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Ms. Sabita Lamichhane explaining Anatomy of Uterus to a visually impaired participant through tactile method.

Training on Sexuality for Women with Disability

Published on: March 19, 2024

Prayatna Nepal, a prominent disability rights organization, recently organized a training program on sexuality for visually impaired women in Nepal. This comprehensive five-day event, held from March 11 to March 15, 2024, aimed to educate and empower visually impaired women from various regions of the country by equipping them with valuable knowledge and skills related to sexuality and reproductive health. Through expert guidance and engaging sessions, the training successfully provided the participants with a comprehensive understanding of sexuality, while addressing the unique challenges faced by visually impaired women in this domain.

During the training, a total of 22 visually impaired women actively participated, contributing to the richness and diversity of discussions. The program covered a wide range of topics, beginning with an exploration of the terminology surrounding sexuality, including fundamental concepts such as sex, gender, sex identity, and sexual orientation. The participants were exposed to comprehensive sex education and discussions on sexual reproductive health practices specific to Nepal. Important aspects such as the use of contraceptives, menstrual hygiene management, and the intersection of sexuality and the law were also extensively covered.

Recognizing the growing influence of the internet on all aspects of life, including sexuality, a dedicated session was tailored specifically for visually impaired women to address internet-related topics and their connection to sexuality. Furthermore, the program shed light on crucial subjects such as disability and sexuality, LGBTIQ rights, and the unique challenges faced by individuals with disabilities in relation to their sexuality, emphasizing the importance of informed decision-making. A session on disability advocacy and sexuality underscored the significance of raising awareness and advocating for the rights and needs of individuals with disabilities.

The training program featured facilitators who brought their expertise and experience to guide the participants throughout the sessions. Notable facilitators included Ms. Sarita Lamichhane, the founder chairperson of Prayatna Nepal and a passionate promoter of disability rights; Dr. Khem Karki, the executive director of the NHRC (National Health Research Council); Mr. Sankhar Bhandari, Faculty Head of Gender and Politics and Project Planning at K and K College; Ms. Sabita Lamichhane, the secretary of Prayatna Nepal and a nursing instructor; Ms. Jalasa Sapkota, a general member of Prayatna Nepal and a content creator; Aditya Rai, a disability LGBTIQ+ activist dedicated to promoting LGBTI rights.

As the training concluded, the participants took the opportunity to develop their action plans, outlining how they would utilize the knowledge and skills gained during the program. The comprehensive five-day training on sexuality proved to be a remarkable success, equipping visually impaired women with essential information and empowering them to make informed decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health. This training program not only fostered a supportive environment for learning but also highlighted the importance of inclusivity and accessibility in addressing the unique needs of visually impaired women in matters of sexuality.

Training Objectives:

1.Enhancing Knowledge on Sexuality and Reproductive Health: The primary objective of the training program was to provide visually impaired women with comprehensive knowledge and understanding of sexuality and reproductive health. By familiarizing participants with essential terminology, including sex, gender, sex identity, and sexual orientation, the training aimed to empower them with accurate information and promote a better understanding of their own bodies and sexual health.

2.Developing Skills for Sexual and Reproductive Health Practices: Another key objective of the training was to equip visually impaired women with practical skills related to sexual and reproductive health. This included sessions on contraceptives and their practical use, menstrual hygiene management, and the intersection of sexuality and the law. By providing hands-on training and practical guidance, the program aimed to enhance participants' ability to make informed choices and take responsible actions regarding their sexual and reproductive well-being.

3.Promoting Advocacy and Awareness: The training program emphasized the importance of disability advocacy and raising awareness about the rights and needs of individuals with disabilities in the context of sexuality. Participants were encouraged to become advocates for themselves and others, promoting inclusive practices and addressing the specific challenges faced by visually impaired women in relation to their sexuality.

