Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

September-03-09

Proposed UN Sex Ed Guidelines Spark Controversy

Drafts of the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Guidelines on Sexuality Education that will be launched formally in October are inciting controversy. UNESCO describes the guidelines (see PDF) as "an evidence-informed and rights-based framework to give children and young people access to the knowledge and skills they need in their personal, social and sexual lives." The guidelines were developed using input from worldwide experts and research and aim to reduce the number of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, contracted by youth globally each year. Currently, there are 111 million new cases annually, according to the Telegraph UK.

Conservative groups, primarily in the United States, have criticized the proposed guidelines as promoting the idea that access to legal abortion is a right, positioning abstinence as "only one of a range of choices available to young people", and encouraging discussion of homosexuality and masturbation, reported the New York Times. In response to the critics, the United Nations Population Fund has reportedly requested that their name be removed from all materials supporting the guidelines.

Sue Williams, chief of UNESCO's Paris press relations department told Time, "we're not surprised by this reaction, nor the places it's coming from. In fact, our very goal with such recommendations is to initiate the kind of debate, reflection, and action that moves the topic forward. Our desire now, however, is that debate be both informed and balanced."

Nanette Ecker, who co-authored the guidelines said, "Successful programs merge both evidence-informed approaches with rights-based, scientifically accurate and comprehensive approaches. The two approaches are not mutually exclusive. In a world with so many children and young people at risk of unintended pregnancy, sexual abuse and violence, HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), it would be an abuse if critical information about sexuality, relationships and sexual health wasn't provided to young people."

Media Resources: UNESCO 8/27/09; New York Times 9/2/09; Telegraph UK 8/28/09; Time 9/3/09


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order. Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
 
7/27/2015 "After Tiller" Was Nominated For An Emmy - Documentary film After Tiller was nominated for two Emmy Awards: Best Documentary, and Outstanding Coverage of a Current News Story. The Point of View (POV) documentary follows the aftermath of the murder of Dr. . . .
 
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents. Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force. "Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices, said Spillar. . . .