Gender and HIV-AIDS – Impact on Education System

HIV/AIDS is as the bubonic plague of our time. Though HIV/AIDS is a talking point on street corners, many people still are not informed scrupulously what HIV/AIDS absolutely means. They are not informed how to keep safe themselves as well. In this regard gender literacy may play an important role to make aware of HIV/AIDS.

Mainstreaming gender touches on the statute, norms, customs and practices thoroughly as the stepping stone to sustainable development. Gender equality defines equality of treatment under the rule and neutrality of opportunity for females and males. An essential fact is that women are always struggling against both a virus and structured discrimination in trying to conquer the threat of HIV/AIDS especially in the developing country.

Women should be made campaign for their fundamental rights. Women living with HIV/AIDS have to be able to develop their inner beings and life skills that they may raise their voices in the face of a huge number of impediments. It results in that they have the courage to face a number of situations which raise the danger of HIV infectivity by way of existing gender discrimination.

HIV/AIDS increases acute threats to the education system over the years. It affects the education programs and projects comprehensively. The principle of present national curriculum has to highlight the learning need issues linked to the HIV/AIDS epidemic prevention, such as general health awareness, safe sex practices, coping with illness and death in the family, lessening discrimination towards people living with HIV/AIDS and enhancing life skills. Consequently it has an integrated impact on ministries, departments, agencies, and policy makers liable for proper scheduling and allocation of education resources and services.

The Ministry of Education has to have a great inclination to take a number of initiatives to prevent HIV/AIDS from spreading with the help of NGOs to ensure community people’s participation. In this case some NGOs are already conducting various programs to achieve ‘goal number 6’ of MDG which includes one target related to HIV/AIDS, namely to have halted the epidemic by 2015 and begun to reverse its spread. For example Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation is a non government organization conducting some HIV/AIDS related program. Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation has identified its various advocacy issues through participatory procedure giving main concern to RTI/STD management (including prevention of HIV/AIDS), training, sex education and connected adolescent reproductive health initiatives, qualitative health and related behavioral research, gender-based violence as well as male participation in reproductive rights and gender equity. The aim of these activities is to achieve a HIV/AIDS free Bangladesh.

This is the time for Bangladesh to take strong initiatives to provide HIV/AIDS and sex related education in the school context. Because many people are still traditional, thinking sexuality is a private matter, they hesitate to talk about it and young people have not sufficient knowledge about HIV/AIDS.