Areas of action

Information and communication

Awareness campaign about AIDS for women in a health care centre in Kigali, Ruanda.

The right to sexual self-determination means, among other things, that everybody, irrespective of age, gender, marital status and sexual orientation, should have free access to all relevant information and counselling services in the field of sexual health – with due respect for their right to privacy.

All too often, aspects of sexual health are still made taboo and sex education is inadequate in many coun­tries. That is why providing information and the opportunity to discuss sexuality and reproduction is very im­por­tant – especially for young people. They must be able to talk openly about the biological, social and emotional aspects of sexuality, as well as about the correct use of contra­ceptives and how these work.

Information and communication help people to develop less risky behaviours. That way, both partners can have a satisfying sex life and are capable of being responsible parents.

In German de­vel­op­ment measures, locally recognised methods of commu­ni­ca­tion are used alongside the mass media to disseminate information on reproductive health; for example, traditional narrators and religious leaders, entertaining events or interactive media such as radio programmes with a telephone hotline.

In some coun­tries cultural rules or legal provisions restrict the right to information and communication. Where this is the case, ways must be found to gradually realise sexual and reproductive rights, taking into account globally accepted human rights and in­ter­national conventions.

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