Boys Need To Be A Part Of The Conversation On Bodily Autonomy And Sexual Rights

It has been generally observed that our development paradigm is marked by patriarchal control and a focus on awareness aimed at women in every domain. That is quite a strange set-up within our social model, but that is the truth.

Whenever we talk of sexual crimes, so we tend to offer a list of ‘do’s’ and ‘don’t’s’ to our girls and women, but we still tend to ignore the role of young boys and men in all this. And, on the other side, we do not let women develop to their highest potential.

Wow, this is an upside-world.

Well, if we want to decrease the rate of sexual crimes and arrest its growth, then we need to think about men, especially adolescent boys. Do we stop and think what a 12-year old boy might think of when he is made aware of increasing instances of rape? It’s true that girls get scared when they hear of such heinous crimes, but what about boys?

Is every boy a perpetual criminal or a potential sexual offender? The answer is NO. And, those who turn out to be on the wrong side of the law are the ones who lack this basic sexual education and concept of bodily rights. In such times, we make it worse by just focusing on women’s education and ignoring the men.

Therefore to initiate a conversation around boy’s sexual rights and make them aware of their bodily changes during puberty, Aim To Sustain Foundation, a non-governmental organization based in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, was founded.

Three remarkable individuals from Lucknow University, who are currently pursuing their Masters in Social Work, believed that if adolescent boys could be educated about sex and bodily rights, we might be able to provide a safe space for our society.

The organization is of the opinion that any kind of development cannot be successful if it tends to leave half of the population behind. Just like the fact that economic progress is a fool’s paradise without the participation of the women workforce, the same way, a safe society will only be a reality if boys and men are given proper education about this too.

Therefore, the organization has embarked on an interesting and significant journey of educating adolescents (with a primary focus on boys) about Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).

About the author: Himanshu Dubey is the Founder and Director of the organization.

Featured image provided by the author.
Similar Posts

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below