Gender, sexuality and reproductive health
Rana Gulzar Ahmad and Muhammad Ayoub
Introduction: As a young Muslim nation with a complex
anthropology, Pakistan continues to struggle with a common sense of identity.
This struggle also touches our personal lives particularly amongst young people
with severe identity and gender stereotyping issues, poverty and low levels of
literacy. This confusion is propounded and manifests clearly in sexual behaviors
andpractices. Community based sexual health /HIV/AIDS prevention programs in
Pakistan must incorporate self-reflection, self concepts and identity issues to
ensure ownership and sustainability of their programs. Working on
self-encourages/ facilitates strong self-concepts, which translates to assertive
behavior, negotiation skills and a sense of rights. Gender identity refers to
how one thinks of one’s own, gender: whether one thinks of oneself as a man (masculine)
or as a woman (feminine). Society prescribes arbitrary rules or gender roles
based on one’s sex. These gender roles are called feminine and masculine.
Methods/procedures: Promote Peer education, Life Skills
Training’s and educate public on gender sexuality- for behavior change.
Exercise responsibility in sexual relationships, by abstinence addressing power
imbalances, negotiation skills resisting pressure during sexual intercourse,
encouraging contraception use. Gender Sexuality education must be a central
component of development/reproductive health programs designed to prevent STIs/pregnancies
and HIV infection.
Results: In Pakistani socio cultural framework is
supremely gender and often-sexual relationships are framed by gender roles,
power relationships, poverty, class, caste, tradition and custom, hierarchies of
one sort of another. Here for many the term “man” is a male gender identity
not a sexual identity. The phrase males who have sex with males, or men who have
sex with men is not about identities and desires it is about recognizing that
there are many frameworks within which men/males have sex with males, many
different self-identities, many different context of behavior. The public arena
is male dominated and male-to-male friendship is expressed in the public domain.
Conclusions: To bring ownership among individual/communities
to work on HIV/AIDS prevention could only be achieved by incorporating
self-concepts and identity issues. Must need to explore and understand
male-to-male desires, as to involve men, if we are truly to develop effective
and sustainable HIV/AIDS prevention strategies amongst males who have sex with