New Delhi, Sept. 7: The fight to check crimes against women must begin in school, an expert committee formed by the National Commission for Women has said.
Its message to human resource development minister Kapil Sibal is: make the school syllabus more gender-sensitive.
Representatives from Sibal’s ministry were invited to the first two meetings of the committee, formed by the commission recently to find ways of battling the rise in crimes against women.
“Sex education should be included in the syllabus so that respect for women and their body — what is good touch and what is bad touch —can be deeply entrenched in the child’s mind,” a committee member said, according to the minutes of the two meetings, accessed by The Telegraph.
While the specifics of the syllabus change are yet to be discussed, the committee has recommended that the NCERT syllabus include an elementary study of the laws relating to the protection of women.
The members have said that classroom lessons should aim at negating the tendency “to glamorise sex and treat the female body only as a commodity”.
The committee also suggested that police officers should visit schools regularly and speak to the children to “generate and develop trust”.
“The police person can come and speak to the students (and) as a part of their field trip, they (the pupils) can be taken to police stations, specially in the rural areas,” a member said.
The ministry representatives have agreed that schools should educate children about gender, human rights and caste issues. The ministry has formed a core group to develop a syllabus module to be tested on a pilot basis.
The committee members believe that imparting gender-sensitive values in the classroom is the only long-term way of changing the mindsets of men, and the community at large, towards women.