Last week the European Parliament agreed that the European Commission and all Member States should work together to tackle homophobia and transphobia in education.
The Parliament approved a report on empowering girls through education, authored by Portuguese Member Liliana Rodrigues, which calls on the Commission to “combat discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in educational settings.”
Furthermore, it “urges the Commission to support the inclusion of objective information on LGBTI issues in school curricula.”
While the Commission does not have direct power in the field of education, it can facilitate sharing of best practices among Member States.
EU funds can be used in such a way that they promote gender and LGBTI equality in education, but currently the EU is undertaking no on-going efforts in this area.
Isabella Adinolfi MEP, Vice-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, reacted: “Bullying and discrimination against LGBTI children in schools is still widespread. The Fundamental Rights Agency’s LGBT Survey found that over 90 percent of LGBT people had observed negative comments or conduct against children because they were perceived to be LGBT.”
“In the face of such widespread discrimination, we cannot sit still. I urge the Commission and Member States to address this head-on.”
Liliana Rodrigues MEP, Member of the LGBTI Intergroup and author of the report, continued: “Education is a privileged instrument to understand the importance of difference. Without it we would live in a dead and crystallized world.”
“Unfortunately, there are still some Member States that refuse to include objective and non-discriminatory information about lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people in their curricula. What children need, like all people, is honest information about all forms of partnership and family. This is what we ask the Commission and Member States to deliver.”