PSH facilitated an Intergenerational Communication on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Capacity Building Course for 50+ participants in partnership and funded by the Department of Social Development’s (DSD) National Population Unit.
Adolescent and young people represent the future of every society. Adolescence is also the time when puberty takes place, when many young people initiate their first romantic and sexual relationships, when risk–taking is heightened and ‘fitting’ in with peers becomes very important. It can also be a challenging time for young people, who are becoming aware of their sexual and reproductive rights and needs, and who rely on their families, peers, schools and health service providers for affirmation, advice, information and the skills to navigate the sometimes difficult transition to adulthood. This transition may catalyse a range of challenges including HIV infection, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), unintended pregnancy, low education attainment or dropping out of education and training.
The Intergenerational Communication on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights capacity building course aims to enhance the knowledge and understanding of adolescents, parents and leaders from civil society on how to deal with these challenging situations.
After decades of programming to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH), it has become increasingly clear that strengthening access to, and the quality of, services does not alone suffice to improve health outcomes. The sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of adolescents is strongly influenced by a range of social, cultural, political, and economic factors and inequalities. These factors increase adolescents' vulnerability to SRH risks (e.g. unsafe sex, sexual coercion, early pregnancy) and pose barriers to their access to SRH information and services. Addressing these underlying determinants by working with various stakeholders such as parents, community members, and policy makers, is essential for adolescents to realise their SRH and human rights. Such an approach is commonly referred to as building an enabling environment.
In conclusion it is envisaged that through building an enabling environment so that adolescents can realise their SRH and human rights requires interventions that work at multiple levels with adolescents, with families, with communities and at societal level.
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