Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) has an important role to play in improving health, promoting human rights and tackling harmful gender and power dynamics. The positive impacts of CSE extend throughout life, supporting young people to develop critical life skills, self-esteem, and achieve better education and employment outcomes. It also ensures that more girls stay longer in school, through the prevention of early marriage and early and unintended pregnancy, awareness on rights, and by creating safer, more respectful learning environments for all.
More and more countries are working to implement and scale up comprehensive sexuality education, which young people worldwide are demanding access to. To build on this growing momentum and strengthen coordination amongst the UN, development partners, and civil society organizations, a Global Partnership Forum on CSE has been established.
Co-convened by UNESCO and UNFPA, the Global Partnership Forum on CSE aims to advance research, promote good practice, enhance collaboration, and overcome challenges on the journey towards CSE. It provides a structured platform for intensified collaboration, the sharing of information and good practices, identifying gaps in research, enhancing youth leadership, and informing evidence-based policies and programmes.
More than 50 organizations have already joined the Global Partnership Forum on CSE, all working towards making evidence-based, age-appropriate CSE a reality for children and young people across the world,. Members include UN agencies, international civil society organisations working in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights, youth-led organizations, research and academic institutions, and education related and other professional networks with an interest in promoting CSE.
What is comprehensive sexuality education (CSE)?
Comprehensive sexuality education is a curriculum-based process of teaching and learning about the cognitive, emotional, physical and social aspects of sexuality. It aims to equip children and young people with knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that will empower them to realize their health, well-being and dignity; develop respectful social and sexual relationships; consider how their choices affect their own well-being and that of others; and understand and ensure the protection of their rights throughout their lives.
Why do we need a Global Partnership Forum on CSE?
Despite government commitments to delivering CSE, there are still a number of challenges to full implementation in many parts of the world. These include: a lack of teacher training; weak laws and policies; poor curriculum; and, negative public attitudes or misconceptions about CSE. At the same time, more and more countries are working to implement and scale up CSE and young people are demanding access to it. There is a need to build on this growing momentum and strengthen coordination amongst key actors to improve both access to and quality of CSE.