On March 17, the Center for Reproductive Rights and Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights will host a virtual side event co-sponsored by Permanent Mission of Mexico to the UN during the 66th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
The side event, entitled, “In Our Own Words: The Role of Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Fulfilling the Rights of Young People to Sexual and Reproductive Health,” will highlight the importance of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) for the protection, respect, and fulfillment of the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of young people around the world. The event is free and open to the public.
“We are thrilled to be co-hosting with the Youth Coalition an event for young people to share the importance of CSE for making decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and lives,” said Rebecca Brown, Senior Director of Global Advocacy at the Center. “Access to CSE is central to a young person’s fundamental rights and essential for achieving gender equality and better health outcomes. Young people’s voices must be centered to advance access to CSE across countries and movements.”
The virtual side event will be an inter-generational dialogue about the work young activists are doing to overcome the challenges and promote access CSE. The Center and the Youth Coalition are partnering with young activists from Mexico, Uganda and Nepal—to highlight access to CSE as a key pillar to achieving sexual and reproductive rights. Spanish, French and sign language interpretation will be provided.
The side event will be moderated by Eunice García, Executive Director of the Youth Coalition and will include youth speakers Sofia F. Regalado, Amanda Joan Julian Mary, and Sajja Singh. The Center’s Betty Odallo, Senior Technical Adviser for Africa, and Lita Martinez, Executive Director for CEPAM Guayaquil, will participate as guest speakers.
What is Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)?
Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is an evidence and rights-based approach to informing young people about the cognitive, emotional, physical, and social aspects of their sexual and reproductive health and rights. CSE equips young people with honest, scientifically accurate, and comprehensive information about sexual and reproductive issues.
Access to CSE has positive impacts on rights and health outcomes including reducing rates of sexual and gender-based violence, sexually transmitted infections, child, early, and forced marriage, and unwanted adolescent pregnancies and associated maternal mortality and morbidity.
“Access to CSE is a human right. Governments are obligated to respect, protect and fulfill the right to health, life, and nondiscrimination. These rights cannot be realized without adolescents and young people having access to CSE without any impediments–policy or otherwise,” said Eunice Leyva Garcia, Executive Director of Youth Coalition.
The 66th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women
The Center’s gathering is a side event of the 66th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women taking place March 14-25, 2022, under the theme “Achieving Gender Equality and Empowerment of all Women and Girls in the Context of Climate Change, Environmental and Disaster Risk Reduction Policies and Programmes.” The worsening climate crisis is disrupting access to SRHR services, especially for groups that face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination such as due to their age.
For two weeks, Member States and other stakeholders will convene to assess the progress towards their commitments under the Beijing Platform for Action and reaffirm and set recommendations and commitments to advance the rights of women and girls and gender equality. The Center will join UN Member States, civil society organizations, UN agencies and other human rights leaders to advocate for progressive SRHR standards.
Yearly Gathering Affirms Commitments to Advance Gender Equality
The CSW is a UN intergovernmental body with the mandate to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women. It provides the premier international forum for civil society organizations, advocates, and experts to collaborate on and advocate for their national, regional, and thematic priorities related to gender equality and the right of women and girls.
At the conclusion of every two-week session, the CSW issues “Agreed Conclusions,” which are a set of recommendations on the session’s priority theme. All 193 members of the UN General Assembly negotiate to establish and pass the Agreed Conclusions through consensus.
Title: “In Our Own Words: The Role of Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Fulfilling the Rights of Young People to Sexual and Reproductive Health”
Date: Thursday, March 17
Time: 9 a.m.- 10:30 a.m. EST/ 3:00 p.m. – 4:40 p.m. CET
Spanish, French and sign language interpretation will be provided.