Here I am, until you decide!

By María Longo  

Comprehensive sexuality education contributes to the prevention of pregnancies in girls and adolescents, is useful to identify aggressions and denounce them, strengthens self-esteem and independence, helps to build a life project, among other benefits. Despite this, access is limited in Guatemala, a reality that motivated the BeRadFem Xela collective to create an information booklet on comprehensive sexual education and contraceptive methods with a feminist approach. 

The name of the booklet, ¡Aquí estoy, hasta que tú decidas! (translatable as ‘Here I am, until you decide!’), was born as a message from a friend to a friend. It is a form of support for decision making: the beginning of sexual life, the use of a contraceptive method, the abandonment of a toxic relationship. 

The idea of the members of the collective is that the document is transferred from friend to friend as a note to solve moments of doubt or curiosity. So that those who read it feel accompanied and know that they are not alone, that other women have faced similar situations.   

The booklet explains what comprehensive sexuality education is and its components: biological sex and gender, sexual and reproductive health, pleasure, citizenship and sexuality, violence, diversity, relationships, among others. 

To orient women and men about contraceptive methods, it includes a guide that informs about the functioning, advantages and disadvantages of 14 contraceptive methods. In this section it also exposes how the negative view towards those who use these methods, indifferent attitudes, gender stereotypes and the normalization of sexual violence, contribute to the fact that there are still so many teenage pregnancies despite contraceptive options.

To explain sexual diversity, the collective does so through a sexuality cookie hat includes a recipe booklet with information on gender expression, gender identity, biological sex and sexual orientation.

The booklet is available in two versions: digital and printed; it is free and is aimed at young women and men, adolescents and pre-adolescents from the age of 13. As well as tutors, mothers and fathers who wish to support the comprehensive sexuality education of their sons, daughters or family members.  

The purpose of the collective is to achieve communication, dissemination and visibility of the topics included in the document. 

Organizations and individuals who wish to have access to the material should write to the collective’s social networks.  

“Although people think they are very young, young people access sexuality through methods such as the Internet or pornography. So we want to make a correct dissemination of the content, talk about prevention to no longer talk about causalities,” explained Alejandra Alvarado, member of BeRadFem Xela.