By M Margaret Burke
‘When women support each other great things happen’
IT MAY seem shocking that in this 21st Century, matters of sex and sexual health are still taboo but that is the reality in many countries! Sexual health topics in Guyana, for example, are shrouded in shame and secrecy and this translates into many dire consequences such as persons being unable to avoid unwanted pregnancies due to lack of knowledge.
There is therefore much need for such projects in Guyana, which would seek to remove the restrictions around sexual health discussions, especially with a populace that is expected to talk less openly about matters of sex, said Dr. Patrice Douglas, Leader of the SRHR Adventures.
The Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Adventures, fondly known as SRHR Adventures, is a local volunteer group that aims to promote issues relating to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), with a special focus on family planning and contraception in Guyana. The guest speaker for the event was Ms. Elsie Harry. At the same time, several female doctors and other ladies actively participated in the evening’s happenings.
SIPPING ON WINE
Last weekend the SRHR Adventures hosted a fun and interactive women’s event captioned ‘Le Plaisir – An evening of wine and sexual health conversations’ at the St. Sidwell’s Parish in Georgetown. Thirty-two women attended this event and happily mingled with each other while sipping on wine and candidly being engaged in discussions on matters of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) such as family planning, orgasms and the importance of the clitoris in a safe and non-discriminatory environment.
The Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association and Nigel’s Supermarket were singled out for making special contributions, which served to make the event the success it was.
A COMMUNITY SPIRIT AMONG WOMEN
This event was hosted with the aim of fostering a spirit of community among women, while having an open discourse
on female’s sexual and reproductive health (SRH).
Specific objectives of the event were to raise awareness on the importance of the clitoris and its relationship with female orgasms; to discuss family planning and contraception; to assert the critical role pap smears play in the early detection of cervical cancer; and also to empower women through conversations on health issues, especially as it relates to their reproductive health, as well as their health in a more general manner.
This sexual health discussion, therefore, provided a safe space for women to speak openly without fear of being judged. It also presented the opportunity for women to be able to dismantle many of the myths around sexual reproductive and other health issues.
EVENING WITH A “BANG”
The event-planners described the evening as a pleasurable one that started with a bang. “There were amazing door prizes and ice-breakers that created the perfect atmosphere of sharing amongst the women. Empowering speeches and amazing facts were then followed that stirred questions to which answers were given in the gathering,” Dr. Douglas informed.
She said that as it simmered down to closing time the ladies were empowered with positive affirmations, not only about themselves but for each other with love being evident across the room as hugs and warm smiles were shared.
Meanwhile, the SRHR Adventures team expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association and Nigel’s Supermarket for making special contributions, which served to make the event the success it was. Special thanks have also been extended to Rafiki’s Cake House for the delicious cupcakes they provided.
Dr. Douglas said that she would also like to thank the volunteers of SRHR Adventures and the beautiful ladies that came out to support the event.