Today’s generation of adolescents is the largest ever - there are 1.8 billion people between the ages of 10 and 19 alive today. To protect their health and rights, young people need evidence-based, accurate information about their sexual and reproductive health, as well as support and skills to feel comfortable and confident about their bodies and their sexuality. While adolescence is a time for growth and learning, often young people confront multiple threats to their health and their lives such as violence and sexual coercion, unintended pregnancies, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) provides young people with the necessary skills and information to make free and informed decisions about their health, and enjoy safe and satisfying relationships.
IWHC advocates with governments, donors, and UN agencies to adopt or promote policies that foster comprehensive sexuality education for adolescents and young people. We provide funding and technical support to partner organizations in Africa, Latin America, and Asia and the Middle East to develop CSE curricula and to advocate with their own governments to implement CSE programs through the formal education system.
Our Partners: Making Comprehensive Sexuality Education A Reality
- In Brazil, IWHC has supported three partner organizations working on comprehensive sexuality education: Comunicação em Sexualidade (ECOS), which has created a successful advocacy alliance for CSE policies in the Brazilian education sector; ReproLatina, whose website Living Adolescence reaches more than 60,000 young people a month with information on sexuality and reproductive health; and Curumim, which developed a model CSE program for several state and city governments.
- In Peru, IWHC supported the Institute of Education and Health (IES) to develop accountability mechanisms to ensure the implementation of government guidelines on comprehensive sexuality education. IES also works with adolescent boys and girls to help them design their own community initiatives on sexuality, health, and rights.
- In Nigeria, IWHC has provided long-time support to Girls' Power Initiative, Action Health Incorporated, and Adolescent Health and Information Projects. It is currently documenting the work of these three organizations in developing comprehensive sexuality education programs to serve as a model for other countries and regions.
- In Cameroun, IWHC's partner FESADE reaches 5,000 young people a year with comprehensive sexuality education through community, school, and center-based programs. FESADE's 21-module curriculum was endorsed by the Ministry of Secondary Education in 2007 and is currently being piloted in 60 schools reaching approximately 74,000 students in two regions.
- In Pakistan, IWHC supports Aahung for its work to integrate comprehensive and age-appropriate adolescent sexual and reproductive health information into the teaching programs of primary and secondary schools in Sindh province. To date, more than 200 private and government schools and four networks of charter schools have been introduced to its Life Skills Based Education Program. IWHC also supports Aahung's efforts to integrate sexual and reproductive health education into the teaching programs of public and private medical schools in order to improve health care providers' capacity and commitment to providing reproductive health services and information to adolescents and young people.