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02 July 2006

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Sex Education without Human Rights Perspective?

Representatives of Iskorak, Kontra associations and the Croatian Women Network expressed their disapproval of the composition of the Commission on Health Education of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, and the approach the implementation of sexual education in Croatia.

What kind of sex-ed will be taught in Croatian schools?
What kind of sex-ed will be taught in Croatian schools?
The Commission is charged with the task to adopt decisions and organize the sexual education of children. The organizations, however, protest the fact that the Ministry didn’t include a single representative of the institutional gender equality mechanisms, nor did it include an expert in the field of gender equality (for instance, the Women Studies Centre in Zagreb) or in the area of human rights protection.

The National Gender Equality Policy, adopted by the Sabor, stresses the development of systemic education on gender equality and sexuality, as well as awareness of gender equality in regular education, as one of its priorities.

However, thanks to the inaction of the competent Ministry, the National Policy remains a dead letter in terms of its implementation. The associations demand from the Ministry to answer the following question: What will the sexual education look like without a perspective on human rights and gender equality, implemented solely through the viewpoint of health education?

In their view, the health education is not sufficient to provide for proper sexual education and should be organized as a separate subject in the syllabus, based on scientific knowledge, the principles of gender equality and respect for human rights, as listed in the National Policy.

Iskorak, Kontra and Croatian Women Network demand from the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports to include in the Commission experts and representatives of the institutional gender equality mechanisms, and to take active participation in the preparation of sexual education curriculum that will be taught in elementary and secondary schools.

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