EXIT
THIS SITE NOW

A step forward to raise concerns about repealing Ontario’s sexual health and education curriculum

At WomanACT, we are very concerned by the recent announcement by the Ontario Ministry of Education to repeal Ontario’s sexual health education curriculum in September. As an organization committed to women’s safety and gender equality, we believe that access to effective and relevant sex education is a key contributing factor to the health and well-being of children and young people.

Compromising children and young people’s access to information on consent and equitable relationships means putting people’s health, safety and rights at risk. Comprehensive sexual health education that is inclusive, rights-based and promotes gender equality has a role in preventing violence against women. Schools are well placed to shift social norms, attitudes and behaviours. To this end, the curriculum must reflect and respond to the lived realities of young people. Teaching children and young people about consent and healthy relationships is critical.

Just this month, the Canadian Femicide Conservatory released its mid-year report showing that in 2018 alone, 78 women and girls have died as a result of femicide in Canada. 41 of these women and girls were in Ontario. With such shocking numbers of women and girls dying as a result of dating violence, intimate-partner violence, we need to commit to learning and discussing safe, healthy and equitable relationships in our education system. With a rise in cyberbullying, the curriculum must cover how children and young people can protect themselves online and respect one another online. We need a curriculum that informs young people of their rights online.

Sexual health education is more than words written on a curriculum document; it is about promoting critical conversations in schools among young people; conversations about gender, sexuality, choice, boundaries and rights. We want the Government of Ontario to send the message that these are vital conversations that must be encouraged and fostered.

As per our open letter submitted to the Ministry of Education, our concerns are shared by a number of organizations and individuals. The open letter prepared by WomanACT has been endorsed and co-signed by a total of 13 Toronto Based organizations, 41 Organizations based in the province of Ontario, 18 Organizations working in other provinces of Canada, 4 Canada-wide organizations and eight individual experts.

Let's stay in touch

Get WomanACT news delivered to your inbox.

Other articles you might be interested in:

The Gender Pension Gap and Equal Pay

In Canada, the gender pension gap is a growing factor of senior poverty that disproportionately affects older women and reduces their well-being, in terms of health and economics. The impact […]

Opinion

City of Toronto’s Budget for 2024

WomanACT’s 2024 Pre-Budget Submission Violence against women is not only a human rights violation but has devastating physical, emotional, social and economic consequences for women. Housing, homelessness, and intimate partner […]

Opinion

Intimate Partner Violence and Hidden Homelessness

Violence against women is one of the main causes of homelessness and housing instability among women and children.   Approximately 30% of Canada’s homeless population are women, 91% of whom have […]

Opinion

Uniting For Change: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Sheds Light on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

As the nation prepares to observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we emphasize the critical importance of this day in shedding light on the heartbreaking issue of missing […]

Press

Putting gender equity at the forefront of the Ontario 2018 election

Ontario Thrive is a non-partisan coalition of organizations and individuals coming together to ask political leaders and candidates for measurable commitments on gender equity in the Ontario 2018 Election. We want […]

News

In support of Bill 157, Domestic and Sexual Violence Protection Act, 2017

WomanACT joined a press conference on Thursday September 28th in support of Bill 157, an Act to increase workplace protection for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. London West MPP […]

News

New project underway to to tackle policy barriers faced by survivors

We are excited to announce a new project which will be undertaking intersectional gender-based analysis of public policies to better understand their impacts on survivors and advocate for policy change. […]

News