Category Archives: WAS News

WAS Education Award: Excellence and Innovation in Sexuality Education 2019 – A first call for nominations

In recognition of the special contribution sexuality educators make to the overall fields of education, health and sexology, the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) presents this prestigious award at its next World Congress In Mexico City. WAS invites nominations from individuals and organizations to be considered for the award.

These awards are to recognize the special contribution sexuality educators make to the overall fields of education, health and sexology. They are presented in three categories:

A. Non-Government Organizations or Individuals

B. Academic programmes

C. Governmental and Government-sponsored programmes

WAS Sexuality Education Committee (SEC) has responsibility of WAS Education Awards.

Deadline for applications for WAS Education Awards is 31st of January 2019. The official announcement of the winner(s) will be at the WAS Congress in Mexico City in October 12 – 15, 2019.

Applications can be sent to the Chair of WAS Sexuality Education Committee: osmo.kontula@vaestoliitto.fi.

 

WAS statement about marital rape and related issues in India

The Gujarat High Court in India has stated that sex without consent within marriage should be considered rape. The court demanded the abolition of the marital rape exemption in the penal code of India and stated that “the law must uphold the bodily autonomy of all women, irrespective of their marital status”.

World Association of Sexual Health (WAS) supports the statement by the Gujarat High Court, and urges the Government of India to take steps necessary to criminalise marital rape. Violence within marriage is a widespread problem in India (NFHS-4), and it is connected to child or early marriages and forming marriages by force or coercion especially in rural areas. Even if the numbers have been declining, there is a dire need for enforcement of legislation that protects the rights of girls and women.

According to the Declaration of Sexual Rights (2014) everyone has the right to autonomy and bodily integrity (article 3), and everyone has the right to be free from all forms of violence and coercion (article 5). These rights apply to all women regardless of their marital status.

The Declaration also states that everyone has the right to enter, form, and dissolve marriage and other similar types of relationships based on equality and full and free consent (article 11). Thus it condemns practices like child marriage, early marriage and forced marriage along with all forms of coercion within marriage.

In order to fulfil the sexual rights of all women and girls, legislation that protects women’s bodily autonomy and sexual rights must be implemented and enforced actively on state level, in sub-districts and locally. But legislation alone is not enough. It must be backed up by sexuality education that promotes consensual sexual relations, privacy and gender equality.

WAS is an international organization, with more than one hundred member organizations across the globe, that promotes and advocates for sexual health and sexual rights throughout the lifespan and across the world by advancing sexuality research, comprehensive sexuality education, and clinical care and services for everyone.

WAS statement about the WHO / ICD 11

The World Health Organization (WHO) has just announced the official publication of a new version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). This new version marks the culmination of a long process which lasted about ten years and which benefited from a large number of contributions by and comments from professional specialists and patient organization advocates.

The new ICD includes for the first time a chapter on Conditions Related to Sexual Health which brings together conditions that were previously categorized in other ways and mostly under the category of mental disorders.

The proposed changes in the ICD-11 embody a more integrated approach to sexual health. This reorganization reflects the WHO’s definition of sexual health as “a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity” (WHO, 2006). The new chapter on Conditions Related to Sexual Health includes sexual dysfunctions, sexual pain disorders, paraphilic disorders, gender incongruence, adrenogenital disorders, sexual transmitted infections, changes in female and male genital anatomy, sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse, and contraceptive management. Most importantly, the proposed new classification bridges the mind/body divide, which has long been a prominent feature of medical care related to sexual dysfunction. Moreover, eliminating the outdated mind/body split and removing many disorders from the mental and behavioral disorders sections, allows practitioners to address these issues more holistically, in a less stigmatizing and less myopic way. By using a sexual health approach, these guidelines will improve the way that public health practitioners approach, record, and report diagnoses, moving away from a persistent emphasis on negative outcomes toward an approach based in integrated, holistic care.

The new classification also eliminated past guidelines that impose a normative standard for sexuality and removed all categorizations that selectively target people with same-sex orientation or gender nonconformity, with no clear public health justification. In addition, the new classification removed transsexualism and gender identity disorder from mental and behavioral disorders and moved them to a new chapter, thus destigmatizing individuals with gender incongruence and providing a foundation for better access to both biomedical and psychological treatments.

The World Association of Sexual Health (WAS) actively participated in all stages of the ICD revision process, by participating in a number of committees and working groups.

WHO is opening a new chapter in the management of sexual health problems. And WAS, as an international organization with more than one hundred member organizations across the globe, will continue to promote and advocate for sexual health and sexual rights throughout the lifespan and across the world by advancing sexuality research, comprehensive sexuality education, and clinical care and services for everyone. This includes research and advocacy to foster and develop better approaches to all aspects of sexual health, including sexual disorders and dysfunctions, paraphilia, genital pain, and problems in the context of reproductive health.

 

 

 

 

Ireland: The right to decide about reproduction belongs to all women

May 23, 2018

The World Association for Sexual Health urges all citizens and organisations in Ireland to support the freedom to decide about their own bodies, reproduction and family planning and go to vote on May 25th.

The citizens of the Republic of Ireland will vote on May 25th whether to amend the constitution regarding the conditions when women can have abortion. Currently in Ireland abortion is legal only when the mother’s life is threatened by the pregnancy, including suicide. If a simple majority votes “yes” the constitution will be amended, which would make it possible to create laws in the future that allow for other conditions for abortion in safe conditions.

The World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) calls for amending the constitution in Ireland in order to enable full right to abortion to all women in their own discretion. The Declaration of Sexual Rights (2014)  states that everyone has the right to sexual autonomy and bodily integrity (article 3), which encompasses the freedom to decide about one’s body and reproduction.

Furthermore, the Declaration of Sexual Rights states explicitly that everyone must have full access to sexual health information and services including pregnancy termination (article 12). National laws must grant women the power to decide about their own body and reproduction regardless of any cultural or religious objections.

Sexual rights are human rights, and the freedoms they define belong to every individual. Someone’s freedom of conscience, religion or cultural belief does not affect the other’s right to make decisions about their own body, reproduction or family planning.

WAS is an international organization, with more than one hundred member organizations across the globe, that promotes and advocates for sexual health and sexual rights throughout the lifespan and across the world by advancing sexuality research, comprehensive sexuality education, and clinical care and services for everyone.