When Vithika Yadav started out as a social rights activist, her prime focus was issues of human trafficking and modern day slavery. But with time, as she intently looked into the "gender component of slavery, where women and girls are most vulnerable", she started addressing "issues of gender and sexual rights". This, for Yadav, was the start of an interesting progression towards comprehending how young India views sexual rights. She says, "Young people were struggling to get quality and fact-based information in India on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) issues that affected their sexual health and well-being. This is when my journey with Love Matters India started."
The global programme Love Matters’ India vertical (a website launched in 2011) is the product of Yadav’s hard work. "Ours is the first digital initiative in India, in Hindi and English that provides unbiased information on sexuality and sexual health to young people. It is also the first project in the country that leverages technology for providing rights based SRHR information to young people in India. We use the concept of pleasure as a way to break the taboos around sex and sexuality," adds Yadav.
As she mentions, Love Matters has, indeed, become "a communication bridge between sex educators, sexual reproductive health services and young people". Using newage platforms such as social media and contemporary tools like Virtual Reality and augmented reality, Yadav and her team educates youngsters about issues that range from intimate partner violence to safe and legal abortion’, among other topics, thus creating a social impact. Read more via India Today
blush-free facts and stories
Open, honest and sex-positive, the Love Matters programme is a global leader in delivering information and media on love, sex and relationships to 18-30 year olds in areas where information on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is censored or taboo.
Love Matters started in 2011 in India and has since scaled to five other regions. Love Matters has country specific platforms in China and India (with a bilingual Hindi and English platform). Love Matters Arabic is based in Egypt and Love Matters Africa is based in Kenya. The French language platform Amour Afrique is based in DRC.
Sex and relationships have a huge impact on young people’s lives, but many live in societies where information about sexual health and rights is censored or taboo. These sorts of taboos include anything from masturbation to condom use, from sex before marriage to abortion, and they are often reinforced by religion, politics, gender norms and other social pressures.
The lack of effective communication around sex and sexuality often gets in the way of tackling global health concerns, with people preferring to suffer in silence and avoid shame rather than seek help. Read more via Love Matters