Day 1:

The training on sexuality commenced with an introductory session where participants were given the opportunity to express their expectations from the training. This initial exchange of thoughts set the tone for an engaging and interactive learning experience. To ensure the effectiveness of the training, a code of conduct was established, encompassing a set of rules that all participants were expected to adhere to. Allocation of Responsibilities for the first day: To ensure the effectiveness of the training, participants were assigned different responsibilities like reporter, evaluator, timekeeper, and entertainer.●

The first session of the event focused on sex, gender, sexuality, and related terminology, led by Sarita Lamichhane. Participants engaged in a discussion about their understanding of these topics. It was widely acknowledged that sex is a natural attribute, while gender roles are assigned by society. The participants recognized that males and females have different hormones that shape their behavior, with testosterone being predominant in males and progesterone in females. The session delved into specific topics such as menstruation in females and wet dreams in males, as well as the distinctions between ovaries, ova, and ovum. The process of childbirth was also discussed to enhance comprehension.

Moreover, the participants explored the influence of gender on males and females. A crucial question raised was whether gender solely affects females or if it impacts both genders. The group highlighted the disparities in domestic and economic workloads, where women are often burdened with household responsibilities while men carry the weight of economic expectations. It was noted that women's freedom is often restricted, whereas men have more freedom to exercise their will. The discussion also addressed the issue of harassment faced by boys.

The session examined the topic of suicide and its impact on both genders. Participants considered various gender roles defined by society, such as females being tolerant and males being bold, females being submissive and males being progressive, and females being associated with beauty while males are valued for their talents. The discussion emphasized the societal constructs that shape these gender roles.

Gender-based discrimination and violence were also significant subjects of discussion. The session explored different types of violence, including physical, psychological, and emotional violence. Additionally, the distinction between violence and pleasure was examined to highlight the importance of consent and respect in relationships.

Following the session, a short tea and coffee break of 15 minutes was provided to allow participants to refresh themselves.

After a brief tea break, the discussion in the session focused on various forms of violence. Participants actively shared their insights and experiences regarding this subject, fostering a thoughtful exchange of ideas. The next topic explored was sexuality, aiming to define and understand its meaning. Sexuality encompasses a person's sexual orientation, attractions, and preferences, involving emotional, romantic, and sexual connections with others. The complexity and multifaceted nature of sexuality were acknowledged, highlighting its significant variation from person to person.

The conversation also touched upon the concept of gender identity, emphasizing its definition. Gender identity refers to an individual's deeply held sense or understanding of their own gender. It represents a deeply personal and internal experience that may or may not align with the sex assigned at birth. While sex pertains to the physical and biological characteristics traditionally associated with being male or female, gender identity encompasses how individuals identify and perceive themselves in terms of their gender.

Additionally, the notion of cisgender was explored, describing individuals whose gender identity aligns with the sex assigned to them at birth. For example, if someone is assigned female at birth and identifies as a woman, they are considered cisgender. The term "cis" derives from the Latin prefix meaning "on the same side as."

Furthermore, the discussion addressed the topic of MSM (Men who have Sex with Men) in relation to gender identity. This term, widely used in public health and epidemiology, encompasses men who engage in sexual activity with other men, regardless of their sexual orientation.

The significance of foreplay within intimate relationships was also examined, emphasizing the importance of mutual consent, communication, and understanding in fostering healthy and satisfying sexual experiences.

Moreover, the session thoroughly discussed the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM), providing a comprehensive definition. FGM, also known as female genital cutting or female circumcision, involves the partial or complete removal of external female genitalia or other injuries to female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It was recognized as a harmful traditional practice that violates the human rights of girls and women.

Lastly, the concept of sexual orientation was explored, ensuring a clear understanding of its definition. Sexual orientation refers to a person's enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to individuals of the same gender (homosexuality), opposite gender (heterosexuality), or both genders (bisexuality). It constitutes an intrinsic aspect of a person's identity, typically emerging during adolescence or early adulthood.

