This week we asked members of the Girls Engagement Advisory Board to respond to the question: What would a sex ed curriculum have to include to be relevant to your community?
In Nepalese community, curriculum based on sex education is must from grade 6 to 10. Students are taught almost everything mentioned in books. In my opinion LGBTI issues and safe abortion should be given priority. – Muna KC, Nepal
The word ‘sex’ is banned for usage in most schools in Pakistan. Even the thought of sex education is far fetched for these schools. We NEED a sex education subject in our school to teach the girls and boys about safe/unsafe sex, menstruation , puberty, contraceptives etc. There is literally nil knowledge of such concepts in most Pakistani schools, especially in the rural areas. This is because conservative groups believe it is against our religion and culture whereas the liberals believe teaching about sex encourages sex. Even a basic knowledge of safe sex could do wonders to our community. This can be taught in 8th/9th grade to prevent opposition from various groups. – Hamna Tariq, Pakistan
Unfortunately, in Egyptian society, any term which includes the word ‘sex’ is immediately dismissed and thought of as inappropriate. So, as a starting solution, I think the government should add a class to every school starting grade 7 or 8 for example and call it “family planning.” The curriculum taught in this class should include information about safe sex, abortion, contraceptives, and of course the importance of family planning. Moreover, it should clarify that the use of contraceptives is not against religion, that FGM is extremely harmful and not a part of religion, and that a lot of beliefs regarding sexual and reproductive health in the rural areas are not based on true facts or stories.
In my school, we have sex ed in high school but unfortunately this is only because it is a private international school. In most schools, no sex ed is offered to students and so if this changes, the lives of many Egyptians will too.- Mai Yassin, Egypt
Sex education in schools in Nigeria is encouraging and more rampant in the west but still lacking in the east and most especially the north. In the western town of Lagos, where I reside, sex education is included in the secondary school curriculum and is taught via social studies, basic science and civic education. All topics are taught except family planning as abstinence is the only form taught. This is as a result of the cultural and societal beliefs around family planning, religion is also a big contributor.
Sex education needs to be taught in all parts of Nigeria and all parts of the world. In the north in Nigeria maternal mortality is on the rise, early marriage is still widely accepted, and gender inequality lingers on. A lot needs to be taught through sex education to eradicate such issues.- Elizabeth Williams, Nigeria