BOGOTÁ – In the last weeks, thousands of people took to the streets and participated in nationwide marches against the Ministry of Education’s plans on advancing gender ideology in the nation’s school system. Reacting to the people’s protest, President Manuel Santos officially opposed the introduction of gender ideology in schools.
“The President's declaration and promise to oppose gender ideology in schools has been a great triumph for parents, educators, churches and citizens. But the fight continues,” said María Fernanda, an allied lawyer of ADF International and Director of Red Familia Colombia, a pro-family NGO, which helped organize the march.
Circulated by accident
The row started over the Ministry’s attempt to distribute a pamphlet in schools titled “Non-Hegemonic Sexual Orientations and Gender Identities in the School: Aspects for Reflection.”
The Minister of Education, Gina Parody, claimed that the pamphlet had not been intended for circulation in the first place. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) had acted unilaterally in publishing it, using the Ministry of Education’s logo without authorization. But she still supported the creation of the pamphlet and the need to distribute it widely among students.
“Parents and educators feel threatened when officials try to impose gender ideology on the schools’ curricula. They care about their children’s education and recognize when an agenda put forth by the Ministry of Education conflicts with their personal values. Parents have an inalienable right to oversee and influence the education of their children,” explained Neydy Casillas, Legal Counsel with ADF International, who has advocated for family rights before the Colombian Constitutional Court.
UN not to intervene with country’s interests
“The United Nations Population Fund, which produced and distributed the gender-pamphlet, should not intervene in a country’s family politics. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, society and the state must protect the family and parental rights. Unfortunately, the United Nations Population Fund appears to pursue its own agenda, which is not in line with the majority of Colombia’s population. This is undermining a nations’ sovereignty for the sake of imposing gender ideology,” remarked Neydy Casillas.