The second session focused on comprehensive sexual education and sexual reproductive health practices in Nepal, led by Dr. Khem Karki. The session began with participants providing an outline of the previous session.

Dr. Karki then delved deeper into the concept of sex, ensuring conceptual clarity on LGBTIQ matters. The discussion encompassed various aspects, including homosexuality, heterosexuality, and bisexuality. Comprehensive sexual education was explored in relation to individuals' attractions and preferences, taking into account hormonal changes.

Moreover, the session covered a detailed explanation of male and female reproductive organs, as well as the reproductive cycle involving ova, sperm, and the process of reproduction. The topic of the 46 chromosomes and their relation to reproduction was also discussed. The development of male and female sexual reproductive organs was a focal point of the conversation.

Furthermore, there was a brief discussion on the sexual maturity of men and women, specifically in relation to the menstrual cycle and wet dreams. The session also touched upon sexual pleasure and the phases of the sexual cycle, including excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. The participants engaged in an interactive discussion on the book "Master and Johnson" and its relevance to the concept of love in relation to sexual expression and attraction.

Additionally, there was a brief exploration of the oxytocin hormone and how it influences affection, with some differences observed between men and women. The session covered the four types of relationships: acquaintance, continuous/loving, attachment, and termination.

The discussion then shifted towards sexual expression and how it varies depending on emotional, age, social, economic, cultural, religious, and preferential backgrounds. An overview of the asexual concept was provided, highlighting the role of the limbic system in the brain, which governs two functions: food and security, as well as the reproductive system.

The session concluded with a comprehensive discussion on reproductive health and sexual components. Preventing disabilities through sexual and reproductive health interventions was emphasized, particularly through Torch screening after pregnancy planning. The acronym TORCH represents Toxoplasma, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus, and Herpes, which were extensively discussed. The importance of folic acid consumption three months prior to pregnancy to mitigate birth defects was also briefly touched upon.

The first day of the training on sexuality came to a close, marking the end of Day 1.

Day 2:

After reviewing the learnings from the first day, the focus shifted to a series of sessions covering contraceptive devices, their features, Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH), and menstrual hygiene management. The entire day was led by Sabita Lamichhane, who began with an energizing game to invigorate the participants. She then proceeded to discuss reproductive organs, both external and internal, to enhance comprehension of sexual and reproductive health. Additionally, she provided a demonstration of male anatomy and showcased different contraceptive devices using an accessible SRHR board designed to aid visually impaired individuals in understanding family planning methods.

Throughout the session, Sabita delved into the topic of vaginal discharge, distinguishing between normal and abnormal types. She emphasized the importance of maintaining menstrual hygiene and discerning between healthy and unhealthy blood discharge during menstruation. Furthermore, she addressed the concept of menorrhagia and underscored the significance of hemoglobin levels in maintaining good health.

Sabita stressed the role of iron-rich foods, vitamin C, green vegetables, lentils, and other dietary choices in sustaining adequate hemoglobin levels. She also offered guidance on selecting appropriate foods to consume during menstruation, distinguishing between beneficial and detrimental options. The session covered topics such as Prostaglandins, period cravings, Pre-Menstruation Syndrome (PMS), and the menstrual cycle.

Additionally, Sabita shared remedies for alleviating menstrual cramps and discomfort before briefly pausing the session for a tea and coffee break.

After the break, the session resumed with Sabita leading a discussion on sanitary items during the menstrual cycle. She emphasized the importance of proper hygiene and provided insightful information on using various menstrual products. To ensure clarity and understanding, she offered live demonstrations on the correct usage of sanitary pads, tampons, and menstrual cups, engaging all participants and helping them gain practical knowledge.

Subsequently, group work and presentations were conducted to assess participants' understanding of different family planning devices and their grasp of the day-long session.

With this, the sessions of the second day concluded, leaving the participants with a deeper understanding of sexual reproductive health, menstrual hygiene, and the tools available to promote it.

