Physiology

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Physiology illustrations for a Mozambican textbook

These physiology illustrations were a refreshing change from the way our local schoolbooks skirt the issue of sexuality in any kind of detail.

There’ve been very welcome changes here. But local children still know far too little about sexuality, life skills and relationships. The patriarchal system prevents much progress. Many girls are not coached in condom negotiation and building self-esteem.

There could be a whole chapter in local life-skills books devoted to the hideous practice of ukuthwala for example. This is a ‘tradition’ where girls as young as 12 are carried off to be the ‘wives’ of much older men. Strong reinforcement of human rights awareness is something we could add to local life-skills textbooks.

Our schools locally have taken the welcome step of allowing pregnant girls to study for as long as possible, to bear their children and come back and continue their education. It isn’t an ideal situation obviously, but until our educators can see their way clear to providing better solutions than the current ones, this will continue.

Client: Longmans Mozambique