Sex-Ed through Innovative Technology

StandWeSpeak

3. Good Health and Well-Being 4. Quality Education 5. Gender Equality

Overview

StandWeSpeak is a Goa-based SexEd-tech initiative founded by Priyal Agarwal. It equips people with the life skills required to take care of their sexual health & well-being and empowers them to make informed decisions about their bodies, relationships, and mental health throughout their lives. It seeks to remove the taboo around sex education and is specially oriented towards women and youth, where they can get information about themselves in form of chart-based content, and also have access to the products and services on offer.

Authors

Arnab Dey

Arnab Dey

Chandradeep Gauns Dessai

Chandradeep Gauns Dessai

Kenneth Mascarenhas

Kenneth Mascarenhas

Subham Banerjee

Subham Banerjee

Apoorv Singh

Apoorv Singh

School

Goa Institute of Management

Goa Institute of Management

Professor

Divya Singhal

Divya Singhal

Innovation

Facilities and services provided by StandWeSpeak include their digital content platform facilitating learning from reality where one can understand everything about biological, psychological, social, and cognitive aspects of sexual growth, health, and well-being. They also provide bio-degradable menstrual hygiene and sexual health products for women so that they can keep themselves as well as the environment safe. Other offerings include podcasts about love, gender, intimacy, relationships, sexuality, consent, and other similar topics at easy accessibility. They also provide judgment-free, peer-approved consultancy services consisting of gynaecologists, counsellors and sexologists enabling them to resolve their issues simultaneously maintaining absolute privacy. Another innovative facet of StandWeSpeak is “Talk to Mae”, an AI-driven sexual and reproductive health expert, to quench one’s curiosity about sex, bodies, relationships, and subjects related to it. The name of the person availing these facilities remains anonymous, in turn inducing a feeling of comfort amongst the users and nobody really gets to know who they are and what kind of queries they are seeking help for.

The 3 Sustainable Development Goals currently actively persuaded by StandWeSpeak are “Sustainable Health and Well-being”, “Quality Education” and “Gender Equality”. Regarding "Good Health and Well-being", they are providing direct solutions for sexual health-related issues in times when we don't really have any designated platform for seeking assistance related to these subjects. In terms of “Quality Education”, they have conducted various workshops in schools and colleges for students all over India raising awareness of their rights, their needs, and even about their bodies. StandWeSpeak being a gender-inclusive platform they automatically promote “Gender Equality”. It gets further reflected through the consultancy services they provide to women, youth, and even the members of the LGBTQ community.

Sex-Ed through Innovative Technology

Inclusive Sex-Ed

Inspiration

The ideation of StandWeSpeak indirectly has its roots in the Tihar Jail where the founder and CEO Priyal Agarwal during her early career days discovered the realities of alarming crime rates, and a bit of examination of the reasons behind people committing such heinous crimes happened to be their state of mind. That is, how people think about women, and also what perspective people hold about society in general. So, the major change StandweSpeak is striving towards in the long term is the change in mindset which also happens to be one of the biggest inspirational factors behind its emergence. They are strongly driven by the belief that the change can be installed right from the base starting with education, teaching youth about consent, about relationships, about boundaries, also teaching them about refusal skills that include teaching them to accept no for an answer, and also on facing rejections.

The basic ideology of StandWeSpeak is to provide bodily autonomy, primarily focusing on youth, furnishing them with enough resources, and giving them access to a platform that will enable them to make decisions about their own bodies, relationships, and lives. Usually, when it comes to Sexual Health, they do not have the necessary and appropriate platforms for rationing out themselves so in likely circumstances, they end up either relying on Google or their parents or school teachers or maybe colleges for assistance. In reality, we do not have enough resources for proper addressal of these issues, and this factor happens to be another motivating reason behind the emergence of StandWeSpeak, a one-stop platform the youth can directly rely on.


Overall impact

StandWeSpeak as an organization aims to spread awareness regarding sexual health and have had a positive impact on society with their work, with them having members and experts from all over the world creating a safe space and community where people can share their problems and receive guidance regarding the same. With around 10 global collaborations like Amaze, School of Sexuality Education, and Safe to Speak the organization has partnered with, also mentored in curating the content and providing legal and medical help. Stand We Speak aims to normalize safe sexual practices and remove the stigma around them with its main focus on educating the younger generation of our country. In the future, they plan to organize seminars and workshops in various schools and colleges talking to teenagers who are more culpable to misinformation and doubts. StandWeSpeak also intends to speak with parents, educating them about sexual health care and how they as parents can help their children in the same regard. They are also involved in raising awareness for the LGBT community and believe in listening to people's problems or issues that they are facing, from a non-judgmental perspective.

The various awards and recognition won by Stand We Speak is an example of how well the community has responded to their work and how they have impacted society as a whole. With the community growing each day there is a large scope for taking the organization for expansion in the future. StandWeSpeak also plans to work in collaboration with the government in promoting SexEd in schools and colleges, organizing workshops for children, parents, and schools at the grassroots level. The organization believes in interactive learning so that the students relate to the subject and also feel free to share their inhibitions and queries regarding sexual health care and their bodies. Some innovative methods which StandWeSpeak has employed are quizzes, discussions, games where teenagers feel free to share their experiences without feeling hesitant simultaneously enjoying the process. They also have Anonymous Whiteboards where the children can share their thoughts without the fear of being judged. The community believes in “Every Query Matters” while educating the younger generation regarding basic sexual education, something which is a must for the country.

Business benefit

StandWeSpeak has its own business and revenue model through which they raise funds for the organization. They provide a wide range of bio-degradable menstrual hygiene and sexual health products to keep the users as well as the environment safe. The monetary awards and grants received from various institutions help the organization in its R&D process and day-to-day activities.

In this digital age, their social media content brings interactions and helps the brand to grow and get recognized by the younger generation. With more open-mindedness creeping into the community towards SexEd and willingness to seek assistance regarding the same, there is bound to be growth in turn enhancing profitability of the organization. StandWeSpeak wants to normalize sexual education with a focus on Safe Sexual Health for all, and thus trying to remove the stigma surrounding these topics is a challenge they intend to overcome. Convincing young children and also their parents, to listen to them, and change their mindsets is bound to be a tough task and will take a significant amount of time, but StandWeSpeak believes they are on the right path to do so.


Social and environmental benefit

StandWeSpeak is a startup that has begun its operations just before the time of the pandemic and hence the majority of its work had been restricted to online mode. Being a SexEd-tech company, they were still able to reach many people and educate them on the important topics that in India, people have been reluctant to talk about in the past. The company was started with the ultimate desire of founder Priyal Agrawal to help reduce the crime rates in India through education and awareness.

“It’s difficult to explain this to an adult, because they have to unlearn, in order to learn the correct thing,” Priyal said in an earlier interview in December 2020. On that note they have progressed well and intend to have a major impact on society as a whole, making it a better place to live in. Aiding assistance to youth, women and the LGBTQ community in itself speaks volumes about their contribution to society and the intentions and ideologies they possess are likely to take them a long way ahead.


Interview

Priyal Agarwal, Founder and CEO

Photo of interviewee

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StandWeSpeak

StandWeSpeak

Sanquelim, Goa, IN

Business Website: https://standwespeak.com/

Year Founded: 2019

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

StandWeSpeak is a Goa-based SexEd-tech initiative founded by Priyal Agarwal. It equips people with the life skills required to take care of their sexual health & well-being and empowers them to make informed decisions about their bodies, relationships, and mental health throughout their lives. It seeks to remove the taboo around sex education and is specially oriented towards women and youth, where they can get information about themselves in form of chart-based content, and also have access to the products and services on offer.