Conservatives mobilise against the 'Gender Agenda'

18 February 2017

In the past months the debate on the teaching of gender equality in Peru has become increasingly toxic. In December, this was one of the reasons given for the build-up of opposition to the minister of education (who was subsequently forced to resign). Many claimed that he wanted to teach children what they described as ‘gender ideology’.

A movement has emerged with the name ‘Don’t Mess with my Children’ (Con mis hijos no te metas). Backed by the more conservative elements in the Catholic and evangelical churches, this has gained a strong presence in social media. Last month it started demonstrating in different parts of Lima with large blue and pink placards with its logo. It has collected more than a million signatures and wants to force the government to backtrack so that ideas of gender equality are not taught at schools.

Some of their ideas and activities can be found in the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/conmishijosnotemetasperuoficial/

On 17 February, the collective took to the streets to present their petition to Congress and to show that their weight in society. There was confrontation between the police and protesters as sympathisers headed to Congress with a petition to have the law on the curriculum scrapped. http://larepublica.pe/sociedad/849307-disturbios-durante-marcha-del-colectivo-con-mis-hijos-no-te-metas

In the publicity materials distributed in the march the Don’t Mess with my Children Collective asserted that the government was aiming to teach children as young as five that there were no differences between men and women and that they could choose their own gender; this is in spite of there being no mention of any such directive in the materials produced by the education ministry. Officials have repeatedly proclaimed that the policy is to advance the idea of gender equality. http://peru21.pe/opinion/sandro-venturo-mis-hijos-no-te-metas-2269098

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