Culturally congruent sexuality education for Namibia

OUTPUT TYPE: Policy briefs
TITLE AUTHOR(S): O.Bialostocka
DEPARTMENT: African Institute of South Africa (AISA)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9709

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Sexuality education (SE) at schools has been designed to equip young people with information on values and norms that will enable them to resist becoming sexually active before they are physically and emotionally ready, and to teach them relationship communication and decisionmaking skills so they can become responsible, sexually healthy adults. With the spread of HIV and AIDS, however, the purpose of SE has increasingly become preoccupied with ways in which young people can get infected with the virus and the methods of preventing it. And while the HIV and AIDS epidemic does not choose its ???victims??? based on their cultural background, it should be understood that sexuality and health education cannot be delivered in a vacuum if it is to be effective. It needs to be located within the broader sociocultural context of the population that it addresses. Taking into account culturally constructed behaviours and values that guide people???s lives while designing responses to HIV infection and AIDS will make these initiatives more attuned to the needs of and challenges faced by the individuals in risk groups. This policy brief looks at SE at schools in Namibia through the lens of the country???s multicultural context. Using secondary data and published literature on the topic, it examines the degree to which the SE programme and its implementation have been culturally relevant in order to recommend ways to adapt them to the local realities experienced by the youth in the country