Key SRHR Definitions

 

On this page you will find key SRHR definitions used by Partners in Sexual Health when conducting capacity building training workshops on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Intergenerational Communication on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: 

Adolescence

Youth

Sex

Gender

Reproductive Health

Reproductive Rights

Sexual Health

Sexuality

Sexual Orientation

Gender Equality

Gender Equity

Disability/ Disabilities

Sexual and Gender Based Violence

Adolescence

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) along with the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) defines adolescence between the ages of 10-19. The UNFPA breaks this age category down further by classifying early adolescence for the ages 10-14 years and late adolescence for the ages 15-19.

 

Youth

According to the South African National Youth Policy (2009-2014) crafted by the NYDA; youth is defined as individuals between the ages of 14-35.

 

Sex

The biological and physiological characteristics that define people.

 

Gender

“Gender is a social construct as determined by the socio-cultural attitudes, stereotypes and norms in any given society. These constructs are learned and reinforced by family, the educational system, the community and the media” (PALAMA, 2008:11).

 

Reproductive Health

“Within the framework of WHO’s definition of health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, reproductive health addresses the reproductive processes, functions and system at all stages of life. Reproductive health, therefore, implies that people are able to have a responsible, satisfying and safe sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so.

Implicit in this are the right of men and women to be informed of and have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of fertility regulation of their choice, and the right of access to appropriate health care services that will enable women to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant” (ICPD PoA, 1994: 40, Para 7.2).

 

Reproductive Rights

“Reproductive rights embrace certain human rights documents and other consensus documents. These rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. It also includes their right to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence, as expressed in human rights documents. In the exercise of this right, they should take into account the needs of their living and future children and their responsibilities towards the community” (ICPD PoA, 1994:40, Para 7.3).

 

Sexual Health

“Sexual health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality. It requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence” (WHO, www.who.int).

 

Sexuality

Sexual heath cannot be defined, understood or made operational without a broad consideration of sexuality, which underlies important behaviours and outcomes related to sexual health. The working definition of sexuality is: a central aspect of being human throughout life and encompasses sex, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy and reproduction. Sexuality is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviours, practices, roles and relationships. While sexuality can include all of these dimensions, not all of them are always experienced or expressed. Sexuality is influenced by the interaction of biological, psychological, social, economic, political, cultural, legal, historical, religious and spiritual factors (DoH, 2011:2).

 

Sexual Orientation

“Sexual orientation refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to men, women, or both sexes. Sexual orientation also refers to a person’s sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviours, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions’’ (American Psychological Association, www.apa.org).

 

Gender Equality

Gender equality occurs when “women, men, girls and boys need to be afforded equal opportunities to enjoy their full human rights and to reach their full potential” (PALAMA, 2008:8).

 

Gender Equity

Gender equity focuses on the “difference between women and men, girls and boys and ensures that they benefit equitably from the results. It is about equality of outcome or results” (PALAMA, 2008:8).

 

Sexual and Gender Based Violence

Gender based violence is defined at that which is directed against a person on the basis of gender. The inclusion of sexual violence as defined by WHO includes ‘“any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, or acts to traffic women’s sexuality, using coercion, threats of harm or physical force, by any person regardless of relationship to the survivor, in any setting, including but not limited to home and work” (Population Council, 2008:9). The scope of the definition is also expanded to include the forced sex, sexual coercion and rape of adult and adolescent boys and girls, and child sexual abuse.

 

Disability/ Disabilities

“Disabilities are an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations. Thus disability is a complex phenomenon, reflecting an interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives” (WHO, www.who.int).

 

WHO WE ARE

 

Partners in Sexual Health (PSH) is a national evidence based, non-profit organisation with regional footprints that provides Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR) services - including HIV/AIDS services - to men, women and particularly adolescents and youth.

 

Our vision is an empowered society on SRHR.

Registration Number: 067-206-NPO & PBO

NATIONAL OFFICE

 

107 Joubert Street, Parow, 7500,

Western Cape, South Africa

Telephone:     +27 21 932 6377

Fax 2 Email:   +27 86 573 4789

Email:                [email protected]

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