WAS Newsletter October 2020

Greetings from WAS Media Committee

Dear Luis,

Hello, WAS Family! We are all still facing the world in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. We at WAS hope you are doing well, by staying safe, healthy and thriving. Here is our latest newsletter to update you on the thrilling initiatives at WAS, especially our monthly webinars of such stellar quality, a tribute to some of our luminaries who have passed away, and other newsworthy topics.

Dr. Patti Britton
WAS Media Committee Chair


Dear colleagues,

It is now more than 6 months since the Covid-19 pandemic started and many countries are still reaching the peak, while others are experiencing the start of a so-called second wave. This means that we should be prepared to continue working with a high level of uncertainty.

Nevertheless, WAS, together with our members and global partners, is working almost non-stop on many fronts. This newsletter gives you a nice summary of what is going on and next steps.

  • The WAS monthly series of Conversations on advancing sexual health was launched and we have now organized 5 very successful sessions on diverse topics in partnership with other global organizations (WHO, ISSM, SRHM, WPATH, The Pleasure Project, FIGO). You can watch the full sessions here. The sessions will continue until the end of the year and a new series will start in 2021.
  • The World Sexual Health Day (WSHD) 2020 was dedicated to Sexual Pleasure in Times of Covid-19. This was a special occasion to celebrate the WSHD on the topic of the Mexico City WAS Declaration. A public session included in the WAS conversation series was also held on this special occasion. 
  • WAS has recently released several important Statements on topics such as sexual rights during the pandemic, message of solidarity calling to end systemic racism, and a statement on Trans rights in Kazakhstan and Russia Federation. And more to come. Click here to read those Statements.
  • WAS Task Force on Transgender Rights. The WAS Advisory Committee established a task force to consult on the issue of trans representation in WAS and during Congress meetings. The task force will consult with trans groups/organizations and interested parties on the issue of trans representation and promote WAS membership to these organizations and people.
  • WAS Congress – Cape Town (2021): After a thorough assessment of the pros and cons of the current situation, we have decided to organize a hybrid Congress (online & in person), maintaining the original dates of September 2021. We welcome you all to Cape Town in person to celebrate the first WAS Congress in Africa and hopefully the end of Covid-19 pandemic.

Warm regards,
Pedro Nobre
President of the World Association for Sexual Health

Update on World Sexual Health Day 2020

WSHD this year was a total success, with events happening all over the world in celebration of this commemorative annual focus on sexual health. 2020 our focus was on Sexual Pleasure as a Sexual Right. To learn more, click here.

Report from WHO Meeting, Regional Committee for Europe, 14-15 Sept 2020

During September, WAS attended Regional WHO Governing Bodies meetings. Elsa Almås, WAS European Secretary, was present in the 70th Session of the Regional Committee for Europe (EURO). WAS Vice President Esther Corona attended the PanAmerican Health Organization (PAHO) 58th Directing Council.
Collaborative activities are being planned with WHO/EURO, while reviewing with PAHO, our current work plan, agreed through our in-Official-Relations status, to adjust to the new circumstances due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


WAS Webinar Update

n anticipation of the 25th World Congress in South Africa, WAS has been hosting a Series of Conversations. These free, online sessions have been attend by hundreds of colleagues from all over the world and have been very well received.
Session 1: A Time of Crisis, A Time for Change

Session 2:  Sexual Rights at the Core of Sexual Health Intervention

This was a session hosted jointly by the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) and WAS, which received over 800 registrations. We value our relationship with ISSM and hope for more collaborations in the future.

Session 3: Pleasure in the Pandemic

Presented on World Sexual Health Day.

Session 4: A Joint Session with WHO on the Impact of the ICD-11

Session 5: Gender Based Violence – A Global Epidemic

Please view the recording of the session on our Facebook page by clicking here.

Upcoming Sessions include:

Session 6 (28 Oct 2020*): Sexual Politics in the Global South
Session 7 (18 Nov 2020*): Comprehensive Sexuality Education
Session 8 (9 Dec 2020*): Sex Research in the Time of Covid-19

*Dates subject to change.

Update on WAS Book III

We are thrilled to announce that we are in the process of constructing the WAS Book III. Our task force that is writing this important contribution to WAS history is collecting documents, photos, newspapers, and contributions from WAS Past Presidents and World Congresses Officers.

Please send us any materials that you may have to:

Ruben Hernandez 
Fernando Bianco 
Alain Giami 

In Memoriam

This month we have lost luminaries and cherished members of the WAS global family:

  • Shere Hite, sex researcher, author of the groundbreaking The Hite Report on Female Sexuality, feminist advocate, and WAS supporter. Read more here. 
  • Per Olov Lundberg, Local Host Society Scientific Chair for the 2009 WAS Congress in Gothenburg, Sweden, and dedicated WAS member.
  • Dr. Pierre Assalian, sex therapist, eminent psychiatrist, humanitarian, and beloved WAS leader. Read more here.

A note from our President, Pedro Nobre:

Finally, a sad note to remember those who have departed. Recently, we lost Shere Hite and Pierre Assalian.
Shere Hite was an historical symbol of women’s sexual rights. Her report on women’s sexual behavior placed female sexual pleasure in the epicenter, and can be considered a precursor of the recent WAS Declaration on Sexual Pleasure.
Pierre Assalian was one of the pioneers of sex research and sex therapy in Canada and North America. Moreover, he has played an important role in the history of WAS. Pierre was a member of the WAS Advisory and Executive Committees for many years, served as WAS Secretary-General & Treasurer and presided over the World Congress in 2005 (Canada).
I witnessed Pierre’s passion for WAS and worked very closely together with him in preparing the WAS Congress in Porto Alegre (2013). The WAS family lost one of its members. We will always remember him with great fondness.
WAS offers our deepest condolences to his wife and entire family.

Upcoming Events

Update on 2021 Congress & Call to Action

As of the date of publication of this newsletter, the 25th Congress of the World Association for Sexual Health will be hosted as a hybrid conference in September 2021. 
You will be able to attend the event live and ONLINE from anywhere in the world this time! The onsite event will take place in Cape Town, South Africa, if travel is permitted and it is safe to do so.
We are still determined to “Leave no one behind.” We believe that this hybrid Congress will have the same ingredients you have come to love at previous WAS Congresses, but also provide the opportunity to reach many more people with scientific evidence and inspiration.

Welcome New Members!

Alexandra Sydenham Bennett, Australia
Giscard Mukucha, Democratic Republic of Congo
Enver Cesko, Kosovo
Laura E. Cruz, Puerto Rico
Alexander Blinkov, Russia
Almudena Martínez Ferrer, Spain
Douglas Braun-Harvey, USA
Kiersten Brockman, USA
María Banfi, Uruguay


Sex Coach U, the world’s premier training and certification organization for sex coaches; global; based in USA


Become a member of WAS!

Share this information and join us! Not a member yet? Do you have a friend who would like to be a member of WAS?

WAS has four categories of membership: organizational, individual, student and honorary (awarded by WAS). All categories enjoy interesting privileges of membership!

Learn more at WAS website (English information )








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