This blog is part of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Based Violence, which runs from November 25th through December 10th, 2014. The 16 Days of Activism are an international campaign that highlights violence against women as a human rights issues and calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women. Throughout the 16 Days, Amplify will be featuring one blog each day from youth activists who sit on our International Youth Leadership Council and Girl Engagement Advisory Boards.
by Ursula, YUWA, a youth-led partner organization of Advocates for Youth based in Nepal.
December 10, International Human Rights Day is marked all over the world. We talk about every people’s right regardless their caste, ethnicity, gender on this day. Likewise here I am talking about the rights of Sexual and reproductive health in Nepal. I am facilitating a training in Nagarkot, Nepal with 10 young activists of Youth Activists Leadership Council (YALC) of YUWA. It is a 5 days residential training and today is the third day.
YALC basically advocates for the issues of SRHR in national and international level. We have been talking about the rights of SRHR with the context of Nepal. We have been trying to incorporate different issues like Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI), Body Image, Advocacy, Comprehensive Sexuality Education, Etc.
Yesterday, we had done “River of Life” exercise with the council members. It was not easy for them to come up with their real stories of life. Some of them were saying it for their first time to unfold their stories. It was really sad to see that so many of them had faced harassment, discrimination and violence in their life. Living in a city area of Nepal and getting this proper education system, yet they are being faced to such type of problems. They did not have proper information of their rights and facilities provided and some did not have the courage to tell anyone.
Today we were discussing on the issues of Nepal and their personal challenges that they feel in the community to talk and address their problems. I could see the change in themselves being more open with their thinking and being more comfortable to express their feelings. They feel that this issue is something that is important and a part of their day to day life. The exercises and the sessions has made them understand themselves more and feel confident in themselves to explore and express. Hearing and seeing the change in them has inspired me more to work with such young people.
This training is being like a flashback of myself. I can relate myself with them. I started my journey as one of the council member of YALC. After going through this same type of training I became aware of my rights and my responsibilities. I started working as an activist so that young people, especially young women, would be able to talk about these issues and get the information they need. My dream is to see youth talking about sex and sexuality openly, without shame and fear, and I’ll keep working on youth-friendly policies to achieve that dream. I believe I can achieve this by talking with young people more and giving them confidence in themselves. And I am loving the way of celebrating International Human Rights Day with these 10 young energetic and inspiring young people talking about SRHR.