The Importance of Comprehensive Sexuality Education

By: Maureen Odour, Women Deliver Young Leader

The right to education is a human right. Investing in education is the right thing to do; it enables young people to transition into decent work and empowers girls and young women to fulfill their dreams and aspirations for equality. Young people everywhere have the right to quality education, including comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), and together we can make it happen.

Celebrated in Incheon, South Korea from 19 to 21 May, The World Education Forum sought to make this a reality. After days of deliberation, governments, international organizations, and civil society representatives from around the world agreed to an ambitious declaration that builds a powerful new education agenda of achieving equitable and inclusive quality education for all by 2030.

As an advocate of CSE, I was very keen to follow educators incorporating CSE within mainstream education.

I noticed education stakeholders, such as Ministers of Education from various countries, acknowledge the importance of CSE, but remain hesitant to promise they would make it a reality. Although CSE was mentioned in many of the sessions, common responses were “this is a very complicated matter to decide on” or “CSE is a sensitive issue that largely affects culture and religion, therefore it’s not easy to talk about.” For me, these answers make me ask another question: “how long will young people continue dying and missing out of opportunities due inadequate CSE?”

It is unfortunate that CSE was never featured strongly in the Incheon Declaration, despite being a very important component of a successful education for young people. Advocating for the mainstreaming of comprehensive sexuality education in schools remains a critical tool to bringing up a healthy nation of young people. While we know that peer education works – it is not enough. We need sexuality education in the school curriculum.

Decision-makers must stop viewing the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people, including CSE, as too complicated to be addressed. Education, including CSE is a human right like any other, and young people deserve to fulfill their rights.

Entry Comments

  1. Young people specially young women and girls have the right to quality education and safe sexuality education worldwide. It is their rights mean human rights!!!

    • Aug 04
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    peer education works and sexuality education in the school curriculum should be a focus.

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