The advanced advocate’s guide to CSE advocacy

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As SRHR advocates, most of us are well-versed in “CSE 101” or the core principles of comprehensive sexuality education. However it may be the case that intersectional inclusion of LGBTQ issues, intersex matters, diverse family planning, or other intersectional demographic matters are left out of the conversation. It is also the case that misinformation, misconceptions, and falsehoods are rampant within this world of CSE advocacy and practice - it is often true that educators in this field will need to dispel these myths and untruths before they may even begin to introduce their content. 

Also to be considered in this background context is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, consequent lockdowns and the current political unrest and conflict(s). This meant young people could not access education or have received education partly online. Some were displaced and could no longer access education and SRH information altogether. Often CSE was the first to drop off the curriculum in times of crisis. CSE prevents SGBV, harmful practices and improves the health and well-being of young people. It also increases the number of adolescent girls who are able to complete their secondary education. All prerequisites for successful participation in the labour market and thus sustained economic growth. This way, we see CSE as one of the foundations ‘underneath’ the topic of this year’s Commission on Population and Development.
 

How did, or can youth continue to access CSE out of school? What can advocates take from the experiences of their fellows, and from official guidelines to ensure this vital information reaches youth?

In this session we will invite a panel of young activists, educators, and changemakers to explore a variety of questions that answer the question of how to effectively and meaningfully engage in Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE). In order to do this we will present a variety of thematic questions across 4 themes:

  1. How do you effectively utilize the CSE UNESCO guidelines in your work?

  2. Countering common misconceptions, misinformation, and myths about CSE.

  3. Who is missing from the table? Opening CSE to be truly comprehensive and inclusive, further, what can we learn from digital approaches?

  4. CSE in times of crisis - challenges, needs, and pathways of support

 

In short, why should you join as a (young) SRHR advocate?
We’ll hear about the best practices and lessons learned from young people and other professionals advocating for youth’s right to adequate information on sexual health, and from those in the field creating the guidelines for what ‘adequate’ should entail. It is our goal that this session is a building block for global actors within the CSE space, with a panel comprising of young people moderated by a young person, this space will exemplify the kind of leadership that we propose for this movement in the future: democratic, youth informed, comprehensive, and truly intersectionally inclusive. 

In this event, at a glance we’ll:

  • Share evidence-based arguments to counter common misconceptions on CSE;

    • We will also practically explore how organizations, advocates, educators, and other stakeholders can counter misconceptions and myths surrounding CSE. We hope that this focus will provide attendees with an arsenal of additional tools that can support their continued activism and education.

  • Share best practices on using the official UNESCO guidelines for in- and out of school approaches to CSE, including digital methods;

    • Discussing strategies on how to incorporate the guidelines from UNESCO on CSE in practice and advocacy.

    • What can we learn from existing digital approaches and what should be considered when designing and implementing digital programming on CSE?

  • Discuss obstacles and lessons learned on diversity and inclusion within CSE (advocacy);

    • We will explore the topic of “who is missing (out)”, who is not represented in CSE and who is often left out of the conversation? How does disability intersect with sexual autonomy, how does inclusive CSE connect to the experiences of intersex people, and many more questions that challenge our understanding of who is included in Comprehensive Sexuality Education. 

    • We will explore the lessons learned of truly inclusive CSE, here we will share examples of successfully inclusive CSE and examine the impact of these lessons. This will be an opportunity to see that not only is intersectional and inclusive CSE possible, but it is the most valuable. 

  • Given the contemporary global context of violence, political unrest, and other factors which impact the safety and security of human rights defenders (of which CSE actors/ activists/ educators are included) - we will discuss the importance of CSE in times of conflict and times of violence, here we will explore the realities of continuing this vital work in times of crisis. 

Register to attend :
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If you are interested in attending other sessions of The Queer Youth Dialogues, including sessions and opportunities not publicly advertised, you can sign up to our dedicated mailing list or join our Signal group.