“They ask me when you should start sex education, and I say as soon as the child can talk. They should be told the names of the genitals just as they are told about hands and eyes and ears, and nose.”
Those are the words of Dr. Mobin Akhtar, a psychiatrist who promotes sexuality education in conservative Pakistan. Despite framing sexual health information within a religious framework, Dr. Akhtar’s book, “Sex Education for Muslims,” has met heavy criticism, including accusations that he is promoting pornography. Still, he insists his work is vital, as he has witnessed the crises young people experience while going through puberty without clear, accurate information about their bodies and rights.
We at IWHC applaud Dr. Akhtar’s efforts—and the BBC for covering his work—but caught an error in the BBC’s reporting. The story states that no public schools in Pakistan offer sex education, yet just last year, IWHC partner organization Aahung piloted sex education curriculum in public schools across Pakistan’s Sindh Province.
Read more about Aahung here.