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  • Education Minister Enrique Riera.

    Education Minister Enrique Riera. | Photo: EFE

Students responded earlier with a petition demanding the education and health ministry provide adequate sexual education in public schools.

Paraguay's Education Ministry has prohibited public institutions from using any material that would teach students gender equality — referred to by the Ministry as “gender theory” or “gender ideology.”

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Education Minister Enrique Riera ordered the relevant authorities to extensively review all the current educational texts.

Under pressure from conservative and religious lobbies, especially the anti-abortion group Provida, Riera even offered last Thursday during a speech in Congress to burn any books on a public square that would contribute to the diffusion of gender-related ideas.

Students responded on the same day with a petition demanding the education and health ministry provide adequate sexual education in public schools.

“We are demanding an integral education on sexuality from a secular and scientific perspective, teaching gender equality and non-discrimination,” said student leader Alejandra Amarilla to EFE.

The document was signed by 80 youth representatives after a debate on Saturday meant to address the concerning rates of early pregnancies in the country and the discrimination based on sexual orientation as well as sexism in society.

“(Students) receive little or no type of sexual education, but are filled with myths, taboos, shame or guilt,” she added, insisting on the teachers' lack of training on the matter.


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