The high rate of maternal deaths and early marriages encouraged Women Research Institute (WRI) to carry out an advocacy programme on adolescent sex education and reproductive health rights (SRHR). Since June 2013, WRI has been running an SRHR programme for youths in Jakarta, Bandung, and Gunungkidul.
The programme in Jakarta has been underway since March 2014, with its main activities being dissemination and the establishment of three youth groups in East Jakarta and South Jakarta. One of the groups is the Karang Taruna (a youth organisation in a neighbourhood) of RT 6 called OKNAME in Klender, East Jakarta; whereas in South Jakarta the two groups are Gerak Cepat Selalu Ingin Tahu (Fast-Moving and Curious), abbreviated into GESIT, in 198 Junior High School (SMP 198) in Duren Sawit, and Lenteng Agung Information and Counselling Centre (PIK-LA) in 38 Senior High School (SMA 38), Lenteng Agung.
Youth Groups on Reproductive Health to Reduce MMR and Early Marriage
Concerned with the high rate of Maternal Mortality Rate and early marriages, WRI initiated an advocacy program on sex education and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for youths, as part of society that contributed significantly to the high MMR. Therefore, since June 2013, WRI has been running a program on adolescent reproductive health in Jakarta, Bandung, and Gunungkidul. However, different to the ones in Jakarta and Bandung, the program in Gunungkidul is a subsequent program from the previous research.
Several current developments have been achieved in the program, such as capacity building of youth groups, problem mapping of adolescent reproductive health issues, selection of cadres and facilitators, seminars, and discussions.
The second Monitoring and Evaluation activity at Gunungkidul was held on Tuesday-Thursday, 25-27 March 2014, by Rahayuningtyas (Coordinator of the Policy Advocacy and Youths’ Reproductive Health Budget Program: Jakarta, Gunungkidul, and Bandung) and Astari Wardiah (WRI’s Project Officer for the Jakarta Program).
The purpose of this activity is to identify achievements and obstacles faced in the implementation of WRI’s program in Gunungkidul. The second Monitoring and Evaluation activity was also attended by the Program Officer for Jakarta to get an overview of the implementation of the counseling program in Gunungkidul. The program has been ongoing since 2010, coordinated by Tri Asmiyanto as WRI’s Project Officer in that area.
The third Monitoring and Evaluation of the Adolescent Reproductive Health in Gunungkidul was held on Wednesday, 7 May 2014, by Rahayuningtyas (WRI Program Coordinator for Adolescent Reproductive Health) and Benita Nastami (WRI Researcher). The Monitoring and Evaluation activity was started with a discussion with the Gunungkidul Program Officer, Tri Asmiyanto, to discuss the progress of the adolescent reproductive health program since the last monitoring and evaluation on 25-27 March 2014.
The Monitoring and Evaluation of the Adolescent Reproductive Health program in Bandung was held on Tuesday-Wednesday, 29-30 April 2014 by Rahayuningtyas (WRI Program Coordinator for Adolescent Reproductive Health) and Benita Nastami (WRI Researcher). The objectives of this activity are to monitor the development of WRI’s program in Bandung as well as identify the achievements and possible challenges.
Since 2000, Indonesia has made several advances in identifying the needs of reproductive health for teenagers and defining the choices of policies. The government has realized the needs for better sexual and reproductive health education in schools, in particular considering the epidemic growth of sexual transmitted diseases (STIs) and HIV/AIDS in this country. However, due to the political sensitivity regarding the Adolescent Reproductive Health, policy dialogues have not been transformed into concrete programs to cater to the needs of teenagers’ reproduction. Urgent policy issues include the need to review the Health Law (Law No. 36 of 2009) and revise it to ensure that reproductive health education is inserted into the school curriculum and that the restrictions on birth control for single youths must be lifted. Reproductive health services for single youths must be provided and offered in a friendly and confidential environment so that those in need may access the service without being exposed to stigmas.