Global partnership forum represents largest group of people committed to action on CSE

More than 50 organizations dedicated to action on comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) have come together for the launch of the Global Partnership Forum on CSE. The Global Partnership Forum maintains a vision of a world where all children and young people have access to good quality CSE that supports them to make healthy and educated decisions as they grow up.

Launched on the sidelines of Generation Equality in Paris in early July 2021, the Global Partnership Forum event featured a mix of representatives from government, UN and funding agencies, civil society and youth-led organizations, and academic institutions.

Assistant Director-General for Education, Stefania Giannini, emphasized UNESCO’s strong commitment to advancing CSE, noting that the progress would not be possible without collaboration and partnerships with other organizations. “Our collective vision for this Forum is that we mobilize an active and visible community of CSE advocates and actors who work together to advance dialogue and good practice on CSE,” Ms Giannini said.

Throughout the event, participants looked at how to ensure CSE reaches all children and young people in their schooling, what the data and research show about the effectiveness of CSE, and why it should be an essential part of national education programmes. They discussed how CSE can contribute to gender equality and why a global partnership forum on CSE is so important.

Daniela Meneses, a youth representative from Transform Education and a member of the Global Advisory Committee at UNGEI, talked about the importance of CSE to young people. “I work closely with girls and young women, from different rural areas, especially in my country of Ecuador. Girls have this idea that the way to contribute to our society is by being a mother. They get married at a very young age, and they are not encouraged to pursue their education,” Ms Meneses said.

“How can we aspire to achieve gender equality when we do not talk about these topics? Sometimes we misinterpret that CSE should only be focused on sexual intercourse and contraception, and we forget to mention that these other aspects are also a critical part of it.”

Comprehensive sexuality education is a tool to empower adolescents to know their rights, make informed decisions at all stages of their lives and improve their health, said Frédéric Depetris, Deputy Head of the Human Department at the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs.

“CSE gives a voice to young people, who must be at the center of our concerns. We must give the means to this future generation, in particular young girls, but also young boys to express their needs and their expectations. We must also consider young people as the main actors of the actions and policies that concern them,” Mr Depetris said.

The event to launch the Global Partnership Forum on CSE highlighted the importance of CSE to achieving bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights. The group of more than 50 member organizations stated their commitments and vowed to strengthen the global community on CSE.