Workshop on sensitization for the youth – on topics “Sexuality, Sexual diversity, Safe Abortion, and Sexual violence,” was conducted with the objective of generating awareness on the issues among young people. The importance of sexuality in today’s generation is not only must but also helps in seeking a better understanding of one’s own feelings. Sexuality, which is a taboo in the Indian Society, understanding the importance of it, is not only a great challenge in itself, but also a concept, which has been changing by it.
Target group – Boys and girls with the age of (18 to 25)
No of participants – 10 boys and 10 girls from colleges like- Podar, Ambatkar, and TISS.
Aim of the work shop
o Spread the message “Importance of Sexuality”
o No discrimination against Sexual diversity
o Understanding Abortion as a legal right of a women
o Understanding the concept of Sexual Violence.
o Lecture method
o Movie showing
o Open discussions –Brain Storming
o Poster making
o Role play
Documents given to the participants as hand outs
o A file containing hand out of the work shop- Agenda, Note book, a pen, hand outs on Safe abortion.
o Sexual violence.
o Sexual diversity
o Gender and Sex
o Sexual rights
The workshop was a 2 day program. Day one started with a welcome speech given by the president of Mumbai branch Ms. Janki Desai along with one of the committee members of the BEC Dr. Watsa . Once the formal session was done that included – Motivation for open discussion, Focus of youth at the Ngo level, Importance of Sexuality, Health and Hygiene, HIV and AIDS. The formal session came to an end.
The workshop began with an introduction game that, started with at first shuffling the group where every participant had a partner of the opposite sex. Then they were asked to have complete information of each and then introduce each other, then later each pair was given papers and pen and were asked to draw each other, once their pictures were done they were asked to paste it on the notice board.
This activity made all the participants to know each other along with getting a chance to laugh. With this activity the resource person explained the participants saying that..” We look different in the eyes of each other there by being judgmental about each other would not make any difference but would just result in laughing on one self” there by judging ones sexuality on ones look is very unfair.. It’s like judging the book by its cover.
the workshop started with the distribution of the questionnaire (attachment 2) the participants were asked to fill it before the work shop started. After which a presentation was shown that included:
- Difference between gender and Sexuality collectively defines- (Positives) Encompass love, reproduction, pleasure, gender roles, rites of passage, and health.
- (Negatives)- Shame, guilt, fear, infection, violence, and power.
- Sexuality is expressed – Socially, Culturally, emotionally, biologically, and physically.
- Sexuality is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behavior, and relationships.
- Sexuality influences you through – Family, Friends, School, College, Religion, Media and other social institution.
“Does that mean that, can we predict that the behavior of a young person will never change”?
(Participants were asked to have a discussion for the same. The discussion focused of making choices on ones own sexual orientation) The participants looked shocked! They were surprised to discussing something that was so personal to them. They also confessed that discussion of such topics at their homes was not only a big NO but was also considered cheap. The participants looked hesitant at the starting and the girls were found shy in discussion such topics in front of boys. Later on the discussion took a turn and the participants opened up and openly gave their opinions, views, thoughts on the topic.
Example-A young girl who has strong feelings for her boyfriend must weigh her own desire to have sexual intercourse with him against the expectations of her parents and community that she remains a virgin until married.
This brought many things in front of the group it showed things like- Gender discriminations at homes, different mindset of boys believed that “if a girl gets pregnant it’s her fault as she indulged in something that she should have complete knowledge about” Girls believed that “Contraception should be given to boys always as they are the ones bring diseases back home. The talk came to stand still as people started talking about aborting..as an easy way out of responsibility or not and the necessary steps one should take before that.
a) The participants were asked to step up, lines were drawn to divide the room into 2 parts, and the following statements were made: You were raised to believe that abortion should not be openly discussed: At some point in your life, you believed is a women’s right; you have been asked to keep someone’s abortion a secret.
b) After a discussion, the participants were asked if they had experience any such stories in their own life, every participant present in that room had some kind of stories to share, on which some were shocking and some we all could relate too.
c) A case study was given to participants along with white papers and pen, the participants were divided into pairs and were asked to discuss each case study keeping in mind the leading questions:
d) A couple is in love and in a stable relationship. The women get pregnant but they aren’t financially ready to have the child. The man and women disagree on what to do.
e) a. A couple is in love and in a stable relationship. The women get pregnant but they aren’t financially ready to have the child. The man and women disagree on what to do. What are their options? Whose responsibility is it to prevent the pregnancy? Whose responsibility would it be to take care of the child? What do feel about abortion?
f) Couple dating, for 3 years girl gets pregnant. What does the couple do?
g) Finding out that your 16 old daughters is pregnant what will you do? ( As a parent)
h) Finding out that your son has got his girlfriend pregnant what, will you do? (As a parent)
i) Knowing that your neighbors’ daughter is pregnant as neighbors ‘how will you react to it.
j) You have found out that your best friend got an abortion. How will you react?
k) If you get pregnant, will you tell your friends about it?
l) If you get an abortion done secretly, will you tell your friends?
Later on the participants were asked to stand of parallel to each other acting as walls and at the end of the tower stood the parents of a girl who is pregnant, the girl faces each tower and gets an inner voice of feels she must be going through (participants gave opinions like safe abortion, mistake of trusting someone, no using contraceptives, seeking help from friends etc)
The entire game not involved the participants but also gave the resource person an idea of the changing mentality among the youth. It was very obvious that participants believed in sharing the responsibility and were strong about it, but giving a say on abortion felt it’s a legal right of a women but if married should at least have a discussion with her partner.( in order to seek a solution to it.)
After the case study and the role play, the participants were asked to watch the movie “Not yet rain”. Once the movie was done, an open house was kept to understand what the participants think about the entire facts revolving around Safe abortion.
It was interesting to see the participants changing their views around abortion.. From it’s the girls responsibility to the couples responsibility. The movie discussion brought in views like –
o It’s the couple responsibility.
o Why should a couple go to just a limit without protection
o Roles and responsibility of the couple
o If girls choose abortion, should she take the permission of her partner if married?
o Abortion should be certified only to married women not for women who have no character.
o Women should be punished if she kills a child without a reason.
o It’s a man’s responsibility to ensure safety for the girl.
The participants were also explained their sexual rights
- Rights to be your self- free to make your decision, free to express yourself, to enjoy Sex, to be safe, to choose to marry or not, and plan a family.
- Right to know- about Sex, Contraceptive, STI/HIV.
- Right to protect oneself and to be protected.
- Right to have healthcare.
- Right to be involved- in planning program, attending meetings, at all levels.
After the movie and discussion the FPA Mumbai arranged an entertainment dance for the participants which were Special dance performances by the MSM and transgender.
(Once the dance was over participants were given just a little brief on the text day’s topic on sexual diversity..
The day started with a discussion on the previous day’s session and the evening performance. The participants expressed their feelings likes-
o Seeing men behave so different.
o I feel it’s their right to choose how they want to live.
o I have seen just people in the train ( local transpiration)
o They are very talented people
o I loved the music
o Why do they behave like that?
After the session was taken, the participants were given chart papers and were asked to give their signatures in the form of hand prints as a promise to one self to protect oneself and other from all forms violence. The topic of sexual violence was introduced. Participants were brainstormed on what sexual violence means. After the entire discussion around Sexual violence took place a movie was showed to the participants on “fight against Sexual violence”
The movie was an eye opener and the participants also shared their personal experiences of abuses they had faced as children the group also decided to create awareness groups at their own community so that they could stop just events in their own community.