Between 12th and 14th of March 2020,Kolkata Sanved conducted specially customized Sexual and Reproductive Healthand Rights (SRHR) sessions with Suprava Pachashila Mahila Udyog Samity ( SPMUS) in the district of Murshidabadin West Bengal. 16 participants who are a part of Kolkata Sanved’s traumarecovery module, attended the session. Along with them, 3 care providers attended the sessions, supported by fundsfrom GlobalGiving.
The participants were girls between the age of 13- 20. Theyall live in adjoining communities of Murshidabad and partake in variousprograms and projects of SPMUS.
One of the participants who is a severe trauma survivor wasaccompanied by her mother, who also actively took part in the sessions. Most ofthe participants in the session have experienced some form of gender basedviolence which includes
· sexual violence or harassment
· Commercial sexual exploitation
· Forced and early marriage.
The participants were also at vulnerable adolescent age andwere at risk of finding themselves in unsafe romantic entanglements. Due tolack of knowledge, some of them have shown signs of risky sexual behavior. Oneparticipant in the class was HIV positive. Due to lack of knowledge on thetopic, she faces stigma from her peers. She was also not aware of how toeffectively take care of herself. Because of all this, it was felt that theyneeded inputs on sexuality and healthy relationships. For this purpose aspecially customized workshop was designed.
Objectives of the workshop was to
· Deconstruct discourses aroundgender and sexuality
· Impart health basedinformation to enhance well being
· Learning how to set boundaries
· Learning how to Identify unhealthy relationships
· Learning how to navigaterelationships.
· Learning how to identify Safe space
The facilitator also spoke about the need to understand thedifference between violence and consensual sexual activity and how it’simportant to critically think about ideas perpetuated in society, that we areexpected to follow.
The key outcomes of the workshop are summed up below :
· Participants learnt about theirbodies
· They became more aware of how to work on health and hygiene
· Participants learnt how tonavigate relationships in adolescence
· started thinking criticallyaround social norms
· Participants became aware oftheir rights in terms of relationships.