NAIROBI, KENYA — Last week, in a major win for civil society organizations in Uganda, the Ugandan government’s Ministry of Education and Sports launched the National Sexuality Education Framework, effectively repealing its 2016 parliamentary ban on comprehensive sexuality education. For the nearly two-year lifetime of the ban, young people in Uganda were denied access to critical information to protect themselves and keep their bodies healthy and safe. Voices for Health, a coalition of partners committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health work in the country, joined other civil society organizations in calling for a repeal. With this new framework drafted in collaboration with our partners, students will now be able to receive more accurate and reliable information on sexual and reproductive health.
Statement from Latanya Mapp Frett, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global:
This latest move by the Ugandan government to launch a national framework on sexuality education is a major milestone for civil society organizations and young people in the country. Since the 2016 ban on sex education was put in place, threatening the health of young people in Uganda, we’ve been proud to stand with organizations fighting to repeal the harmful policy. We are especially proud of the work of our Voices for Health partners, whose advocacy and youth engagement were absolutely critical to this change by the government. The framework is far from perfect, and we are deeply concerned about the most vulnerable populations whose needs are not reflected in this framework. Voices for Health partners will continue to hold the government accountable to ensure full implementation of a more inclusive framework that protects all students and all Ugandans.
In 2016, the Uganda’s Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development announced in a statement that it would ban sexuality education. This ban constituted a threat to the public health and the great advances the country had made against the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Our Voices for Health partners joined other civil society organization to advocate a repeal to the ban and participated in the committee drafting a new sexuality education framework. In March, Voices for Health partners launched the #SilenceIsDeadly campaign with events to raise awareness on the harmful and even deadly effects the sexuality education ban was having on young Ugandans. During an event led by our partners, the Ministry of Education and Sports announced the approval of the new framework on sexuality education.
On Friday, First Lady and Minister of Education Janet K. Museveni officially launched the National Sexuality Education Framework. The high-level political event was attended by three deputy ministers, 55 members of parliament, UN country representative and sister UN agencies, technocrats from the ministries of health, gender, education, and the presidency, the Interreligious Council, civil society representatives, and students. Voices for Health partners continue to advocate for improvements to the framework to make it more inclusive.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
For more than 45 years, Planned Parenthood Federation of America has supported access to sexual and reproductive health care and advocated for reproductive rights around the world through our international arm, Planned Parenthood Global. In partnership with more than 100 organizations across 12 focus countries in Africa and Latin America, we advance the health and rights of young people, women and families, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable and underserved. Last year, our partners reached over a million people with sexual and reproductive health information and services provided by our partners. Our unique sustainability model sets us apart, as we empower partners to stand on their own. We help grassroots organizations develop solid reproductive health programs, identify other sources of funding, build their communications and advocacy skills, and develop strategic plans.