Day 3:

The first session of the day was led by Mr. Shankhar Bhandari, Faculty Head of Gender and Politics and Project Management at K and K College, focusing on "Law and Sexuality." Mr. Bhandari delved into the distinction between sex and gender from various dimensions, examining different gender roles within the context of societal constructs. He discussed how laws are formulated and who shapes their provisions, emphasizing how the state and legal frameworks often reinforce gender biases, perpetuating gender-based discrimination, particularly affecting women across all facets of life.

The session included group work discussions and reflections on five distinct cases aimed at understanding the interplay between sex and law:

  1. The complexities of abortion and consent.
  2. The repercussions of marital rape.
  3. Considerations surrounding same-sex marriage.
  4. Challenges faced by women in obtaining citizenship due to paternal lineage requirements, leading to potential lifelong consequences.
  5. The hurdles women encounter in claiming inheritance property, prompting reflection on the significance of inheritance rights.

Later, the facilitator presented real-life cases illustrating how courts have adjudicated upon these issues. The session also examined provisions for gender equality within Nepal's constitution of 2015, focusing on articles pertaining to equality and other fundamental rights.

With this comprehensive exploration of law and sexuality, the session concluded, leaving participants with a deeper understanding of the complexities and implications of legal frameworks on gender dynamics and societal norms.

Following the lunch break, the session on LGBTIQ and sexuality commenced under the guidance of Aditya Rai, a passionate Disabled LGBTIQ rights activist. Initially, the facilitator bravely shared their personal journey of identifying as a disabled gay individual and the subsequent challenges they faced upon embracing their sexual identity. This candid sharing set the tone for an open and honest discussion, encouraging participants to share their own experiences and questions surrounding the subject matter, aimed at deepening their understanding of LGBTIQ concepts and exploring their expectations within this context. Each participant brought forth their unique perspectives, fostering a rich and diverse exchange of ideas.

With this foundational exchange, the facilitator then introduced the three main topics for the session: sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics. Beginning with a thorough exploration of sex characteristics, the facilitator explained these as encompassing the physical and biological features that distinguish males from females. The concept of intersex was introduced to highlight individuals born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that deviates from typical male or female definitions, emphasizing the diversity within this aspect of human biology.

Transitioning to the topic of gender identity, the facilitator provided a nuanced understanding, defining it as a person's deeply felt internal sense of being male, female, neither, or somewhere in between. It was clarified that gender identity differs from the sex assigned at birth and should not be conflated with sexual orientation. The concept of cisgender was also elucidated to broaden understanding.

The spotlight then shifted to transgender individuals, clarifying that being transgender means one's gender identity doesn't align with the sex assigned at birth. The term "non-minority" was introduced to acknowledge individuals whose gender identity aligns with their birth-assigned sex.

Further exploration delved into sexual orientation, with the facilitator explaining it as an individual's enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and sexual attraction to a particular gender. Categories such as heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and asexuality were discussed, along with the umbrella term "queer" to embrace diverse identities. The concept of "questioning" was also introduced for those exploring their orientation or identity.

Throughout the session, significant topics including citizenship provision for LGBTI people, ensuring sexual satisfaction, and constitutional rights were addressed, underscoring the importance of inclusivity and equal rights for all individuals within the LGBTI community.

Incorporating personal insights and stories from a disabled individual within this community, participants found the session to be enlightening and introspective, deepening their understanding of LGBTIQ issues and reinforcing the importance of empathy and equality.

Day 4:

The fourth day commenced with an enlightening session led by Ms. Sarita Lamichhane, focusing on the intersection of disability and sexuality. Ms. Lamichhane initiated the session with an engaging ice-breaker game designed to captivate participants' attention and set a welcoming tone. Following this, participants were divided into three groups for a collaborative activity. Each group was assigned the task of delving into various aspects including the definition of disability, different models of disability, and the diverse types of disabilities.

