Working in partnership with The Case for Her and The Pleasure Project, eight grassroots AmplifyChange grantees received dedicated funding to integrate pleasure-based approaches into their projects.
Pleasure is a key tool in ensuring that all individuals can access their full sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), prioritising joy, safety and consent.
Pleasure is recognised as a key component of sexual health and wellbeing and evidence shows that embracing pleasure-based, sex-positive approaches contributes to positive outcomes for SRHR services and programming.
Despite this, many SRHR programmes, such as those addressing unintended pregnancy, sexuality education, HIV and STIs, still focus on fear-based approaches for behaviour change.
Embracing pleasure, embracing change
To change the narrative and improve SRHR programming, we believe that more opportunities should be offered to civil society organisations to include pleasure-based approaches in their work. That’s why we are proud to be early adopters of the Pleasure Principles, partnering with The Pleasure Project and The Case for Her to offer training and top-up funding to grantees.
The participating organisations are receiving additional technical support and training around effective pleasure-inclusive sexual health approaches from The Pleasure Project. They will monitor how activities that use pleasure and sex-positive approaches can contribute to successful SRHR interventions across different communities and thematic areas.
The technical support was designed in collaboration with all eight organisations, who shared their ambition to explore critical areas of their pleasure work in more detail. The projects span across Sub-Saharan Africa and India, enabling diverse populations to improve their access to sex-positive SRHR.
To support the organisations in implementing their work, the training included a series of webinars covering topics and concepts such as:
The organisations are also receiving individual technical support from The Pleasure Project and AmplifyChange.
In the coming months, we will share progress updates about the impact of pleasure-inclusive approaches on the organisations’ SRHR advocacy with the wider community.
Sesotho Media & Development (SM&D)
SM&D uses film as a tool to support marginalised and vulnerable groups with information in order for them to lead change processes in their communities. Through their AmplifyChange project, SM&D has been specifically engaging youth. Through this top-up funding they will create safe spaces for peer-to-peer open-discussions around consensual, pleasurable safe sex for prevention of HIV and unplanned pregnancies using film and participatory approaches.
Young and Alive Initiative
Young and Alive Initiative is a Tanzanian youth-led non-profit organisation whose mission is to actively engage and empower young people, women and vulnerable populations to improve access to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. They adopt different strategies and approaches in their work such as innovation, information technology, and advocacy capacity building.
Young and Alive Initiative will work with youth champions to develop a Swahili module for sexual pleasure and its implications to safe sexual practice as part of their youth training programme. This will accompany a series of round table discussions and dissemination activities.
Women’s Health and Equal Rights Association – Rwanda
Women’s Health and Equal Right Association – Rwanda (WHERAR) is an emerging women’s human rights group that provides information and services to women experiencing human rights violations. Their aims are to promote women’s rights towards sexual and reproductive health and empower women and girls in Rwanda, mainly those living in the Gisagara district in the Southern Province of Rwanda, to become self-confident in making healthy choices. WHERAR will integrate pleasure-inclusive sexual health through open and participatory dialogues with out-of-school girls and young women. They will integrate pleasure-inclusive sexual health topics in training, radio and TV talk shows and other communication materials.
South India AIDS Action Programme (SIAAP)
SIAAP’s mission is to promote vibrant communities by supporting sexual and mental health and well-being, safety and informed consent, and employability preparedness among adolescents and young people.
Their project aims to build leadership for SRHR among sex workers and to advocate at state level for the acceptance of their sex worker-sensitive SRHR service guidelines. SIAAP will integrate pleasure into their SRH knowledge, attitude, skill and perspective building curriculum to build the capacities of sex workers contacted by peer leaders.
Groupe de volontaires pour la promotion de la maternité sans risques (GVP-MASAR) – RDC
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
Groupe de volontaires pour la promotion de la maternité sans risques (GVP-MASAR) are a CSO based in South Kivu, DRC, who work to contribute to the reduction of maternal, neonatal and infant mortality rates and defend and promote the right to sexual and reproductive health.
As part of their project working with midwives as advocates for improved access to safe and legal abortion and post-abortion care services, GVP-MASAR will integrate sex-positive approaches into outreach and trainings conducted with midwives about comprehensive standards and guidelines for abortion care and other reproductive health care.
Haguruka is a Rwandan non-governmental organisation whose mission is to promote and defend the rights of women and children. Haguruka will incorporate the pleasure perspective into their work on Comprehensive Sexuality Education for young adolescents in faith-based school settings in Rwanda. The project will develop a Haguruka pleasure SRHR training manual and select teachers from the schools they are already working with to be pleasure champions to facilitate dialogues with in-school adolescents and youth.
Encadrement des femmes indigènes et des ménages vulnérables (EFIM)
Democratic Republic of the Congo
EFIM and their partners advocate for the promotion of Batwa women’s rights and the rights of the vulnerable, to ensure the mobilisation of the population around the improvement of their socio-cultural, political, economic and health conditions. Their project involves young people and parents, educating them about responsible and safe sexuality using a pleasure-based approach to break the myths and taboos that prevent parents from talking to young people about sexual and reproductive health.
Transgender Equality Uganda
Transgender Equality Uganda (TEU) advocates for the SRHR of trans women through working together with other CSOs to challenge laws that affect the LBTQI community. TEU are conducting focus group discussions with groups of trans women about their pleasure and sexuality, which will inform outreach campaigns with healthcare providers to better serve trans women and reduce stigma in healthcare.
‘Sex education needs to include pleasure’, Launch of The Pleasure Principles: a guide to pleasure-based sexual health. Read the press release from The Pleasure Project.