Make Gender Studies and Sex Education compulsory in all schools of Uttar Pradesh.
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According to POSCO Act the most number of minor rape cases were reported in Madhya Pradesh (2,467), Maharashtra (2,292), Uttar Pradesh (2,115), Odisha (1,258) and Tamil Nadu (1,169) in 2016. The Year 2018 has not been fairing any better.
Preventive measures designed to ward off strangers (installing CCTV cameras and providing self-defence training) will be ineffective, as children do not know how to ward off unwanted sexual advances from their known relatives, acquaintances or friends, who they trust.
These acquaintances include neighbors (3,149 cases) who were the biggest abusers (35.8%).
As most of the Children between the age group of 14-18 already know about sex from uneducated sources and porn sites. In this case if these students are taught from professional sex educators they would learn about puberty and reproduction, abstinence, consent, contraception and condoms, relationships, sexual violence prevention, body image, gender identity and sexual orientation. In fact they would also open up and learn to speak about such topics, which would help them report the sexual harassment/violence to their authorities who can take action against it.
Another major reason why girls/women are unable to protect themselves is because the society suppresses the image of females in Uttar Pradesh mostly. Gender Studies would help children learn in the school that masculinity has nothing to do with the superiority in the society. All of us are born equal and they should learn and accept the characteristics of every gender.
Simone de Beauvoir said: "One is not born a woman, one becomes one".
Being born in Uttar Pradesh, I have witnessed the discrimination in the society between Boys and Girls and find this as an effective solution in bringing a change.
I am asking Uttar Pradesh Government to make Sex education and Gender Studies compulsory for all the students from 6th standard onwards.
To implement this in the school curriculum I suggest 2 to 3 hours of classes per week, taught by specialized Sex and Gender educators.
"The more one understands that, the chances of risky behavior are lower. So are chances of coercion and physical violence.”, says Dr Sunil Mehra, Executive Director of MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child.
For a meaningful social change programs on the ground like Ehsaas by SNEHA in Mumbai and YP Foundation in Delhi, to name a few, are reaching out to boys and girls on issues like consent and gender equality.
You can help by signing this petition to the Ministry of Education Uttar Pradesh to make Sex Education and Gender Studies compulsory in schools of Uttar Pradesh.
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