Sex education for migrant women in Sweden

A series of informational films and events are intended to inform migrant women in Sweden about their rights regarding sexual health and welfare, and to help break down taboos surrounding issues like FGM, sexual assault and abortion.

Catherine Edwards
Catherine Edwards NewsMavens, Sweden
Sex education for migrant women in Sweden - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

A series of films educating women about sexual health is one part of the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education's (RFSU) efforts at outreach, targeting newcomers to Sweden to inform them of their rights, including contraception and abortion.

Many female migrants may come from countries where information about sexual health, including childbirth and pregnancy is limited, while others come from cultures with different norms around sexual behaviour or where female genital mutilation is practised.

Through information sessions with midwives and a series of films in multiple languages, Sweden aims to help start a dialogue about these topics.

The idea is to educate staff in municipalities, individuals who come into contact with migrants, healthcare staff and others, so that they can work with migrant women in the most positive way -- and crucially, in these women's native languages.

Details from the story:

  • Statistics from Sweden's National Health Agency show that around 40,000 women and girls in Sweden have been victims of female genital mutilation (FGM), although this figure is an estimate based on how many come from specific countries where FGM is common.
  • In Sweden, it is illegal to carry out FGM.
  • Sweden has a few specialist clinics which treat women who have been genitally mutilated.
  • RFSU's information films are currently available in 14 languages, and the aim is to increase this number.
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