Over 250 attend the first-ever festival on digital sexuality education in Kyrgyzstan

28 November 2022

On November 12-13, 2022, Tartynba Fest, first-ever Festival on digital sexuality education in Kyrgyzstan, brought together over 250 participants to have an open and honest conversation about sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equality and gender-based violence, and other related issues.

Tartynba in Kyrgyz language means do not be shy. The festival aimed to highlight the topics that concern many young people but are often surrounded by stereotypes and, as a result, rarely discussed in families and education settings. What zoomers want to know about puberty, health and relationships, and where do they go searching for this information? Why sexuality and shame go together, and has it always been this way? Does sexuality education contradict traditions and cultural norms? What feminism really is about and why its important not only for women? How digital sexuality education programs help to embrace one anothers differences and tackle stigma and discrimination of various groups? During two days of the event participants had a chance to look for answers to these questions without fear and shame.

Young digital content creators and representatives of different youth organizations and initiatives from all over Kyrgyzstan (including rural and remote areas) were the main audience of the Festival, with 75% of participants being girls and young women. They had an opportunity to hear from 85 speakers - experts, educators, celebrities, journalists and youth influencers - in public talks, discussions, workshops and lectures.

The festival provided a platform for young people from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and other countries to get united and share their efforts and experiences in creating unique digital products and projects to raise their peers awareness about health, relationships, sexuality and safety, to support and empower them to make informed choices and protect their rights.

Ten youth-led and youth-focused initiatives and organizations Spring in Bishkek, Dance4Life, Ne tabu.kz, Teens.kg, Reproductive Health Alliance of Kyrgyzstan, Teenergizer, Oilo chatbot, Erkin Kyz, Bishkek AIDS Centre and Spasatelny Krug (Lifebouy) shared with participants their products and approaches to reach out to different groups of young people.

Addressing gender inequality and gender-based violence, empowering girls and promoting rights, equality and inclusion were the focus of many sessions at the Festival.

Well known feminist activists, popular singers, bloggers, artists, content creators and representatives of youth and female organizations spoke about domestic violence, early and forced marriages, bride kidnapping and urged participants to join efforts to end these harmful practices.

The festival participants recorded a call for action addressed to ministries of education, NGOs, parents and young people to provide offline and online comprehensive sexuality education meeting needs of youth in all its diversity, including those young people with disabilities; remove barriers to health and other services for young people; address gender inequality and gender-based violence offline and online.

The festival was organized by Reproductive Health Alliance of Kyrgyzstan in cooperation with UNESCO, UNFPA, UNAIDS and with financial contributions of the Luxembourg Government and IPPF.

For more information about the Tartynba Festival see its website.

: UNESCO

Permanent link: http://en.unesco.kz/over-250-attend-the-first-ever-festival-on-digital-sexuality-education-in-kyrgyzstan