Between January 2023 and March 2023 Kolkata Sanved conducted a 6 days workshop with 15 participants from Mandirbazar block in South 24 Parganas on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights. The participants were from remote villages were child marriage and trafficking rates are high and with very less knowledge on menstrual health management, Hygiene and WASH. Often these participants face various types of gender-based violence and are more prone to become prey due to lack of knowledge.
Kolkata Sanved conducted SRHR sessions with 15 adolescent girls from the Institute of Psychological and Educational Research (IPER) Shelter Home between July 2022 to December 2022. In January 2023 2 follow up sessions were conducted with the participants post which the certificate ceremony was conducted on 24th January on National Girl Child Day.
Topics covered in these sessions included Body awareness and mapping, Menstrual cycle and reproduction, navigating safe relationships and HIV, sex and gender, gender stressors at present and across lifespan, understanding safe space and relationships.
Sharing some feedback from the participants :
Through these workshops I became aware about different parts of my body and its function, I was taught many rules by my mother to follow during menstruation but now I know how those are all myths".
" I learnt the importance of careful decision making and how to identify safe spaces within my friends and family circle".
" I want to share the stigma and myths associated with menstruation with my sisters and friends back at home who have not been a part of this session.
"I learnt that both partners should get tested for HIV, STD and STIs before getting married and engaging in sexual relationship ".
While concluding it was identified that the participants attending the sessions came from remote villages and believed in various stigma attached to reproductive health. They found the sessions very interesting as they could understand the scientific logic behind body functioning. It was also assessed that they were at a high risk of falling prey to cyber crime as they have access to smartphones and internet. Based on this need, the facilitators discussed safe ways of accessing the internet and using social media and unsafe ways which can lead to Gender based Violence or Human Trafficking.
The participants showed leadership skills, good peer bonding through group presentation activity on identifying risk and creating a safe space.