Having the talk - the role of parents in SRHR education
To strengthen its school based sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) education programme, Project Safidy has undertaken research with parents and other household influencers who impact young people’s capacity to exercise their SRHR.
International research shows that despite advances in technology and student SRHR education, parents remain the key informants of SRHR information for their children. Nevertheless, parents are often overlooked by researchers and development programmes. Data collected by Project Safidy highlighted the anxiety that parents face regarding the SHRH of their children:
Parents are facing difficulties due to globalisation, internet; because these things make kids do stupid things. Young people of 10 years old already see sex pictures or porn on Facebook or from other websites. They will try imitate what they see. Someone might be flirting with them by their phones. Parents struggle to educate their children due to the evolution of technologyParent’s association member, Ambovombe
Furthermore, parents reported taboo prevented them from discussing sensitive topics with their sons and daughters:
The issue is bad tradition - like taboo. Therefore, parents don’t dare to talk about sex with their children just because that is taboo. Parents are embarrassed to talk about it to their children, and also sometimes children are afraid of their parents and hide their intimate life to their parentsFocus group participant, Manambaro
Participants across the sites were supportive of an SRHR education programme targeting parents, explaining that lack of knowledge currently prevented important conversations:
There are parents that don’t know anything about sexual education. They don’t have the knowledge and don’t know about it. They are not able to control even how they get their pregnancy. And there are some cases where children ask their parent and their answers are not the right ones.High school director, Antananarivo