Sri Lanka isn’t the kind of country that openly discusses topics like sex. It’s taboo here.
I remember being 10 years old and having to ask my friends about what “sexual intercouse” was - because asking my parents was out of the question. If the topic ever came up, my dad would get thoroughly uncomfortable and simply walk out.
Practicing safe sex is also something we had to learn on our own - but luckily we had enough access to information. Plus, there was always an availability of condoms and other forms of contraception - so any of us could get our hands on it. It was free at government facilities, and there were cheaper options depending on our budgets.
The current crisis has had a grave impact on the access to safe sex here in Lanka. The government stocks have run out and most people who relied on the free of charge supplies of condoms, OCPs and IUDs are facing problems. With the currency depreciating everyday, those who used to purchase contraceptives are now finding it difficult to afford them.
I’ve heard cases of people resorting to other unsafe methods of “safe” sex like “pulling out”. This is very alarming - a grim reality for anyone with an active sex life in LKA. If you can’t afford it, you can’t access it.
I can only imagine the unplanned pregnancies that may come about from this. Raising a family itself feels like a hard task in these times - so how will people manage with a newborn baby?
I am concerned about our sexual freedom and the increased lack of control over our sex lives. I hope things will take a turn for the better soon!
- A Young Sri Lankan Woman.
19th May 2022
Sri Lanka is an island nation in South Asia that is currently experiencing its worst economic crisis in decades. Access to basic necessities such as food, health-care and security grows lesser by the day. The country is facing sky-high levels of inflation, and is under severe political and economic unrest. This first-person account details the experiences of a young Sri Lankan woman during this strenuous time.