Side event: Girls and Female Adolescents: how to address their seaxual and menstrual needs

In the 57th Session of the Commission on Population and Development, FEIM organized a side event on the sexual/reproductive and menstrual hygiene needs of girls and adolescents. The event took place this Tuesday, April 30, at the Church Center and was moderated by Mabel Bianco, FEIM’s President.

The organizers of the event were the Foundation for Women’s Studies and Research (FEIM), the Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network (LACHWN), the Regional Network of Catholics for the Right to Decide, Chir Alas agre and the Ministry of Equality and Feminisms of Catalunya, Spain.

The session focused on presenting the needs and difficulties in including the needs, in addition to addressing adolescents and youth in the countries of the region and in general in the consideration in the follow-up of the ICPD Program.

The Women’s Health Network of Latin America and the Caribbean presented a follow-up of the PCD carried out since the celebration of Cairo from the celebration of the 20 years until 2022, noting the absence of the consideration of youth and adolescents in these meetings and pointing out the urgency of incorporating this population. Then Loreiny Moran of the indigenous youth of Colombia ONIC and member of ECMIA expressed the needs of indigenous children and how all the cultural and traditional medicine does not include this knowledge is not included in the health services generating a loss and poor use of these services.

Aidé García explained that the network of Catholics for the right to decide recognizes young people and adolescents as subjects of rights and this implies the right to decide and choose about their sexuality and reproduction. In this sense, this is fundamental to strengthen the democracy of the countries based on secularism. Also from the youth network they ask to be included and incorporated in these discussions that include them.

Bianco pointed out that behind teenage pregnancies, especially early pregnancies in girls under 15 years of age, there is a forced cohabitation union because at that age they cannot decide and should be denounced and the abusers penalized, but health services do not consider this. She also expressed: «Teenage pregnancy is something that is not talked about and it is a big problem. We have to start working because next year services will be addressed and these are very important because information and access to services are needed.»

Montse Pineda, Women’s Director of the Ministry of Feminism and Diversity of Catalonia, through a video presented a program they developed on menstrual education for girls and the provision of universal menstrual hygiene supplies to girls, recognizing this as a right.

The session was conducted in Spanish with English interpretation available, and materials were provided by NGOs, networks and the government of Catalunya.

Watch de side event in this: Side event