Safe and consensual sex: are women empowered enough to negotiate?

Mubasher Saeed, Rahnuma - Family Planning Association of Pakistan

Pakistan is a society struggling for women’s rights and empowerment over decades now. Nevertheless, discourse on mainstreaming gender equality and women's socio-economic empowerment often neglect the 'sexual' aspect, which is crucial to sustainable development. A small-scale research project was initiated in which married women of Lahore city were addressed. The aim of this pilot project was to analyze empowerment of women from the perspective of sexuality. The study used both qualitative and quantitative analysis. A group of 30 women were selected and a base-line information survey was conducted. The women were trained on sex negotiation through workshops. The study highlighted empowerment of women in the light of their sexual lives, in a society that suppresses the needs and desires in the name of culture and traditions. Qualitative data reflected on suggestions to catalyze women empowerment in terms of ensuring safe and consensual sex.

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Presented in Session 111: Safer sex, HIV/AIDS and contraception: the place of condoms