Today it is Valentines Day. A day we celebrate love and relationships. Within this celebration we feel free to love who we want. Unfortunately, this is not everywhere the case. For instance in modern Indonesia many marriages come from free will, but too many are not.
If a love relationship ends in a pregnancy before marriage the couple is obliged to marry. Having a child without being married is not accepted. There is even a special acronym: MBA, Marriage Because of Accident. This leads to high prevalence of forced marriages and even unsafe abortions.
In most parts of Indonesia sexuality is a taboo topic, schools never teach anything about sexuality and there is no access on contraception when you are not married. Also parent do not educate their children.
The free choice to love seems limited to hetrosexual relationships. When you are gay, your situation is even more complicated. You can be discriminated and shamed by your family, denied access to basic health services and even risk imprisonment or public torturing.
GUSO is breaking the taboo
GUSO is a program that empowers young people to speak about their sexual reproductive health and rights in amongst others; Indonesia, Pakistan, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Ethiopia.
GUSO is a gift, an opportunity to make a small step for big changes. The comprehensive sexuality education provides access to breaking taboos and myths. Youth friendly services provide support to the consequences of unsafe sex. The Program provides opportunities to get up and speak out, not only for your rights, but also for who you are and who you choose to love.
We all wish to freely be who we are and love the ones we choose to love.