LifeLine launches (HAYAT) mass awareness campaign on reproductive health rights

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LifeLine launches (HAYAT) mass awareness
campaign on reproductive health rights

KARACHI: Lack of reliable information is shaping behavior and practices of majority of the youth who had no skills and confidence to turn knowledge into decision-making. Only twenty nine per cent girls and forty one per cent boys have access to correct information about puberty and hygiene in Pakistan. To tackle and address this problem Lifeline has launched a programme (HAYAT) which will be run in nine districts of five major cities of Pakistan. This was announced by Mr. Omer Aftab, Chief Executive of LifeLine while addressing a press conference at Karachi on December 7, 2012 to formally launch this campaign.
Giving details of this Programme Mr. Omar said that work was going on this project since two years to finalize campaign concept and other modalities. Youth will be focused in this campaign which would disseminate messages through TV, radio, community theatres, outdoor and musical events and that will focus on relevant messages for youth.Our religion also discussed adulthood through Quran and Sunnah to teach right practices a large number of religious scholars from three sects had been consulted to have their opinion from religious aspects on these issues.
Head of Jamia Naeemiya Maulana Raghib Hussain Naeemi in his message for this campaign has stressed the importance of right guidance for adolescents. Lack of proper guidance could lead the children to choose wrong company and could fall in bad habits.Lamenting the fact that there was no serious effort to sensitize one hundred million youth on these issues, Mr. Omer Aftab acknowledged that taking care of the emotional, psychological and health aspects of growing up children was not difficult but little was done in Pakistan, where despite media emancipation, the issue remained a taboo for wider section of society.
Talking about the attitude of parents, Mr. Aftab said that many parents for various reasons never discussed the issues relating to psychological and physiological problems. He said the project also targets the caretakers (parents and teachers) and motivates them to discuss these issues with their children and students without any inhibition so that youth might not indulge in self exploration of information out of their natural urge.The emotional and physical changes taking place during adolescence play an important role in forming the personality traits of the youth as the remaining years of life merely become reflection of those traits, he added.Underlining the importance of acquiring proper information and guidance on the subject, he feared that absence of proper information and guidance or reluctance to share such information may lead to self-deduced and half-baked facts that may develop certain fallacies, far from reality and may in some cases, lead to exploitation.
Dispelling the false impressions he pointed out that our religion does not forbid us from discussing or imparting proper guidance to the children on these sensitive issues.The issue should not be labeled as socially proscribed topic and parents especially in middle and lower middle classes should discuss these issues with their children.One of the most sensitive issues confronting the country,Mr. Omer said was that unfortunately most couples were either ignorant of the importance of birth-spacing or they had a careless attitude towards it. While sharing the statistics on contraception, he told that only 4 per cent of married girls of 15 to 19 years of age use contraceptives and this figure increases to eleven per cent in the age group 20 to 24 years. Islam encourages at least two years of birth spacing by assigning mother, the duty of breast-feeding.International organizations were now advocating an even longer than two years birth interval to protect the health of mothers and babies, he added.
Mr. Omer Aftab deplored the general attitude of society towards womenfolk and opined that the constitution of Pakistan had both laws for women protection and empowerment as well as against sexual harassment at workplaces. Women are mothers, wives, sisters and daughters and it was our collective responsibility to stop violence against women by raising voice. He quoted Mufti Naeem of Jamaia Binoria Al-Aalamia, who had said that Quran commanded husbands to treat their wives well and to perform their duties towards women and it is forbidden to treat them badly.