Brazil Is Experiencing Attack against Sex and Gender Education, Says NGO

Report analyzed 217 bills on the subject proposed in the country since 2014

Virgínia Ferreira , an English teacher at a public school in Vinhedo (SP), took advantage of the week of International Women's Day, in March 2019, and asked eighth grade students for a survey on feminism and gender violence. The initiative earned her the accusation, by other servers, of "indoctrination," two disciplinary proceedings and a series of threats and attacks on her reputation on social networks.

Ferreira is one of many Brazilian teachers who are embarrassed, harassed or even punished for dealing with sexuality and gender issues in public classrooms in a country where part of society and the political class discredit and reject sex and gender education.

According to a report by the international NGO Human Rights Watch (HWR) released this Thursday (12), Brazil is experiencing a legislative and political campaign in the three spheres of government —federal, state and municipal— that has weakened or even prohibited education on gender and sexuality in schools.

The document is based on an analysis of 217 bills submitted and laws passed between 2014 and 2022, and on 56 interviews with teachers and education experts, including representatives of state education secretariats, unions and civil society organizations.

The approved projects and laws aim to directly or indirectly prohibit, or even criminalize, education on gender and sexuality. Among other tactics is banning key concepts such as "gender" and "sexual orientation" in all areas of education.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

Read the article in the original language