Planning, Bangladesh Women’s Health Coalition, etc. But the practical use of these programs aimed at imparting sexual and reproductive health and menstruation health to the adolescents and the youth is less effective because of the conservative attitudes of recipients given the conservative culture they come from. At times, it is the same attitude displayed by the trainers for they too belong to the same cultural background. The health issues such as the use of contraceptive, menstrual hygiene revolving around sexuality are not touched upon given the religious, social and cultural backgrounds. With regard to the use of contraceptive, the religious ideologies and concepts have a greater role to play and youth born and brought up in our culture, by and large, learned not to use the method believing it as the against of religion. In the case of pre-mature mother-to-be or the unwanted pregnancy, the issue of abortion is a hated issue taught by the religion and culture. Therefore, unwanted pregnancy faced by the girls or women, face a greater challenge whether to go for it or not and how to go for it because of the shame associated the task. As a result, the mental health of the girls or women deteriorates and they break down being clustered by the society. It causes immense suffering because it can be shared. Therefore the victims of the problem suffer it themselves alone.

The orientations of contraceptives such as pills, condoms to the youth also are minimal. Talking about these issues is deemed a taboo and shyness plays a greater part in not discussing these matters. Therefore, the problems related to sexual health remain as it is or accelerate hurting the ones who undergo the problem. Regarding menstrual hygiene, girls are not allowed to talk to their female counterparts freely, and of course, talking about this biological issue to the opposite gender is considered as a matter of shame.

Therefore, to counter these problems in order to give sexual and reproductive rights (SRHR), Menstruation Health Right(MR) to the youth, there is no alternative but to break the taboo making the sex education an essential tool for the youth to grow healthily.


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