As reported by The New Arab, Tunisia is set to become the first country in the Arab world to introduce sex education into schools. This is a positive sign of progress in improving awareness of sex and sexual health in MENA.
The executive director of the Tunisian Association of Reproductive Health, Arzak Khaneetch, has announced that sex education will be embedded into different parts of the curriculum at schools in Tunisia.
Whilst remaining sensitive to culture and religion, children over the age of five will become exposed to aspects of sex and sexuality as of December this year.
With consent and safety as the main themes, Arzak emphasises the importance of sex education to ensure that children are “aware of themselves and others around them.”
Since children in most regions across MENA receive no formal sex education, many young people utilise online platforms to learn about such topics. However, these sources often wrongly portray issues such as marital rape and violence as acceptable.
According to UNESCO, comprehensive sexuality education ‘prepares young people for a safe, productive, fulfilling life in a world where HIV and AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancies, gender-based violence and gender inequality still pose serious risks to their wellbeing.’
Sex is happening in all parts of the world but, in many regions within MENA, any mention of the topic is firmly avoided. As sexual health experts, Better2Know understand that a lack of awareness compromises the health of those who feel unable to go to sexual health centres to get tested.
With such positive changes in Tunisia, we hope that many other countries begin working to alter attitudes towards sex education, contributing to a safer, more educated society.
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Learning about sex, sexuality and sexual health should be the norm in all parts of the world. If you have any concerns, questions or queries about your sexual health, whether you are male or female, don’t hesitate to contact our Sexual Health Advisors. Our dedicated team of experts are available 24/7 to help you care for your sexual health.