As a national movement of young people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights, PHREB believes that Sexual and Reproductive Rights are human rights and therefore apply equally to all young people.
Adolescents have a limited understanding of how their bodies function in terms of sexual and reproductive health. They lack access to information and rarely discuss their personal matters in the family or community, mostly because of social and religious taboos. Yet for young people, adolescence is a crucial time for exploring and learning about these matters.
Premarital sexual activity combined with traditional barriers to information, contraception and family planning services, lead to a large number of unplanned pregnancies. Childbirth carries multiple risks for young girls who are not yet physically mature. Abortions are risky, and adolescent girls are more likely than their older counterparts to have secret or illegal abortions. Teenagers suffer disproportionately from sexually transmitted diseases.
For girls, menstruation is the major biological event of puberty. On average, Bangladeshi girls begin menstruation at 13. Girls often know nothing about menstruation before they experience it and have no idea how to manage it. They can be shocked, surprised and frightened when it starts.
Most girls are unaware of hygiene. Typically, old cloths are used to absorb menstrual blood and dried in dark places, there is little use of soap or disinfectant for cleaning and taboos restrict the consumption of certain foods as well as mobility outside during the period of menstruation.
PHREB's Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Programme works to ensure that sexual and reproductive rights education, information and health services are freely available and accessible to all young people.
PHREB enables free access to primary health care services and reproductive health information through our health camps at schools.