Gender, sexuality and reproductive health


Gender, sexuality and reproductive health

Rana Gulzar Ahmad and Muhammad Ayoub

Quetta, Pakistan

Introduction: As a young Muslim nation with a complex

anthropology, Pakistan continues to struggle with a common sense of identity.

This struggle also touches our personal lives particularly amongst young people

with severe identity and gender stereotyping issues, poverty and low levels of

literacy. This confusion is propounded and manifests clearly in sexual behaviors

andpractices. Community based sexual health /HIV/AIDS prevention programs in

Pakistan must incorporate self-reflection, self concepts and identity issues to

ensure ownership and sustainability of their programs. Working on

self-encourages/ facilitates strong self-concepts, which translates to assertive

behavior, negotiation skills and a sense of rights. Gender identity refers to

how one thinks of one’s own, gender: whether one thinks of oneself as a man (masculine)

or as a woman (feminine). Society prescribes arbitrary rules or gender roles

based on one’s sex. These gender roles are called feminine and masculine.

Methods/procedures: Promote Peer education, Life Skills

Training’s and educate public on gender sexuality- for behavior change.

Exercise responsibility in sexual relationships, by abstinence addressing power

imbalances, negotiation skills resisting pressure during sexual intercourse,

encouraging contraception use. Gender Sexuality education must be a central

component of development/reproductive health programs designed to prevent STIs/pregnancies

and HIV infection.

Results: In Pakistani socio cultural framework is

supremely gender and often-sexual relationships are framed by gender roles,

power relationships, poverty, class, caste, tradition and custom, hierarchies of

one sort of another. Here for many the term “man” is a male gender identity

not a sexual identity. The phrase males who have sex with males, or men who have

sex with men is not about identities and desires it is about recognizing that

there are many frameworks within which men/males have sex with males, many

different self-identities, many different context of behavior. The public arena

is male dominated and male-to-male friendship is expressed in the public domain.

Conclusions: To bring ownership among individual/communities

to work on HIV/AIDS prevention could only be achieved by incorporating

self-concepts and identity issues. Must need to explore and understand

male-to-male desires, as to involve men, if we are truly to develop effective

and sustainable HIV/AIDS prevention strategies amongst males who have sex with


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