The need for sexual awareness campaigns in rural and suburban areas!
Sexual awareness still remains a taboo subject in India. People do not want to talk about it and discuss it openly, like political or other social subjects are discussed. This happens more so in rural areas, which are bound by very strong hetero-normative morals and old didactic codes of conduct. And this needs to change.
While urban areas are slowly opening up to issues of sexual awareness, the rural areas remain ignored. In urban schools and colleges, sexual awareness campaigns and lectures are held, to help students understand and respect sexuality and the different sexes from a very young age. This teaches them to be less repressed about such taboo issues, and it gives them the chance to voice out queries and concerns. Doctors, social activists and counselors hold these sessions to address various issues related to sexual awareness. From respect for the alternative sexes and the opposite sex, to the practicing of safe sex and the addressing of confused or conflicted sexualities, these issues are brought out instead of keeping them under wraps. This helps develop a healthy mind-frame about sex and issues related to gender-violence as well.
However, in the rural areas, it is a different story altogether. Firstly, women are considered to be baby-making machines. No regard is given to a woman who keeps giving birth to one child after another as a result of unprotected sex. Because abortions too, are considered an evil, instead of a valid medical alternative, the women are not allowed to abort unwanted fetuses, and when they end up giving birth to too many girls, both the young ones and the woman herself are made to undergo humiliation and discrimination. Moreover, since women are considered to be objects which are at the mercy of men, women are treated very badly. From rapes to physical abuse on a regular basis, these issues are not addressed at all, since not just men, but also women take it to be the normal way of life. Women who are raped are ostracized from society because they are considered to be “dirty” and “impure.”
These issues need to be rectified in the rural areas as well as in the urban areas. Sexual awareness campaigns are required in the rural and suburban parts, in order to educate the people about respect for the opposite sex, safe sexual practices, and medical procedures. Not only do people need to be told about safe sex in order to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, they also need to be told about the importance of population control. They need to be taught about respect towards women, and why it is important, along with respect towards alternative sexual choices, because homosexuality is a very grave sin in the rural parts.
It is only by addressing the issues at the root level that true change can be brought about. Sexual awareness campaigns are very necessary in the cities, but we forget to address sexual awareness where it is required the most.