BY ATIENO OLANG
Sexual and reproductive health and rights, though profoundly conceptually relevant to all Kenyans, are often practically irrelevant to their day to day lives largely because the barriers experienced when accessing quality reproductive health services at health facilities.
There are several limitations faced by young women and sexual minorities in realizing the full potential of reproductive health care. Some of these limitations are due to the nature of socialization and cultural or cultural expectations of men and women.
It is evident that there are gaps in access to contraception, safe abortion and access to comprehensive information on sexual reproductive health rights among young people and other marginalized communities.
According to WHO (2021), 41.8% of women admit to being battered by their husbands as a form of discipline. This is seemingly disturbing, as victims of Intimate partner violence are bound to subordinate sexual reproductive health care for material needs of their children and their families as a push from economic factors.
Further, in health facilities lesbian women tend to receive little to no counseling session when accessing Sexual reproductive health commodities like condoms or STD related visits in comparison to heterosexual women.
More work is needed to understand the inhibitors of sexual reproductive health services for sexual minorities. Access to information on reproductive health care is very important nevertheless, the spaces created for young women and LGBTQ to get the information or comprehensive sexuality education on reproductive health care ought to be as safe as possible.
Sexual minorities and young women continue to face violence particularly intimate partner violence due to the lack of free spaces -Safe from discriminatory language for information seeking.
The risk of Intimate partner violence has been attributed to the failure of one to understand their right to report sexual harassment and the legal frameworks available on protection against domestic violence/ SGBV Policies. More awareness ought to be created around information on sexual reproductive health whilst available laws and regulations reviewed to ensure different intersections are covered in the frameworks.
In the spirit of leaving no one behind, equal health care means prioritizing the needs of vulnerable groupings in provision of reproductive health care, disability / social inclusion in comprehensive sexuality education, Justice for violations and atrocities against individuals.