An estimated 64% of Pakistan’s population is under the age of 30, and the country now has more young people than it has in its history. In light of this, it is important that policies are in place that can effectively respond to the needs of Pakistani youth.
While government policies are increasingly considering youth but in areas such as sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), policies remain virtually non-existent. The sexual reproductive health of young people continues to be a taboo due to existing and widely entrenched cultural, social, and religious belief that young people – particularly those who are unmarried – have no need for SRHR information and services.
Multi-approach techniques for youth
Young people not only need access to comprehensive SRHR information but also services that cater to their needs. Through the WISH program*, IPPF’s Member Association R-FPAP has implemented many different approaches to reach young people with SRHR information and services. Through these approaches the programme was able to reach 8.3% of youth (of the total clients served) between January 2019 and August 2021, increasing from 2.5% in the first quarter of the programme, reaching a high of 10.2% in the second to last quarter (+7.7%). Further, there was a 203% increase in total SRHR services provided to youth under 20 between 2018 (pre-WISH) and 2021.