Eunice, thank you so much for this. It really helps. In one of my posts, a man I had interviewed from Gambia had said that people's unequal access to a market was a large cause of them practicing illegal activities. In certain countries, only a select group of people are able to benefit from a legal market, so a lot of people turn to illicit activities. I have read numerous studies of people who were put in economic empowerment programs (e.g taught skills such as plumbing, sewing etc), and these not only provided them with income but in many cases was a healthier environment. Most of those cases, however, were to bring unemployed people out of poverty, but not to prevent them from gaining money illegally Therefore it was refreshing to hear that economic empowerment programs seem to be working for those that practiced FGM.
Hi Anne-Laure! Sorry for such a delayed response. He went to a private international school in South Africa and there was taught different protection methods, etc. His high school followed the International Baccalaureate curriculum, which I went through as well, and I know for the Biology program there's a rather extensive section on female and male reproductive systems. The sex ed class was in supplement to that.
He is very interested in health equity, and although I didn't ask about how contracting HIV impacted his interest, he did say that he was focused on health equity, and my thought is that he may have realized this after receiving treatment that most people who contracted HIV would have a hard time getting. In extension, sexual health education should be a right, and not just something that one can receive because of their socioeconomic status.
We were discussing the current drug war in the Philippines, and it was quite interesting. I had raised the topic of human rights groups attacking the president, Duterte for killing civilians without trial. He then said that he was tired of hearing about the "typical white narrative" and although we both clarified that people are allowed to be affected by different aspects of an issue, he said that addressing the unequal economic market would be a solution. People turn to, and start selling drugs, because they are not equal in the market. I think this is an interesting point, which I have a lot of questions about.
He said that contraception is starting to become more available than when he was a child, and more woman are becoming empowered. Granted, the progress is slow, but it still is progress nonetheless.
Successful programs: Scandinavian countries where sexual health education starts really young. It isn't even "sexual health" yet, but he cited kindergarten classes where kids are taught how to name their body parts without embarrassment so if someone touches them inappropriately, they are able to vocalize the issue.