US Christian right group hosts anti-LGBT training for African politicians

Zambia’s ambassador to the African Union (AU), Emmanuel Mwamba, confirmed to openDemocracy that he has attended two diplomat training sessions hosted by FWI in the US and, earlier this year, he gave one of the programme’s keynote speeches.

Since attending his first FWI training, Mwamba has been vocal against CSE in Zambia. In a newspaper article published last month, he writes that “at the heart of CSE is a determined goal to achieve, sexualise children, make them less ‘homophobic’, and let them know that sex is a right with whoever they wish to have it with.”

UNAIDS executive director Winnie Byanyima, from Uganda, told openDemocracy that “CSE is an integral part of the right to education and to health. It is not optional. It is not negotiable.”

“Quality CSE puts the power of knowledge for prevention directly in the hands of adolescent girls, boys and young people – to prevent HIV, early pregnancy, the trauma of maternal deaths, and sexual and gender-based violence – and to know where to get timely support.”

Meanwhile, South Africa’s education department has accused an anti-CSE alliance that includes the South African group Family Policy Institute, a close ally of FWI, of “misrepresentation of facts” after they used fake “leaked lesson plans” that included sexually graphic material to agitate parents against CSE.

Departmental spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said that “more than a third of girls and boys experience sexual violence before the age of seventeen”, which was why the department had introduced age-appropriate education that “builds resilience, confidence and assertion among young people, who often do not know when they are being violated by sexual predators”.

Banning sex education

FWI, which was founded by Sharon Slater, a Mormon mother of seven, is campaigning to ban CSE in at least ten African countries, including through its “Stop CSE” website, which hosts petitions against sex education.

FWI and its supporters push abstinence-only sex education and claim that CSE is “abortion, promiscuity, and LGBT rights education”.

Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Namibia’s minister for international relations, who is also the country’s deputy prime minister, is the latest African politician to echo the views of the anti-CSE movement. In June, she urged her country not to renew the ESA Commitment on CSE and youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services.

The 2013 commitment, which is supported by UNAIDS, UNESCO and UNFPA, aims to help young people avoid unwanted pregnancies, HIV infection and sexual violence and involves all 21 countries in the East and Southern Africa region. The commitment ends in December; it is currently being evaluated by independent researchers and may be extended.

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Kerry Cullinan Zarina Geloo Tuyeimo Haidula | Radio Free (2022-01-24T16:33:54+00:00) » US Christian right group hosts anti-LGBT training for African politicians. Retrieved from https://www.radiofree.org/2020/10/27/us-christian-right-group-hosts-anti-lgbt-training-for-african-politicians/.
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» US Christian right group hosts anti-LGBT training for African politicians | Kerry Cullinan Zarina Geloo Tuyeimo Haidula | Radio Free | https://www.radiofree.org/2020/10/27/us-christian-right-group-hosts-anti-lgbt-training-for-african-politicians/ | 2022-01-24T16:33:54+00:00
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