Today, the UN Secretary-General convened a “Transforming Education Summit” (TES) in New York. In June, there was a Pre-Summit event held in Paris and attended by education ministers and vice-ministers from 154 countries, as well as nearly 2,000 other participants.
This summit is focused in large part on neutral topics like recovering from the COVID pandemic. However, the first of the “Thematic Action Tracks” for the summit is “Inclusive, equitable, safe and healthy schools.” This is the type of high-sounding (but vague) language often used in UN documents and at UN events. In this case, however, it conceals a more disturbing agenda—under the “Key Issue/Strand” labeled “Gender-transformative education.”
The word “gender” is an ambiguous term. Sometimes it is used as a synonym for “sex,” meaning the state of being born biologically male or biologically female. Because the word “sex” itself can be ambiguous—referring sometimes to male/female differences, but at other times to sexual activity such as sexual intercourse—some prefer to use the word “gender” rather than “sex.”
Thus, calls for “gender equality” can appear to represent straightforward calls for the equality of women and men, or for equal opportunity for girls and boys. The UN Women website, for example, declares, “We are the global champion for gender equality,” but defines that as meaning they seek to “ensure that every woman and girl lives up to her full potential.” Similarly, the website of the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) says, “We champion the rights of girls to a quality education.”
However, the word “gender” is sometimes used in distinction from the concept of biological “sex,” not as a synonym for it. For example, UN Women defines the word “gender” in terms of “social attributes and opportunities … and relationships [that] are socially constructed and are learned through socialization processes.” This separation of “gender” from biological “sex” opens the door in some cases to treating “gender” not as a synonym for “sex,” but for “gender identity” instead. “UN Free & Equal” (an initiative of the United Nations Human Rights Office) says, “Gender identity reflects a deeply felt and experienced sense of one’s own gender”—without any reference to inborn biology.
Thus, terms like “gender” and “gender equality,” when used in UN documents and at UN events, can become a Trojan Horse used to promote the forced acceptance and affirmation of “transgender” identities (as well as of homosexual conduct, another “social attribute” or “relationship”).
In preparation for the TES, the UN Girls’ Education Initiative called for applications to join a new “Feminist Civil Society and Young Feminist Activist Education Coalition” (or “Feminist Education Coalition” for short). Both civil society organizations (CSOs) and “young feminist activists aged 18-30” were invited to apply.
CSOs were required to document their work in “progressing gender equality” and “Intersectional approaches and programmes, related to disability, ethnic/racial minority, LGBTQI are especially welcome.” (Emphasis added. “Intersectionality” has been defined in terms of “intersecting forms of privilege and oppression,” but in practice it refers to a sort of one-upmanship of victimhood, in which the winner is the person with the most different characteristics that might subject them to discrimination.) Elsewhere on the web page it elaborated, “We welcome feminists who use an intersectional lens and understanding of privilege and vulnerability vis-à-vis disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and race/ ethnic/ linguistic status” (emphasis added).
Another required qualification was that applicants support “gender transformative education.” A 23-slide presentation on this topic published in December 2021 integrates a sexual orientation and gender identity agenda throughout—beginning in the glossary, where the added term “gender minority” is introduced and used five times, apparently in reference to those who identify as “LGBTQI” (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, or intersex). The term “LGBTQI” is then used four times in the presentation, “sexual orientation” six times, and “gender identity” no less than nine times.
The presentation makes clear that it is not simply urging “tolerance” for such “sexual minorities,” or even a policy of “non-discrimination.” It calls for “recognizing, accepting, celebrating and finding strength in individual differences such as … sexual orientation,” and for “respecting this diversity and finding ways to support its positive expression.”
The presentation then goes into even greater detail:
Children and young people who do not identify themselves within the confines of traditional gender and sexual orientation norms face the difficult and sometimes distressing task of fitting in. Gender norms and power relations limit – and try to shape – children and young people before they have had a chance to explore their unique gifts, abilities and preferences that often do not fit within traditional gender norms.
Ironically, the indoctrination evident in “Gender Transformative Education” seems expressly to create “norms and power relations [that] limit – and try to shape – children and young people”–but only if those young people do “fit within traditional gender norms” or hold to traditional values.
If “indoctrination” sounds like too strong a term, note how “gender transformative education” is framed in terms drawn directly from Marxist-inspired “critical theory”:
Gender Transformative Education seeks to utilize all parts of an education system – from policies to pedagogies to community engagement – to transform stereotypes, attitudes, norms and practices by challenging power relations, rethinking gender norms and binaries, and raising critical consciousness about the root causes of inequality and systems of oppression.
And lest one still be tempted to think the focus is on improving the lives of girls and women, the explanation goes on to say:
Gender Transformative Education moves beyond simply improving access to education for girls and women … to examine, challenge, and change harmful gender norms and imbalances of power that advantage boys and men over girls, women and persons of other genders (emphasis added).
“Gender transformative education” is explicitly linked to “comprehensive sexuality education, and sexual and reproductive health and rights,” the latter being a well-known euphemism for abortion and the LGBT agenda, and the former being a contentious effort to provide explicit and age-inappropriate sexual content to young people.
The competitive, application-based process announced by UNGEI (which closed on May 18) was to select the “trailblazing coalition of 21 national and grassroots, feminist CSOs and young activists.” Members have not yet been publicly announced.
The gender-related efforts in the TES are a sequel to the “Generation Equality Forum” meetings held in 2021 in Mexico City and Paris, which “launched a 5-year action journey to achieve irreversible progress towards gender equality.” One result was the creation of “Action Coalitions”—and one of those is devoted to “Bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR ).”
The Generation Equality Forum featured a “Civil Society Advisory Group” similar to the “Feminist Education Coalition” being convened for the TES. Eight of the 21 members of this group have been active in promoting the “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” (SRHR) agenda—including Naiara Leite Costa, “a black lesbian feminist” from Brazil, and Jessica Stern, a full-time LGBT activist as Executive Director of OutRight Action International, who is also a member of the “LGBTI Reference Group” for UN Women.
At the Pre-Summit event in Paris in June, governments were urged to “consolidate national consultations as they prepare for the September Summit,” where Heads of State and Governments will gather to make public commitments to “transforming education.”
The international community shares the core goal of educational equality —making it “so that every girl can go to school, learn and succeed.” However, every country, every government, and every CSO should be on guard against the far more sinister objectives of “transforming” education to promote an “LGBTQI” agenda.
Family Watch will be following the Transforming Education Summit in New York, and we will report back to you on the outcomes.
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