About WAS and WSHD
The World Association for Sexual Health (WAS)
Since 1978, the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) has been the pre-eminent global organization concerned with sexual health and rights. Our membership represents thousands of experienced as well as trainee sexologists from a variety of disciplines. With biennial congresses held in different regions of the world, WAS has facilitated sexual health through education, health promotion and networking for over three decades. In the recent years, WAS constituency has also become involved in advocating changes in public policy to recognize sexual health and rights as key ingredients in overall health and social justice. Financial support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and governments has sustained this work around the world.
WAS works to promote sexual health for all. Sexual health is a goal not only for the clinicians. It is the common goal of many disciplines. Sexuality education is meant to foster human development and facilitate sexually healthy lives for people at all stages of the life cycle.
World Sexual Health Day
Guided by then-President Rosemary Coates of Australia, WAS launched the first World Sexual Health Day in 2010 to bring the global community together to promote sexual health and well-being. A key element of these efforts is recognizing sexual health within a human rights framework as outlined 25 years ago in the landmark Declaration of Sexual Rights. WAS called all their organizations to celebrate World Sexual Health Day on each September 4th in an effort to promote a greater social awareness on sexual health across the globe.
Each year, WSHD focuses on a different theme. The first World Sexual Health Day theme was “Let’s talk about it,” a message designed to start breaking fears and taboos surrounding sexuality. The 2023 theme is Consent.
Political Impact of WSHD
Governments across the globe celebrate World Sexual Health Day. Some localities have even made it official. For example, the state of Jalisco in Mexico issued a declaration naming September 4 as the State Sexual Health Day (Día Estatal de la Salud Sexual). Additionally, the Portuguese Parliament voted unanimously to declare September 4 National Sexual Health Day.