After the insightful group presentations, Ms. Lamichhane delved into an exploration of disability models, spanning from historical perspectives of ignorance and charity to contemporary paradigms emphasizing social welfare and inclusivity. To foster a deeper understanding, a moderated debate ensued among participants, tracing the evolution of societal perceptions and attitudes towards disability throughout history. References to historical literature provided a nuanced understanding of approaches ranging from charity-based initiatives to human rights advocacy, enriching the discourse on inclusion.

Subsequently, participants engaged in a thought-provoking discussion on the definition and conceptualization of disability, supplemented by an informative video presentation elucidating various types of disabilities. Encouraged to reflect on their insights, participants shared their learnings with the group using meta-cards, fostering an environment conducive to knowledge exchange.

Moving forward, Ms. Lamichhane shed light on the multifaceted factors contributing to disability, encompassing long-term physical impairments, societal barriers, and functional limitations. Emphasis was placed on international frameworks such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, elucidating the diverse categorizations of disability across different regions. Legal documents such as the Articles on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities were referenced, highlighting the global variation in the perception and treatment of disability.

Exploration of the intersection between disability and sexuality followed, employing a debate-style approach to encourage participants to critically examine prevailing societal attitudes. Through the presentation of provocative statements, participants were prompted to articulate diverse viewpoints on issues such as the control of sexual desires through medical interventions and the romantic relationships of individuals with disabilities. By challenging misconceptions and fostering open dialogue, the session aimed to cultivate a more inclusive understanding of sexuality within the context of disability.

In conclusion, the session concluded on a constructive note, with participants gaining newfound awareness and perspectives on the complex interplay between disability and sexuality. Ms. Lamichhane encouraged continued exploration of the topic through further study, underscoring the importance of ongoing education and dialogue in promoting inclusivity and understanding.

With valuable insights and recommendations exchanged, the session came to a fruitful close, leaving participants equipped with the tools to contribute meaningfully to discussions on disability and sexuality.

After the lunch break, Miss Jalasa Sapkota led a session on internet and sexuality, inviting participants to reflect on the transformative impact of the internet on their lives. The discussion transitioned into an examination of the disparities between offline and online environments, aiming to dissect their variances. The session then delved into the influence of online spaces on sexuality, scrutinizing their effects on sexual experiences and interactions.

The concept of Female Sexual Development and Sexual Scripting Theory within the context of the internet was elucidated. Subsequently, the discussion shifted to Internet and Sexuality in Relation to Women, where narratives addressing body image, consent, and privacy were shared, spotlighting the unique impact of the internet on women's sexual identities. Empowerment, challenges, and gender dynamics in online spaces were also deliberated upon, contextualizing women's experiences.

Exploration of Pleasure and the Internet ensued, examining the safe consumption of pornography and sexual content. The facilitator emphasized the utilization of privacy features such as incognito mode to mitigate privacy concerns. Participants engaged in a nuanced discourse regarding pleasure, its nexus with the internet, and their diverse experiences with online sexual encounters.

Safety and Internet Security were paramount topics, with the facilitator demonstrating practical privacy settings in popular messaging applications like WhatsApp. The session underscored the importance of online safety, addressed potential risks, and imparted tools to uphold participants' privacy and personal security online.

Furthermore, the session fostered an understanding of key terms pertinent to internet and sexuality through a vocabulary discussion. Terms such as Women and online space, Sexual Content, Sextortion, Libido, Pornography, Consent, Privacy, Body Image, Orgasm, and Sexting were explored, elucidating their significance in the realm of internet-mediated sexuality.

In conclusion, the session on internet and sexuality provided participants with a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted dynamics at play, equipping them with knowledge and tools to navigate online sexual landscapes safely and responsibly.●

Day 5:

The morning commenced with an enlightening session led by Ms. Sarita Lamichhane, focusing on disability advocacy and its intersection with sexuality. She adeptly guided the participants through the intricate concept of advocacy, emphasizing its role in supporting, promoting, and defending causes, ideas, or marginalized groups. Advocacy, as elucidated, encompasses various forms of proactive engagement, from raising awareness to influencing policy changes and societal norms.

