Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and other prominent feminists have written an open letter to Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and urged her to abolish mandatory sex education.
Their message was shared by a wide range of human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International Bangladesh.
Hirsi Ali wrote: We write to you, the Prime Minister, because Bangladesh is a nation of women, a nation where the vast majority of girls are not given a formal education.
The Government’s mandatory sex ed is part of an effort to create a new national identity for the nation.
If you do not abandon mandatory sex-education in Bangladesh, you are betraying Bangladesh and its women, as well as all those who suffer from forced marriages and forced childbirth.
The letter has since been shared more than 1,000 times, and it received more than 15,000 comments.
“There is a lack of awareness of the human rights situation in Bangladesh and the extent to which sex education in schools is biased against girls and women,” said a Human Rights Alliance spokesperson.
A senior Bangladesheep official told CNN that mandatory sex instruction in schools in the country is mandated by the government.
The Government did not respond to requests for comment.
“We are not surprised to see that women’s voices have not been heard in this debate,” Hirsi-Ali said in the open letter.
“It is important for us to be heard.
The fact that there is no gender equality and the Government has not implemented the human right of all Bangladeshes to education is not surprising.”
It is time for you to take a stand against compulsory sex education and for a free, democratic, secular and gender neutral education.
“Hirsu Ali, who was one of the founders of the World Health Organization, was also one of five women who received the Nobel Peace prize for her work fighting the global AIDS epidemic.
She has spoken out against the use of sexual violence against women in Africa and elsewhere, and against the suppression of free speech.”
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Sex education has to be based not only on facts, but also on human rights.”
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