New Curriculum’s Blatant Disregard for Gender Equality and Non-Discrimination

Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) is concerned about the new curriculum’s blatant disregard for Gender Balance, Gender Equality and Non-Discrimination espoused in the execution of the “new curriculum” of 2017 introduced by Former Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Lazarus Dokora.

The “New Curriculum’s” Grade 3 Book titled “Family, Religion and Moral Education,” unashamedly disregards the fulfillment of this right through exhibiting high insensitivity as it subjugates women and girls. Contrary to the indication of the textbook, that girls are ‘docile’, women and girls have proven to be outstanding and capable leaders in political, economic and social spheres.

The lived experiences of young girls are inhibited by the inconsiderate and egotistic descriptions that lead to disproportionate inequalities, exacerbated by an education system that dis empowers young girls from a tender age. This draws back women’s potential to meaningfully cope with their male counterparts on an equal basis yet Zimbabwe is a signatory to regional and international treaties that guarantee equality and non-discrimination before the law.

The Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No 20) ACT 2013 provides for Gender Balance in Section 17 (1) citing that: “The state must promote full gender balance in Zimbabwean society,” and Gender Equality and Non-Discrimination in Section 56 (3) stating that: “Every person has the right not to be treated in an unfairly discriminatory manner on such grounds as their nationality, race, colour, tribe, place of birth, ethnic or social origin, language, class, religious belief, political affiliation, opinion, custom, culture, sex, gender, marital status, age, pregnancy, disability or economic or social status, or whether they were born in or out of wedlock.” This places Gender Balance and Equality as intrinsic factors in economic, social and political development.

Without efforts to fulfill gender equality and non-discrimination, women and girls in Zimbabwe will continue to experience inequalities including limited opportunities, violation of their basic human rights and their dignity will be undermined.

Therefore, WILD condemns the disregard for gender equality and calls on the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to review the set books to incorporate and reflect gender equality and non-discrimination and desist from undermining the capacity and potential of women and girls both in private and public life.

Source: Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (W.I.L.D)

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