Dear colleagues, the opportunity has once again come to promote World Sexual Health Day throughout the world in a concerted effort!

1. Background and Goal

Since 2010, WAS has invited many audiences to celebrate World Sexual Health and join this initiative to promote sexual health, well-being and rights for all. This initiative proposed by the then President Rosemary Coates of Australia has become a key strategy to bring our themes and socialize the mission of the World Association for Sexual Health.

2. Topic/Logo

This year’s theme is sexual health in a digital world and the motto is:

Turn it on: Sexual health in a digital world”

The reason for choosing the motto “Turn it on” is the message of igniting awareness of sexual health and sexual rights and enforcing them, as there are also many violations and abuses of sexual rights in the digital space.

If the language or translation of the slogan can be misleading or misinterpreted for cultural or linguistic reasons in any country or region, it can be adapted while keeping its basic spirit.

WSHD LOGO

3. Conceptual Framework

We live in a world that does not differentiate between digital and analog to connect in our relationships, in the exchange of ideas and in our learning. The digital world has become an everyday space in which we spend many moments of our day to day, where we have universal connections that allow us to access and expand content and information to promote sexual health and sexual rights through the dissemination of appropriate messages.

Information and communication technologies provide the ideal tool for health promotion to ensure that communication on social networks promotes involvement in health self-care. Especially in groups that are not reached with traditional methods such as young people.

The implementation of the Smartphone in people's daily lives has not only revealed the penetration of technology in daily life, but also the opportunity to take advantage of technological incidence as a potential tool to educate from 

communication. The development of applications for mobiles and tablets has been a dynamic, individual and interactive way of reaching people. In the case of health promotion, the development of mobile applications has meant the possibility of developing closer communication strategies for the target population groups.

The main function of the internet is the rapid exchange of information and today it has become a tool for legitimizing or rejecting cultural trends and published information. On the other hand, it influences the ways of receiving and transmitting information and of creating relationships between people in the social organization.

The trend towards the integration of new technologies as media and creators of communication, habits and culture, has increased, being adopted mainly by the youngest part of the population.

Therefore, cyberspace has become not only a referential framework for the search for information, but also for the emission of messages, with the absolute certainty of its visibility and expansion. The information society goes hand in hand with globalization and new technologies because both have generated advances complementing each other, uniting latitudes and generating not only shared understanding, but knowledge to share.

However, we know that there are access gaps between vulnerable groups and regions of the world that do not easily access digital platforms or information technologies online.

In terms of public health, the Internet has become a source of consultation and recommendation. From consultation forums generated by anonymous and lay users on the subject, to the boom of specialized consultation and health promotion websites. There is a high traffic of online data oriented to the active search for information and advice on health matters.

A priori it is possible to think that there are a high number of apps aimed at young people and sexuality, and that is true if we focus on applications on dating systems or ludic-sexual approaches, but there is not a broad panorama of tools that address the promotion of healthy sexual practices both among young people and people of any age group. In addition, it is very easy to access information, but it does not mean that they can always discriminate between what is accurate and reliable from what is not.

But other issues arise when we discuss the use of digital technology and the internet for sexual purposes, one of them is privacy, consensuality, informed consent, confidentiality, the internet and the use of apps open possibilities, but they also raise questions and create threats, namely the possibility of sexual harassment and sexual related cyberbullying in digital contexts.

The use of technology has called for the reframing and reconceptualization of what is sexual health and sexual rights in a digital world and we need to learn how to integrate technologies in people’s lives in an ethical human rights framework.

Our slogan this here aims to call attention for this challenge because the expression “turn it on” is a call for action and for the need to raise the questions and topics and challenges and opportunities that the digital world brings and how these maximize or threaten sexual health and sexual rights.

 

4. When?

The official date is September 4th, but it can be adapted and celebrated throughout the month.

5. What?

Social, cultural, media or political activities involving everyone.

6. Where?

Where it is more convenient and possible as the pandemic and the measures of confinement and social distance have evolved in each country. We propose that the activities are carried out on internet platforms (online) and / or in small groups, special venues that are prepared to host events in a secure way according to the situation in each country.

In the past, country organizers have taken WSHD activities to schools, media, hospitals, libraries, universities, public squares, art halls, theatre groups, etc. WSHD aims to expand to many different social contexts throughout the imagination of its organizers. WAS wants to ensure that sexual health issues are widely discussed everywhere. As usual we recommend that different contexts and institutions (health institutions, schools, universities, patient organizations, NGO’s that advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights) be involved.

 

7. Media strategy

 

  • Disseminate and advertise WSHD 2021 in every social and professional network (e.g., Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin) or media, if possible.

  • Use the #WorldSexualHealthDay2021 or #WSHD2021 or #turniton or #enciendelo (in Spanish) tag in your posts, create visibility for your projects and initiatives.

  • Take pictures, tag them so that we can use in our social media (e.g., www.facebook.com/4sept);

  • Use the standard logo above as well as this year’s logo.

 

Contact Information:

 

  • E-mail: worldsexualhealthday@gmail.com

  • Twitter: @SexualHealthday (in English) @DiaSaludSexual (in Spanish)

  • There will be an independent website www.worldsexualhealthday.org and www.diamundialsaludsexual.org

  • Don’t forget to like and share the official Global WSHD Facebook pages (English and Spanish versions): www.facebook.com/4sept/ and www.facebook.com/DMSS4sept

 

8. Activities

 

  • WSHD is a global and voluntary celebration, the possibilities are limitless;

  • A good strategy of promotion is to try to involve celebrities, government officials and politicians in the activity that you organize;

  • This year Portugal has approved September 4 as the official national day of sexual health. In the state of Jalisco, Mexico, World Sexual Health Day has become an official day in the state calendar, as well as in the province of Chaco in Argentina. In July of this year WSHD was approved in Municipality of Cornélio Procópio (Brazil). On the page there will be a proposed text to approach local, state or national authorities

  • Possible activities:

    • Create #WSHD2021 photography, poetry, tales contests;

      Create a #WSHD2021 challenge and involve everyone in a virtual challenge using your social networks page;

      Organize talks in universities and organizations open to anyone interested;

      Invite sexuality education advocate(s) to celebrate and share their experiences with you, involve them.

 

We will upload resources and proposals on the website www.worldsexualhealthday.org

9. Topics to be addressed

We propose to focus this year's goal on sexual health in a digital world. In the current context, given the measures implemented by the governments of the world to control the pandemic, we have found in the digital landscape new ways of learning, living together, enjoying, creating, relating, communicating and experiencing our sexuality.

Our goal is to provide a frame of reference that puts the focus of sexual health and sexual rights on laws, politics, public health, education and clinical practice for their protection and the promotion of gender equality and the respect for sexual diversity.

10. Timeline

 

Month

Activities

July-Aug 2021

Plan the activity that you would like to carry out in accordance to your cultural needs, translating all the needed information to spread the idea (such as a press release).

July-Aug 2021

Select the location(s) to carry out your activity to celebrate #WSHD2021

August-Sept 2021

Contact all the possible media (Magazines, Television, Newspapers, and Social Media Influencers) in order to start spreading the idea.

August-Sept 2021

Prepare all the materials and human resources that you'll need such as the banners and posters of the suggested activity or the photographers who would be willing to take pictures. Be sure to include the logo and information of WAS everywhere you can, as well as the logo and slogan of WSHD.

September 4, or around this date

Take the initiative(s). Take all the pictures that you can to document your activity. Upload them to the WSHD global Facebook page as well as the articles that are published about the activity in local media.