Dec 19, 2019

Tunisia becomes only Arab country with sex education in primary school

A little girl holds the flag of Tunisia

A girl holds a Tunisian flag as she watches a FIFA World Cup 2018 soccer match, June 28, 2018. Photo: Chedly Ben Ibrahim/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Tunisia is the first Arab country to provide a sex education program for elementary and middle school students, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The education program will be integrated into a variety of school subjects such as Arabic and the sciences. Children will learn about their bodies in a "biological and religious-based way" to arm them against sexual harassment, catcalling, rape and molestation, the Post writes. Older students will learn about pregnancy and abortion.

  • Lebanon previously had a sex education program in 1995, but it was stopped in 2000 after complaints from religious groups, Al Jazeera reports.
  • Tunisia's program will be rolled out first in areas around Tunis, the capital, and then expanded to all schools after two years if successful.

Why Tunisia: The country is known for being relatively progressive compared to its neighbors, and the program is tailored to Tunisian society.

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