Education is the only tool which can help curb sexual harassment in the society.
Experts from various field feel that a subject on sex education will help rid children’s minds of misconception about sex. The subject will not only teach them adolescence health education but also to raise their voices against sexual harassment.
Dr Shaila Mhatre, chairperson, Child Welfare Committee, Mumbai, said that it is high time to include sex education in schools.
“The problem is that people are scared to raise their voices against molestation or rape, fearing what the society will say. The perverts take advantage of this,” she said.
Stressing that people must support the inclusion of a new subject in the school curriculum, Mhatre added: “Most schoolgirls don’t understand the difference between good and bad touch.”
Dr Samir Dalwai, developmental paediatrician and consultant of child rights, too, feels that sex education will teach students self respect and also respect for the opposite gender.
“Unfortunately, most people equate sex education to the act of intercourse, which is completely wrong. It actually enables children to understand and deal with basic life skills and gender issues,” he said.
Dr Usha Thakkar, former professor and head of department of political science at the SNDT Women’s University, said there was a need for such a subject. “This subject should be taught in the school in the presence of expertise including doctors and counsellor,” she said.
Dr Rishma Dhillon-Pai, consultant gynecologist, Jaslok Hospital, has been visiting a lot of schools to talk about sex education.
“We observed girls ask a lot of questions and we figured out that there is a misconception on the subject. We address lots of issues and give information in a scientific manner. Sex education should be introduced in schools,” she said.
Chandra Iyengar, a former IAS officer, who was the first in the country to frame the first policy for women in the country for Maharashtra state. The policy placed the powers of the state government squarely behind women. The other states followed suit.
“We should teach students about relationships and responsibilities — these are two important things will create a huge impact in the society. Once they learn this, sex education is part of the process,” she said.