On Valentine’s Day the UK Department for International Development (DFID) launched a photo exhibition on sexuality and development put together by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). Check the photos here on the IDS website.
DFID’s Permanent Secretary, Nemat Shafik, Professor Lawrence Haddad (IDS) and Carla Sutherland (from Arcus Foundation) spoke on the importance of sexuality for development and DFID’s aims. Watch the video here .
Key messages were that sex and sexuality are important in all of our lives, including poor people, whose poverty means they cannot choose supportive or non violent relationships. Young women are married against their wishes and men cannot afford dowries . Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are excluded from health services and therefore exposed to greater risks of ill health. More women die during child birth or people die of AIDS because sexuality is an under researched and taboo topic . DFID’s commitment to improved family planning and reduce maternal deaths requires a deep understanding of sexuality.
Lawrence Haddad, one of the key voices on international development ( and an uber blogger) spoke and then blogged about sexuality and development . Lawrence urges us all to “get beyond the giggles” when we work on sexuality and poverty reduction to see how critical it is to “mainstream” development issues – why girls drop out of school or how toimprove family planning and reduce maternal deaths. He even gives little old us here (at The Pleasure Project) a special mention – as an organisation that works to use positive attitudes such as romance to encourage safe behaviour .
Three Cheers for DFID and IDS and a lifetime pleasure propagandist award for Professor Haddad from us at The Pleasure Project.
It’s in the post Lawrence.