French parents in panic over gender equality lessons for kids

  • Noopur Tiwari, Hindustan Times, Paris
  • Updated: Jan 29, 2014 22:39 IST

“Equality between boys and girls” is being taught to children between 3 and15 years old in a new trial in France. Called “ABCD of equality” the state project aims at fighting gender stereotypes.

Applied to only ten schools so far, the project has been hit hard by rumours that it exposes toddlers to sexuality. Worried that it’s a ‘dubious’ gender theory course, many parents didn’t send their kids to school on Monday.

As many as 40% of the class was reportedly absent in some cases. French women’s rights minister Ms Najat Vallaud-Belkacem had to come out to quell the rumours.

She clarified that the idea was to sensitise children. Belkacem, who is of Moroccan immigrant origin, has been in the news for major pro-women’s rights reforms.

On Tuesday, the French National Assembly passed the “real equality between men and women” bill (359 votes for and 24 against). A second reading of the bill is due in spring.

The new law will let women seek abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy without having to justify it. It provides incentives to fathers to take longer leave from professional activity to look after newborns.

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