UNESCO launches new video on Comprehensive Sexuality Education
UNESCO has released a new video ‘Being A Young Person’ – which outlines how comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) helps young people develop the knowledge and skills to make conscious, healthy and responsible choices about relationships and sexuality.
The release of the video comes after a high-level event at the UN General Assembly in New York, Improving the Sexual and Reproductive Health of the Adolescent Girl: The Role of First Ladies. The 21 September event brought together Heads of State and Government, First Ladies, Heads of UN agencies and civil society organizations to increase acceptance and catalyse action on expanding access to sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents across Africa.
Speaking at the event initiated by the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova said CSE was a foundation for all HIV prevention and part of every young person’s journey to adulthood.
“It reduces sexually transmitted infections, HIV and unintended pregnancy, improves self-esteem, changing attitudes and both gender and social norms,” the Director- General said.
An early preview of the video was seen by ministers and representatives from government, development, and civil society, at a high level government dialogue on the side-lines of the 2016 AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa. The July meeting marked progress since the landmark 2013 ESA Commitment, in which 20 ESA countries committed to scaling-up CSE and sexual and reproductive health services for young people.
The video outlines the vital role CSE plays in ensuring the sexual and reproductive health of all young people. It is recognised as an age-appropriate, culturally relevant approach to teaching about sexuality and relationships by providing scientifically accurate, realistic, non-judgemental information.
UNESCO’s 2015 Global Review of Comprehensive Sexuality Education revealed that CSE leads to improved sexual and reproductive health, resulting in the reduction of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and unintended pregnancy. CSE not only promotes gender equality and equitable social norms, but has a positive impact on safer sexual behaviours, delaying sexual debut and increasing condom use.
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