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The YP Foundation on Sexuality and Language

Written By: Audacia Ray
April 20, 2010

 

Our partner The YP Foundation (TYPF), based in New Delhi, is a youth led and run non-profit in India that develops young people’s leadership skills to take action on issues that young people are passionate about. Recently they’ve started blogging about their programs and the process of figuring out the language of sexuality, the words they use to describe themselves and their movement.

Ishita Sharma, one of TYPF’s longtime volunteers, has this to say about their process of figuring things out:

Over the last 2 years our work has been directed towards advocating for young people’s sexual right[s] as a human right.

Along with any sort of work comes a tag, a tendency to define and interpret where certain actions, event or piece of work fits in. For The YP, this process was not a conscious process, but we found a space, where we feel our work very naturally fit.

Language here again became important. What are our politics and our stands?  What language and with what words do we speak?  Who do we speak on behalf of? Do we identify ourselves with any movement?  Specifically in relation to our work with sexuality, how do we ensure that our work and also language is culturally appropriate-or is that even necessary?

Another question was of our engagement with social issues, with registration came the tag of NGO- a ‘not for profit registered foundation’. Words such as social change, social justice, Advocates, Activists entered our vocabulary and concept notes.

The term youth activism has been used to describe our work in multiple arenas, both internally and externally. But what does that mean, specifically in the context of work around sexuality and gender, how is activism interpreted when placed in the milieu of urban issues and people? These are some of the questions that this series of article hopes to explore.

Read the full post and subscribe to TYPF’s blog for the continuation of the series and other posts here.

Also, for a bit of regional context, check out our publication Young Adolescents’ Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: South and Southeast Asia.

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