7° International Dialogue su Population e Sustainable Development

"Alle donne non è sempre permesso di fare quello che vorrebbero". Il settimo International Dialogue guarda alle opportunità e ai deficit di parità sessuale e di autodeterminazione.
Il settimo International Dialogue su Popolazione eSviluppo sostenibile di Berlino è iniziato con un programma di alto profilo. Esperti provenienti da diversi Paesi, tra cui il Ministro delle Pari Opportunità del Kenia Esther Murugi Mathenge, hanno parlato del tema "Tra libertà e oppressione: genere sessuale e sessualità nel ventunesimo secolo".
Oltre al diritto di autodeterminazione sessuale e dell'integrità fisica, i partecipanti hanno anceh discusso del bisogno di preservare le peculiarità culturale nei progetti di sviluppo sostenibile della salute.


Cancellare i pregiudizi culturali è essenziale per un lavoro di sviluppo coronato da successo

Klauss Brill, Direttore delle Relazioni Commerciali di Bayer Schering Pharma, ha spiegato il significato dell'accesso globale per uomini e donne all'educazione sessuale e alla contraccezione. Allo stesso tempo, è necessario che cresca la consapevolezza riguardo la necessità di superare i pregiudizi culturali. Secondo Brill, un quarto delle morti materne al mondo potrebbe essere previsto grazie e pratiche mediche appropriate. Anche oggi, tuttavia, molti uomini e donne non hanno del tutto accesso alla contraccezione.

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In her welcoming address, Claudia Radeke, First Vice President East and West Africa, KfW Entwicklungsbank, drew attention to the reservations still held by African governments. High-ranking partners in particular still react with allegations of "neocolonialism" and demand that others refrain from "interfering in their internal affairs". This attitude is regrettable, said Radeke, and does not help those affected.

Sybille Pfeiffer (CDU), Member of the German Parliament and Deputy Chairwoman of the Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development, was able to report other experiences, however. The times of "German development aid with a raised forefinger" are over, she said. All parties now meet on equal terms. Nowadays, young Germans train indigenous people of their own age in Africa, who then go on to educate others in turn. The greatest obstacle on the road to sexual self-determination for women in particular, said Pfeiffer, remains the fact that "women are often not allowed to do what they want." All projects managed by women are successful, however, she added.

Strengthening of women’s sexual self-determination

Kenya's Minister for Equality Esther Murugi Mathenge agreed. Women must first be strengthened economically before they can reach a position where they can assert themselves in terms of sexual matters vis-à-vis men, for example demanding that condoms be used. Unfortunately, it is difficult to publicly sell condoms in Kenya. People do not wish to be seen purchasing condoms, nor do they want to talk about sex. Sexual education in the family is correspondingly poor. Following the break-up of classic family structures with on the whole large families, this is a particularly serious development. At the same time, the influence of the Catholic Church is particularly strong in Kenya. Its attitude remains "abstinence instead of condoms".

Crucial task: Facilitate access to information

Douglas Mendoza Urrutia from the Nicaraguan foundation Puntos de Encuentro believes that access to different sources of information could be part of the solution to the problem in his home country. There is a real "hunger for information" in Nicaragua, he said, especially in regard to the topics of contraception and protection against HIV/AIDS. However, in rural areas in particular, women have little opportunity to obtain information. This also applies to schools and proactive women's movements as a result of the dominating role of the Catholic Church. Equality for men and women was recently blocked in parliament, he added. The entire civil society in Nicaragua will have to change before this situation can be rectified, he believes.

Friederike von Kirchbach, Provost of the German Protestant Church Berlin-Brandenburg and schlesische Oberlausitz, countered criticism of the role played by the church, stating that the best information on the topic of AIDS she herself had received came from Catholic nuns from Berlin. Sibylle Pfeiffer also reported on the positive influence of Catholic nuns in the daily social work in the field of AIDS support in Africa. More important for her is to overcome the difficulties in making contact with women in some regions. In these cultural circles, women are not even regarded as suitable contacts in the first place. It is then necessary to communicate via the man, thus defeating the point.

In her closing speech, Hedwig Petry, Director of the German technical development agency GTZ, said that cultural reservations in particular in regard to the topic of sexual education can only be overcome by talks between the partners in the various countries.

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