268254 Improving the sexual and reproductive health and rights of youth from indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico: Evaluation of the community mobilization and safe spaces project, Movil.com

Monday, October 29, 2012

Xipatl Contreras, BA , Population Council Mexico Office, Mexico City, Mexico
Annik Sorhaindo, MSc , Population Council, Mexico DF, Mexico
Ximena Avellaneda Diaz , Director, El Grupo de estudios sobre la mujer "Rosario Castellanos", Oaxaca, Mexico
Tahilin Sanchez Karver, MPH , Mexico office, Population Council, Mexico City, Mexico
Sandra Garcia, ScD, ScM , Mexico Office, Population Council, Mexico City, Mexico
The population of the rural Mexican State of Oaxaca is mainly indigenous, lives in poverty, and scores poorly on human development indexes compared to other Mexican states. Young people from Oaxaca are often pressured into early marriage and youthful pregnancy, and many also experience gender-based violence (GBV).

Movil.com, is a two-year community mobilization and peer education program that trains young women from indigenous communities in Oaxaca to serve as community-based leaders in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), gender equality, and GBV and is modeled after the “safe spaces” approach, which has demonstrated efficacy in improving SRHR among young people elsewhere.

We evaluated Movil.com using a combination of pre-test/post-test surveys, in-depth interviews with the leaders and focus groups with peers and prominent members of the community. At baseline, 12 leaders, ages 17-25, each from a different indigenous community, and 62 community-based peers participated. After two years, nine leaders and 17 peers remained.

By the end of the Movil.com program: the leaders had broadened their views on sexuality to recognize the significance of pleasure and the personal choice to use contraception; there was a 10% increase in the number of community-based peers who could identify more than one contraceptive method; and both leaders and buddies increased their ability to discuss their SRHR, particularly in terms of freedom to decide when and with whom they had sex. However, perceptions of gender equality and GBV in the community were more difficult to affect using this approach.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with the delivery of community-level peer sex education programs for youth in disadvantaged and indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Keywords: Adolescents, International, Community Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted all the field work for this research and helped with the analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.