A report recently issued by Plan UK indicates that comprehensive sex and relationships education (SRE) can “influence a positive shift in the social norms that underpin violence against women and girls (VAWG).”
Although SRE programmes have been shown to reduce VAWG and improve the treatment of girls and women in general in India, Ghana, Kenya, Serbia, Canada, the United States and other countries, in many nations schools are only required to teach the biological aspects of sex and parents are permitted to withdraw their children from learning any “nonscience elements”.
United Kingdom Member of Parliament Caroline Lucas has presented a bill that would mandate personal, social, health and economic education, which includes SRE and education about VAWG, in all state-funded schools. We support the bill — as do 81 per cent of teachers in the United Kingdom.
Simon Ross, chief executive of Population Matters, said, “Quality SRE is vital to tackling VAWG and also critical to tackling teenage pregnancy — two problems that cost the economy billions and have devastating human and environmental costs.”