By DAISY TANIOVA PAWA
ADVOCACY of sexual and reproductive health rights must be undertaken to avoid major issues that are affecting the sexual and reproductive lives of individuals in PNG.
Realising the importance of advocacy, the Compass project in PNG had come up with an initiative to train existing health educators.
Beginning in Lae yesterday, an advocacy workshop was in place to increase the knowledge and skills of the participants so that they could be better equipped to advocate on sexual and reproductive health rights in the country.
The participants are from health organisations involved in health and sexual reproduction.
Compass project manager, Anne Kitoneka said “advocacy is a mechanism which can be used to build support for sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR), influence others to support SRHR, and works toward influencing or changing legislation that affects it”.
She said the objective of the workshop was to get participants to share ideas, thoughts and experiences related to advocacy work, increase awareness on issues relating to reproductive and sexual health rights in PNG and increase the knowledge of the participants on how they can advocate for sexual reproduction and health rights in PNG.
On the first day of the workshop the participants discussed issues including gender, culture and illiteracy – issues affecting an individual’s sexual and reproductive health.
The workshop is facilitated by Diane Ryan, a programme coordinator of the Compass men and boys programme for family planning international New Zealand.