Pakistani village gives girls pioneering sex education class

Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:11pm EST
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By Amjad Ali

JOHI, Pakistan (Reuters) - In neat rows, the Pakistani girls in white headscarves listened carefully as the teacher described the changes in their bodies. When the teacher asked what they should do if a stranger touched them, the class erupted.

"Scream!" one called out.

"Bite!" another suggested.

"Scratch really hard with your nails!" a third said.

Sex education is common in Western schools but these ground-breaking lessons are taking place in deeply conservative rural Pakistan, a Muslim nation of 180 million people.

Publicly talking about sex in Pakistan is taboo and can even be a death sentence. Parents have slit their daughters' throats or doused them in acid for crimes as innocuous as dancing at a wedding or looking out the window.

Almost nowhere in Pakistan offers any kind of organised sex education. In some places it has been banned.

But teachers operating in the village of Johi in poverty-stricken Sindh province say most families there support their sex education project.   Continued...

A teacher displays a flash card to students while describing preventive measures to take when sexual harassment occurs, during a class in Shadabad Girls Elementary School in Pir Mashaikh village in Johi, some 325 km (202 miles) from Karachi February 12, 2014. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro