Acknowledge Gender Differences
Guiding Principle for Good Youth Reproductive Health Policy
Policies should recognize that boys and girls may have different reproductive health needs and thus require different program strategies. At the same time, it is important for policies to recognize that differential treatment for boys and girls-specifically barring access to girls-can be an important barrier to YRH care. Many field staff act on underlying biases that limit girls' access to care. In Jamaica, for example, health workers are much more likely to give condoms to boys than to girls. In theory, most policies could incorporate this guiding principle fairly easily. Recognition of gender differences in programming, although not universal, is accepted by most who work with young people.
Working with Young Men to Promote Sexual and Reproductive Health. A publication of the DFID Safe Passages to Adulthood Program.
In Their Own Right: Addressing the Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Men Worldwide. A comprehensive report from the Alan Guttmacher Institute
Involving Men in Sexual and Reproductive Health: An Orientation Guide. A practical guide from the Inter-Agency Gender Working Group.
Q. Is acknowledging gender differences the same as promoting gender equity?
Not necessarily. A policy that advocates for separate programs for boys and girls may do so out of a desire to be more effective rather than as a way to promote gender equity.