Important progress has been booked in getting life skills and sexuality education to young and vulnerable people in Indonesia, Pakistan and Uganda. Remarkable because sexual and reproductive health and rights has been under pressure in these countries.
In Indonesia the Ministry of Education and Culture decided the best way to prevent sexual harassment in schools is to include sex education in the curriculum for all grades. The decision follows after a rise in the number of reports of sexual violence against children in Indonesia.
President Yudhoyono ordered his administration to increase prison sentences for child molesters, but also to introduce sexuality education in schools and raise public awareness about sexual abuse. This turnaround comes just two years after the Education minister rejected calls of civil society to include proper sexuality education for the reason that it would promote indecency among young people.
In Pakistan Rutgers WPF signed an agreement with the Family Educational Services Foundation to develop a Life Skills Based Education curriculum in sign language. Hearing-impaired young people often lack the necessary resources and language to talk about life skills and reproductive health issues. Previously, Rutgers WPF developed sign language for these issues in Vietnam. The sign-language vocabulary will contain around 500 words.
The Ugandan Ministry of Education has recognised the Rutgers WPF programme The World Starts With Me as a good method for sexuality education in secondary schools. A significant move as free expression of one’s sexuality and sexual orientation has been under pressure in Uganda for the past few years.
The World Starts With Me aids young people between 12 and 19 years old to make safe and informed choices on sexual and reproductive health issues. Rutgers WPF and partners are ready to implement The World Starts With Me on a broad scale in the country where it was developed in 2003. UNESCO has commended the curriculum as one of 18 packages that include comprehensive and accurate information.
The World Starts With Me is currently running in ten countries in Africa and Asia and in each country is adapted to the local culture and societal norms while keeping its focus on gender equality and bodily integrity.
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