The BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health's (JPGSPH) “Gender and Sexual and Reproductive Health Conference 2018 For Young Adults” took place at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, Dhaka, Bangladesh from January 30-31, 2018. This conference was organised under the Centre of Excellence for Gender, Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (CGSRHR) at JPGSPH funded by NUFFIC.
In a rapidly changing, modernising Bangladesh, young people face constant emotional and mental challenges to their personal well-being, access to information and choices regarding their bodies, particularly, as they relate to gender identity, sexual and reproductive health.
Dr. Annie Vestjens, First Secretary, Gender and SRHR, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands attended as special guest on the first day of the conference. The Dean and Professor of BRAC JPGSPH School, Dr. Sabina Rashid opened the conference, emphasising the need for researchers and programme implementers to understand and address the changing SRHR needs for young people in these changing urban spaces.
The audience was primarily 650 university students from several public and private universities and selected guests from the practitioners' community. The panel discussions were by experts in the field of SRHR from eight countries including Bangladesh, India, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
Jeroen Steeghs, Head of Development Cooperation, Charge d' Affaires, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands gave the opening remarks on the second day. Three consecutive panel discussions were held. The interactive panels of the second day of the conference included sharing experiences of young people regarding sexuality and relationships, the gendered social norms and expectations and importance of developing life-skills of adolescents, censorship in SRHR education, and understandings of informed consent and choice.