Breaking the taboo: Decoding Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Breaking the taboo: Decoding Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

SNV's Working with Women project is implemented in Bangladesh and strives to ensure the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of ready-made garment factory workers.

Since anything even remotely related to SRHR is considered a taboo, it is very challenging to make society speak of SRHR problems - let alone garment workers. The issue itself is not properly acknowledged in Bangladesh, and the media has thus also been reluctant about reporting on SRHR.

In January 2016, SNV organised a seminar at North South University, the leading private university of the country, with over 200 students from different departments participating. The objective of the seminar was to give students the opportunity to interact with experts, other students and media about basic SRHR and to create demand among them for obtaining correct information and knowledge on this topic; trying to move away from the culture of silence, prejudices and misconception around SRHR.

Dr. Nazneen Akther, senior faculty at the Public Health School of the University and a development practitioner in SRHR, set the stage by breaking the silence clouding SRHR. Dr. Suchi Karim, SRHR and Gender Specialist at the Institute of Educational Development - BRAC, conducted an interactive session where students opened up and clarified their doubts and misconceptions related to SRHR. The seminar was conducted successfully with the support and cooperation of the University and with funding support from Reckitt and Benckiser Bangladesh Ltd.

To help raise awareness on international SRHR day, SNV created a video with pre- and post assessments of the students on SRHR.