Participants were organized into groups to delve into seven specific challenges pertaining to sexuality within the context of disability. Through vibrant discussions and presentations, each group highlighted their insights, fostering a rich exchange of perspectives.

Expounding on advocacy further, Ms. Lamichhane introduced the ABCDE formula, elucidating the pivotal components: Audience, Barriers, Change, Desire, and Education. She underscored the diverse arenas where advocacy can unfold, spanning from governmental bodies to grassroots organizations.

Engaging the participants in practical application, Ms. Lamichhane facilitated the crafting of concise and impactful one-minute advocacy messages. Providing invaluable guidance, she stressed the importance of evidence-backed content and clear action plans.

After a refreshing lunch break accompanied by a collective song, the session resumed with participants honing their advocacy messaging skills. The day concluded with participants receiving meta-cards, inviting them to reflect on the training experience and provide feedback. Organizers sought insights not only on the training content but also on the effectiveness of the facilitator.

With this, the five-day training program orchestrated by Prayatna Nepal reached a successful culmination, leaving an indelible impression on the participants and equipping them with the tools to effect meaningful change in their communities.

Learning/outcomes of Training:

The five-day training on sexuality for visually impaired women by Prayatna Nepal was a remarkable success. The training equipped the participants with essential information and empowered them to make informed decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health.

Here are some of the learnings and outcomes of the training

  • Increased knowledge of sexuality: The participants learned about the different aspects of sexuality, including sex, gender, sex identity, sexual orientation, puberty, menstruation, contraception, and sexually transmitted infections. This increased knowledge helped them to better understand their own bodies and sexuality.
  • Improved communication skills: The participants learned how to communicate effectively about sexuality, both with their partners and with healthcare providers. This improved communication will help them to make informed decisions about their sexual health.
  • Increased confidence: The participants gained confidence in their ability to make informed decisions about their sexual health. This confidence will help them to advocate for their own needs and to protect themselves from harm.
  • Reduced stigma and discrimination: The participants learned about the stigma and discrimination that people with disabilities face when it comes to sexuality. This understanding will help them to challenge these negative attitudes and to create a more inclusive environment for people with disabilities.


In conclusion, the five-day training program on sexuality for visually impaired women organized by Prayatna Nepal has proven to be a transformative and empowering experience for the participants. The program successfully achieved its objective of educating and empowering visually impaired women from different parts of Nepal by providing them with valuable knowledge and skills related to sexuality and reproductive health.

Throughout the training, the participants actively engaged in sessions that covered a wide range of topics. They familiarized themselves with the terminology of sexuality, gained a comprehensive understanding of sex education and sexual reproductive health practices in Nepal, and learned about contraceptives, menstrual hygiene management, and the intersection of sexuality and the law. The dedicated session on the internet and sexuality, tailored specifically for women with visual disabilities, acknowledged the increasing influence of the internet and addressed its impact on various aspects of sexuality.

Importantly, the training program also addressed the unique perspectives and challenges faced by individuals with disabilities, emphasizing the importance of disability advocacy and raising awareness about the rights and needs of individuals with disabilities. Discussions on disability and sexuality, LGBTIQ rights, and decision-making further enriched the participants' understanding of these critical issues.

Under the guidance of experienced facilitators, the participants actively shared their experiences and perspectives, fostering a supportive and inclusive learning environment. The expertise of the facilitators, including disability rights promoters, SRHR experts, nursing instructors, content creators, gender inclusion specialist,  and LGBTI rights activists, contributed to the depth and effectiveness of the training program.

As the training concluded, the participants mapped out their action plans, demonstrating their commitment to utilizing the knowledge and skills gained during the program. By empowering visually impaired women with essential information, this comprehensive five-day training on sexuality has equipped them to make informed decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health.



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