Education International
Education International

Argentina: Call for free lay and egalitarian sex education

published 14 November 2013 updated 12 December 2013

EI’s affiliate in Argentina, the Confederación de Trabajadores de la Educación de la República Argentina (CTERA), supported the theme of the XXII March for Pride in Sexual Diversity: “Free lay and egalitarian sexuality education”; the march proceeded from the Plaza de Mayo to the Plaza del Congreso in Buenos Aires on 9 November.

Teachers took part in the march for pride and joy “to celebrate the growing recognition of rights that we are experiencing and to demand the effective implementation of comprehensive sexuality education”, said Stella Maldonado, General Secretary of CTERA and a member of EI’s Executive Board. “As teachers, we call for education free from discrimination in our schools,” she said, demanding “an extension of the rights in the Law on Equal Marriage and Gender Identity”.

Martin Canevaro, President of ‘100% Deversidad y Derechos’ (100% Diversity and Rights) welcomed the participation of CTERA, “recognised by the March for Pride not only for its commitment to and defence of good quality, inclusive public education but also for its commitment to state education that is free from discrimination”.

The March for Pride has been celebrated in Argentina every November since 1992.

Education in diversity to increase equality

In the last few years, rights have been gained through laws that have set an example for plurality. The law on Comprehensive Sex Education (2006) created the National Programme and the approval of the Curricular Guidelines on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (Educación Sexual Integral ESI); the Law on Equal  Marriage (2010) legalised unions between people of the same sex. And the Law on Gender Identity (2012) allows the transsexual collective to change their gender, name and photograph on official documents. The Law on Assisted Fertilisation was passed in 2013.

This year, the message of the March for Pride in Sexual Diversity was focused on demanding the effective implementation of the Law on Comprehensive Sexuality Education. Although a good law, it has encountered problems in its implementation in both public and private education, throughout all the provinces and in Buenos Aires. The manuals of the Higher Catholic Education Council (CONSUDEC), the body which governs private religious colleges, do not recognise the existence of equal marriage in Argentina.

Other slogans at the march called for an end to hate crimes and changes to the Anti-discrimination Law, the implementation of the Law on Gender Identity in Health; derogations from the Misconduct Code, an end to human trafficking and gender violence; free and legal Abortions; an end to xenophobia and racism; no sexism; no discrimination on radio or television, and the effective application of the Media Law.

The march was attended by delegations from Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Colombia, and other Latin American countries.

EI: The struggle continues

EI is working to strengthen the capacity of trade unions to develop institutional policies on the defence of public education, sexual diversity and human rights. The Latin America Regional Office has opened the debate on how to approach sexual diversity and human rights within the Latin American education movement.