Tunisia’s announcement late last year that it would introduce sex education starting at the primary school level was welcomed as a trailblazer in the Arab world. But the implementation has faced challenges, from a watering down on subjects considered taboo to political turmoil.
Introducing sex education into the school curricula is rarely an easy task across the world. So, in December 2019, when Tunisian authorities announced they would introduce a sex education programme for primary and high school students, it was hailed as yet another example of the North African nation’s leading women’s rights in the Arab world.
The move marked the first time an Arab country would be introducing sex education to primary school students as young as five-year-olds. It would also make Tunisia the only Arab nation to provide sex education in schools after Lebanon scrapped its programme for 12-to-14-year-olds in 2000 over concerns it would “provoke perversions”.