Remember when you were a child, watching movies with your parents on a Sunday afternoon when suddenly an intimate scene came on, and you could instantly sense an awkwardness in the room, you were made to believe that whatever is showing on the screen is highly inappropriate. This whole incident marked the beginning of the misconception that sex and embarrassment go hand in hand. In our Indian households, uttering the word “Sex” is taboo in itself. It was taught by our parents and even by our teachers that decent girls or boys shouldn’t talk about these “kinds of stuff” as the topic of sex is considered to be sinful.
Growing up without having proper sex education may affect an individual, especially a girl in many ways. Since most of the schools in India don’t have a sex-ed class in their curriculum, students lacking the required knowledge will eventually make poor decisions when it comes to their sexual health and may suffer from various sexual health issues including unintended pregnancy, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and sexual violence among others. A recent study shows that each year, approximately 85 million women in the whole world face unintended pregnancies and more than one in seven cases happen in India. It is because of the lack of knowledge women have when it comes to the use of contraceptives. In general, the subject of birth control is disgraceful in the eyes of society. Thus, women going through such situations often get terrified and end up with unwanted pregnancies. Therefore, to raise awareness of different kinds of contraceptives, ten International Family Planning Organisations established World Contraception Day on the 26th of September 2007. Presently It is supported by 15 International NGOs, Governmental Organisations as well as scientific and medical societies. WCD aims to promote family planning and contraceptives methods that are safe; so that no pregnancy is an unwanted one. There are various myths surrounding birth control; one of them is if you’re not sexually active, you don’t need to know about contraceptives at all. Well, the truth is, even before you consider having sex, you should know how to protect yourself.
Although the topic of contraception is still taboo in various parts of the world, including India, women are being shamed for using contraceptives, no matter what age they belong to. Women should not forget that they are in charge of their bodies, and they have the full liberty to do whatever they want, they shouldn’t fear being judged by the so-called society. Moreover, there’s a range of benefits of using contraception; such as :
1. Using contraception helps effective family planning, couples can decide when they want to have children and how many.
2. The right use of contraception can help young girls who are not ready to get pregnant, both mentally and physically. Besides, raising awareness among teens can also reduce the number of teen pregnancies.
3. Above all, using contraception and preventing unintended pregnancy can also control population growth.
Even though with the advancement of medical science there are various types of contraceptive methods for women to choose from and the number of women using contraception is higher than ever, there’s still a lack of assistance and acceptance provided to someone who intends to use contraception, which creates an impact on their choices. Hence, on this World Contraception Day, let us encourage women to take charge of their bodies and begin to educate our next generation on the importance of Sexual Education.