It was a lively session at the National Press Centre, Garki, Abuja, yesterday, Monday 22, August 2022, when members of the Deaf Women Association of Nigeria (DWAN) were treated to an eye opening lecture on the subject of Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).
The event was a vital part of activities organized to mark the Association’s Annual General Meeting themed: “Breaking the Bias: Ending The Exclusion of Women to Accessible Services”.
The highly interactive lecture was delivered by Dr. Bunmi Lawal of March Care Initiative.
Dr. Lawal did an incisive exposition on the subject that got the largely women audience yearning for more.
In the lecture titled: “SRHR And Universal Health Coverage”, the respected medical practitioner began with an emphasis on the core place of SRHR in the Universal Health Plan (UHC) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
From there, she left no stone unturned in enlightening the deaf women on meaning and importance of the term “SRHR”. Each component word was carefully analyzing.
In her words: “The concept of SRHR implies the right to a satisfactory and safe sexual life, the right to reproduce, and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to so by a woman. Furthermore, the woman shall be assisted to access those rights and have access to information on the subject”.
According to Dr Lawal, these rights are inalienable and without discrimination on grounds of Disability or whatever.
She charged her listeners to know their rights and make concerted efforts to ensure these rights are not denied.
While admitting that deafness poses a barrier to accessing information, she however insisted there are ways to bridge the gap.
Citing SDG 3, she expounded on her topic – challenging her audience with the information that their right to Sexual and Reproductive Health is recognized on a global scale by renowned organizations like the World Health Organization, United Nations, etc.
Dr. Lawal made the lecture highly engaging by involving the audience in questions and answers time from which helpful insights were elicited on various problems faced by these women on the subject of accessing SRHR.
Recommendations were made on the way forward, some of which included proactive measures to get informed, strong collaborations, advocacy, proactive and sustained measures to get the Government involved, etc.
The lecture ended on a high note with the participants better equipped to stand and push for their health and reproductive rights.