Sexuality, Diversity and Inclusion

Human sexuality is dynamic and has diverse meanings for people across the world. The idea of sexuality, in many orthodox cultures was constantly a subject to stereotyping & labelling; to form a sense of an ‘acceptable normative’ or accepting only a selective way of exploring one’s sexuality. Any sort of sexual exploration outside of this, was treated as malicious, maladaptive and largely tabooed by society. In todays times, we can witness diverse nature of sex, sexual identity & expression from an intersectional lens. However, there still persists a lack of acceptance & acknowledgement for sexual diversity and inclusivity.

The Declaration of Sexual Rights by the World Association of Sexual Health states that, “Sexual rights are based on the inherent freedom, dignity, and equality of all human beings and include a commitment to protection from harm”. Hence to evolve as a society, there is a need to make all spaces safe and inclusive for all kinds of diversity. Being inclusive means accepting, respecting, and giving opportunities to everyone, including minority groups of various kinds. In a professional space, this would mean equal pay, promotion opportunities, career growth, and a safe environment, for all. It is thus imperative to realise the dynamic nature of sexuality, the need to encourage its rightful expression on all possible levels.

This session will include discussions on the sexual diversity spectrum and human sexual rights. The next step after which is the implementation of this understanding into creating safe and inclusive workplaces and families using frameworks around the world. The #MeToo movement opened our eyes in this regard, and has been monumental in creating dialogue about harassment in the workplace. It brought to light the importance of being sensitive about the language used, people’s personal space, and professional boundaries. This movement helped further in amplifying minority voices, and creating a safer space for all. By the end of this session, you will get leave with an idea of respecting sexuality diversity and being more inclusive for the same, both personally and professionally.

About Shivli Shrivastava

Shivli is the founder – director of Shivtensity. She is a practicing Counselling Psychologist and
Sexuality Educator in India.

She has an extensive experience in delivering training & counseling sessions over the years, while encouraging the idea of a ‘safe- inclusive space’ for all. She has worked with Educational Institutes, Police training academy, UNICEF, Anganwadi Workers and State Commission for Child Rights, among others to spread awareness and educate people of different age groups and backgrounds. She also renders online counselling sessions for clients across the globe, providing them with affordable Mental Health support. She is queer affirmative, trauma informed and follows the intersectional feministic approach in her work.

With her platform, Shivtensity, she aims to reduce the stigma (associated with sexual/mental health and disability) by providing information, dealing effectively with awkwardness to generate awareness about these social issues and in the process, reducing abuse by teaching people about consent & safety. A sense of direction, commitment and responsibility
fuels her efforts, as she tries to create impactful change – one step at a time. When she’s not
brainstorming therapeutic techniques, she likes to unwind by cooking, cleaning and gardening.