More than 600 youth and adolescents from 5 schools had a chance to listen to Her Majesty Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuk and Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA] talk to them about the importance of recognizing sexual reproductive health as a right on 25th October in Punakha.
Speaking to the students of Tashiding MSS, Punakha CS, Kuruthang MSS, Khuruthang Technical Training Institute, College of Natural Resources and Ugyen Academy, Her Majesty addressed on Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights.
Dr. Natalia Kanem from UNFPA who is on her first visit to the Kingdom of Bhutan spoke to the students, said, ‘What do we mean by sexual reproductive health rights? It means a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being in all matters relating to the reproductive system. It implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life, the capability to reproduce, and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to do so.’
This visit was a continuation of the work Her Majesty has been doing with youth and adolescents in the Kingdom of Bhutan as UNFPA’s Goodwill Ambassador to raise awareness about critical issues such as teenage pregnancy, child sexual abuse, domestic and gender based violence, mental health and alcohol and substance abuse.
The students from Ugyen Academy also put up a skit titled “Many Broken Lives” highlighting every day challenged faced by young people in Bhutan.
The event was organized by RENEW [Respect, Educate, Nurture and Empower Woman] that has been working in Bhutan for the last 15 years to advocate for sexual reproductive health rights and addressing gender based violence.
This event was all the more significant because in less than a month, the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 marking 25 years of the International Conference on Population and Development will be held in Kenya between 12th and 14th of November, during which youth and adolescents will take centre stage as a key stakeholder who will participate and contribute to global efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals