I know that men may not like this but I have to say this. The reason why we are having a conflation around services and sex is because there have been studies that have been made. For men apparently they think about sex 19 times a day. So, when you talk about services, automatically their mind goes to sex. Can we stop this? It is not about sex but services. Women actually think about it but half the times that you men talk about it.
The second issue around this debate is that this is a class issue. It is not just a class issue in terms of those that go to Europe. It is a class issue internally here and this is why the elite cannot understand where we are coming from because a child that is coming from a rich family has a medical aid, family doctor, personal pharmacist and when they want these things, they do not have to go through their parents. There are avenues for them to do this. The child that we are talking about is the child who is sitting in Epworth who does not even have a parent or guardian. We know what HIV/AIDS has done to this country. We know that we have so many child headed households. These are some of the children that we are talking about. You cannot talk about guardianship with a child who is a child themselves but is looking after another child in that particular home.
There were some Hon Members who were talking about the need to allow for a section of those people to have access. Legally how do they do it? Are they then supposed to go with death certificates that they do not have to prove that our father and mother died therefore I am a child headed child and I want this child to get services. The issue is that let us allow for access in general because we understand that we are living in a society that is unequal. Like I said, for those that are coming from rich families if they get pregnant, they will walk into a place and get a termination. We know that is what they are doing. For this child that cannot go to a private doctor and get a termination, they are reduced to doing the kind of things that my colleagues were talking about.
The long and short of it is that this is a gender conversation and this is why when men were coming here, we were quick to say to them can you stop abusing us because for men, sex is about pleasure and not responsibility. For women and young people, any sexual act gives some kind of responsibility. That is where we are different between ourselves as women and men. This is why you find that for most women that are standing up here, they are passionate about it because it affects our daily lives. That is what we have always known from the first day that I became a girl and started menstruating and having period pains; I understood that I needed services. If you are going to tell me that I cannot go into hospital and tell them that I am suffering from dysmenorrhoea because I cannot talk to my dad and tell them that every other month I suffer in such a way that I cannot go to school, then you are not being a nation. This is why I said let us broaden the conversation around SRHR to go beyond just sex.
One of the problems that we are having here is the assumption that SRHR means that Doctor Labode is going to be standing in the street and giving tablets or condoms. Nobody is saying that. We are saying create a nice environment so that a proper conversation can take place with a child who probably has not had sex but is thinking about having sex. In your mind, you are saying even that child who just wants a conversation who if they were to sit with an adult, would be told about the dangers of not having sex. You are sitting here and you genuinely want to tell us that you want to stop that conversation from taking place.
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