3. GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

Teen pregnancy plateaued, abortion through the roof: UK sexual health in 2023 – Population Matters

Teen pregnancy plateaued, abortion through the roof: UK sexual health in 2023 – Population Matters
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Teen pregnancy plateaued, abortion through the roof: UK sexual …  Population Matters

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Sustainable Development Goals and Education: A Report

Introduction

Rebecca Foljambe is an NHS GP with an extra qualification in family planning, and founder of the charity You Before Two that promotes and delivers accredited Relationships and Sex Education to secondary school aged boys and girls. In July, she gave a powerful presentation at Population Matters’ World Population Day webinar on education. To mark UK Sexual Health Week, here is an edited transcript of what she said, which includes some eye-opening and shocking insights into the situation in the UK.

Background

Rebecca Foljambe started her journey as a GP in the Midlands. One day a week, she visited a school with over 3000 children and was presented with a list of over 200 girls deemed “at risk.” She worked with a group of girls, providing them with information and empowering them to take care of their relationships and sexual health. Over the course of a few years, she worked with over 100 girls, leading to the establishment of the charity You Before Two in 2019.

Workshops and Education

You Before Two aims to reach more young people through workshops and online resources, particularly in deprived areas where children are at higher risk. Education plays a crucial role in addressing the issues surrounding sexual health and relationships. Structured education provides a safe space for teenagers to ask questions, explore scenarios, and seek help when needed. It is essential for young people to know where they can access sexual health care and contraception.

Teenage Pregnancy and Sexual Violence

The UK has seen a plateau in teenage pregnancy rates, but there are still significant numbers of pregnancies in deprived areas. Teenage abortions have also increased, indicating a lack of access to contraception and education. Sexual violence and gender-based violence are pressing issues, with an increase in child sexual exploitation crimes in recent years. The COVID-19 lockdowns have exacerbated the problem, with a spike in coercion and exploitation online. It is estimated that at least one in 20 children in the UK have been sexually assaulted.

STIs and Access to Sexual Health Services

Gonorrhoea and syphilis cases have dramatically increased in the UK. Access to sexual health clinics has been hindered by COVID-19 restrictions, funding cuts, and the decommissioning of sexual health services. These barriers prevent young people from seeking the necessary care and education.

The Importance of Education

You Before Two believes that education is the key to overcoming these barriers. It provides young people with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about their sexual health. Without education, progress towards achieving other Sustainable Development Goals will be hindered.

About Rebecca Foljambe

Teen pregnancy plateaued, abortion through the roof: UK sexual health in 2023 – Population Matters

Rebecca Foljambe

In addition to her work as a GP and educator, Rebecca is also vice-chair of the board of Population Matters. Learn more about You Before Two.

Conclusion

Educating young people about relationships and sexual health is crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The UK faces challenges in access to sexual health services, high rates of teenage pregnancies and abortions, and increasing cases of sexual violence. By providing structured education and resources, organizations like You Before Two aim to empower young people and address these issues. Education is the magic bullet that can lead to positive change and better outcomes for young people in the UK.

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SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

  1. SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being
    • Target 3.7: By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programs
      • Indicator 3.7.1: Proportion of women of reproductive age (aged 15-49 years) who have their need for family planning satisfied with modern methods
      • Indicator 3.7.2: Adolescent birth rate (aged 10-14 years; aged 15-19 years) per 1,000 women in that age group
  2. SDG 4: Quality Education
    • Target 4.7: By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
      • Indicator 4.7.1: Extent to which (i) global citizenship education and (ii) education for sustainable development are mainstreamed in (a) national education policies; (b) curricula; (c) teacher education; and (d) student assessment
      • Indicator 4.7.2: Proportion of schools with access to (a) electricity; (b) the Internet for pedagogical purposes; (c) computers for pedagogical purposes; (d) adapted infrastructure and materials for students with disabilities; (e) basic drinking water; (f) single-sex basic sanitation facilities; and (g) basic handwashing facilities (as per the WASH indicator definitions)
  3. SDG 5: Gender Equality
    • Target 5.2: Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation
      • Indicator 5.2.1: Proportion of ever-partnered women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to physical, sexual, or psychological violence by a current or former intimate partner in the previous 12 months, by form of violence and by age group
      • Indicator 5.2.2: Proportion of women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to sexual violence by persons other than an intimate partner in the previous 12 months, by age group and place of occurrence

Explanation

The article addresses several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their corresponding targets:

  1. The article addresses SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being, specifically target 3.7, which aims to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including family planning, information, and education. The article discusses the need for education on sexual health, contraception, and healthy relationships among young people in the UK.
  2. The article also relates to SDG 4: Quality Education, particularly target 4.7, which focuses on providing learners with the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development. The article emphasizes the importance of structured education in a safe space to help young people think about and navigate issues related to relationships and sexual health.
  3. Furthermore, the article touches on SDG 5: Gender Equality, specifically target 5.2, which aims to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. The article highlights the prevalence of sexual violence, exploitation, and gender-based violence among young people in the UK.

The article mentions several indicators that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets:

  • Indicator 3.7.1: Proportion of women of reproductive age (aged 15-49 years) who have their need for family planning satisfied with modern methods. This indicator can measure the accessibility and availability of contraception and family planning services for women.
  • Indicator 3.7.2: Adolescent birth rate (aged 10-14 years; aged 15-19 years) per 1,000 women in that age group. This indicator can measure the prevalence of teenage pregnancies and the effectiveness of sexual health education and access to contraception among adolescents.
  • Indicator 4.7.1: Extent to which (i) global citizenship education and (ii) education for sustainable development are mainstreamed in (a) national education policies; (b) curricula; (c) teacher education; and (d) student assessment. This indicator can assess the integration of education for sustainable development and global citizenship in national education systems.
  • Indicator 4.7.2: Proportion of schools with access to various facilities, including electricity, internet, computers, adapted infrastructure for students with disabilities, drinking water, sanitation facilities, and handwashing facilities. This indicator can measure the availability of resources and infrastructure necessary for quality education.
  • Indicator 5.2.1: Proportion of ever-partnered women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to physical, sexual, or psychological violence by a current or former intimate partner in the previous 12 months, by form of violence and by age group. This indicator can measure the prevalence of intimate partner violence against women and girls.
  • Indicator 5.2.2: Proportion of women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to sexual violence by persons other than an intimate partner in the previous 12 months, by age group and place of occurrence. This indicator can measure the prevalence of sexual violence against women and girls by individuals other than intimate partners.

Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being Target 3.7: By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programs Indicator 3.7.1: Proportion of women of reproductive age (aged 15-49 years) who have their need for family planning satisfied with

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Source: populationmatters.org

 

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