To be able to choose we need to know: sexual education

Sexual education is instrumental in allowing women and girls to have access to full sexual and reproductive health rights and thus to be able to construct a life project based on free choice. Access to information, including information relating to sexual education, is a basic human right. More than 200 million women and girls who do not wish to become pregnant or who wish to delay their next pregnancy, do not use any form of contraception.

Sexual education helps prevent unintended pregnancies, abortions, as well as sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/Aids. It is also important in that it teaches people what to do to prevent and deal with cases of violence and abuse. Furthermore, it empowers women so that they can take autonomous decisions regarding their sexuality based on reliable information.

Safe sexual relationships that are free of coercion

As we have said earlier, sexual health also includes the right to enjoy a responsible, satisfying and safe sex life, the right to decide to have sexual relationships or not, and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so.

Sexual violence refers to any sexual act or acts that are directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, including rape, abuse and sexual harassment.

Freedom and safety are essential to healthy sexuality. Freedom means the absence of any form of coercion in addition to safety and the possibility of having access to information about the methods available to avoid unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.