Pleasurable choices for all

"We, the undersigned, believe that pleasure* and well-being are essential and effective elements of SRHR programmes, because pleasure-inclusive comprehensive sexuality education increases self-esteem and self-efficacy, leads to more informed choices, and is a positive way to learn about and appreciate our bodies, in all their shapes, sizes and forms.

We call on all those responsible for reproductive and sexual health funding, programmes and outcomes to show that all of us human beings, especially girls and women, have the capacity and desire to enjoy our bodies, and to make choices that allow us to do this with full autonomy and understanding of our decisions. 

People should be able to make consensual sexual and relationship choices in a way that enhances pleasure, self-esteem and respect. Pleasurable choices include recognising and celebrating the positive aspects of our intimate physical and emotional relationships that can enhance our lives,  not only ensuring that we avoid negative consequences. We also recognise that people can enjoy sex and have pleasure and pride in their bodies, despite ill-health, abuse and other potentially damaging impacts on sexuality.

Along with the autonomy to say no to sex we don't want, we need the power to say yes to the sexual choices we do want, and freedom from repressive norms around  women and girls' sexuality. When we have the power, autonomy and agency to do this, we will also have power, autonomy and agency over other aspects of our lives.

The empowerment of girls and women and other marginalised groups lies not only in building capacities and providing opportunities, but also in loving ourselves, knowing what we want, and how to ask for it.

*When we have the power, autonomy and agency to fully claim our SRHR"

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